Photo Essay: The Many Faces of Sweet Hope

by Dave on October 31, 2012 · 7 comments

Meet Sweet Hope, she's sexy and she knows it

Meet Sweet Hope, she’s sexy and she knows it

This is the second installment of a three part series. Read part one here.

Upon waking up around 6 AM on the morning of our second day in Indonesia’s Tanjung Puting National Park, I surveyed the scene.

We were tied up to the same dock where we’d eaten dinner the night before. A few crew members were up and about, while most of the other bloggers were still asleep.

In the trees to the right of the boardwalk, I spotted an orangutan. Her name was Sweet Hope, and for the next 40 minutes, she entertained us like no other orangutan we saw.

She played and posed, and approached us with curiosity and comfort. When it was all over, I looked back at the photos, amazed at the wide range of expressions and poses she gave us in such a short time.

Without a doubt, she knew she had our undivided attention, and she was going to have fun with it.

I felt strangely emotional putting these photos together, as if we formed a bond during our time together early that morning.

Our group would observe two more feedings, but none of those experiences would hold a candle to my time with Sweet Hope.

Sweet Hope cautiously approaches the dock from the trees above. Can you spot her?

Sweet Hope cautiously approaches the dock from the trees above. Can you see her?

Showing off her pearly whites

Showing off her pearly whites.

Sweet Hope

Sweet Hope is only a few years old, so she’s still growing. How cute are her little ears?!

Orangutan laugh

Sweet Hope laughs up a storm. Why? We’ll never know.

Feeling more confident, Sweet Hope approaches the bench

Feeling more confident, Sweet Hope approaches the bench…

Apparently she's ready to start her morning yoga routine

…to prepare for her morning yoga class.



You talkin' to me?

You talkin’ to me?

Sweet Hope settles down for a brief moment, before departing down the boardwalk into the forest

Sweet Hope settles down for a brief moment, before departing down the boardwalk into the forest

This is the second installment of a three-part series. Read part one here, and check back tomorrow for part three.


Note: My visit to Indonesia was in conjunction with a blog trip hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

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is the author of 1728 posts on Go Backpacking.

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Categories: Features, Indonesia, Photos
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sonja everson November 1, 2012 at 3:38 am

I was enjoying the first adorable picture so much that I didn’t even read your caption underneath. “She’s sexy and she knows it’ nearly caused my nacho chips to come flying out of my nose. I haven’t laughed to hard in ages! bloody hell….I nearly woke the kidlets up. Pushing my nachos aside and wiping off my computer screen (totally gross), I managed to compose myself and carry on enjoying the rest of your pictures. Thanks for brightening up my night with such a fun set of pics. I can’t wait for your third post ;-)


Dave November 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Hahaha, thanks Sonja, glad you enjoyed the pics ;)

I should have the third and final post up next Monday. In it, you’ll meet Tom, one of the larger, alpha males in the area. He’s quite a character.


Andi of My Beautiful Adventures November 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm

These pics are absolutely amazing!!!!!!


Dave November 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Thanks Andi, I’m sure you’d enjoy Borneo too!


Vian November 8, 2012 at 4:53 am

It must be really cool to see an orangutan live from its habitat. I’m an Indonesian but I’ve never been to Tanjung Puting National Park. The pics are cute and amazing. Wish I could be there someday :-D
And by the way, 12 days aren’t enough to explore Indonesia. We have many things and cultures waiting to be seen by people around the world. These years since I was born I haven’t traveled places in Papua, Sulawesi and Maluku. Bunaken is a must visit place when you’re traveling Indonesia!

*and yes sweet hope is sexy, everyone knows it haha*


Dave November 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I hope you can make it there too! And I agree, Indonesia deserves a lot more time. I was told the further east you travel, the prettier the beaches get.

And we only made it as far as Komodo!


Daniela November 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Thanks for sharing these photos! As a traveler and storyteller, I am always looking for better ways to tell travel stories. These photos are a great a example of how the best photos can tell a wonderful story without many words. I especially loved that you wrote that you felt emotional when putting the photos together. She does seem like a truly sweet girl. I’ll be tweeting this!


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