Sometimes we'll have food items that not all the babies like too much, but Rahayu always finishes every piece she gets a hold of. Although she suffered from severe cerebral malaria when she arrived at IAR in April 2011, there is not much to indicate negative effects of her past today. Her eyesight was probably permanently damaged by the malaria infection and she has a slight strabismus on both eyes as well as some minor coordination problems. Fortunately she is not one to let things like this get in her daily routines, and is always looking for new ways to tease some of the younger babies and does not give up enrichment items or food very easily. This is something our youngest baby, Gunung, has experienced quite a few times. Rahayu loves pulling his legs or hair (Gunung has very long, pull-inviting hair) until he bravely cries for the help of the babysitter. When she is not picking on Gunung; she prefers to play on her own – always not too far away from the babysitter. She likes to stay up high in the platforms or trees in the playground and when she is up high you would not expect that she has such impaired eyesight. Another sign that she is doing well is that she has not been ill since she recovered from her malaria infection last year, and that is good news for when we move to our new and bigger centre this year. There we have prepared a large forest area where the babies and juveniles can jump from tree to tree, build their nests high up and have even more limited contact with humans. Hopefully Rahayu will cope well with this transition and her slight handicap won't hinder her too much in the new forest.
Sometimes she is so content in the trees or the platform that she doesn't realise the rest of the group has already started to move deeper into the forest. She gets a little nervous when she thinks she has been left behind, but there is always someone there to help her find her way. Rahayu is gaining confidence everyday, and we are confident that she will continue to develop all the skills she needs to do well in the forest in the future.