Welcomed Guest

I woke up to the most beautiful alarm clock this morning. A chorus of at least 10 different tropical birds. After breakfast everyone at the homestay went snorkeling and diving. I went snorkeling. Everywhere your eye gazes looks like an aquarium. The coral is amazing. As you snorkel you can hear birds singing around you. It’s truly a magical sensation. Others saw turtles, sharks and manta rays along with hundreds of other species of fish.

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The people here are very friendly and seem to live a very relaxing life. The kids that live at our homestay go to school which is quite typical. Between the two snorkel locations we stopped at a beach to take a break. I’ve heard about the garbage issue before coming here. It was bad. Unfortunately, the majority of trash comes from outside Raja Ampat. Most Indonesians don’t think twice about throwing plastic and bottles into the ocean. I witnessed this on the ferry ride over here. I guess our society was much the same years ago.

When we get back to the homestay we have lunch. Generally the food here will include rice, fish and some sort of vegetable. It’s somewhat bland, if it’s not caught here it has to be shipped in. It tastes great at the moment, but I can see myself getting tired of it after awhile.

A women called Ranny kept popping up as a guide or good contact to have for the area. I touched base with her before I left. She has been absolutely amazing and I highly recommend her. She organized my first homestay, ferry tickets, airport pickup, SIM card and permit. She has a lot a knowledge on the area too and seems to know everyone. I trusted her the moment I met her.

Ranny arrived at my homestay after lunch and asked me if I wanted to visit a local village. There is a group from the hospital at Waisai (which is the largest city in Raja). They’re teaching kids general health maintenance including brushing teeth. At the moment villagers “brush their teeth” by chewing a fibrous red fruit. This has been sufficient in the past, but they need to do it properly now because of the introduction of processed sugars in their diet. I want to be a “yes” man on this trip so I took this opportunity to experience something new.

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The village is absolutely gorgeous. Situated on a long beach with jungle and mountain surroundings, it is home to 400 people. As we dock we encounter children fishing. It’s very hard to portray exactly how many fish there are without seeing for yourself. Everywhere you look the surface dances. The children caught 4 fish; each about a foot long.  We enjoyed the catch for dinner that night. As their guest, I was offered the head of the fish. I gladly accepted. It turns out fish eye balls are much tastier than they look.

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As I look for a place to put my head down for the night, they point to a bedroom. The first thing I see when opening the door is a giant spider sitting on the mattress. I decide to take my chances sleeping on the boat.

Links to additional, larger images may be found on the Gallery page.

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Subsequent original blog posts listed below:

Click to read – Clean Up

Click to read – Wayag

Click to read – Pulau Kri

Click to read – Coral

Click to read – Kayak 4 Conservation

Click to read – Air Conditioning

Click to read – Plans Change

Click to read – Important Contacts

Click to read – Imagination

Click to read – Clean Raja Ampat

Click to read – Success

Click to read – Farewell Raja Ampat

Return to How it Began Landing Page

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