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Team Effort

I have been in Raja Ampat for 10 days now. My arrival was perfectly timed as it coincided with a festival in Waisai. People came from all over Indonesia for the festival. There were plenty of organizations with booths dedicated to some sort of waste management; from education and programs to upcycle plastic bottles and wrappers.

The government is now receiving pressure from tourists and locals to do something about the waste and recycling issues.  The festival was an ideal venue for developing programs to showcase their efforts and express their concerns. Attitudes have begun to change. For example last year during election season the waterfront was absolutely covered in garbage from the festivities the night before. I went there around 10am and no one took the initiative. I began picking up garbage and 8 people joined me. This year we had 30 volunteers that started at 7am – before I even got there. The city seems to be growing rapidly magnifying the significance and need for proper infrastructure. I now have a good grasp of all the departments involved and together we will lay out a plan.

For the last few days I have been able to escape the city. I had a clear schedule so it was a great opportunity to spend time with Tertius and his wife Jasmine. If you don’t remember, Tertius manages Kayak 4 Conservation which I used on my first trip to Raja Ampat. We are very fortunate that Jasmine has terrific artistic talents and has taken on the task of creating illustrations for our children’s book. They are great people and I’m grateful to be spending a few days with them. Thank you so much for the hospitality!

Soon I will be off to Sorong for some more meetings, wish me luck!

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