Trip Start Jan 01, 2007
52Trip End Ongoing
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We boarded the ferry guided by a group of kids shouting "bule bule (white person)" and giggling like crazy. They couldn't believe that two big bules (I'm large for an indonesian and Bri is a giant) were going onto a ship out to Tahuna. The interior of the ship was filled with people hawking food, towels, t-shirts, jewlery etc
We woke up the next morning as we were pulling into Tahuna harbour. Our new friends couldn't believe we didn't know anyone or have a guide to take us around. but we quickly found two motor scooter drivers to take us to a hotel. Dedy, our driver, offered us his scooter for rent for the extorshinist price of 100,000 rp per day, which we naievely accepted. At the hotel we immediately met yet another friendly guy, this time a young guy buying tabacco in Tahuna to sell in Jakarta. He was from Java and had traveled extensively in Australia so he knew English amazingly well, with a slight aussie accent! He took us out to lunch and told us tales of his business adventures, one of which involved capturing dogs to take up to northern Sulawesi where people prize them as a delicacy! After lunch we took the scooter and started out to the other side of the island, a town called Enemiwira
When we got back to the beach a bunch of kids were waiting, curious as to what we were doing on their beach. Our host who led us to the beach came over and tried snorkeling, to everyone's entertainment! Then we sat around and tried to communicate with only a few words in common and the help of my indonesian phrase book
When we reached Tahuna, we ran into the "Polisi" again and they helped us find our hotel. We were still somewhat threatened by them though, so when they wanted to go to dinner with us, we were non commital and then left with our friend from Java, Rochi, before they could show up again. We spent the evening with Rochi drinking some Bintang, and learning about all the corruption and illegal fishing that goes on in Indonesia. This led to Brian trying to explain why marine protected areas are so important, but Rochi was pretty focused on making the most money possible. It's pretty hard to tell someone not to go for money when you're an American...every American is rich compared to almost every Indonesian, and why shouldn't they want exactly the same commodities? Ipods, cell phones, computers, SUV's....everyone wants that stuff here. Conservation for the future is a hard concept for a 21 year old guy focused on impressing girls!
The next day brought more run ins with the polisi and more new friends.... Until next time....Selamat malam! Sampai jumpa lagi!!!