Saturday, March 08, 2008

Mengeruda Hotspring - 20 mins from where I live... Hmmmm.... weekend well as water theraphudic

Wae Roa water fall, in the south coast of Ngada District, around 1 hr from Bajawa

Hm... gathering with the staff of Tourism Office where my placement of CUSO is

Field visit to one of the Community Based Tourism Pilot Project, the village leader is very enthusiastic explaining the 'special and rare' bird called 'woto'...

Enabhara beach, white sand beach in Waebela Village-The Pilot project of CBT ..So peaceful here....believe me....!


Friday, November 23, 2007

Time is flying by so fast …. Now, it is almost ending the month of November. It’s a while ago I did update this blog… In a few months.. so many things happened, either in my placement of other area of my life.

Here is some of photos that might give some ideas where I as at….I wish I could have more energy to write more narrative ways, but in the same times pictures can talk too right?

Some works and leasure: Climbing Inerie, Facilitating 4 Pilot Project on Village master plan for COmmunity Based Tourism and Ecoturism, Field Study to Bali, and Jogja with community leaders,

Curlture Festival in Mbay - New district, Collaburative workshop with VSO friends with Alternative Helath Clinic of Naru, Nalo at the Archeological Sites of Gisi Lama, near Matoloko


Monday, June 18, 2007

First week after 'vacation'
Back to the real world and work of CUSO cooperant in the placement, I started with meeting with the Naru women’s group of alternative health center organization. It was on Sunday afternoon. It was great meeting we had. It continued the next day with the Health authority and Village leader. We talked about the proposals and other stuff that need to be improving in the clinic. A few days in the office preparing some field work with some staffs and some ‘report’ writing related to some of the work that I did when I was on my vacation. Tuesday, June 12, we had a ‘traditional ceremony’ for new regency, Nagekeo Regency that split from Ngada Regency. It was great ceremony with a lot of attraction and not to forget killing buffalo, pigs and chickens are part of the ‘ritual’. I won’t put the pictures of killing in this part, if you interested just ask….
Saturday morning I went to Mbay, in the north Coast of Flores Island. It takes around 2,5-3 hours by motorbike. The reason I went to this place was a ‘documenting’ a New Regency traditional ceremony and celebration. It was also kind of ‘stress relief’ from vacation and get back to the reality in Ngada, Flores. I realized how ‘nice’ rode a motorbike with the early morning fog and drizzle of rain around Boawae, on the way to Mbay.
The ceremony and celebration was gone well and a lot of people came. So many traditional attractions were taken place in this event.
The next day, Sunday I went home took a different route, along north coast. Stop over for break at Riung, and then rode home in the afternoon…finds that lately, Bajawa is cold. I need to wear shocks during the night.
“In the night sky and stars smiling and laughing at me-I don’t know if the real smile and laugh, or just being sarcastic. I found that curiosity and silent not always come together. Honesty and destiny not always side by side. Then the morning always wiped out the night without any coup of power”
I realize that I need to start and fulfilling the day, the week, the month, the year till the time is up.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bali-Jogja, Central Borneo (Sebangau National Park)
I had to transit in Bali on night, because my ‘afternoon’ flight in the same day was canceled as well. So, my friend bought me the next day ticket to Jogja. Some one say where ever you steps are on you’re always have something to enjoyed and learn about and hope for. That kind of saying is applicable to me in this trip to Bali and Jogja – on the way to Borneo. Some part of my time in Jogja was ‘working’ as well, since I need to printed tourism map and posters for Ngada Tourism Office. I was surprised that the price in Flores is almost triple than Jogja. Visiting friends and family were the other part of my visits. Some happy and memorable times were there, but some other was not…..
The 20th of May, I’d meet Robin – my Indonesian/Canadian friend. We flew to Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan (Borneo if you are more familiar with this term) for my ‘vacation work’ with WWF Kalteng. In that day, I had almost 15 hours in trips by plane, car then a speedboat by the end of the day. At 7.30 pm we arrived at Baun Bango village, a village a cross from Sebangau National Park where we had Community Based Ecoturism training. The participants of this training were some member of the community in 4 sub Districts along Katingan River. The topics of the training mainly were related with the Community organization Network and its management as one of the stakeholder in the area a long the National Park. Just want to let you know that the National Park was formed only 2 years ago, so a lot of things need to be done. Including how to give an alternative income generating for local people around the National Park, because they were mostly got some income from an ‘illegal logging’. So, this training on Ecotourism was the second one after the first one was held a while ago. The training went well and we had chance went to one of the sites that community want to be ‘develop’ as one of tourism attractions.
“It was kind of stress relief when you swim in a pure, and clean ‘coca cola water’, surrounding by the ‘forest’ and peacefully feeling kind of kicking out of our ‘problems’ from our mind (for a while). I do not need to go to relaxing massage and aroma therapy things”
Sorry dear friends-the city dwellers-I will take you there if you want to, since I might go back there in the future if everything goes well between CUSO, my placement and WWF Central Kalimantan.
Even though the Katingan River was flooded when we were there, we had a good time, with worried a bit if we’ve got water in our mat because we were slept on the ‘first floor’ of the lodge. We survived though! We went back to Palangkaraya and spend discussion in training evaluation, and future plan with WWF and we did visit a Central Borneo fair, it was a 50 years birthday for the province.

Back to Jogja
With some struggle with the flight, we went back to Jogja and spent couple of days in Jogja. Again, to visit friends, family and sight seeing were the main menu for us to ‘kill the time’ in Jogja. Not to forget, some of the issues need to be discussed and solved in all area above. This is kind of part of my life with the big family that I have. Family gathering and visits some old friends and FM Café night with CUSO and some other organization volunteers on Tuesday night. Borobudur, South Slope of Merapi brought me back old memories in personal matter and work related history, as well Malioboro street and walking to cross a space between to ‘sacred’ Banyan trees in Kraton area.
“Every day there is must be a grain of rice for you.” That is my grandfather saying that we must believe that the Creator/God/ Who ever you believe will always look after you. And all the things that we have, we won’t take it to our graveyard."
O ya, Thanks Court to let me know about the earthquake in Sumba. We were fine in Jogja.

Start the ‘real vacation’
We head off to Makasar on May 30th, spent almost a week in South Sulawesi area. Thanks a lot for CUSO friends whose placements are in South Sulawesi. Makasar, Bantaeng, and Bira are three main places that we did visit. Makasar, a big port city, it is too big for me after a while living in a small town, such as Bajawa.

We tried a ‘city night life’ in Makasar with 5% (the way I call a beer for), and friends, after we walked along Losari beach for sunset. Thanks Cecilia and Jeane.It was beautiful time we had. The next day we went to Bantaeng, spend one night at Jaya and Elaine family, visited a waterfall there, then the night Marieane joint us from Bone. Not that early morning we took a ‘pete-pete’, a local mini bus to Bira beach, around 3,5 hours on the road. We did stop over saw a local peope making a traditional boat, ‘pinisi’. How we amazed with their ‘local empiric knowledge’ for making these boats.
Bira, a white sand beach, 6 of us plus Gabriel (the little cutie of Jaya and Elaine) arrived there around afternoon then found a place to stay. It was crowded, because a long weekend, a lot of people from Makasar and ‘big cities’ in South Sulawesi went to Bira. Our main activities were: Rock climbing, snorkeling walked on the beach while enjoyed the heavy rain. Accompanied by books, fish, and off course the 5% we stayed in Bira for two nights. Speaking about snorkeling, we went whole second day out of to the sea. Three spots we went and most of them are destroyed by bomb, one of fishermen’s methods to get the fishes. A big tuna fish that we bought for lunch was ended our journey in Bira. Back to Bantaeng, stayed one night then head off to Makasar with some challenge of transport and tickets arrangement to Flores. Robin decided not to visit Flores in this trip, because of flight and time schedule that he had. Second time in Makasar we had visit with some local activist, friend of Cecillia, and then we had house party with some great discussion and 5% around. The next day we flew to Bali.

Bali-Flores here I come ‘home’
Since Robin canceled his planed to go to Flores, we stayed couple of days in Bali instead. We stayed one night at Kuta area then to Ubud. We did explore some area of Bali around Ubud area then I head off back to Kuta, because my flight was early morning the next day. This trip mostly relaxing and we had a project of buying ‘oleh-oleh’. When we were at Kuta area, we went to travel biro own by one of my work network friend. We had great discussion while waited for our ticket to be issued.
“I wish I have more time and more people to be visited in this transit time. It was too bad that some of friends were away. Next time I believe so I will see them.”
I flew back to Flores through Labuan Bajo route. Landed in LB then straight to Ruteng, stayed one night there. The next day took a bus to Bajawa. One of the good thing in this trip back, I did not have any significant problem with my travel.

Is the trip meaningful?
I can say that my ‘vacation trip’ this time was SO COLORFULL in term of personal and professional matters. The up and down feelings were around and reconnect and maintained the network of family and friends is more important for me in this trip.
I would like to acknowledge some of people that giving me colorful experiences in my vacation in this time: My mother and family, Robin, CCI Indonesia (used to be) friends: Endang, Prapti, Rina, All Canadian friends who send me something trough Robin, especially books, Christine, John Raja, Thomas Ulrich, Agus, Didiek and Intan, Sendy, Metarius, Rayansi, Anung, Court, Russ, Hesther, Anita, Brian (CUSO and FM Café Tuesday night community), Cecilia, Jane, Jaya, Elaine, Gabriel, Marriane, Murwan, Catur, Zoe, Tjeerd and Sanne. Not to forget CUSO and VSO family that are always help me in my placement journey.
Let our footsteps left the print with nice and simple ways of thinking. I still learn to do this….to find and appreciate a ‘magic moment’ that we passing though our life.

PS: more photos at:



Monday, June 11, 2007

It is kind of Holiday
First, I’ve got an invitation from friend of mine who is working with WWF Central Kalimantan; they want to have me in their training. It was in the end of April. In the same time, I’ve got inviation from CUSO and VSO to attend a VSO Conference in Maumere (East part of Flores); While I already had a plan to have a vacation to visit my mother and family in Jogja. These three things were combining with some work that it need to be done outside of Flores and met Robin, my Canadian (Indonesian) friend who was on vacation in Indonesia.

Significant Change?
A long journey out of Bajawa was started when I went to Maumere for VSO conference. The main topic was a significant change in international development issues, especially in Volunte
ering sending organization, such as VSO. A lot of new experience and knowledge that I’ve got in this event was worth it enough to attend, even though I must ride my motorbike, which was I choose it because it was great experience rode a long distance almost half of Flores Island. On the way to Maumere I visited Three Color Caldera “Kelimutu”, east of Ende, around 5 hours from Bajawa. It is a beautifull National Park. Moni, is a small town ‘below’ the volcanic caldera, I stayed one night there and early morning climbed Kelimutu on Sunday morning, just like a first ‘mass’ for church.
By the afternoon, I hit Maumere and met Bernard a CUSO cooperant in Maumere. We attended the VSO Conference as an ‘observer’. Beside the interesting topics of the conference; it was such a unique and I can say it as a ‘small world’ environment of people, since we shared some common experiences and history of ‘human relation’s link’. Not to forget, some part of the VSO conference, the organizer held a cultural night event. Since there were 4 people has a ‘canadian’ background, so we showed and the participants joined our ‘square dance’, a modified and collaborative effort. It was fun!
In term of the issues that had been brought up, all was come down to some questions about how effective our development work that we are doing, especially in Indonesia. Are we making a significant change?
I will put some of my thought in
I would like to thanks a lot for VSO who invited us in this event, as well to CUSO who arranged for us to come down to this fun and learning experiences.
Left Maumere on Friday morning rode my motorbike to Bajawa. This time I rode straight to Bajawa. I took me around 8 hours, include stop over for a flat tire ‘break’. It is fun and great ‘exploring’ Flores Island by motorbike. Saturday morning back to work and had a meeting with database development team in Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata Ngada, before I went to the ‘vacation’

The first part of “vacation”
A long bus ride from Bajawa to Labuan Bajo (west tip of Flores Island) was my Sunday activity. Whole day! Almost 13 hours on the bus and arrived in Labuan Bajo was night already. Labuan Bajo is a small fishing town. I mean fishing here there are two meanings: fishing for the real fish, just because a lot of Bajonesse as a fishermen. The second meaning is ‘fishing’ for tourists. This small little town has known as a ‘stopping point’ (if you just want to explore Komodo dragon, snorkeling, diving) from Bali tourists. Gateway weekend as supposed to say. It is a ‘transit point’ for some Flores Island visitors who want to explore Flores, because Labuan Bajo as an entry point to Flores from the west side (Maumere in the east side and Ende in the middle side, but Ende has uncertain schedule now). Two days when I was there I had meeting with an international “NGO” that working on developing tourism in West Manggarai District, especially Labuan Bajo. As well I had great discussion with some local entrepreneur in tourism industries who is ‘upset’ with the systems that are not ‘involving’ more local people. A lot of big investors (include the private sector who managing Komodo National Park), are not really ‘sharing’ the tourism activities or profit with the locals. Is this sound familiar to you?
After I’ve got some ‘unhappy stories’ I left for the airport hoped that I would have a better stories to write. But I was wrong! One and half hour before my flight to Bali was scheduled; the travel agent told me that my flight had been canceled. I must ‘fight’ with the staff of the airline, especially they were kind of discriminated me (probably just because I am not really or look like real ‘tourist’) when we tried to get transferred to different airline that was flown in the same day. I did not blamed the staff having that kind of perception and assumption that ‘real tourist should get better service’, just because the ‘system’ told them that. Is this also sound familiar to you?

The first half of my vacation is not finished yet… I will write more later…Coming up a Bali-Jogja-Central Kalimantan-back to Jogja-South Sulawesi (the ‘real vacation’)-Bali……..Flores…Hope you enjoy this writing even though some were not a happy one. Just life should be, there are not always happy and enjoyable….

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Where I live
In the month of December till February in Bajawa area; there is a cultural event called REBA. This is a traditional New Year celebration for people especially for Ngadanesse, one of the ethnic groups in Ngada Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province. For some of you those are not familiar where the location of this province, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) is located eastern Bali. It can be reach by flight and boat.
Ngada Regency is one of 16 Regencies in Nusa Tenggara Province. The width is 3, 037,88 km² . Goegraphically Ngada Regency is located 120º 45'BT east langitude and 8º- 9º south, latitude. It borders are: Flores sea on the north Sawu sea on the south, Ende Regency on the east and Manggarai Regency on the west.
It has tropical climate with two seasons are rainy season from october to April and dry season from May to September. The rainfall varies between 122 mm - 252 mm in the rainy season and between 8 mm – 62 mm in the dry season.
The series of mountain and hills are the specialty of Ngada Regency topography. The wellknow mountains are : Ebulobo (2.149m) , Inerie (2.245m) , Lobobutu (1.800m) Inelika (1600m) , and Lambo ( 1.631m).
The Flora and Fauna of Ngada Regency is varies , the population of Ngada Regency is 223.503 people (the year of 2000). Most of them still take care of their tradition, culture, and has lively hood as farmers. The beautifull nature, the unique tradition and culture are the tourism destinations that can be enjoyed.
That little information I took it from the ‘old brochure’ that my workplacement made. In some of my update, I did explain about the condition of the Bajawa town, a small town uphill where I live. The season of rain is almost over, and the temperature getting nicer.

Out of town trip
Because of my work, I have chance to travel quite a bit to outside of Bajawa town. I went to Riung (the north coast) many times already, south coast many times as well. It is so interesting to see how different the landscape and culture. In Ngada, there are at least Four major ethnic groups which are Ngada, Soa, Riung and Nagekeo. From this four major ethnic groups, there are so many languages that people still using it in daily life.
I went to Manggarai Regency for my weekend holiday. I rode my motorbike and it was interesting to see different area in Flores. Manggarai has more density of forest and the culture is not that ‘complicated’ compare to Ngada Regency. Manggarai Regency is the regency where the archeologist found the Homo Florensis, it is in Linga Bua café. I did have a chance to visit there, because of time and the weather that was not permit me to go.
Fun part? Two weeks ago, a friend from CUSO office came to have his holiday in Ngada and we went camping at one of the white sandy beach island in 17 Island Marine Park in Riung. It was fun; we stayed in that remote island for wo nights with some friend from Riung. The main activities: cooking, fishing, snorkeling, and the last night when we there we bought fish from fisherman that were around and we had a big feast while the moon accompanied us that night. It was a beautiful nights.

Thanks to Court who brought me the new laptop for me that I bought through friend in Jakarta; So, I can do my work better after couple of months I had limitation to do my job. Recently, I am still working on making a tourism map and some posters for the promotion department. In the other hand I help the cultural department to design some new ideas of archeological sites as a research based tourism and public tourism sites, which will be a long process. During my ‘spare’ time I do still working with the Naru alternative health Center, and Local Guides Organization. There are some funs and happy parts, but also some part of the time that I found unpleasant as well. But this is the balance of love, life and living right?
One of the fun part working with the naru group, we had an open house for marketing purposes, It was fun when we prepared everything and the result was okay, but the result for team work building was great. We had ‘nalo’, a word for gathering and have some meals and drinks, after the programs finished.
I will try to write more to update my blog and if you have any comment you can write to me directly to my e-mail address: More than that, if you interested in visiting this area, please to not hesitate to contact me and I can help you to get around in the area. Peace!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The story from Riung
This is my second months I’ve been in Bajawa – Flores Island. I have so many new experiences in the past month. I have meet a lot of new people, I have gone to so many new places; Luckily I’ve got a ‘job’ to accompany a special tourist – who is interested in investing in the area of tourism industry in Ngada Regency. So, we went to Riung, a Sea Garden tourism object in the north sea of Ngada Regency. It is a beautiful snorkeling location. The conditions of the coral reef are still well, since WWF is working in this area for a while. Some part of this area has a natural reserve status, and some other part is for tourism destination purposes. The ethnic backgrounds of the people who are living in the north coast are mix; some of them, their ancestor were from Sulawesi Island, some of them are originally from flores and mix. It is colorful community I think.
I have chance to go with them – a group from Ngada regency and the ‘special tourist’ – to the natural reserve in the west part of Riung. There is an island called ‘flying bat island’, just because in this island living thousands of bats. When we went to this small island, the tide was so low, so our ‘perahu ‘/boat could not swim close enough to the bats island; So, we decided to ‘walk’. It will be more comprehensive story if you can look these pictures through this link:
After visiting the nature reserve, we went to the east part of the group of island and we stopped at the Pulau Tiga-three groups of island. The white sandy beaches were waiting for us. We had lunch in Rutong Island, one of the islands in the group of three islands. We had a chance to buy some fish from fisherman who was around. So we had lunch with some rice that we brought plus we barbeque the fish that we bought from the fisherman. It was a yummy lunch with a beautiful view. Did I mention that I went snorkeling on the way to east part of the natural reserve and before lunch time too? Around Rutong Island, there are beautiful places for people going snorkeling. The local tourism department builds huts in one of the white sand beach; so that people can have a rest and going snorkeling in this area.
We went back to the Riung town (30 minutes boat ride) and I rode a motorcycle back to Bajawa. It took around two hours by motorbike from Bajawa- Riung. As the closing of this journey to Riung, I took some pictures of rice paddy field to show you that not all the land in Flores is dry and savannah. And as the last information to you about Riung; Riung had a second time to have an International Rally of Sailing from Darwin Australia to Bali. The route was from Darwin-Australia then Alor, and then Riung with the ending point is Bali. They had this event last July, a month before I arrived in Flores, too bad hey? But there will be next year; I will be here, will you?

Inerie and Ebulobo, one of folklore and more to explore
Small town of Bajawa with limited amenities but beautiful weather and scenery are giving me an inspiration to just sit and enjoying morning coffee everyday. Life in this small and ‘not too isolated compared to my experiences in other part of Indonesia in the past’ is like slow motion pictures. Everyday things go slow in my mind; but I think is the way it is here. Luckily, I have an independency – in the same time flexibility – in my work that I am doing here with Culture and Tourism Department in Ngada Regency. Last week, I have a wonderful time travel around Ngada regency and get to know the area better with some people from government and visitor from USA that might interested in doing investment in Ngada regency. From that journey, I’ve got a bigger picture about Ngada regency in general. Mountainous, and not all part of the area are dry; some places are greens and has a rice paddy field-means there are more water source in this area. Geographically, there are two main mountains in this regency, Inerie (it is not active anymore) and Ebulobo (active volcano). The legend said that these two mountains were a husband Ebulobo) and wife (Inerie). Their life as a couple had rough time, they were fighting often. One day, Inerie could not hold her angry so she took a serving spoon and hit it into Ebulobo’s face. Sad enough, the spoon hit his mouth and knocked down his front teeth. Till now, the shape of Ebulobo likes a face without a front tooth.
This folklore is one of the abundant folklores in Ngada Regency. There are many more folklore are not being written yet. One – so far my knowledge – missionaries wrote Soa folklore. Soa is one of the districts in Ngada Regency where the culture is very strong as also other part of Ngada regency and Flores in general.
Other story from Bajawa, we are back into the present time of life. I’ve got my bicycle after it was delay for a while. Delay; late and uncertain are some challenges living in quite remote area such as Bajawa. It is uncommon riding bicycle here in town. People mostly ride motorbike (or we can say it scooter, because mostly the engine capacity only 100-120, and maximal 160); a lot of ojek – motorbike taxi – in Bajawa town. I ride my bike everyday now, except if I need to go out of the town for work, I borrowed one of my work placement’s motorbikes. It is fun travel with motorbike around Flores Island. I wish that you can have these experiences as well. Who knows hey…..Come.come.come…