A small fishing village and meeting Lani

I woke in the middle of the night to a horrible sound. It was a very very heavy rain and the sound was as it got to our roof. It sounded like someone is about the take the roof off. It was like this all night. I woke up at 6am and the rain hasn’t stopped. It just poured and poured down. We were planning to go snorkelling around Lastari in the morning but it didn’t seem it’s gonna happen. Since it didn’t seem to stop I went back to bed. I got out from the house after 9am and for the biggest surprise it was all sunny and hot. Had my usual water poured over me and I was ready for my usual cup of tea and brekkie. Breakfast here is normally rice with egg and pancakes. But today we got fruit and some sweet dough balls. As we were having our meal, Harry said he heard that the others are going to a bajo village which is like a tribe lives by the sea in simple wooden houses. I suggested to join since it’s not much we can do around here. 10mins later off we sailed. It was a long trip but the weather was great. We got to the village and we all got out from the boat. Little cute kids run to us and had the biggest eyes you’ve ever seen. I’m sure they have seen white people (‘bule’ as they call us) before but they seemed to be very curious. They actually followed throughout our trip to the village. Little boys and girls, running around us, asking for photo with them being taken with our cameras and phones. It’s really amazing how they know they won’t get anything out from it since unfortunately we can’t print those photos, they are still so very happy to see themselves inside a camera. We had a guide who showed us around and he explained a few things. These people mainly live from fishing. They then sell the fish to bigger towns and cities for a better money than they could have get if they’d sell the seafood in their own village. Of course, some of them still do. We have seen a poor sea turtle trapped in a net. The guy said, they will wait till the turtle gets bigger and then they sell it to the Chinese who pay good money for it. I felt like I need to save him… but I couldn’t. We also had a chance to climb a little rock which took us above the village so we could see the beautiful surroundings. We have also been showed octopus they are about to sell. We didn’t stay long. Once thing was very interesting though. We saw these young women with a face mask on them so we asked what’s that for. It turns out, they are putting ‘whitening’ mask on so they can be whiter. I couldn’t help but think how strange the world works. We want to be browner cos that’s shows we travel, so we have money and they want to be whiter like us so they look like they have money so they are higher on the ‘life ladder’. The world is really a strange place…
After taking some more photos of the kiddos, we had to say goodbye and go to our next stop which was a huge coral reef. We had an hour to discover the beauty. I got a bit shocked as I got in since I met like 5-6 jelly fish and I was convinced, they can kill me. I got some stings but I survived 😁 the next shocking discovery was the lots of rubbish that was swimming above my head as I snorkelled. From the boat it wasn’t visible but from inside or under the water, it was very disturbing. Under the sea however, that was beautiful with the green corals, blue starfish and lots and lots of colourful fish. I have to say I got really tired on the way back and I soon had to discover, I got burnt AGAIN… on both of my arms. It stings and feels burning… still haven’t learnt the lesson. No snorkelling without a shirt. Hopefully that’s the last time I do something idiotic like this. The boat trip was again IDR 75,000/person. Before we left I also paid for the stay. 2.5 days with 3 meals every day, boat trip today and snorkelling mask was all together IDR 875,000 (approx £50).
Arriving back to Lastari, we had a quick lunch and we had to get ready to leave this peaceful and beautiful place to go back to Wakai. As soon as we arrived, we sort of figured, that the guy isn’t here who is looking after the house and should have met us. So we went to an other guide Lani to wait out what’s happening with the other guy. Lani is a great person. He is funny, experienced and great with his family. He does camping tours in Togian and it’s surroundings. He told me lots of stories about his campings and I also found out how he got married which is an amazing story and how much he cares about the environment. He doesn’t like resorts since the ones around only care about money and income. They don’t understand that if they break the coral to make jewellery to sell, thee will be a time when there won’t be more corals to show the tourists and then they will be doomed. Same with rubbish been thrown into the sea, etc. He believes, people should get educated so he always takes someone with him to his camping trips but never the same person. It gives a chance to others to understand and see what he is doing and how his guests teach him/them about saving the environment or the importance of it. We had a full afternoon chat and it was very nice and interesting. I’d love to go to one of his camping trip. Him and Harry are thinking of joining together and sort or working with each other. Harry uses internet and social media a lot which could help Lani since he isn’t so good with that and then these guests could stay with Harry and then do a trip with Lani. Win win ☺️
During this long conversation, Harry managed to get hold of the house guy who came by and explained we can not go to the house today cos it’s too much waives so it can’t move from the place it is now. He said, we should be able to get in tomorrow morning. Since there was no place for us to sleep at, we found a homestay with Lani’s help and booked a night. It’s a very simple house, almost like everything is falling apart but it has 2 beds and a bathroom. That’s all I need. Lani stayed for a while and I found out he had a Norwegian girlfriend for 6 years before he got married. I found this fascinating since my mind works very different,y and I can not understand how people from 2 so completely different culture can be together for so long. She was on and off every 6 months (6months here and 6 in Norway)but it happened once she stayed here for 2 years. They were both dive instructors back then. Finally she had to go back home and he didn’t want to leave his country. They are still very good friends though. Lani mentioned that being a tour guide isn’t easy when you have family. Meeting with different girls from different countries, having the desire but being able to say no… I’m sure it is challenging. But I said to him, no matter what or how nice he is with them, as long as he doesn’t do something silly, it all should be ok. ☺️
Before we passing out in bed, he asked if we are hungry, so he took us to a very typical local outside little place where 2 young guys cooked yellow rice and some boiled eggs so that was our dinner. 3 meals cost IDR 24,000 (~£1.3). It was just right by the harbour, so we could hear the waives and see the stars, it was perfect. I know now, whenever you travel, you should always get locals over books… they can show you the best place and tell you the best stories.

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