Dael's Blog

Farewell Nias

Farewell island of lush, dripping greenness, towering cumulo-nimbus skyscapes, broken roads and houses and reefs, fish-silver seas that turn red from rivers carrying the blood of mountains, people who smile and smile, and better bananas, pineapples and pawpaws than anywhere.

After eight months (ten for Rick) of intimacy, Nias is suddenly a long way away. Two months, days of travelling, and an entire context away.

Getting around

August 2006

Indonesia’s Independence Day – August 17th.
All banners and bunting, school children practicing marching drill on every road for weeks, and police stopping vehicles to demand they fly an Indonesian flag. Another celebration and Gunungsitoli spruces up a little more, more gutters re-built, more roads repaved, less litter in the streets (thanks to the garbage collection system set in place by a joint project of some international Red Cross agencies).

Cambodia and the HELP project

 June 2006


After flying away from the lush greenness of Nias, and over the jungle and palm oil plantations of Sumatra and Malaysia it was a surprise to discover Cambodia was virtually treeless and brown. May and June are the hottest months. We were arriving in the last week of April but the heat had set in early.

Two Months In Nias

May 2006

In the tradition of the best serials the outcome of the fingernail-biter of the last posting was the wife of our driver Stephan became one of the 50% who have survived Gunungsitoli hospital. We metthe two of them with their small daughter Stephanie down at Fodo Beach yesterday afternoon, all in the pink.

            And our existence in Nias has finally been validated by the first timber shipment arriving from Surabaya in the J. Spring, a giant Chinese ship which dwarfed the wharf and threatened to demolish it with every sideways nudge. 

DAEL'S BLOG: First Week in Nias

Hello from
Nias! Rick and I are both fine, a little sunburnt but that was self inflicted a
couple of days ago on a day long boat trip. My flight over was excellent; the first
half I stood at the back window and watched the western plains then the desert passing
below in pleated dunes, interspersed with Pride and Prejudice on the TV monitor. We
flew right over Alice Springs then the sky clouded. The rest of the trip I spent
talking to a couple of Slovenian guys who had been in Oz for a holiday.


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