30 August 2018

An afternoon in Napan Yaur village in West Papua

Today, between dives, we visited the Napan Yaur village in Indonesian West Papua. As our outboard approached the beach for a wet landing, a couple of dozen children or so started to group on a wooden bench, under a tree. When we got close enough, our wet feet covered with sand, they started to sing some welcome songs for us. It was a highlight of the day, for them and for us.

Some young men were playing  volleyball a few meters away and they did not pay any attention to us.

There were many more children running around the village. Thanks to the translation help offered by Simone, our Brazilian dive guide who spoke some Indonesian, we learned from a local woman that the village's families, on average, have between eight and ten children ach.e

I roamed around a bit and ran into a school, where the blackboard indicated the pupils were learning English and French.

All around were tidy gardens full of pretty flowers. Most homes had chicken and dogs playing in the yard, though, when asked, they said they do not eat the dogs. No pigs, which I thought unusual as pork is a staple food here, but they told us they prefer to hunt wild boars in the surrounding mountains covered with thick rainforest.


24 August 2018

Flight to Indonesia

Morning packing and getting ready to fly to Indonesia for more diving.

Taxi to the airport just 17 Sgd, so cheap in the context of an expensive city. You can choose a normal taxi or a "deluxe" one, which is more expensive, but the normal one is deluxe enough for us: clean, spacious and the driver is professional and friendly.

The only problem with Singapore's taxis is that sometimes it is hard to find one. Now there is an app, called Grab, a sort of Uber for South East Asia, which I am told is super efficient and even cheaper than taxis. Next time I'll have to download it.

Changi Airport is amazing, so well organized and pleasant I am always sorry to leave it. I could spend days in here shopping, eating, getting massages, ... But I am not going to buy anything today, no point carrying stuff to Indonesia, I will load up on the way back. I know I want some TWG, the famed Singapore tea brand. They just opened a store in central London, but it is cheaper here. Still not cheap at all, but cheaper.

Our flight to Jakarta is delayed, we are using Batik Air. Hopefully, we'll make the connection to Papua. There are not so many flights to Manokwari, in fact, we only have one useful connection per day, and I didn't want to risk missing the departure of our cruise therefore I built a buffer day in our itinerary, if all goes ok we'll have a day to explore Manokwari.