A month ago, Lombok was hit with two deadly earthquakes and barraged by aftershocks that crumbled houses and destroyed schools. Tourism halted and the locals were left to rebuild their island without aid from their biggest industry-tourism. With the boat’s guest room invaded by 140 kg of rice, 200 diapers, 15 mosquito coils, two empty … More Elephants and Earthquakes
The Sumbawa Government, in the last year, has discovered 50 semi-permanent whale sharks befriending fisherman in Saleh Bay. Local squid boats, which look more like giant daddy-longlegs spiders than trawlers, attract the sharks by their bulging halls. Nestle between Bali and Flores, Sumbawa Island is that forgotten weatherboard house on a street of flashy mansions. … More In Search of Whale Sharks
The Buffalo Racing World series attracts the biggest and fastest beasts from rice paddies across the island of Sumbawa. Races don’t take place on groomed oval tracks or dirt straights, but in swampy fields, the natural habitats for these farming giants. Sumbawa, unlike its near neighbors Bali and Lombok, isn’t advertised as a travel destination … More Racing Buffalo: Don’t Try this at Home.
Dear Readers, Since last we spoke, I’ve sailed past 10,000 islands, stopped in at a handful and traveled by train, bicycle, plane, bus, donkey, moped, jeep, horse, Segway and elephant across the Indonesian Archipelago. My neglect for you is not due to contracting some rare tropical disease that seized me with night sweats and screams … More Swallowed by Indonesia
When home is a sailboat, the 115 Hp dingy becomes the kid’s school bus, and today, anchored in a bay just outside Maumere Indonesia, at Sea World Resort, our classroom is five star. I land on shore, backpack heavy with lesson plans, swimmers, stationary, a radio, textbooks, and a laptop, and walk barefoot towards the … More School of the Sea
I step on stage and look out at 2000-plus Indonesians celebrating their Independence Day. A line of women and men, a halo of seashells and feathers on their head, wave me over and I search for an escape route or a translator. With neither in sight, the only option is to link fingers with callused … More Thank You, Indonesia
Wini, Indonesia, is one of those towns you don’t stop at unless you have family there. The beach is pebbly, the water is too croc-infested to swim, the main street isn’t equipped to sell you much more than what grows in a backyard, and even though it’s a sleepy place, the Call to Prayer wakes … More Mountain Men and a Town Called Wini.