Saturday, November 27, 2010

early morning wander

With only two weeks left in our island home, my senses begin to hone in on my surroundings, the sights and sounds that are the everyday, but such a contrast from our life in Australia.  Put your sneakers on and join me for a walk before the sun gets too hot and the humidity heavy.

Inland from the village, the soil is red and loamy, perfect for crops of maize and soya beans.  While the beach is home to the coconut, di atas is the domain of the lontar palm.

Almost every house has a collection of pot plants, dutifully arranged in rows or clumps on the verandah.  The gardening bug is a recent phenomenon and it is has brought more colour and greenery to the village. Neighbours share cuttings and divide clumps of succulents, and so the displays expand from house to house.

Moose's sister was the first local girl to marry a westerner; and Aussie surfer she met working at a home-stay. They have since divorced, but she still lives in Brisbane with her son and new partner.  The family don't see her very often, and have never been to Australia to visit.

Away from the one main road that bisects the village, there are still a number of very basic shacks; no more than humpies of tin, sticks and rock, with dirt floors, no toilets, water or electricity.

Pigs and goats are never far away.  The piglets are so lovely, and trot along squeaking like big mice.

School starts at 7.00am, so from 6.00am kids begin to walk in from all over the district, filling the back tracks with laughter and chatter.  Always full of cheek when a bule comes along, especially one with a camera.  The kids are responsible for cleaning the yard, and bring home-made brooms to sweep up the dust.  I can't imagine Australian kids ever starting their day like this.

The lontar tapping season is coming to an end, but pots of fresh tuak can still be seen boiling in backyards.  It is amazing that a simple green leaf can stop the pot from boiling over.

Almost home.  Back on the white sand track beneath the coconuts, past the simple hut on the corner where freshly washed ikat cloth has been hung out to dry.

Boats are pulled up to dry dock for the wet season.  The onshore wind is incessant and cyclone season is near.

Home.  Time for a green smoothie and a spot of blogging.  Have a great day.

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thanks for taking the time

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