Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saving lives...

Lunch here sometimes...
Made (Marday) runs the shop
 Well, we're in a bit of a routine 
  now...after breakfast we head off
  to Tianyar 20 minutes away. 
  We generally get there around
  11am so it's a relaxed start to the
   day :-).  I usually go to the 
  Photocopy/Internet shop that the  
  School runs and get on a 'real' 
  computer for a couple of  hours 

to do some blog, emails, download photos etc. and also Google for English lessons to teach the kids.  Then we go have lunch around 1pm and back to the school for lessons at 2pm. It's costing us around $400NZD per week for both of us to live here. Accommodation is more than we were expecting but we have few alternatives, having said that it's only costing $28NZD per night including breakfast (for both of us)...it averages $5 for lunch and $20 for dinner including beer (again for both of us)...50cents for a 1.5L water.
Toraja Hotel - our home

Last Wednesday (15th June) we had a bit of excitement as we headed back to the Yayasan...as we passed the neighbours property next to the school we saw there was a large Sea Turtle tied to a tree.  We stopped and had a look and couldn't get much sense out of the woman keeping an eye on it as she didn't speak English and we don't speak Indonesian so Brent went and got Ketut.

The poor thing was tied with rope around it's front flipper and as it struggled to get away the rope pulled tighter around it, cutting into it.  We thought it had wandered up from the beach and they had tied it up so it wouldn't wander further and they were going to put it back in the sea...ah, no...they had brought it from someone else who had found it and paid 250,000 Rupiah (NZD$40) for it .  They were going to slaughter it and sell the meat and shell.

Well we wern't having a bar of that and were really upset, so with Ketut interpreting and trying to talk to them and say it was wrong and should be returned to the sea, it was a waste of time, it's what they do here and have done forever, even though it's now illegal.
In the end Brent and Ketut went to the Village Elder but he wouldn't do anything about it either.  Brent said we'll give the guy the 250,000 it cost him and let it go.  While they were away, Katie (an American woman who arrived that morning at the school) and I kept vigil over the turtle and tried to stop it pulling on the rope and hoping no-one came out with the knife!

Bye bye turtle xx
When Brent and Ketut got back we undid the rope, flipped the turtle onto its back and onto some thick plastic sheeting and the four of us carried it to the sea.  Brent and Ketut let it go in the surf and it swam away - far, far away I hope! It was a good feeling.

Apparently it had come up to the beach and laid eggs (during full moon) then it got caught and the eggs were taken (f_ _ _ _ _ s!)  Ketut was really upset and had a big meeting with the kids at the school to explain what happened and that it was wrong to keep and kill the turtle and it must stop otherwise their children may never get to see a turtle...

Quite a few of them had come with us to return the turtle to the sea so they saw what was going on and what we did.  Hopefully we've planted a seed to change things...

It's hard because they've done it forever - it's seen as a gift from the Gods that the turtle came ashore so they can do what they like with it.  They probably think we're interfering Westerners, but some things you just can't turn a blind eye to, customs or not.

Silly me only got one photo - unbelievable I know, and I had my camera with me but I was so wrapped up in what was going on...Katie got some photos though so I'm just waiting for her to email them to me (she's back in the States now) so I can add to the Blog...

Chocka bus trip to Tianyar
On Friday Brent left early and went with Ketut to Singaraja to get seeds for the garden so I had to get myself to the school on the local bus - this time it was chocka with people, eggs and flowers for the market - thankfully no more chickens!

On Saturday we ventured to Amed which is around 30mins South of Tulamben where we are staying.
It was a lovely drive through the rice paddies and villages.


Drive to Amed...

We did a bit of snorkelling,   eating, drinking and I had a lovely $12 massage (hehe :-)...we wanted to go to a specific bay to snorkel as there is really good coral and another ship wreck really close to shore but it was just too windy so will do that another day.
Hi ;)

Saturday night we went to the "Opening Night" of a new Resort just up the road (friends of Lebor and Chery our hosts).  We met a lovely Australian couple - Jeff and Dawn Mullins.  They live here and do lots of diving and underwater photography www.reefwreckandcritter.com.  It was so nice to have a proper conversation with someone who understands us 100% and we understand them - no pigeon English!  We will keep in touch with them and probably have a beer or two or three or four...over the coming weeks.

Till next time xxxxx


  1. So proud of you Paula - what a wonderful experience you are having...what an adventure!!! xx MareeW

  2. Thanks Maree, appreciate your support. Actually everyone at home has been so supportive, it's amazing. I've not got your email address with me so when you get the chance can you send me an email and then I'll have it - ta xxx

  3. That poor turtle... It's such a big problem world wide. In Honduras we saw signs openly in the front of shops selling fresh turtle eggs. It's so hard to get people to change their opinions but so important! Great story!

    1. Thanks Serena, yes it was certainly an eye opener and very heartbreaking to think this is going on in a number of places around the world...still I hope we sowed a seed and one day things will change...