16 October 2011

The village: Komodo Island (2)

A local creation myth tells the tale of a goddess giving birth to twins. Clearly non-identical: one was a male human, the other a female Komodo dragon. Separated at birth, they later encountered each other as hunter and prey. As the human was about to slay the dragon, Mother suddenly appeared, forbidding the slaughter. To this day, although Komodo dragons attack them, villagers do not retaliate and even feed the old and injured reptiles who are not strong enough to satisfy their carnivorous urges themselves.

After keeping our distance from lumbering beasts in the morning (when not somnolent, they can charge at 20km/hour), we had more up-close-and-personal contact with the descendants of the human twin in the afternoon. Many new sights for us, including seeing an Indonesian school in action for the first time. In whatever country you're visiting, there's always something special about fishing villages.

The welcome committee:

Street scenes (however many I end up pasting in here, I can assure you there are far, far more):

He's carving hyacinth wood.


 Making shrimp paste.
 Fish fins drying.
 I don't think the youngest was happy that her big sisters said we could take pictures.


The school (clicking twice on Michael's video will take you to a larger screen on youtube). The small boy conducting on the sidelines is the child we were most tempted to take home with us. A real sweetheart.
  Notice the difference between this lad's bookbag and those of the young ladies above.
 And if we could have taken a little girl, too . . . .
 Girls (or perhaps, more accurately, their parents) have the choice between secular and Muslim uniforms.

 Here he is: so serious, so enthusiastic.


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