Saturday, August 20, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Tuesday 6th July - AM

I woke up at 5am, and remembered the letter I had been given from Atik the night before (she hadn't even been there to meet me....)

She mentioned that we would meet in the morning before they went to the forest ('they', not 'we', as in me included.) My first day was to be 'free'. At least I could have a lazy day.

The volunteer quarters
The volunteer area, a.k.a, 'Mess parrot', was a series of large rooms, some shared, most empty. To access them, you have to go up many stairs to the back of the P-wec area and down more steps still. In short, volunteers are tucked far away from the 'real' P-wec action. (More on that later)

I re-emerged at 7.15. I needed to sort myself out before my 8am breakfast. Just one of the guys from the night before was there. I remember he had been introduced to me as 'The artist.' his name is Harry Adjie. We had a coffee (strong & powdery) and a little chat. He showed me some of his sketches and told me about his work and his life all over.

He had lived in Germany, travelled the world from Africa to Vietnam, from Frankfurt to Japan seeking artistic inspiration and knowledge. He too is a volunteer here, teaching art to the children. Today he offered to show me his work and be my guide once we had eaten.

We stopped en route to breakfast and say 5 Javan Langurs in an enclosure.

Breakfast was rice, tomatoes and cucumber salad, with spicy beef and potato. There was also a box of prawn cracker snacks. I was careful not to overdo it as it was my first meal, but as soon as the plates were cleared I regretted that choice. My stomach was already growling!

We moved from the food hall to the hits where I had been dropped off the night before. It was know as the 'Turtle Mess'.

Harry showed me his art work, some masks he had made, all from natural products, including the paints.

The masks were small, cute and even ugly, but all were wonderful. The mouth might be seemingly stern, but the tribal element is unmistakable, The eyes, made from glass beads, simply stare at you menacingly. Harry offered me one. I took one with long hair, lucky me!

Then, we took a look at his bead collection. It certainly beats mine, back in my day of bangles and necklaces.
He had to continue to make another mask for one of the the children coming the next day. It was amazing to watch him in action.

He used the long bark of a tree, added some serviettes and strong too.

He had completely transformed the bark into something that the kids would be able to paint and decorate.

Next up, a walk into the local village, Sumberbendo. Of course, I grabbed my bag in case there would be something to buy, but it was nothing like that. It was a small village. The stroll down was very pleasant but dusty. The streets were stony and we were accompanied in our shuffling by goats bleating in the background.

We stopped at a bridge to stare at a bamboo forest, and then headed down to the river that was not there. A dam had been built to hold the water that, at the height of the rainy season would fill the river.

We walked back up and then around again. We trekked up to the school of the village, which at this time of year was empty, but I did stop to check out the flowers beautiful.

The girls had made their crowns with Harry the day before.
Harry & the kids

I couldn't resist
As we walked through the streets, people stared, kids followed, it was great to be there. We saw cockerels, housed in oval-dome baskets, kept outside houses. This is a Javan tradition and the birds are a symbol of stature and used for cock fights.

Some families were laying out the corn to dry on the sheets outside their houses. This was the real Indonesia; so beautiful, so green, so natural, so precious.

Back to camp for lunch and I was treated to mi goreng (fried noodles) with fried egg, too.

After lunch , we hung out at the 'turtle mess' again. Harry needed to make some paint....yes, MAKE paint! And some of the girls from P-wec came to make bracelets.

OK, how to make paint? Let me try and explain!

Some long green leaves are chopped finely...

and blended with water ...
... not forgetting a little glue, and the sieved. Easy!
To make an orange-like colour, he used ginger!

The ginger here is smaller in shape than ours, and while I have been writing all this, he has made 6 paints! Re, orange, yellow-green and fawn, as well as brown.

Oh, I caught two ants trying to move a bead! They gave up in the end, mind!

More later...

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