This summer I participated in a Czech project Prales dětem (something like Rainforest for children) in Indonesia and it was made of two parts – Green Life (you can read an article about it HERE) and Blue Life.
Blue Life focuses on oceans and so the main program is collecting garbage that is being thrown out of the sea onto beautiful beaches in the Pulau Banyak islands.
Today, I would like to present you my BLUE LIFE experience! Here we go!
After a twelve hour ride in this cool car…
…we boarded a boat and kept sailing for another 5 hours. But before we got out of the docks, there was a little surprise swimming in front of us!
The little one got lost and it swam right to our boat, very confused. Its mom, however, swam right after it and they found the right way back to their herd.
Then, after a few more moments, we found ourselves on the open sea. And things were getting more and more beautiful.
When I first saw our new home for the next week, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
It was so beautiful. I felt like I had just entered into some expensive travel magazine or into someone’s wallpaper. It was quiet, hot and sunny, and a slight breeze made it all even better.
I fell in love with those sunsets.
AND those sunrises.
Every morning felt like heaven. A year ago, I would have never imagined that one day I would have the chance to experience the immense beauty of such paradise.
So what did we do during the week?
- We went for a walk around the island – it took us about an hour. We collected some garbage on the way. It wasn’t much because this island is being cleaned regularly by volunteers etc., but we still needed a few bags.
We also saw the swamps on our way. They were created there by a huge tsunami in 2004 and nobody really knows what lives there. We were careful not to take bath in the sea during the night because the Saltwater crocodile could be there.
I found the swamps really creepy. It was quiet as hell (and not the nice sort of silence, but the scary one when you feel like something is standing right behind you and it’s going to attack you any second) and the water was freaking hot. Like SO hot. I must admit it was a great relief to leave the swamps and return to the blue paradise.
2. We encountered some animals as well!
Rufus, our neigbour, has these lovely dogs. They run around the island as they please and they’re super friendly. Especially if you have some coconuts.
The beach was full of hermit crabs. This made me so happy as I had never been to such a live beach before. Everytime we watched them from a distance, they were moving and it looked as if they were chatting and everything. But then we came closer and all of a sudden… silence. All of them hid into their tiny houses. And as soon as we went away, the beach was buzzing with life again. Just beautiful.
There were also really big hermit crabs, especially in the swamps. It seemed to me like the swamps were something like their retirement home.
Uhm, my friend told me what its name was. But I don’t remember it. She also said that this animal was quite rare. Or something… But it’s lovely!
The crabs were everywhere. I could see so many holes in the sand and it was amazing to know that the crabs lived somewhere down there.
Even if you went quite far away from the others so you ended up on your own, you were never really alone. The beach was full of life.
3. We went to other islands to collect garbage.
And there was so much of it.
It’s really terrible to see such paradise being destroyed by our ignorance and consumerism. And those freaking plastic cups. I swear to god they were EVERYWHERE. No more plastic cups, please!
Blue Life has provided these islands with bins and we were glad to see that people used them. At least something.
BUT! Then a man who lives on the island came to us and this encounter made my whole day better. He didn’t speak English but there was no need. He counted us and then climbed for nine coconuts. Just like that.
He cut them open,
gave them to us to drink and when there was no water left, he cut them in half and even made us a spoon from the coconut bark so we could eat them.
He didn’t want anything in return. He didn’t do it for gain. He did it just because it made us happy. And after a while he even came back with two mangos and we shared them (I must mention that these were the best mangos in my entire life, those from Europe have nothing in common with the real and fresh ones).
I think it’s amazing how one man can teach us such a lesson in life without even saying a word. Be less selfish and more generous, that’s what makes your life worth living.
The island looked so much better without all the horrible garbage.
4. Oh, and we also helped with taking care of the camp!
Uhm… that was a break from work.
5. We snorkeled. I had never really snorkeled before and I think this was the perfect place to start. The underwater world was another piece of magic.
We saw lots of fish from Looking for Nemo, even Nemo himself! The corals were alive and the fish were just everywhere around you. I’ve fallen in love with snorkeling.
This is us trying to create BLUE LIFE in Indonesian. It didn’t go well. But everyone’s in there and that’s important. (But I think Káťa is missing… why is Káťa always missing?!)
The week passed in a rapid speed and then we had to say goodbye to Pulau Banyak islands.
Then we spent one day in Medan, the capital of Sumatra, which was faar away from heaven. Actually, I’d say it was the exact opposite.
But at least we had a ride in tuk-tuk.
And we had an amazing and super cheap vegan meal.
As in my GREEN LIFE post, I would like to thank Prales dětem, this time for cleaning the piece of heaven on Earth and for devoting their lives to helping our planet.
During our GREEN&BLUE journey we experienced what it really feels like to live with the nature. We saw it in all its glory and we also saw how human kind tries to destroy it. All that beauty, all that freedom, all that Life. GREEN&BLUE project has taught me a great deal.
As the coconut man has showed us – be less selfish, more generous.