Day 400. 75km. Kringa – Larantuka

Posted: June 26, 2016 in Cycling, Indonesia
Tags: , , , ,

There is malaria here, they told me last night. Sitting bathed in chemicals this morning, the mosquitos were a-buzzing. SLAP. The grandmother killed another one on her arm. I asked why they don’t use repellent.
‘No money,’ replied the son.
When I left I gave money enough to buy plenty of repellent for the whole family.

Kringa family

Kringa family

I stayed with a family of subsitance farmers. Everything they gave me to eat they had grown or caught. They had grown the rice, grown the vegetables and caught the fish. They make their cash by selling the odd coconut. It hit me like a hammer – what it really means to be a subsistence farmer. They have NO money, and live from day to day. These are the people that will be hit first and hit hardest by climate change – and they are the ones that have done least to cause it.
The son would like to see the west one day. I would like to take him to a massive, air-conditioned supermarket in a shopping complex in Australia. Look how far we have removed ourselves from the source of our food in the west. The son wouldn’t know which planet he has come to.

Today I crawled up and over the last of the hills of the mountainous island of Flores. Rather than catch the boat to the next island, I flopped onto a bed in a hotel next to the harbour. Flores has worn me out!

On the way to Larantuka

On the way to Larantuka

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    I wonder if they will buy repellent or use it for some other more pressing need, not that it matters. Your generous gift I am sure was appreciated. That last photo is stunning!

  2. […] I slapped at yet another mosquito on Flores, an Indonesian island just north of Australia. The people had welcomed me into their humble home like family. We sat on the carpet circled around the arrays of delicious dishes. The amazing array of local, home grown food they had prepared for me! ‘Do you have malaria?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you have dengue?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you use mosquito repellent lotion?’ I asked as I smeared myself with the cream. ‘No. We can’t afford it.’ The cream costs $1. That drilled it home. Subsistence farmers. They eat what they grow and earn a dollar or two selling fruit from a table in front of their home. They have no reserves for hard times. But they have each other, and they are utterly caring and beautiful people. I gave them some money when I left. I hope they can use it to protect themselves from disease. Or buy food. Or clothes. […]

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