There are so many reasons to become disgruntled with life in this remote, rainy, dysfunctional place. There are also hundreds of reasons to fall in love with it. Their names are English, Indonesian, South African, Spanish, African, Dutch and various other nationalities.
Here in Tembagapura there is no excuse for boredom, and this is due to the creative ingenuity of the residents who refuse to let a week go by without some healthy – sometimes not so healthy – fun. The activities run the spectrum from quilting to running through the jungle with beer stops along the way. This was in the form of the Movember Hash Run, a fund raiser for fighting prostate cancer.
There are church services, RC airplanes to fly, floor hockey, hikes to Hidden Valley or the waterfall, parties and balls; visits to the Tomawin dorm where the Papuan children live during the school year. Some women (ibus) fly to remote villages and take supplies to the impoverished residents. I’d gladly join the next outing that happens when I’m there.
There is yoga, Body Pump, and Zumba for the fitness oriented, and cards three days a week at the coffee shop. Two ibus very adept at organizing social gatherings hosted a lively and festive Christmas gift exchange.
In November on the day of the Melbourne Cup horse race the Aussie women host a fancy luncheon. We wore our finest garden party clothing and of course frilly hats (called fascinators, apparently). I have learned so much here. Betting, eating, drinking wine and cheering for your horse ruled the day.
November 3rd started the Christmas season during which multiple church services, school programs and parties took place. Whew! Then came International Day on November 9th, a celebration of diversity in our community sponsored by The Ladies Club. The theme was Flower Power in the Jungle, and the outfits were so appropriate!
And if you get sick of the bustle on the mountain, then you can always escape to Australia or Bali to relax. And don’t forget the Rimba Golf Club in the lowlands, its eighteen holes carved out of the dense jungle.
I hope you enjoy the photos of ex-pat life inTembagapura, Papua, Indonesia!