20 August 2009
We got off our 12-day liveaboard on the Seven Seas and hired ourselves a local floating home named Merannu, or Bajo language for “happy.”
We swung again from luxury to basic and as always, found ourselves pleasantly surprised. Now our aim was to photograph Komodo’s people and fishing activities. In Bali, we photographed the clean and sterile operation of Heru Pernomo’s Pulau Mas live reef fish operation.
In Komodo, Heru had one of his many floating cages in Mesa Island, a tiny island outside Komodo National Park.
Mesa Island was about half an hour’s boat ride from Labuan Bajo and here we spent our first night. We were so fortunate to get a sneak peek at a Muslim wedding with Mr. & Mrs. Burhan Bua, Heru’s Komodo Pulau Mas operator.
The groom was from Seraya Besar and the bride from Mesa. Mrs. Burhan was dressed to the nines and we just had to take their picture.
Before the wedding on land, we had dinner on board Merannu. Our first meal – mixed vegetables or chap chay, tempe, fish, squid, noodles, rice, krupuk, cucumber and watermelon for dessert. How’s that for basic?! We tried to sleep on our boat moored near the island, but the wedding festivities were just overwhelmingly noisy. By 2 or 3 in the morning, guests were talking at the top of their voices boarding their boats to go back home to the nearby islands.
Woke up to a red sky right before sunrise. After breakfast of pancake stuffed with bananas, we walked the village of Pulau Mesa, and kids followed us everywhere we went.
Both Yogi and I were called “Miss.” “Miss, miss, picture miss!”
In 2 hours we photographed the many faces and activities of Pulau Mesa.