They’re picking me up in a couple of hours to go to the Dewi Nusantara. It will be quite a contrast from my accommodations the last few days. Sometimes its easy to forget that the luxury resorts and boats established to accommodate tourists are not “reality”, but purely a fantasy world established to attract spoiled westerners to a naturally beautiful place that we like to call “paradise.” It represents a much harsher reality for those who live here.
Its important that we come, share our fascination with the vistas and creatures the locals would otherwise exploit and take for granted and spend our excess cash. Otherwise, nothing logically keeps the villager from chopping down a bird of paradise display tree for cooking wood or throwing a stick of dynamite onto a reef to feed his village.
This place is raw. With little commercialization in terms of tourism. Its part of what makes Papua and Raja Ampat unique. Stunning natural beauty with minimal tourist density. However, I think that if we are to “protect” the natural beauty of this place, unfortunately, more tourist commercialization must occur. It just doesn’t contribute broadly enough to the well-being of the locals right now.
Anyway, I’ll have a few “auto-posts” going up while I’m on the boat. Some bird pics and scenes from the village. Otherwise…see ya in 12 days!