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Welcoming Ceremony

After a few dances, the cruisers were invited to join in. Mary Margaret could not resist the fun. I hid behind my camera, taking lots of pictures.

Welcoming Ceremony

The village chief was present as was his "general".

Welcoming Ceremony

When we went to shore, we were greeted by this ladies, dressed to the hilt!

Year 5 Day 183 Welcoming Ceremony
Dave/Sunny And Warm
08/07/2012, Kalabahi, Alor Island, Indonesia

Early this morning we were greeted on our boat by a ponga filled with fierce looking warriors beating gongs and waving swords at us. They were actually welcoming us to Alor and calling us in to shore for the welcome ceremony that the island was putting on for our benefit.

When we reached shore, a large group of ladies in native finery greeted us with songs and dances. For the last dance, they invited us to join them. While I manned the camera, Mary Margaret joined in the procession and danced like a native. What fun and everyone had big smiles on their faces

We were next guided into a large meeting hall which was filled with chairs. Initially, we were in the back but for reasons that escaped me, an official moved us up to the second row and then, inexplicably, moved me again up to the first row. I ended up sitting between two military people so I can guess that they wanted to keep a keen eye on this shifty looking character. Actually, they were very friendly and polite and greeted me with a warm handshake.

We were welcomed by a number of speeches that were presented first in their native tongue and then translated into English. The speakers included the island's governor and the city's mayor. The theme of the speeches was that they were so happy to have us visit their island and that their island presents remarkable beauty and is filled with nature's wonders. They hope that we will spread the word about their island to others who will then come and visit. The island is bit off of the tourist's beaten path but if the warmth and gratitude shown to us is typical, then it would be well worth the visit. After the speeches we were presented with a number of dances which I captured on video and will try to download to the blog.

We were also invited to the Governor's house for dinner this evening. A gala dinner and more entertainment were to be offered. Unfortunately, after we returned to Leu Cat, I came down with a nasty bout of passing a uric acid crystal through my kidney that left me incapacitated through the evening, when it finally passed. It was the worst bout of this issue I have had and I believe it was because I did not drink enough fluids this morning and then stressed my system by making a long, fast walk through town in search of a TelKom store. I am still adjusting to the humidity and I walked in the hot sun. I was soaked with perspiration when I returned to the dinghy. How stupid is that?

I am feeling 100% now and tomorrow we will be going on an adventure to a rural village where we will see the more traditional way of life on this island and also be entertained with songs and dances. We can hardly wait!

Kalabahi, Alor Island

The anchorage is many times filled with smoke since most houses and huts use firewood to cook by.

Alor Island

As we made our way up the fiord, we came across a number of these floating frames. John, of S/V Sea Mist, believes that they are used to grow oysters. We had to dodge around a number of them making our way to the anchorage.

Alor Island

You can see the land quickly rising out of the fiord from this view.

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Who: Mary Margaret and Dave Leu
Port: Dana Point, CA
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