Blog 47. 1 August. Banu Banua. 04.47.13S 123.09.77E
Mon 19 Aug 2019 12:29
Junior high school children at Tifu, a very cheerful, engaging group many of whom walked back to the village with us, so happy and excited to be talking and walking us and picking up litter for us. The children everywhere and they are everywhere, are just delightful.
We left Tifu early morning on the 7 August in calm weather and in spite of the lack of wind, the entrance was still pretty rough. We motor sailed until the wind filled and then had a cracking good sail with Time Bandit, Windrose and Top Spot for company. We had to reef to slow down when night fell because of poorly lit fishing vessels and the possibility of nets, but by about 2.00am the wind had moderated, so reefs out and, eventually, some help needed from the iron topsail. We found our way through the scattered reefs that fringed the stilt village of Banu Banua with the help of Ovitalmap and the Ship’s Boy on the bow to check our course and anchored in front of the village.
The anchorage from Alcedo with a local boat in the foreground and the village, on stilts, in the background.
Only 13 boats including Alcedo bothered to go to Banu Banua, North Buton. This was because Wakatobi, our next stop and and a good one for snorkelling and diving, was to windward from Banu Banua. We did not get a program until after we arrived, but It turned out to be one of the most instructive and encouraging so far and one of the most delightful places to visit.
The dinghy dock at Banu Banua, flags flying and ready for the Wonderful Rally to Indonesia 2019
Stuart from Time Bandit with some of the stilt village children, known as the “have nots”with one of the guides. Bill bought as many balls as he could find in one of the local shops to give to the children, a very popular move.
The dinghy dock and some of the “have” children and one of the “have nots”. On the left of the photograph are the seats laid out ready for us, with a box of cakes and a plastic cup of water on each seat.
A very entertaining play fight between 2 men at the opening ceremony. The Regent is just behind the one on the right, with his wife on his left. She was charming and he made his welcoming ceremony speech in English, which was impressive.
Banu Banua appears to have quite a sophisticated, well educated and wealthy “have” population. Our impression is that they are determined to have more influence in world affairs as they see North Buton as having an important strategic position between Asia and the English speaking continents of Australia and New Zealand. Consequently, we were invited to dinner by the Regent at his house, a very posh residence in Ereke, and met and him and his wife. The men in red shirts were our guides, employed by the department of tourism for their ability to speak English or to make more of a show. 3 Guides, Rauf, Max and Cadir were with us all the time and indeed, we have become good friends with Rauf and Max in particular, who spoke reasonably good English.
Rauf, our favourite guide who spoke the best English and was a teacher at the Junior High School, interpreting a speech for us at one of the many official functions.
Much to our horror, the square by the dinghy dock was covered in litter by the time the welcoming ceremony was over, with the litter left from the cakes and water holders, mainly horrible, thin plastic containers in the shape of a glass with a plastic straw and plastic cups for the cakes, which were left lying around after the welcoming ceremony. So Skipper’s wife set about picking it up and was immediately joined by 2 of the stilt village children and some of the Rally participants. We rewarded the 2 children with 2000Rp each (about 12p) and very soon we had more children and some officials helping and a clean square.
A lunch time feast in a wealthy home. We went to no less than 3 events with this sort of catering. No wonder they have a plastic problem.
More from Banu Banua in the next blog
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