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Phytons in the Library

Phytons in the Library

We were still reading our ebook readers on bed when we heard the shriek of a chicken from the library. We looked at each other and uttered, “Snake!” And we leaped from the bed. Grabbing the torch hanging on the doorpost, I opened the front door slowly. It was dark outside. Except for the faint…
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Project Update: December 2018

Project Update: December 2018

Forest With some help from a number of tourists, I have cleared more trails around Bird valley; the ridge trail is now connected to the creek trail. If we follow this loop trail, we will see three big and beautiful strangler fig trees—the keystone species of the forest. In November 2018, I was lucky to…
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Dr. DoLittle Center

Dr. DoLittle Center

“Let me do it, otherwise we’ll never have it,” I said with exasperating tone. Meidy insisted on finding a carpenter albeit we had offered the job to a number of them and all turned it down. One of them said that $400 was too little for building the DoLittle Center. The offer is actually above…
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Project Update: June 2017

Project Update: June 2017

The Wildlife For one year I have not seen any babirusa around our home and along my trails, but some people reported they saw some at the west region—has not been penetrated by my trails—of the island. The macaques and monitor lizards are also decreasingly seen around. I have no doubt that the dogs, feral…
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The Second Life

The Second Life

“Doctor, have you ever eaten Napoleon fish?” Upik the fisher asked me. “Not yet.” Napoleon wrasse is an endangered species and I do not eat endangered species. The adults could reach 2 meters and 180kg (Wikipedia). “May I see it?” He pointed to the floor of his canoe in front of him. It was about…
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The Origin of Egotism

The Origin of Egotism

The sky was murky and somber and the sea stormy and misty when I came down from my hill garden. The waves that crashing against the shore splashed drops of water to the roots of coconut trees, and some of them landed on the grass beyond. I gazed at the ocean and, to my surprise,…
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The Forest Exhibitionists

The Forest Exhibitionists

“I felt someone watching my back while I was planting the seeds in the hill garden. I turned around. Guess, who was watching me?” Meidy stared at me with a teasing smile. “The woody.” There were a pair of woodpecker pecking on one of coconut trees two weeks ago. “Wrong.” “Tommy?” It is the next-bay…
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The Outlier Nat

The Outlier Nat

“Thirty-one,” Meidy replied to my question on the balance of my bank account. “Thirty-one?” I was confused, either she might have not had heard my question well or I misheard her answer; the boat engine next to our right side was very loud. We were on the way home from Plank Island—the tourists of Togean…
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Preparing the Day

Preparing the Day

Desire nothing and ready to die. Every morning, sitting in the nirvana—the tip of the west cliff—I recall these words. I am not thinking of committing suicide, albeit easy to do so: just jump over the edge and the big coral-reef below will break my head. Ready to die is different from wanting to die,…
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Ecotourists

Ecotourists

About three meters before he reached the trail peak, I shout, “Look at your left, Victor.” The Spanish tourist did so and said “Wow!” Almost all tourists exclaimed the same word when they see the gigantic fig tree at the end of the trip. With the deforestation is so rampage in Indonesia, gigantic trees are…
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Sharing Harvest

Sharing Harvest

“All our pineapples are gone,” I said to Meidy. “Macaques?” “Almost certain. Only the tip leaves are left; they messed the whole plants.” The leaves are saw-toothed, inedible to the apes. “It is OK. They need food.” Oh, la, la, Mom of the macaques defended her ‘children’. It is fun to see the platoon of…
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Donuts for Nature

Donuts for Nature

“Make extra,” I said to Meidy, who was making donuts for our breakfast tomorrow morning. “I will sell them to Sera Cottages. It is full now.” “Seriously?” she did not believe I would do it. I am very bad at business, people say too shy and honest. And, moreover, selling cakes person to person on…
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Feeding All Creatures but . . .

Feeding All Creatures but . . .

“Hush, hush, hush,” Meidy was standing on the sand trying to drive away her ‘enemies’. But they were still swimming around her. “Ouch!” finally one of them managed to pinch one of her calves and it drove Meidy out of water. “Don’t feed them again!” she shout at me. I just smiled, said nothing. It…
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Window Island Cottages

Window Island Cottages

“Let’s go back to Window island,” I asked Asrin, my local friend and host, to drive his motor canoe to the tiny island across. I had explored the area around Tangkian, Asrin’s village, for the whole day to find a suitable beach or island for our project: cottages for tourists. There were seven white sand…
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Endangered Crab for Dinner

Endangered Crab for Dinner

Having had a short chat with the newly arrived local ecotourists from Jakarta, I continued walking to my room. Passing one cottage, I returned to them. “Please don’t buy the crab,” I said. “Please, please, let it live. It is rare, an endangered species.” They look at me with surprise, but said nothing. The tourist…
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