Bombs a few Meters away
“Be careful, Doctor. They will throw the bomb at you,” Ureg, a local young man, said to me. He was talking about my driving the reef bombers away in front of my bay, around 800 meters offshore.
I was at the pier of Papan Island when suddenly Up said, “It was the Kabalutan people who did the bombing.” Strange. I had said nothing to him. In fact I am sick of him. It was he and two other guys on the pier who did it.
I pretended not aware of his blatant lie by saying, “I don’t know. I only saw and heard from far away.” And they thought I hadn’t known about their crime.
Later in the little motor canoe I told Ureg that I didn’t like his telling lies to me. I am not afraid of death to protect the Nature and Wildlife; nobody would suffer if I die because I have no children–of course, Meidy will suffer but she would stand it. Ureg said sorry and told me that was Up who started the lie.
I told Ureg that I had the photos and videos of their bombing taken by Meidy with 600mm lens and then showed him on the screen of my laptop when we arrived home. He told Meidy later that Up and the other two bombers were scared when he informed them that I had all their faces during the bombing in photos and videos.
Today, for the third time this month, I drove other bombers away. Meidy was trembling while watching me paddling to them, the same spot the previous bombers had done it; this time 7 persons with diving suits and masks. I was aware of the risk. If these sea bandits throw the bomb at me, nothing remains of Ating because the bomb is very powerful–we can feel the ground at home shaking when it blasts–only pieces of flesh and bones the marine creature would devour happily.
I rowed around them, said nothing, just taking photos and videos, waving at my house and saying loudly to a guy catching octopus that Meidy was taking photos of me.
It scared them. They packed up, turned the motors on, and moved away.
Having seen the local people of upper class bombing the coral-reefs in front and felling hundreds of beautiful trees in the forest behind; known the persons paid by the government to protect the nature doing very little to stop the destruction; and the law enforcement officers protecting the illegal bombers and loggers, I don’t deny that I am more misanthropic than before. I feel more comfortable and secure surrounded by animals, including the fearsome babirusa, than by human beings. Though most people do not agree with Thomas Huxley that human nature is evil, I do; in my experience, it is obvious: the ratio between angelic and evil persons, and bloody history support his statement. Loving and compassionate people are the outliers, probably less than 0.1% of the population. Therefore, I am lucky to know three outliers (one I have never met) in my life; without them my present life would have been extremely difficult.
Anytime we have to leave home together for a few days, we have to pay (no human being even here is willing to help out without getting something in return) some people to feed the animals at home. Finding the right people is not easy either–they are likely to neglect our animals but insisting on fully paid–and taking time.
They are just animals, my sister said, when I explained the delay of our arrival in Jakarta. Yes, they are just animals but more wonderful than most human beings. They have kept us happy.