What a day!!! As a result of strong currents this morning we arrived significantly later than planned to Waikilo, Sumba Island; however, Kim Saunders put together a fascinating lecture on textiles, particularly the icats of the Eastern and Western Sumba, as well as batiks, and other traditional textiles of Indonesia. This worked out well both for us and the locals as we became more interested in the fabulous textiles presented to us later in the day by villages for sale. Many of us purchased beautiful and unique pieces.
Prior to going to the village, we spent two hours on a tropical white sandy beach, enjoyed lunch on board, and then were privileged to see a welcoming ceremony in our honor upon arrival on shore. Graceful female and vibrant male dancers performed stunning dances to traditional percussion instruments in local costumes. After driving to an inland village, with its traditional high towering thatched roofs, we were greeted by a cloud burst with torrential rain. There we stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our native hosts, many of whom were in beautiful costumes with feathered headdresses, and we ate tropical fruit. Fifteen minutes later the rains stopped and we were invited into the large local’s thatched roof homes, as well as given a dance performance by the villagers.
Perhaps a highlight was an unforgettable trip back on a now slippery and muddy road with the buses sliding and fishtailing along. We watched as barefoot children helped push the vehicles up hills and out of the mud. But there was more to come—a wonderful display of horsemanship on an open field with the riders, hurling sticks at each other at full gallop. An evening arrival back in port ended our great adventure, followed by an Indonesian dinner on our cozy ship.