The day started with banana pancakes at Nutmeg Cafe and delicious kopi (coffee) served by a beautiful young Muslim girl in a pink head scarf. Husein gave us our solar (diesel) and our checkout papers and then we met Maga for a walking tour of Banda Neira.
He proudly showed us his art school, mostly empty except for a few drawings and a paltry stack of very used books. I wish I could give him half my art supplies languishing at home. The museum was just as sparse, mostly enormous water jugs and old canons along with some Dutch furnishings. Then it was a long walk to the airport to check the weather with the meteorologist.
Maga served us cinnamon tea at his house and it so happened his neighbors were preparing for a wedding the next day and we were invited. Unfortunately we’re leaving tomorrow. They gave us a tour of the “women’s” house where the bride lives with family. The “men’s” house is also busy making food and that whole family will walk through the village to the “women’s” house for the ceremony. Weddings are expensive because it involves housing and feeding your entire extended family for several weeks until preparations are completed and the ceremony takes place.
Our tour took us through neighborhoods full of children, motorbikes and brightly painted colonial houses. Everywhere people waved with big smiles. We felt welcomed and honored to be allowed a glimpse of your lives.