Today might be my second favorite day of the trip. The planning and production involved in actually maneuvering us to where we need to be is a consistent headache, but I am trying to adapt by learning not to have any expectations 😛 Especially after yesterday, which was a bit of a mess but the end result was amazing.
Yesterday we were scheduled to visit a honey bee farm. But an Indonesian honey bee farm is entirely different from an American one, which we realistically should have known from the beginning. For one, we were not expecting to have to hike any amount of time, and so the activity was delayed by needing someone to go back for a number of people’s rain boots. But also, there was only one hive; one hive at the top of a tree whose branch towered over a waterfall at the top of the canopy just within eyesight. We were not going to interact with the hive at all, that was for sure. But we did get to play and cool off in the pool above the falls, which was beautiful and the perfect destination after such a narrow and muddy trek. We watched from under a mosquito net (to protect from swarming bees) as the ‘bee keeper’ climbed the tree and retracted some of the comb, which he then brought down for us to try. Fresh honey is incredibly sweet yet the after taste is tangy. Some people tried the bee maggots that lived in the hive. The hike back down was still treacherous but knowing what to expect made it more enjoyable.
Today we snorkeled off of Badul Island, a small mound of sand not far off the coast of our village. The first half of the day, we learned how to plant coral on the boat as an Indonesian news crew reported on it. That part was kind of cool, until our professors had to ask them to stop taking footage of us girls in our bathing suits. It was strange to us to be viewed as risque while wearing what would be considered conservative at home. Then we got off the boat, attached the coral to large, cement, table-type structures, and were free to swim around for a few hours. After lunch, the boat took us to the far side of the island, away from the shore. It was much deeper here, and so the water was a darker shade of blue even though it was clearer to see through. The water was rough but the reef was alive on this side, and after mustering the rest of my nerve I explored with Meg until our legs were tired. It was the farthest out in the open water I have ever swam. I almost did not go out the second time, but I am glad I did because it was magnificent.
Tomorrow we will hike one last time, to another waterfall where we will actually be prepared with our bathing suits. And then our stay here is getting cut one day short, since Erin decided our remaining budget money can be spent to treat us on a beach front resort. 😀