pow! - a sea of exuberant faces

Over half of Indonesia's population of 180 million are under the age of 25

The original photo, shot with a 24mm lens just after the sun had gone down, from which the indulgent Photoshop image (top of page) was created. Feathered edge selection thingy, radial, zoom and gausian blurs doo dahs, you know the drill. Sorry about the download, but I wanted to fill your browser with this delightful bunch of happy faces lit by the soft glow of pink clouds. Worth the wait, don't you think?

The sun sets fast in the tropics, and no more than about 15 minuets after the above photograph was taken, this was the scene (below) with a full moon rising. The picture at the top of the page was taken standing on top of this newly built break water.-

I've always wanted take photographs by moonlight - by starlight if only film stocks were fast enough, and so the way back to the Government Wisma that evening, I took the picture below of the village's fishing boats moared in the shallow reef waters in readiness to head out to sea for a night's fishing. A tripod would have been handy, but the moon was so bright that I managed to get something with a 1/4 sec exposure.

Upon my return to Australia, I discovered that my best friend and travelling companion of many years was looking up at the very same full moon in a cold Melbourne night sky, while some 3000 kilometres away I watched it rise above these fishing boats on a warm tropical isle. The world is truly a magical place.

"Tour-eee-ist, tour-eee-ist!" is still the excited catch cry of children when visiting off-the-beaten-track places. These kids are from a fishing village on the isle of Nusa Penida, where my friend, Wayan, was a trainee teacher for several years. In fact most of these children were from his school. Look, one of them is mischievously trying to knock that blue and white ball out of the hands of his mate with a stick. How could Indonesia not possibly become a prosperous and energetic nation blessed with a wealth of children such as these?

In 1979 you could buy fish such as these fresh off the sailing boats as they scootered in to shore after a day's fishing. For a mere 300 Rupiah each we had them slowly cooked by the woman of the village over a little charcoal fire made right on the beach using the husks of coconuts as fuel. The suculent flesh tasted delicious when grilled in this fashion. I still dream of such simple meals as this.

The small dry island of Nusa Peneda lies off the coast of Bali. Its about a one and a half hour journey by an Indonesian perahu.


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© david.atkinson@rmit.edu.au
created 8 april 1999
modified 25 september 2002