Saturday, January 30, 2010

Linda a Norwegian student visited Manokwari artists

This afternoon I accompanied a Norwegian student visiting some Papuan artists in Kota region of Manokwari town. Her name is Linda. It was around 3:20 p.m. when she arrived at my bookstore. She was walking from Hotel Billy when my sister saw her and picked her up. So, they arrived here by a minibus. After talking for a few minutes and looking at some of my and Paul's paintings, I and Linda walked to the home of Mr. Lucky Kaikatui. He is an oil painting artist. Unfortunately he was in Sorong. So, we could only talk to his wife. Linda took some pictures of his paintings. She said that she was interested in the painting of paradise birds but the size of the artwork was too big for her bag. Linda asked if the artist could make similar painting whose size is smaller. But Mr. Kaikatui's wife could not decide whether her husband would paint it nor mention its price. She said that she would call her husband to discuss Linda's request.
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Then we continued our trip to the house of Mrs. Fonataba. She is a master of clothes weaving. She learned this skill from Catholic nuns when she was still young. Many of the women who could make hand made woven clothes have died. Perhaps, she is the only woman in Papua island who is able to manually weave clothes from cotton thread as shown in the photo above. She has taught her daughters and other women in Biak and Serui islands on how to weave clothes in order to pass down her skills to young generations. Mrs. Fonataba looked very happy. She was with her daughter and grand-daughters when we met her. I and Linda took some pictures there. Linda bought some bracelet made of orchid's roots and a piece of shawl, all of these items cost Rp. 210,000 (around 21 US dollars). Mrs. Fonataba said that she needs around one week to make a shawl if it was done as her past-time activity. But if she spends her whole day weaving the cloth, she will be able to finish it in three days.
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It was going to rain when we walked to Mr. Awom's house which is located next to Suri bakery. He is a wood carving artist. He was about to go somewhere when we met him. Linda bought a photo frame there and also took some pictures of his nice artworks. The price of the frame was Rp. 100,000 (about 10 US dollars). She said that she could not buy bigger carvings because they are too big to be inserted into her backpack.
Across from Mr. Awom's house was Mrs. Kerewai's studio. Unfortunately, we could not meet her because she was still in Jayapura. She had just participated in an exhibition in Papua New Guinea. Her daughter said that she would be in Manokwari again the next day. There were some handicrafts made of sea shells displayed in Ms. Ruth's (the daughter of Ms. Kerewai) kiosk, but she did not buy them because they were too fragile to be brought in her backpack. Linda said that they will be broken when she arrives in Norway. It was raining when we (I and Paul) said good bye to Linda at the Pertokoan cross-road. She walked back to Billy hotel and we walked back up to our homes at Kompleks Missi area.
This beautiful girl is doing research on the possibility of the implementation of UN-REDD program to support communities living around the forest. UN-REDD stands for the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries. She will be in Manokwari for around three weeks visiting villages, talking to people, seeing the forest and collecting data.

Eco Tourism and Souvenir Business in Manokwari

Here are the name of the artists and the kind of artworks which they make. I suggest that you buy souvenirs direclty from them instead of buying from shops. By buying directly from the artists, you can get cheaper products, give comments and encourage them to improve the quality of their artworks.
Xavier Bookstore - Selling Postcard and Watercolor Paintings
The artworks are made by Charles Roring and some Papuan artists
Address: Brawijaya Street next to SD Padma 1 Kompleks Missi Manokwari. Charles Roring and some of his Papuan friends can provide tour guide service for traveling to various tourist attractions in  and around Manokwari. He can be contacted through his cell phone: 081332245180 or email: peace4wp@gmail.com

Mrs. Marice Fatie-Fonataba
This widow is a master in cloth weaving. She lives in Komplex Missi behind Catholic Church St. Agustinus, Manokwari. Her woven cloth and pandanus bags are beautiful souvenirs which you can buy for your loved ones.

Mr. Lucky Kaikatui
He is an oil painting artist. He paints birds of paradise, the beautiful beaches of Papua, village life and forest. Mr. Kaikatui lives behind SMP Katolik (Catholic Junior High School) in Komplex Missi Manokwari

Mr. Awom - a wood carving artist
Address: Merdeka Street, next to Suri Bakery Shop
Mr. Awom makes small number but high quality wooden carvings. H

Mr. Asaribab - a school teacher who is also a wood carving and painter
Address: Anggrem
Carving and painting have been an integral part of Mr. Asaribab's family for generations.

Mr. Tony Mansiraken Krey
Russian Tourists (Mike, Dima and Inga) were examining wooden statues made by Mr. Asaribab in Anggrem of Manokwari city January 2010A Multi Talented Artist (a Papuan intellectual, a writer)
Address: Ketapang Boat Station, Kwawi, Manokwari
His friends like to call him Tonci Krey. This artist is considered as a brilliant artist. Most of the public statues in Manokwari were made by him. Art lovers who come to Manokwari must meet him if they want to know more about Papuan art and culture. You can buy paintings, carvings, and get various information about Papuan people, their stories and culture.



As a travel guide who frequently accompany tourists around this town and its surrounding forest, beaches and islands, I see that most of the visitors, after going around, will ask me whether there are souvenir shops in this small town Manokwari. Of course, there are. I know two souvenir shops in this town that sell various items ranging from string bags to Wamena's penis gourd. I also know several Papuan artists in this town that constantly make handicrafts both for domestic and foreign tourists. Although this is not their main source of income, their love of art continues to encourage them making artworks from time to time. For example, Mrs. Marice Fonataba who lives behind the Catholic church St. Agustinus in Kota area of Manokwari town. Her home is not located on a strategic street where tourists can easily find it. But she continues to manually weave traditional Papuan cloth as her past time activities. When I visited her home last week, I was surprised to see that she had made many artworks worth of millions of rupiahs.
There is also another artist whose home is on Jalan Merdeka next to Suri Bakery. He is a wood carving artist who has made high quality carvings. I brought three Russian eco-travelers to his home one night to buy some of his artworks. These Russians were amazed by the quality of the carvings and they were even surprised when he sold it for only Rp. 20,000 rupiahs each which is considered very-very cheap according to local standard. I immediately told them that they should give him better price as their appreciation for his hard works. They did. They paid 300,000 rupiahs for three carvings which they bought from him. He looked happy and smiled at us. It was drizzling that night but the Russians were satisfied with the wooden carvings which they had just bought.
Souvenirs that tourists must not buy
There are no rules but please, follow my suggestions as voluntary guidelines. When you go to a souvenir shop and you find handicrafts that are made of corals, please don't buy them. Coral reef is one of the most important species for marine environment. Due to global warming and the increased dumping of wastes at sea, these fragile species are dying. As tourists we must not buy souvenirs made of sea corals to discourage the destruction of coral reef around the world which is the home to thousands of species of fish and other marine creatures.
This also applies to Kuskus fur - an endemic animal from West Papua, to preserved skin and feather of bird of paradise and to other threatened animals in Papua island. By not buying such souvenirs we have practiced responsible eco-tourism principles in our life. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Manokwari the perfect place for beach lovers

You might think that I have over promoted this post title. I am just telling you what I see. If you are a beach lover, you will see that white sandy beach in Manokwari is one of the best in the world? Why? Because it is the place where you can enjoy sun bathing, swimming, wind surfing and especially for nature lovers watching turtles laying their eggs. If you are serious in watching is precious moment than you need to set up a camp by the beach in a secluded beach area far from villagers home where turtles are usually come up to the beach. Isn't it wonderful? So, when you go to a beach in Manokwari, you can also do other activities such as bird watching around the coconut and ketapang, and mangrove trees that usually grow around the coastal region of Papua or you can hike into the tropical rainforest that is located in the near the beach.
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One week ago, three Russian eco-travelers (Mike, Inga and Dima) went to Yonsoribo beach which is still under the Manokwari regency. It's only a two-hour ride by car to the beach. It is located on the northern coast of this town. The beach is not crowded by foreign tourists and it is still in pristine condition. They took some photos during their two days camping there. They built a tent by the road near the beach that is overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was Eastern Monsoon (November to March) where strong wind created big waves along the northern coast line of Papua island. So, it might be dangerous for inexperienced swimmers but it was the perfect moment for surfers to prctice their skills and agility playing on the wave crests with their surf-boards.

Where is Manokwari, how can I get there?

If you read the title of the blog, you will see that I have changed it into the Diary of a Manokwari Tourist Guide. Yes, I am now working on promoting eco-tourism or responsible tourism in this small town which is now the capital of Papua Barat Province. And I have written articles related to traveling inside the rainforest of the Table Mountain as my main emphasis on this blog. I also have uploaded many photos related to foreign tourist activities in this town. As a travel writer, what I want to convey in this blog is the tourism activities that bring positive impacts to local people, the main stakeholders of the tourism industry in this town. They should be the ones who play important roles in the development of alternative tourism in this region.

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You might have read some of my stories here or at my other web pages the Manokwari Travel Guide. I hope you will be interested in coming to this small yet very beautiful coastal town that is located not far from the equator. Also, there are several other stories about traveling in Manokwari which you can click and read at the end part of the article. There are still many things that I have not written and yet many places which I haven't explored. I prefer to use the term explore rather than visit. Why? Because the word "explore" means going to new places, finding new things, learning new culture, meeting new people, appreciating new world. Sometimes, when we go to Papua, we will see that this huge island has got many new mysteries which are waiting for us to explore. So, what are you waiting for?

Flying to Manokwari

As a tour guide in this city, I have written a number of articles about my experiences in accompanying foreign tourists around this beautiful town and its surroundings. I will continue to do so by writing more stories both in this blog or in my other website Manokwari Travel Guide. The followings are the names of airlines that serve flying route to Manokwari from Jakarta:
  • Batavia Airlines
  • Express Air (Manokwari - Sorong - Jakarta) at 08.30-11.15 (East Indonesian Time)
  • Merpati Nusantara Airlines
  • Wings Air (flying to Manokwari on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday)
Please, check each of the airline company to obtain the exact flight schedule and ticket price for flying to Manokwari. The ticket is usually expensive during high seasons i.e. Christmas time (in December) and School Holidays (June-July)
If you fly from Jakarta at 02.00 mid night, then you will arrive in Manokwari early in the morning.  As shown in the above photo, the passenger airplane the belonged to Batavia Air had just landed in Rendani Airport, early in the morning. Manokwari is not a big city but its surrounding territory is very large. There is Arfak Mountain in the south and there is Table Mountain in the north. The Dorey bay where Manokwari is located is one of the most beautiful in the world. There are three islands in this bay. So, when you are in Manokwari, you will be able to see the town, the mountains, the bay, and the islands, all of them in one view. It's beautiful isn't it? The blue mountain of Arfak seen in a distance is still covered with tropical rainforest that is still in pristine condition, the home for wild animals, orchids and plants. If you are interested in traveling to Manokwari, please read my article Where is Manokwari? - How can I get there? which is hosted in the website that I just mentioned above.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mushrooms in the forest of Table Mountain of Manokwari Papua

One of the tourist attractions in the tropical rainforest of West Papua is mushrooms. Mushrooms in Manokwari have a lot of color combination and unique forms. They are beautiful especially in the morning when the sun has just risen. When I accompanied Mike, Inga and Dima - three Russian eco travelers, we saw some mushrooms which have forms that are similar to men's genital part.

They have white trunk with dark brown helmet like hat. I was told by Paul that there are mushrooms in this forest the emit light at night. During the day, they might look just the same as the other ordinary mushrooms that live on the decaying plant leaves and woods but at night they look like little lamps that light up the forest. I am interested in traveling the forest at night to see them. If I have time, I will walk deeper into the woods to find such exotic plants.

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Some species of mushrooms are edible but others are poisonous. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, certain mushrooms are believed to have medicinal functions that can be used to cure diseases.

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If you are interested in seeing tropical mushrooms in the tropical rainforest of Papua, I suggest that you go in the morning and during the rainy season. You will definitely see these tiny flowery plants that look beautiful and elegant. by Charles Roring a local tourist guide for forest or eco travelers in Manokwari. If you need my guidance for exploring the beauty of the mushrooms, you can contact my email: peace4wp@gmail.com or my cell phone: +62 81332245180

Friday, January 22, 2010

Russian Travelers Visited the Artists in Manokwari

Manokwari has a number of artists that make good quality artworks or handicrafts which tourists should visit. Today, I accompanied Mike, Inga and Dima (three Russian eco-travelers) who like to explore the tropical rainforest of Papua) to meet some of these artists. The first one that we met in the morning was the house of Mr. Lucky Kaikatui. He is a painter specializing in oil painting. He has just moved to his new home in Kompleks Missi. When we arrived at his house, we could only see some of his paintings hanging on the walls, one of them was the Paradise bird while others were the about the natural scenery and the traditional Papuan villages. The Russian tourists could not buy them due to the sizes which are too big to be loaded into the passenger cabin of an airplane .
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Then we continued our trip to see Kuskus, an endemic animal of Papua island. We took some photos of it. After that we ate lunch in the canteen of Orchid. Having finished eating the fried rice and the bakso noodle, these Russian tourists continued their trip to Raimuti island . They swam there until the sunset accompanied by Paul Warere - a drawing artist whom I have trained to be the local guide.
At night, I accompanied them again to visit Mrs. Fonataba's house. She is a master of traditional hand-made woven cloth. This cloth has beautiful ornaments which Papuan like to use as dowry. Mrs. Fonataba was very happy by our coming. She asked her grand-daughter to wear the traditional cloth to be shown to us.
Inga said that she was interested in buying the woven cloth which the little girl was wearing around her chest. Hearing the Inga's request, the mother of this little girl took off the cloth and gave it to Inga. After asking the prices of the woven clothes which Mrs. Fonatabe put on the table, Mike, Dima and Inga bought the necklace, bracelet, and the clothes worth Rp. 500,000 (or around 50 US dollars).
inga-in-manokwari.jpgIt was quite late when we continued walking to Mr.Asaribab's house. Here, I took some photos of them examining the wood carvings. Inga, Mike and Dima bought two wooden plates with reliefs in them and one small wooden statue. Mr. Asaribab's looked very happy to see that. They spent another 50 US dollars for these wooden carving souvenirs. When we have returned to Penginapan Kagum that belongs to my family, I suggest to Mike not to buy the skin of animals or live animals. Tourists have to be smart buyers. They should not buy such souvenirs as birds or animals, reptile skins or dead corals. They can buy souvenirs such as woven cloth, carvings and paintings that are made out of the artists creativity.
manokwari-wood-carving.jpgI strongly support the development of tourism in Manokwari but this kind of tourism has to be friendly with the surrounding environment. The industry that encourages the development of Papuan artist's creativity in Manokwari. If you are interested in visiting Manokwari of West Papua to enjoy the natural beauty of this region and you need a guide to accompany you, then I can be your guide. You can contact me - Charles Roring through my email: peace4wp@gmail.com or my cell phone number: +62 81 332245180.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tourist Attractions in Manokwari

In recent months, the number of foreign tourists or travelers who come to Manokwari, the capital town of West Papua province in Indonesia is increasing. They fly with domestic airlines such as Batavia Air, and Merpati from Jakarta to this town. There are various tourist attractions which they can visit when staying in Manokwari.
Cheap Hotel in Manokwari

First, before I explain about the interesting places which you can see, I have to recommend a cheap hotel which is an affordable accommodation with good facilities. The name of the hotel is Penginapan Kagum. The cost per room is around 18 US dollars per night. It is located on Brawijaya Street behind Xavier bookstore. If you are one of the tourists who wants to come to Manokwari, when you have arrived at Rendani airport, ask the taxi driver to bring you to the hotel. The manager's name is Miss Ivanna Roring. Her mobile phone number is 081 28307331. You had better call or send an SMS to her to arrange for a room and the duration of your stay in this town. After you have put or bags in Penginapan Kagum, you will begin to explore the town and its surrounding places. If you want to visit the following places, as a guide I can accompany you. My cell phone number is Charles Roring: 081332245180. Here are the places which I recommend:
honay-in-manokwari.JPG Table Mountain of Manokwari
This is the place near the town where there is a well protected tropical rainforest. Inside the forest a lot of species of trees grow. The trees are big and tall, many with diameters of more than 1 meter. Various species of orchids and tropical flowers can also be found thriving on the branches of the trees and on the ground. When we walk deeper into the forest, we will be able to see birds such as Kakatoe, Hornbill, KumKum and Lory playing and singing. If we are lucky, we will be able to see Kuskus, Soa Soa and Snakes. The beauty of the forest is not only seen at the tree but also on the ground. Various tropical mushrooms with beautiful colors and forms live in this jungle. The journey into this forest is not complete if you have not visited the caves.
mushrooms-in-manokwari.jpgThe Caves of of Table Mountain

The caves in Manokwari are devided into two types, the man-made ones (which were built during the World War II) and the natural caves. There are four natural caves in this mountain. I can guide you to find them and explore the interior. Inside the caves you can see bats, lizards and various colour of crystal stones. The caves in the table mountain is wet and slippery so, when we go in there, we will need lamps. P
Bats Hanging on Trees

Some tourists like to explore the forest of Table Mountain at night because they will have a chance to see more animals, one of the types is bat. Bats in tropical region live in caves and in trees. The small bats live in caves whereas the bigger ones live hanging on brances of trees. To take photos of the bats you will need digital photo camera or video recorder that is equipped with flash lights or infra red light.
Islands in the Dorey Bay and off the northern coast mansinam-1.jpg

Mansinam and Lemon islands are visited by most of the tourists who come to Manokwari of West Papua Indonesia. But I will guide or accompany you to other islands such as Raimuti island and Kaki island. This Raimuti island provides interesting underwater coral reef environment with colorful fish which you can see when snorkling around it. Kaki island is the place where Turtles like to come up to the beach to lay their eggs there. You will need special watertight digital camera if you want to snorkle and take photos of its beautiful coral reef.
Manokwari artists

Inside the Manokwari town, there are a number of artists which you can visit. I can accompany you to see artists who make beautiful paintings of Papua's nature and animals such as the paradise birds and the Kasuari. Or if you are interested more in wood carvings, then the house of Mr. Awom or Mr. Yenno should be visited. An old woman Ms. Fonataba is my recommendation for you if you want to see beautiful hand made woven clothes.
There are still many other interesting places which I can guide you to visit. I will write more about them later. If you want to contact me, this is my email: peace4wp@gmail.com and my cell phone number: 081332245180. Manokwari is a beautiful place worthy of your visit.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dima a Russian Biologist Who Likes to Study Tropical Bats

Bats are night animals. They sleep during the day and find food at night. In today's post, I am going to introduce you someone from Russia. His name is Dima and he is interested in studying wild animals especially bats. Dima works as a consultant who advice rich people in Moscow about the food that they should give to their animals or pets. He said that certain wealthy Russians have private zoo. He became interested in bats after a staff from a zoo there gave him a tropical bat to study. He kept the bat at home and feed it with tropical fruits which he bought from supermarket. Dima has just been in Manokwari for four days but he has been traveling hundreds of kilometers around the forest of this regency.

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Tomorrow Dima is going to go to Mansinam island. Seventy percent of the island is still covered with rainforest. There is a place there where bats sleep hanging on trees. When we were exploring a cave in Table Mountain (Gunung Meja) of Manokwari several days ago, he caught lizards and observed bats in closer distance. Dima said that the food which the bats in Russia eat are different from the food that the tropical bats eat. In Dima's opinion, big size bats of the tropical region eat fruits while small bats that live in caves eat insects. Dima was surprised when the local indigenous people of Papua said that small bats eat the nectar of banana flowers or kersen fruits whose taste is sweet.
Dima is interested in catching a bat if we go to Mansinam island. Perhaps he wants to study it for a while before letting it go again to its habitat. We will go tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. I hope that the weather there will be fine and we will be able to take pictures inside the forest of the Mansinam island without any difficulties.

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Mansinam island is a small island located in the Dore bay of Manokwari. In 5 February 1855, two European evangelists came to the island to preach Christianity. Hundreds of years later, most of the population in Papua now are Christians with the largest denomination is GKI or Gereja Kristen Injili. If tourists go to the island, they will see a big cross monument standing on the western part of the island, facing the town. Our first destination on the island will be the eastern side where there is a small lagoon. Under the water, coral reef thrive well. It is a home for various kinds of fish. Mansinam island has been reported by many scuba divers as a good place for shipwreck diving. Mike said that they will be doing some snorkling activities around the area to see the wonderful scenery of the corals and the colorful fish that live among them. by Charles Roring

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cave Exploration inside the Rainforest of Manokwari Papua.

Finally we arrived at one of the caves in Table Mountain of Manokwari West Papua. I was not sure whether it was safe to explore the interior of the cave as we had just experienced an earthquake several days ago. If there was an earthquake again while we were still inside it, the cave might collapse and we might be buried alive. No, that's not how my story goes in this post. Yes, we eagerly entered it trying to explore anything that we wanted to know. It was very dark, wet and slippery. Besides the floor was not flat. I fell several times while trying to walk deeper into the cave.
InGa - a Russian traveler was holding a lizard inside a cave in the Table Mountain of Manokwari West Papua Indonesia
Mike, Inga, and Dima - the three Russian eco travelers, accompanied by Paul Warere and I (as local guides) spent around 30 minutes inside the cave. There were lizards, small bats and millions of mosquitoes buzzing around our ears. I regretted not carrying two big LED lamps from home. If I had brought them here our exploration inside this cave would have been easier. Next time, I would bring at least one LED lamp that could light up our surroundings for around 18 hours. I bought the LED lamps from a friend of mine for Rp. 200,000 each. At first, I thought that I would only use them when we experience black out in my bookstore but now I realize that such lamps are also important when I want to travel along this pristine tropical rainforest of West Papua.
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Back to the story of the cave exploration, while InGa was holding the small flash light and directing its light to the walls of the cave, Dima caught a lizard. He brought it closer to us and gave it to Inga. I and Mike took some pictures of this exotic animal. Inga asked whether she could hold a bat that was hanging on the wall. Paul (the local forest guide) in Manokwari said that she had to be careful with its teeth which might contain bacteria. So, InGa did not catch the bat. But she looked happy after holding the lizard. Then she placed it back on a stone to let it go. Mike also looked happy because he could take a lot of pictures from this cave exploration. We wanted to go deeper but Paul warned us that the amount of oxygen inside the cave was getting less in the deeper region.
When we came out of the cave, we realized that it was nearly dark. We had to walk fast if if wanted to arrive at the Penginapan Kagum (a hostel in Manokwari which is behind Xavier bookstore in Komplex Missi region of Brawijaya street) before sunset. This long journey to the cave inside the tropical rainforest of Table Mountain (Gunung Meja) of Manokwari is worthy of our visitation. It was a new experience for the Russian travelers as well as for me.

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There is another cave that is bigger than the one which we had just visited. Paul said it is located some one hundred meters from this cave but he had not been able to locate it again. Next time when he has re-found it, we will visit it and conduct another exploration with better equipment. Today these Russian eco-travelers had gone to Nuni that is located in the northern coastal area of Manokwari regency to conduct another exploration inside the vast and pristine tropical rainforest of Papua. by Charles Roring - contact email: lroring@yahoo.com and this is my cell phone number: +62 81 332245180.
Also read: Caving in the Table Mountain with Grietje

Satan Leaves in the Table Mountain of Manokwari

Still about the exploration of the rainforest in the Table Mountain of Manokwari which was done yesterday (16 January 2010), while I was walking in the middle of the jungle with three Russian eco-travelers, I came across with a unique plant as shown in the following picture. The Papuan people call it Daun Setan (or Satan Leaves). Its leaves look narrow with slightly rounded tip. The leaves are green. In the Tambrauw region, the local people grow this plant in front of their houses believing that they can expell wicked or bad spirits from entering their houses. Although most of the indigenous Papuan people are now Christians, they still practice certain traditional beliefs such as growing such plants to protect the family members from the satanic spirits.
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Mike, one of the Russian biologists, who was carrying a tele-lense digital camera also took some pictures of this green plant. While talking with him, I said that I was interested in buying such camera to take photos of various plants, mushrooms, insects, birds and other ground animals in this jungle of table mountain and write about them in my blog. He told me that it was expensive. So, I have to collect some money before being able to buy this electronic device. Mike used it to shoot King Kakatoe bird which was sitting on a branch of a tall tree. I could not take such picture as my digital camera was not equipped with long distance lenses.
While we were walking to a natural cave located deep in the forest of Table Mountain (Gunung Meja) of Manokwari, we arrived at a place where there was an eucalyptus tree. It was not an endemic plant species of Papua. It had been planted by the Dutch who were working as forest guard between 1950s and 1960s. Paul (the local forest guide) said that his uncle used to live in a house which was built in that place to protect the forest. We could not see that house anymore.
Inga, one of the Russian eco travelers, walked to that eucalyptus tree. Mike and Dima took some pictures of her. I also took some photos of her. Unfortunately, the setting which I made on my digital camera was for short distance photo shoot. I forgot to change it to automatic settings as a result the photo of Inga standing by the eucalytus tree was blurred. But it was OK. These Russians - Mike, Dima and InGa will be staying in Manokwari from 14 to 26 of January 2010. They stay in Penginapan KAGUM - a cheap hotel in Manokwari which is located on Brawijaya Street, behind Xavier Bookstore.
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The journey to the cave was still long and we had to continue walking again. Before going, I pulled out one sanseviera. I wanted to plant it in front of my bookstore.
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The local government of Manokwari, the Papua Barat province of Indonesia, intends to develop the Table Mountain as forest for tourism (Hutan Wisata). They have widened the road leading to the forest and built a gate with a small wooden house near it. I see that the local government invest a lot of money for building such infrastructure. In my opinion, what they should do is cleaning the forest from garbage dumped by the town dwellers of Manokwari. That's the most important priority which they must do if they want the forest of Gunung Meja to be a tourist attraction. In addition, they must punish those who throw garbage in the area as a shock therapy for anybody who does not respect or appreciate the existance of this important rainforest. by Charles Roring

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Traveling Inside the Tropical Rainforest of the Table Mountain of Manokwari

Traveling inside tropical rainforest is a great way to appreciate the natural beauty of Table Mountain in Manokwari of West Papua Indonesia. Today I and my friend Paul accompanied three Russian tourists visiting the Table Mountain that is located several hundred meters from Penginapan Kagum. It is a cheap hotel for tourists who come to this town. In Indonesian language the mountain is called Gunung Meja. It is a protected forest that is located near Manokwari city. Their names are Inga (the girl), Mike and Dima (the young men).
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We walked inside this forest from 02.00 p.m and to 6.30 p.m. We saw various kinds of plants, mushrooms, insects and birds and lizards. We also went to Japanese War Memorial which has been badly damaged due to the poor maintenance. We didn't stay there for quite long because we had to continue our trip to a natural cave that is located several kilometers away. The journey to the cave was very interesting because we could take a lot of pictures. There were unique mushrooms, various green plants that are used by the indigenous people to cure malaria. When we were near the cave we saw an owl on the ground. Perhaps, one of its wings was hurt. The bird could not fly. It was sleeping when we took some pictures of the owl. It was raining and all its feather is wet.
Inga showed her interest in insects while Dima was keen to find cave bats. Mike brought a digital camera equipped with long distance lenses. These young Russian eco-travelers who were walking with us did not complain about the mud or the mosquitoes. They just enjoy walking inside this jungle.
It was 05.00 p.m when we arrived at the mouth of the cave. It was a natural one that was covered with trees. Big corals hampered our way into the cave. Slowly we climbed them and crawled into the cave. It was very dark. I forgot to bring the flash light. We had to use the view finder red light from our digital camera to guide us through the chambers of the cave.
Dima was happy because he could find the small bats that were hanging on the walls. There were striped lizards. Inga held one of them and let us take some pictures of it. This time it was Mike who was very busy taking pictures of the bats and the lizards. For me, I was more interested in taking pictures of these Russian tourists who were happy to explore the natural beauty of the tropical rainforest in the Table Mountain or Gunung Meja Manokwari.
After finishing our exploration in this cave, we decided to go back to the Penginapan Kagum because it was getting dark. When we had reached the asphalt road leading to Sarinah, a "taxi" (a minibus that the locals use as public transportation) passed. Paul asked the driver to stop. The "taxi took five of us to the inn. Inga paid Rp. 10,000 for the ride from Table Mountain to Toko Buku Xavier. Mike said that they would continue exploring the jungles of Papua in the Nuni area tomorrow. by Charles Roring

Friday, January 15, 2010

Earthquake Resistant Wood House

Wooden house is now seen as the best and the most affordable earthquake resistant construction for home owners. Wood has been used as construction materials for thousands of years. The recent news about earthquake in Haiti shows how concrete building are severely damaged after being hit by 7 magnitude quakes. In the contrary most of the wooden house can still stand without suffering bad destructions. Wood is more resistant to quakes due to its properties. It is more durable against vibration due to its fiber. Although wooden house is the perfect solution in earthquake region, it has to be protected against termite and bad weather. I just wrote an article in my Englishland's website explaining several precaution steps that home owners or home builders should do to make their houses more safe not to the violent earthquake but to the surrounding environmental conditions that are not friendly to wood as construction material.old-wooden-house-leilem.jpg

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Layer Properties of Delftship

Last night while exploring Delftship.net website, I came across a new sailboat design called the "Loyalist". It was designed by Richard J. Saunders. I immediately downloaded and opened it in Delftship free edition to explore it more in 3D virtual environment. Honestly, I am amazed by the details Mr. Saunders created especially on the hull frames and the deck house. Mr. Saunders has shown to us all the possibilities the Delftship software can offer to naval architects and boat designers. Before seeing this design, I thought that Delftship could only be used to design simple hull lines (lines plan) of a ship or a boat. Now, I fully realize that it is a powerful naval architecture software that ship designers should have. If you haven't used Deftship before, I suggest that you visit www.deftship.net and download the free edition of this great ship design tool. As the price of the professional edition is not expensive, I think buying it is a great investment.
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Back to the discussion about this "Loyalist" wooden sailboat. In order to visualize the inside parts of the boat, we need to hide the hull (skin). Hiding or displaying certain parts of the ship design is very easy in Delftship. It can be done by activating or deactivating a number of layers that make up the sailing boat design. To do that, with the Delfship program is active on your computer screen, Click Edit and Choose Layer, then click Dialog.... You will see such layers as rudder, keel, floors, hull, hull frames, deck, deck frames, and etc in the layer properties window. Checking and unchecking any of the layers will directly display and undisplay certain parts of the ship that we are exploring at the moment.
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As a new learner of Delftship, exploring the designs submitted or uploaded into the Delfship website by ship designers is a great way to know more tools and capabilities of this great ship design software. I am now convinced that Delftship is a right choice for all naval architects who want to design and analyze boats and ships.Charles Roring

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Morning Sketch of A Woman in Watercolor

This morning, after taking a splash bath I tried to "play with my drawing pencil". It was a blunt 2B Staedtler which I used to draw an adult woman. The topic of my today's post is still about sketching. It is not the same as the teapot (or poci teh in Bahasa Indonesia language) that I drew yesterday. It took 30 minutes to sketch this beautiful adult woman. She is around 30 years old. This drawing or sketch is different from the watercolor painting of a beautiful girl sitting by falling water. I didn't give too much detailed lines on this sketch. I just drew her by making some rough lines. To enhance the shadow, I brushed it with Pentel watercolor. I did not color the sweater instead I only gave some pencil lines to create an impression that she was wearing a sweater.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Watercolor Sketch of Teapot

I've just finished sketching and coloring the Teapot. Asian like to drink tea. For the Chinese, their famous tea is Oolong tea. The tea leaves are the same as the Black Tea (which experiences full fermentation) which most of the Indonesian and Western People drink whereas for Oolong tea the fermentation is only half. In a package of Teh cap Botol sold in Indonesian markets, the tea leaves have been mixtured with jasmine flower. The aroma created when it is poured with hot water can relax our mind. The sedative properties of tea is very good to relieve the stress of its drinker after returning home from long day hard work in the garden or at office.
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Title of the Sketch: Poci Teh (Teapot)
Size: 15 cm x 15 cm
Sketcher: Charles Roring
Year: 4 January 2010
Media: Pentel Watercolor on Paper