Friday, March 26, 2010

Should I launch an online store for helping Papuan Artists Sell their Handicrafts?

Today, I was discussing with Grietje, a Dutch volunteer from SDSP about ways to improve the living condition of Papuan artists living around my house. I offer a suggestion of launching an online store to sell the artists' products which are handicrafts or souvenirs for foreign tourists.  I don't know whether this idea will fully be accepted by the artists. I don't want to forcefully introduce this idea as my intention is only to help them, not to make profit from this business. Why do I come to this idea? Because there are obstacles that I and many travel operators in Manokwari face when developing ecotourism in this area.  Foreign tourists often face difficulties in obtaining visa in many Indonesian embassies around the world for traveling to Papua. In addition, all the movement of the tourists in Papua have been monitored by the police who demand them to have "Surat Jalan" or "Walking Permit." A piece of letter that tourists must get from the Police Station when they are going around West Papua. If tourists don't come, we have to find ways to help the Papuan artists sell their products. I guess, online store or e-commerce is a solution to this problem. by Charles Roring

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My other Manokwari Travel blog

I have been writing travel stories about Manokwari city for several years now and they are scattered in blogs, websites throughout the virtual world which is also known as the internet. I want to promote ecotourism for this town hoping that this will help the indigenous people become actively involved in promoting their art, culture and the beauty of their natural environment. For travel stories in bahasa Indonesia language, please see my other blog Lembar-lembar Ekspresi. On the right side of your computer screen, you will see a travel brochure which I have translated into Bahasa entitled Jalan-jalan ke Gunung Meja Manokwari.
 I am now translating another travel brochure into Bahasa entitled Mengunjungi Seniman-seniman Papua which are my stories about my visits to painters, cloth weaver, and wood carvers. Well, these brochures have already been published last week in English. I will try to make them available in Bahasa in order to attract domestic tourists to visit Manokwari Papua. Inside the brochures, you will see beautiful photographs which I shot using my digital photo still camera. The photographs can reveal the beauty of Papua's nature especially the scenery of Manokwari and the artworks which are created by Papuan artists.

Well, to enable people to download the brochures faster, I have reduced the pixel number of the photos making it smaller in size. Tourism is the largest industry in the world whereas ecotourism is the fastest sector of travel and tourism industry that is growing at 15% every year. That's the rate which I got from an ecotourism website. If this is true, then we need to give special attention to this sector and put our efforts to bring as much benefits to the local people and minimize its negative impact to the environment.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Visiting Papuan Artists My New Travel Guide Brochure

Free Download Travel Brochure
I have just finished writing a Manokwari travel brochure which I call Visiting the Artists in Manokwari of West Papua. Inside the brochure, you can read some of my stories about the brilliant Papuan artists who make artworks at their homes. They just don't care whether people know about them or not. They love art and their lifestyle is fully integrated with art expression.
You might not agree with me but I suggest that you click the link that I provide above and see for yourself how beautiful their artworks are. So, next time when you plan a holiday or vacation trip, please, include us in your travel plans. I will be very happy to guide or escort you (I prefer to choose the latter term) to meet this highly talented artists.
Well, don't forget to bring your digital photo or video camera with you with memory cards that can store thousands of photographs or hours of video recordings. Because it often rains in the tropical region, also bring plastic cover to protect your electronic devices during the rainy season which starts in late November and ends in May or June. I will write more travel guide brochures about Manokwari Papua and provide them for free both in this blog and my manokwaripapua blog. Well, before I close this post, I want to leave you  with my watercolor painting entitled: Bird Knitting Nest. This is how a bird makes its nest by knitting pieces of grass at  a twig of a tree. Because I optimize the pixel of this image, I set my digital photo camera to web setting.I hope that you are not disappointed with the quality of the photograph, just enjoy this rare scene. Manokwari has a lot to offer if you love bird watching , read my previous travel brochure, Go Hiking in the Table Mountain of Manokwari Papua to know more about it. by Charles Roring

Friday, March 19, 2010

Developing Komplex Missi in Manokwari as Art Palace

The title of this post sounds ambitious but it is reasonable given the cultural assets and the natural and human resources that Manokwari city has. For instance, every year between 4 and 6 February, tens of thousands of people gather along the main streets of this city to participate and to see art and cultural performance at Cultural Carnival. During this occasion, everybody becomes artist. Art creativity of Papuan artists is expressed in various ways along the streets of Manokwari for free during this Gospel Landing Day. I was talking with Lucky Kaikatui, a prominent painter in Manokwari. He has been painting since he was a little boy. We discussed the possibilites of developing the komplex Missi of Manokwari as a hub for art lovers and artists. Here in komplex Missi, Papuan artists live and produce their artworks. Some are painters, carvers, cloth weaver, and singers. Behind our komplex Missi is the protected rainforest of Gunung Meja (Table Mountain) which is now a favorite tourist destination among nature lovers.

To realize this ambitious plan, we are going to hold a meeting for Papuan artists in Manokwari and discuss about what it takes to be an art center. Komplex Missi will be a place where people come to learn art, to express their art inspirations and to appreciate the art that is displayed in the form of painting, carvings, dancing, singing, and various other forms of art
I don't know how much time do we need to realize our dream. For me, Lucky, Paul and other Papuan artists in Komplex Missi, as well as other artists in this town, the making of Manokwari is the hub for art activities is an interesting challenge. We will do our best. Our works will include creating more artworks, conducting art education to young artists and promoting our art through newspaper, magazines, and the internet. I can only say that this dream will take its long journey starting from today. by Charles Roring

Discussion About Bird Watching in Manokwari

This morning I and Paul Warere (a Papuan artist) went to YAT Losmen. We went there on the invitation of Miss Grietje, a volunteer from SDSP who is working on the promotion of tourism and many other sustainable programs in Manokwari of Papua Barat region. I would meet Zeth Wonggor. Grietje asked me to mention him in my next brochure when I talk about eco-tourism activities in Arfak Mountain. It was several minutes after nine a.m. when we arrived at YAT Lomen. Grietje, Zeth Wonggor and a woman were sitting in the kitchen. I was then introduced to her. Her name was Maria Prativi and she was from Papua Bird Club. As soon as I and Paul sat, we started our discussion about ecotourism. 
First, I gave a brochure about Papuan Artists in Manokwari which was still not finished yet. I hope to finish it this week. Maria explained how, at the beginning (around 15 years ago), she and her husband started to bring tourists for bird watching in Syiobri village as a way to introduce forest conservation to the indigenous Papuan people who live in the Mokwam area. It was hard at that time because the Papuan did not understand what the terminology of conservation was, and how it was very important to them. Gradually, after they got some income from being forest guide, they later changed the terminology into a local language which is equivalent to "conservation". Their local term for the conservation is Iya Ser Hanjom which can literally be translated as "keep protect the land border."
Zeth Wonggor explained to me that he was a leading hunter in his village before being a forest guide. The first time he and a tourist entered the jungle, the tourist gave him binoculars to see birds. He said "Oh, these were good. I could use them to stone a bird easily." After locating a bird at a tree, he picked up some stones and wanted to throw them to the bird but the tourist exclaimed "No!" After watching the birds, the tourist gave him some money for his service in showing where the birds usually play in the jungle. Zeth Wonggor asked, "Mister, I did not catch a bird for you, why you gave me money?" But the tourist replied, "It's OK. You can get more money by guiding tourists in the forest and not killing birds." Since that time, Zeth stopped shooting birds and has worked as forest guide until now. 
After talking for several hours, I was impressed by how they (Maria Prativi and Zeth Wonggor) empower the local people in preserving their surrounding environment by distributing the revenue paid by tourists and how they give special attention to the education of children in Syioubri village. The PBC with their limited resources gives scholarships to a number of students. The organisation also provide free school supplies to them.
I am planning to visit Syioubri village of Mokwam area when I plan to write about Ms. Maria and Zeth Wonggor activities on ecotourism. I also hope that this morning's discussion at kitchen of YAT Losmen would be a great beginning for a closer and more intense cooperation among all of the operators of ecotourism in Manokwari of West Papua. by Charles Roring

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Boat and Ship Propellers

In general the working principles of boat propellers and ship propellers are the same. They convert the rotational movements of the blades into thrust. Boat propellers have sizes between 30 centimeters to around one meter in diameter depending on the size of the boat and its stern draft whereas for ship's propeller, a open hatch bulk carrier can have a diameter of  up to seven meters.
Because of its large diameter, the rpm of a ship's propeller will be much lower compared to the rpm of a boat's propeller. In addition, the position of the boat propeller is located near the sea surface, this is the reason its efficiency is lower. Propeller that is closer to water surface can easily attract air into its rotational motion. Its high rpm also makes the boat's propeller always works in cavitation condition.
For ship's propeller that is operating in fully loaded condition, i.e. at its summer load water line, the blades will receive huge loads or pressure. From this operating condition, the propeller material used for a small boat is usually aluminum. Propellers for large ships are manufactured  from such materials as Ni-Al-Bronze; or Cu-Ni-Al. Propeller designer knows that the design of a marine propeller will always be done for service speed of the ship. It is the speed that main engine usually runs at its CSR. CSR stands for Continues Service Rating. There is also similar other term called NCR or Normal Continues Rating. When designing a marine screw propeller, I usually use the Bp delta charts of B-Series propellers from Wageningen.
Well, I will discuss more about marine propellers and their design characteristics in my later posts.
As an illustration of how a large ship's propeller will look like, please watch the following video of how divers polish its blades under water.



Monday, March 8, 2010

What is a green home?

When talking about green home, one may think that it is a home whose steeply slanted roof has been installed with solar PV panels that produce electricity, or a home whose yard is fully covered with green vegetations. Well, an environmentally friendly house construction needs to fulfill certain characteristics or criteria to be categorized as a green home.

  1. A home that has minimal adverse impact on local ecosystem where it is built. For instance, the construction of the house did not cause a lot of forest clearing. Or the domestic wastes that are produced by from the house have to enter special treatment before they can be disposed off.
  2. A home that is energy-efficient during its operation. If it is located in Europe or North America where the weather is cold, it will not need a lot of energy for indoor heating. If it is in the tropical region, the house must have enough ventilation holes to enable air naturally circulate from the outside into inside of the house and in reverse direction so that the cost for installing and operating air conditioning system can be minimized. For night lighting, the house uses LED lamps.
  3. It has to be a house that has been constructed using environmentally friendly materials, both in the physical construction of the housing components and in its interior decoration. The construction materials for the house, if possible, should be taken from the local resource.
  4. A home which has designed to have adequate natural lighting and ventilating system
  5. And the last but not the least a home that is comfortable, safe, and healthy for its occupants.

If you plan to have your house designed by an architect or built by a home builder, don't forget to ask some of the above green home characteristics. You might only be able to fulfill small percentage of the above criteria but as long as you have tried any of them, you have helped the whole global community preserve this precious environment.
Also read:
Earthquake resistant wooden house
The ceiling and windows of wooden house