At any normal rally stop the host community entertains the fleet with cultural presentations, banquets and other tours or activities, all aided by the Department of Tourism and other civic groups. In the case of Lombok, suffering as they are from the recent disasters, we cruisers wanted to keep our footprint and burden as light as possible. Once again force-of-nature Kimi floated the idea of us yachties paying for our own banquet food and adding enough more so that the local community could join us instead of watching the cruisers eat from the sidelines, something we all feel uncomfortable with. We readily agreed and opened out pocketbooks to contribute as much as we could.
The rally organizers reported weeks ago that our hosts said they might be down, but they could still dance, and could they ever. On the big night we had to remind ourselves that most of these folks are likely living in tents, makeshift shelters or with relatives, and yet they paraded to the marina grounds in gorgeous costumes, dancers, drummers and musicians leading the procession of women carrying the dome-covered food trays we’ve become familiar with in Indonesia in the tradition of “eating together.”
The trays of food were spread out over the lawn and we each found a spot to sit and share the generosity of these resilient folks.
After we ate the performers put on a beautiful show of traditional music and dance. We’ve been treated to so many stunning performances and it’s remarkable that each island, each community we visit presents a different style of movement, different traditional costumes, slightly different rhythms and musical riffs.
Indonesia is more varied than we imagined before we came, and seeing this diversity is the best part of joining a rally. Traveling on our own we may have chanced upon some unique celebrations, but having our host communities show us what they’re all about is a privilege.
Kimi gave a speech at the end, in Indonesian no less, thanking the community for welcoming us even in their troubles. Our own traveling community of cruisers could have no better representatives than Kimi and Trevor; mere words can’t express how much we admire their big hearts and generous spirits.