THE ARRIVAL JETTY AND THE SCENIC RIDE TO THE "TOWN CENTRE"
I love this trip, though reluctant at first.Today, the 16th of January, I decided to forget the bus ride episode and eagerly followed the group to Acheh Island by boat. This island is almost untouched by human greed and it is indeed beautiful. It was almost swept away by the tsunami some 5 years ago and the population is almost half of what it was before, maybe 5 thousand at most. I was fascinated by the lush of green and the swaying palm trees. It was as if the Tsunami never occurred.
SUNSET AT PULAU ACHEH
There are a lot of lobsters in the open seas and it is a heavenly for those who love sea food and who knows the technology to turn it into a big industry. Before we went to the island we visited a place in Banda Acheh where they quarantine lobsters before packing them to be exported to places like Hong Kong ,Taiwan and Australia to name a few. Below are some pictures of the lobsters.
ABOUT 3 KILOS IN WEIGHT
I was hoping the boat ride would be like a cruise, relaxing and breezing through. I was warned that the winds might be strong and the sea may be a bit rough. I have not been on a boat for a long time and so I thought this may be exciting and brushed away the words of warning. The boat was full to the brim and the afternoon sun was burning hot. I sat at the back of the hull with nothing over my head.It was rather crowded with plenty of boxes of goods of some sort for the island dwellers.For the first 15 minutes it was smooth going but as we set out to the open sea, I regretted my gut feeling that it was going to be alright. The waves were rough as predicted and the boat swayed from side to side and from front to back and the sea water splashed on to us. I was half wet and this went on for about an hour and a half with no sign of slowing down. Two women passengers vomited and I too was feeling like I needed to throw out as well. But like the bus ride, I held on fast and somehow survived the scare that I felt.
While on the island we ventured into the "trumbu", a transit station for the lobster. It acts both as a place to quarantine and a place to mature. It was about 15 minutes from Pulau Acheh and we spent about an hour on it. My husband and the other men busy themselves examining the nets, the lobsters and fish as well. I held on to the hut as the wind was too strong for me to walk around. I found it difficult to keep balance and was afraid of falling into the deep sea.
The island has no facilities for tourists at all. We have to camp-out or stay with the local families. We chose the latter and enjoyed the hospitality of the local people.The houses were actually built by Foreign Voluntary Bodies helping the tsunami victims.They were nice little houses with running water but limited electricity supply. Lights were out from 12 midnight until 7 in the morning. It was difficult for me because it was warm and humid and it seems like the night was there forever. But I stayed very quiet remembering the power of Allah the alMighty for only by his Grace that we were able to be there and did what we wanted to do, that is learning more about the lobster industry.
ON THE BOAT BACK TO BANDA ACHEH
We were back on the mainland grateful to Allah most gracious most merciful. The open seas, the huge lobsters and plentiful sea creatures are his blessings upon us. There are much more and we must be humbled by his greatness. He is our Creator and Sustainer and may He bestow upon us his great love and Mercy.