Indonesians are as colourful, charismatic, and kaleidoscopic as the archipelago they inhabit. There is never a dull moment to be had with these enigmatic, resilient and smiling people.
The experiences of the last couple of decades have been vastly different for the Mentawaian and Malukan people. The Mentawaians embarking on self-governance since the late 1990’s, Morotai only in the last 5 years.
The rate of change in the Mentawais has been fast-paced and out of sync with infrastructural development whereas Morotai already with a decent infrastructure suffered civil conflict during the late 1990s until the mid 2000s and is just now moving forward with confidence amongst the communities.
The resilience, adaptability, ingenuity and optimism of the Mentawaians and Morotaians is extraordinary and there is much for us to learn from them. Both will need to draw on these qualities with the changes that surf tourism is bringing so rapidly to their regions.