It was American Second World War soldiers who shared their love of riding was with local communities in Morotai’s world class waves, igniting a passion that has seen locals take to the waters with friends and whoop with joy at the thrill of catching a wave for over seventy years now, developing their own, unique style of surfing and surf boards.
With this in mind, Morotai was an ideal location to celebrate seventy years of friendship between America and Indonesia. Mr Joseph R. Donovan Junior and members of the U.S. Embassy Jakarta and Consulate General Surabaya, spent a morning at A Liquid Future’s Green Room centre meeting students. They watched with delight and awe the videos students had made showcasing the skills they are learning from our Sustainable Surf and Marine Tourism Stewards Programme sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General Surabaya.
Mr Donovan commented on and understood the relatability of surfing to the locals and its use as a platform from which to further engage and build. A former teacher himself, he was complementary of the creative and action-based approach of our programmes and proffered his full support.
Next we hit the beach where the local kids nearly managed to get Mr Donovan in the water to share a wave together! If only he hadn’t had to catch the lunchtime flight. How alive, aware and joyful the children felt while surfing was evident. In their responses to Mr Donovan’s and his team’s questions regarding their reasons for surfing, they simply said, “It feels unreal!”. That “unrealness” is what we need to empower local communities from their hearts and souls so they be leaders their island’s future and have the courage, determination and steadfastness to see that through.