2017 ended as fast as a sunset … when I noticed, it was finished!
After spending an amazing New Year’s Eve and my Birthday day in Raja Ampat, sailing with Sequoia in the beautiful Misool area, I ended up traveling back to Sumba for another great project: preparing and hosting a media trip.
Jamie, from Stories & Objects, came to Sumba to write about the Ikat Culture. Traveling around the world, she writes about places and people through the objects they create. Isn’t it a great project??!!!
So I prepared the itinerary and hosted them as Sumba guide and photographer.
Our first stop was in Praijing Village, where we spent the entire morning talking with the locals, filming and taking photos of the weaving process. All the villagers were very friendly and, before we started with the film and photos, we spent some time chatting (or at least we tried to with … can’t forget all the language’s barriers), drinking coffee, tea and even trying beetle nut.
I also wanted to show them another of my favourite villages …Wheihola. When we arrived, we found a ghost village: in almost 4 years of Sumba, I never saw Wheihola so quiet and empty. The reason: everyone was in another corner of the village to celebrate a new house. Warmth and friendly as usual, the entire village invited us to go there. These are some of the unexpected moments that makes Sumba such a special place in my heart: more beetle nut, people playing the traditional drums and playing cards, others bringing animals as a gift, in order to give good luck for the new house.
As photographer, this first 2018’s trip to Sumba was kind of emotional and will be recorded in my memory for long time.
One of the eldest ladies of Wheihola was roasting coffee and I asked her to take a photo. After a first attempt with my digital camera, I took a second photo with my Polaroid and gave it to her. When she got the film, her expression left me speechless: she spent minutes looking at the photo, not knowing what was happening. Then, for brief seconds, she looked back at me and again to the photo. A young girl, (maybe her grand daughter) had to explain her that the image in the film was of her photo.
The day after we went to one of the Sumba Foundation schools and then to Werata Village, where Sumba Foundation just finished the the water project. We needed a 4×4 safari car to reach this specific village and when we arrived, we were welcomed by the villagers. After taking some photos and before explore the area, I took some Polaroids and give it to the ladies and their kids. On the way back to the car, my heart was touched when I saw them getting the photos “hanged” on their Sumba House’s bamboo walls.
It’s the simple gestures that makes the difference!