Sulawesi Utara

Posted Nov. 23, 2023 by Grey Filastine

Sulawesi Utara

The northern tip of Sulawesi island was a zenith of both geography and intensity. It was here that we experienced both the warmest welcome and the worst corruption.

In Manado we were greeted with a full-scale model of Arka Kinari perched on a mountaintop overlooking our anchorage. It was built as a backdrop for a long evening of rituals and celebrations by native elders and local musicians to welcome Arka Kinari into their lands.

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Shortly afterwards we found ourselves trapped in sticky web of corruption, held hostage for four long days by the syahbandar of Bitung. Syahbandar is the local title for harbormaster.

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I sometimes I wish things could be just a little less intense. But like a full moon’s spring tides, we can do nothing to stop the highs from creeping higher, nor the lows from sinking lower.

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