At Home Amongst the Trees (by Trey Santiago)

These photos are from a short adventure I had about a week and a half ago with one of the friends I have made here, Titan, and one of the teachers at the university that has been helping me navigate through my experience, Ibu Indri. This trip occurred shortly after I had my first experience helping out Ibu Indri with her English class. However, before we arrived at this beautiful location being featured, they took me on a couple other stops.
The first stop was lunch with Ibu Indri and some of her other coworkers. The class ended just around noon and we were all feeling hungry. Today, Ibu Indri and I were wanting some Mie Ayam Bakso (Chicken Noodle with Meatballs). This has become one of my favorite meals while living here. Ibu Indri took me to her favorite place to get food and we were all excited, however, the restaurant was full so we had to go somewhere else. While at lunch I got to know the staff on a more personal level. I got to learn some of their hobbies, where they like to go, and what kind of humor they have. I felt like I got to really connect with the people of Sumba.

After we returned to the school. We talked about my interests and what locations I would like to visit. I immediately listed off a few locations, which they quickly shot down stating they were too far away. To note, I found out they consider anything more than 30 minutes away is too far. As someone from the Midwest I found that unusual, but then again I couldn’t drive, so I needed to rely on their knowledge. Ibu Indri decided to take me to this small fishery that a church has set up to help raise fish for consumption. It was small compared to other fisheries I have visited, but it was still interesting to see. Especially when I saw they were raising some type of catfish. I was expecting some type of saltwater fish, but perhaps freshwater would be easier to manage.

The last stop on our adventure was this forest of fir trees where people like to go camping. This location is the reason why I chose to write about this day. I wasn’t expecting to find these types of trees in this type of climate, but here they were. I think I remember this day so clearly because this place greatly reminded me of home. The scenery is something that I would see on a regular basis and to see it so far away from home really put me at ease after being here for 3 weeks. We walked around and I took a lot of pictures of the trees and the pond. Later, my friend took control of my camera and started taking pictures with me in them. I am thankful for my teacher and friend for showing me this location and I hope others will continue to enjoy it as much as I did.