Tual

After two days it feels like we’ve been in another world for weeks. Where to begin…?

Our first morning we had quarantine and customs officials aboard. Very friendly and courteous, but lots of forms (done in duplicate with carbon paper!). Then all the BPOers went ashore and piled in a little bus to go to an ATM, since no one had Indonesian money and credit cards are not accepted, and then we went to the biggest store. There we each in turn wrestled with our electronic devices and SIM cards and data plans to get ourselves connected. Then a brief rest back at the boats before meeting to walk to the Raja’s house — the King of Tual — for traditional dancing and dinner.

Walking through the street, with our Tourist Board escorts in colorful garb, we attracted lots of attention. In fact, everywhere we go we attract so much attention that it is exhausting just to be around all the excited and friendly people!

The dancing was beautiful, and then the real fun began, with everyone wanting photos posed with everyone, plus some of us trying to dance, plus just tons of smiles everywhere. The photos will hopefully tell the story better than my words.

Ruy is a charmer
Ruy is a charmer
This kid was taking pictures of us, and was surprised when I aimed the camera at him.
This kid was taking pictures of us, and was surprised when I aimed the camera at him.
Jesse meets three young ladies at the prayer house near the dock...
Jesse meets three young ladies at the prayer house near the dock…
...and they follow him as we walk to the King's house
…and they follow him as we walk to the King’s house
To the King's house we go
To the King’s house we go
A brief welcome speech and then music and dance
A brief welcome speech and then music and dance
Elegant and intriguing
Elegant and intriguing

I tried to upload short video clips here, but no luck. Someday…

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There was some traditional singing as well. That's the aged King of Tual sitting behind.
There was some traditional singing as well. That’s the aged King of Tual sitting behind.
And then the less structured fun begins
And then the less structured fun begins
This woman told me my white beard was beautiful...I think...
This woman told me my white beard was beautiful…I think…

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We are invited in to have tea with the King. Klaudia from Tahawus seems right at home as Queen!
We are invited in to have tea with the King. Klaudia from Tahawus seems right at home as Queen!
Mirko and his brother Martin are major attractions. Everyone wants to be in a photo with them!
Mirko and his brother Martin are major attractions. Everyone wants to be in a photo with them!
Though painfully shy, Mirko puts on his game face and deals with the flood of attention
Though painfully shy, Mirko puts on his game face and deals with the flood of attention
This woman laughs and teases and plops herself down between the boys for a photo. Doesn't matter that she doesn't have a camera; probably a photo will get to her from someone, but that doesn't seem to matter either.
This woman laughs and teases and plops herself down between the boys for a photo. Doesn’t matter that she doesn’t have a camera; probably a photo will get to her from someone, but that doesn’t seem to matter either.
Jesse and John attract the dancers
Jesse and John attract the dancers

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Back outside, the music comes up and the guests are invited to join the dancers. Klaudia and Janet represent the BPO well.
Back outside, the music comes up and the guests are invited to join the dancers. Klaudia and Janet represent the BPO well.
Tim, too!
Tim, too!
Jesse, too!
Jesse, too!
They can't get enough of the boys!
They can’t get enough of the boys!
Can't get enough...
Can’t get enough…

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Tim struggles to get the noisemaker clacker-balls going.
Tim struggles to get the noisemaker clacker-balls going.
Ruy engages the kids
Ruy engages the kids
Jesse tries to explain Rock, Paper, Scissors...
Jesse tries to explain Rock, Paper, Scissors…
Tim helps with a demonstration, but it still doesn't get across the language (and perhaps cultural) divide
Tim helps with a demonstration, but it still doesn’t get across the language (and perhaps cultural) divide
Dad and Son are having a good time!
Dad and Son are having a good time!

5 thoughts on “Tual”

  1. Thanks for so many pictures. These help me to adjust to where you are as I hadn’t realized I was thinking of the people you met before Australia. I am intrigued by the attention the boys got. Also a treat to see you with Jesse and for these shared memories. Not your typical around the world cruise.

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  2. Such beautiful pics! The colors are amazing! Love the pics of Jess and one of both of you. Jesse’s smiles and your laughing smiles emanate so much sweetness, love and fun. The young girls are stunning and what young girl wouldn’t want to be next to Jess!
    –Hallie

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