Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
We are finished, and now in the midst of the long haul home. We left Banda Sunday night aboard the Kepal Taman Pelita, a small passenger ferry with accommodations reminiscent of a slave ship. 100 humans stacked in a 12 x 18 two layer cabin, spread out on mats and cardboard. A few of us found greater comfort in the bow of the ship laying upon stacks of green bananas or in the small kole-kole (canoe) nestled among the bananas. There we drank some mansion house whiskey, smoked cigarettes for warmth, and adjusted our posture every 3 minutes or so, hoping to find some kind of comfort. Following the moon westward across the Banda Sea we made our way to Ambon. Within several minutes after leaving Banda, the waves of the Banda Sea were doing there work on our crew. Most everyone sequestered among the slave quarters found themselves offering up their dinner, lunch and breakfast to the sea gods. One by one I could see them make their way to the rail, except for one student who awoke in shock at the rumbling of her innards and let the contents of her stomach fly into the lap of Laura, who somehow remained composed throughout. Amazingly by light of dawn, 14 hours into the journey, one hour from Ambon, all were smiles. Hell of a crew!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Well...Guess im comin back home now...back to my daily habituation...will be hard after havin so much fun and meetin great people in this field school...ah well....if there's a beginning, there's an end.
I will miss you all. Keep in touch guys. Hope I can see u all again. Thanks 4 everything, and i also apologize if I've done something wrong. Take care.
PS: for our fallen company, Sarah. We have our last group dinner last nite, we all surely miss you. Get Well Soon. A toast for Sarah!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Several days ago, Sarah, one of our students from the US, developed a serious eye infection that required treatment beyond the capabilities of Banda's tiny health clinic. So, she and I made our way from remote Pulau Ay to adaquate health care. We started in the early morning on Tuesday in a torrential downpour on a small motorboat for the 1 hour trip to Banda Naira, then onto the bi-weekly ferry overnight to Ambon. After checking in with a doctor in Ambon at 3 AM, we then caught a 7 AM flight to Jakarta, where we met another doctor who accompanied Sarah to a hospital in Singapore. She will be there for a week before heading home. Sarah was our resident expert in ID of human bone, a skill that came in handy when we unexpectedly uncovered a 19th century grave in the Lautaka site (we were able to leave the grave intact and continue with our excavations into the 1500 year old layers of that site). We will miss Sarah very much for the last two weeks of the field school, but we are all very glad she is in good hands.
I caught an early flight this morning from Jakarta back to Ambon so that I could rejoin the team for the last 2 weeks of the field school. But the last 120 kilometers back to Banda is always the hardest part of the trip. The weekly flight on Saturday has been cancelled (a common occurence), and the next ferry is too late for me. I spent the afternoon asking around the cargo docks of Ambon for any smaller cargo ships that might be making the trip, with no luck. My only hope at the moment is for Emily to send a boat from Banda to pick me up either here or in the next island over, Seram. We just talked via sat phone and she is now working on organizing some kind of transport for me. She reports that excavations on Ay are going well--we have three sites opened, two open village sites and one rockshelter, all dating to the Neolithic period (3400-2000 years ago). I have been given a shopping list: skippy peanut butter, ziplock bags, screen, bandaids and benadryl (that pretty much sums up our lives!).
So, I may make another post before I leave. Our dreams of using the sat phone to upload blog posts have not worked out--we get about 4-5 minutes of connectivity before getting cut off, not enough time to log in at 7500 baud (anyone remember when dialup modems were that slow??). So, like with postcards sent from the Banda post office, you may be reading about our experiences after we return!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
By Josh Diles
It has been over forty days since I left snowy
In addition to all I’ve learned, I will be taking much, much more home with me. This trip has truly been life changing. One of the fondest memories I will be taking back with me is that of the children of
Well, in just over three weeks I will be back in
Under the Volcano
It wasn’t until after 8pm last night that the field crew finally made it back to the Flamboyan. Exhausted, but triumphant having finished excavations at BN1 (Banda Naira Site 1 near Lautaka, if you have a detailed map on hand), the hungry crew celebrated a final dinner. The lab crew worked until just before 8, too. We almost finished packing up all of Peter’s collections from his 1998-98 excavations. This morning, Kelsey and I will finish up the final boxes, so Wuri can courier the collection to
Right now, everyone is gathering o on the Flamboyan porch, bags in hand, ready to stow our gear on Ayub’s trusted boat. A small group will head over to Pulau Ay this morning; the rest of us will catch a larger boat (2 engines) after lunch. In the meantime, it’s Friday, our free day, and we’ll wander around the town that has become our home. Many of us are no longer known as “hello mister,” and instead, are called Ibu or by our first names (Selmat pagi Kelsey…or Wilson, Ari, Watana, Pippit…)
Today is also our last opportunity to use telecommunications. I’ve heard there are no public phones on Pulau Ay. It was great to hear Clara, Yari and Eric’s voices this morning. I’m looking forward to sharing all the amazing stories. In the meantime, I hope you are all well. XOXOX, laura (mommy)