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Lewo Titen | Amiroh Husna

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Whale Shark Rescue | Anisa Megia
September 14, 2016
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My second week been a busy week since project timeline reshuffled and need to implement strategic plans in few weeks. Me, Megi, Aqul and Mbak Erma went to Larantuka to have meetings with supervisor officers from DKP Flores Timur and also another organizations to organize workshop for re-activating POKMASWAS in Eastern Flores. We did few meetings with DKP to mapping areas that important to be invited as workshop participants and discussing reporting line from POKMASWAS to Police if there’s any IUU Fishing or megafauna findings at their area. Busy days but it taught me a lot about birocracy, time management and how to convince people.

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After busy week, finally Sunday is coming. It’s my free time to get closer to local people especially my neighbours. As usual, the kids already waiting in our front yard, with Megi and the kids, we’re singing together and spend a fun time with a lot of laughs. But suddenly  Om Jack come and told us to call research team because in Bubu Atagamu village there’s alive whale shark trapped at trawl. No answers from them because they’re already sailing, and we decided to visit the trapped whale shark.  We’re rushing to be there, our adrenaline raising. One of wish come true, i row a canoe to reach the place. With only mask, i embraced my self to dive and see how bad is the condition. Another wish come true, since i was a kid i really want to swim with sharks and whales, and it happened, never been that close to whale shark, swimming close to it and i can’t stop smiling.

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Pak Gabriel (trawl owner) said that it was trapped since the morning and report it to Om Jack to let it free. I am very surprised that at least one fisherman in our area have a good initiative to report it to us instead of kill it. When I saw the condition, the whale shark position is vertical with head’s down and rope coiling around its tail. So sad to see that, and it was a hard decision to let it free also because we have to reimburse the damaged trawl, one trawl cost 3 million rupiah. It was a tough decision to choose a whale shark’s life or fisherman’s life source. We decide to contact Pak Dus (DKP Officer) and finally he agreed to reimburse the cost and it was a relieved we can save both. There’s a quote I always remember, Sharks are important, so is rice.

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When we going back to our house, our little fellows already wait for us and ask us to teach them songs. We sing twinkle twinkle little star, semut-semut kecil and Lewo Titen. Lewo Titen is a local phrase means my hometown. Kalike, place I lived now has very beautiful sea, mountains and people. It’s been a very long dry season here, pretty hard to get water and there are only two water resources in Kalike. It reminds me in my hometown, Bandung, I can use water as much as I can and sometimes don’t care if it’s waste. But in my second home town, my Lewo Titen, Kalike, I have to be grateful for what I have because somewhere out there, a lot of people have to struggling to have what I had. Sunday evening closed by a very first huge rain for this year, a happy ending for everyone.

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