Mesa Island Once Upon a Day

MESA ISLAND in Komodo Islands, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), surely has its own charm. The 1,500 people of Mesa Island are also known as the sea gypsies, as their Bajau ancestors navigated their conquest over the rough ocean between Sulawesi and Flores before settling in this small island.

They have been living remotely in Mesa Island without the source of fresh water. I don’t have the idea how they would survive without the fresh water supply from Labuan Bajo, a 15 km away separated by the rough sea.

Although it’s titled ‘a day’ but because of the tight schedule during our LOB Komodo trip, we actually spent only 1 hour in Mesa Island. ONE HOUR! My Japanese friend, Yasunobu, would likely say ‘1 f**king hour’, hahaha!

So you can imagine how we got in a rush to take a sneak peek of this island life. This was not healthy for my-so-called-journalism-ideal, but I still tried my best to capture what I’ve seen and met.

Luckily we landed in an island where the people were still nice to strangers, they might look shy but kept smiling wide, while the children were not afraid of us, they were so cheerful and full of curiosity.

Sincerely hope you can get a brief picture of what kind of life in Mesa Island is.


Disgiovery yours!

mesa island

mesa island field
This populous island somehow looks empty, I think everybody is taking a nap
mesa island cart
Even this cart is left alone
mesa island house
Laundry of the day
mesa island alleys
Strolling down the alleys to absorb the atmosphere of Mesa Island
mesa island ibu warung
A silent greeting from the woman sitting still in front of her warung
mesa island women daily
The three generation of grandma-mother-daughter are lazying around
mesa island rujak
Nothing as more refreshing as fresh cucumbers and raw mangoes rojak (fruit salad with spicy palm sugar sauce) in this hot sunny day
mesa island cold powder
This lady is relaxing with the cold powder (made of rice, turmeric, and other spice ingredients) applied on her face
mesa island dried kima
The seller of sun-dried kima (Tridacna gigas), the giant clams that can still be found around the island
mesa island dried seafood
The range of sun-dried seafood consumed by the people of Mesa Island
mesa island kids
A girl in red will be the next Naomi, a boy in helmet will be the next Rossi
mesa island kampung parabola
Satellite dish is a common thing placed on top of the rooftop of the house or even in the front yard
mesa island rumah panggung
The house of the craftman
mesa island craftman
The craftman with its replica of a traditional phinisi ship originally used by the Bajau people
mesa island village
Sharing the land with the dead
mesa island beach village
It’s hard to leave the unique charm of Mesa Island surrounded by the islands of Komodo National Park
mesa island rumah panggung 2
Mesa Island is simply an eccentric home sweet home for Bajau people
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24 Responses
  1. I don’t think the island looked empty because people were taking a nap. I believe it’s because YOU were coming — they rushed to hide the best and most delicious food they have because Cookie Monster was coming. 😀 Duh sayang ya cuma satu jam di sana, soalnya kayaknya pulaunya cukup menarik buat dieksplorasi lebih jauh. Foto kedua dari bawah meni ngabibita (bukan bajunya)!

      1. Oh yes, we have a plan to do LOB next year, bagaimana cara yang paling asik booking satu boat tanpa group lain? enaknya go show dan cari langsung di pelabuhan atau online ya? aku benar-benar perlu info nih, terimakasih sebelumnya ya….

        1. Kalau masih banyak waktu sebaiknya cari online saja biar lebih leluasa memilih. Tapi misal dadakan bisa saja go-show di lokasi, meski belum bisa dijamin langsung dapat apalagi kalau sedang peak season 🙂

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