Mostly young parents living in an extended household. Working hard at various semi-skilled jobs, they live a comfortable life in the many villages across the major islands of Indonesia.
Walk with Me
In this village, we’ve been building boats for as long as anybody can remember. Nothing fancy like the ocean going phinisi boats, but the more humble fishing boats that so many people in Sulawesi live off. The work needs steady hands. I shave the wood, bend it and often help the team of carpenters who fit all the pieces in. It’s the curves that are most painstaking. Knowing how to bend the strips that make up the front of each boat is an art in itself. I think it’s more art than science. I learnt the craft from my father, who learnt from his father. He still comes to the yard and watches us at work, smoking his kreteks and giving us bits of advice as the day goes on. The pay isn’t bad, and the prices of food is so much cheaper in the kampung than in Makasar.
We go there often. Every time the kids drag us to the harbor. At sunset, the giant phinisi ships look just as magical as they would in your post card. We’ve been island hopping a few times, but it isn’t cheap. Otherwise this would be the favourite family pastime on weekends. Andi says he wants to be a phinis captain, and Ina says she wants to be a dangdut singer. Andang and I often say we’d just be happy if they grew up honest, intelligent and caring Muslims.