The Children of Lembeh Island

Lembeh Island in Bitung City is an island sitting by the North East side of North Sulawesi. The citizens are mostly working as farmers and fishers. The first MOC (Micro Organic Community) we created was from North Lembeh. This area is quite far from South Lembeh (Rarandam Village) which has a docking port for transportation ships. North Lembeh’s locals would need to hop on road transportation modes like “oto” (car) and motorcycles to reach Bitung City. 

I had a funny experience when I went to accompany two women, Ibu Desi and Ibu Cicit, to open their own bank account in Bank Sulut, located in South side of Lembeh Island. At that time I wasn’t thinking about how big this island is, I thought “No problem, we could casually stroll around and go there,”. The problem started when we were waiting for our transportation. No cars, no “ojek”, then I decided to borrow one of their neighbour’s motorcycle. 

None of the women could ride motorcycles.

Now please try to picture me riding a motorcycle with two women on the pillion, turning right and left, climbing up and down like a mad racer. We passed 3 mountains in total, no kidding.

The women there are mostly working as small scaled fishers, every night they would spread the nets to catch small fishes and wait for big fishing ships to pass by and buy them for baits. When they appear, the women would turn their flashlights on and off to send the signal: “Hey, we have some baits here! Come and buy!”

We were arranging the training to make Anthea Bag every 13.00 PM in a keramba (a large fish cage) owned by PT BMB.