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Continuing the discussion of why Bali’s villages are so different from peasant villages elsewhere — The answer lies, as discussed in the previous essay, with the Subak, a unique system of irrigation agriculture, and the Banjar, the community the Subak supports. The next question asks how it was that Balinese villages, despite being surrounded by the commercialism of sun and sand tourism, had remained intact, had not been undone by the time I saw them. However, that was some thirty years ago and I needed to catch up on the current situation. Fortunately, from what I read and the photographs available on-line, the villages seem basically the same today as they were then, more expensively dressed, changed and maybe set for greater change, but still intact.

The villages of Bali are the most studied of peasant village societies anywhere, beginning during the 19th century, under Dutch colonialism. The anthropological, journalist, artistic, casual and admiring accounts of Bali are too numerous to list or to cite. Two of the articles I read are from early anthropological research, Margaret Mead’s study of Balinese psychology and Clifford Geertz’s “Tihingan: A Balinese village.”

Balinese art contemporaryBali stone carvingGeertz describes the traditional social system and its subsystems — Subak, Banjar, kinship, status identity called caste but different from caste in India, various volunteer groups for work or other activities – and how these multiple subsystems with the memberships and identities they create manage to mesh and interact in the person’s social and psychological life. “A Balinese ‘village’ is a very busy place, and the complexity of the ways in which people are, even in formal terms, related to one another is staggering. If one were to apply stylistic categories to social structures … the Balinese would surely be classed as rococo.”   Perhaps this is reflected in its traditional art.

Since Geertz’s time, the village has grown in size and it encompasses any number of Banjars, each Banjar varying in size from about fifty to two hundred land-owning, Subak-participating households, and each person there by heredity, by being born into it, or by marriage. The Banjar defines the boundaries of the kinship-based community and has a governing council to which the couple of each household belongs and must participate. The Banjar works so well that it has been formally, legally incorporated into the national village level government. For descriptions by admiring foreigners of how the Banjar functions, here and here.

In the mid-1930s, the great Margaret Mead, anthropologist, having determined they were typical of the island, studied two villages and a town, focusing on psychological aspects of the culture. She wrote that Balinese culture was in many ways less like her own than any other culture yet recorded. She was a social scientist and regarded the Balinese objectively, but nevertheless, I think she had trouble relating to a culture so sharply different from the American in terms of individual independence and individual expression. For the Balinese, all activities were done in groups; their arts reflected a love of being in the crowd; they were not a verbal, analytical people. So different, but she admired them; they were good managers and they got things done.

And the village economy? Mead saw it in an historical context.

Gate in Gelget, old royal capital of Bali

Gate in Gelget, old royal capital of Bali

Before the Dutch arrived, in the mid 1800s, there were several small kingdoms on the island and villagers recognized the Rajah who ruled over the kingdom in which they lived. From his elevated position he acted as patron of the arts, protector of religious activities and gained his living by levying taxes in kind, probably part of the rice harvest; by the corvée, a labor tax from the peasant; by commanding the work of craftsmen and artists, and of servants and soldiers, for his palace; and maybe, on occasion, by seizing land. The money in circulation was Chinese coins. For the vast majority of the people, the villagers, rice and goods were sold in markets and in the villages. Services were paid for in coin or in food, or most likely, through bartering of goods and services. Nearly all adults were engaged in farming and farmers became part-time specialists in a craft or art or service – in music, making and repairing instruments, dance and dance equipment, teaching dance. Villages specialized in making pottery or baskets or metal objects or cloth or stone cutting. The Dutch governed through the ruling caste, the Rajahs; they had little impact on ordinary life but did build roads, introduced their own money and brought in new things to buy, especially cheap calico cloth, lamps and bicycles.

We have pictures of daily activities from Mead’s 1930s ethnography: “ … pennies given children for snacks and sweetmeats … children come with their pennies to buy food at the vender stalls …. market places where shoppers can hardly thread their way among endless trays of carefully sorted and arrayed fruits and foods … little stands where ready-made offerings to the gods are sold…. in the temples, children scrambling on the floor for dropped pennies … boys gamble for pennies they find in offerings …”

Geertz, writing some twenty years later, reported that families kept gardens and they made things to sell. Men cut down coconuts to earn money. Craftsmen were paid for making and repairing the gamelan instruments. Social class differences seemed based more on ritual status than on wealth and consumption. However, Mead remarked: The Regents/Rajahs have begun to express their prestige more and more in terms of automobiles and less by patronage of the arts.

I found this information from 1996 on economic life. — —

Bali kamasan painting 2The local economy was based almost entirely on agriculture and government employment in offices and schools.

In tourist areas, carvers and painters produce objects for sale to visitors, often on consignment from art shops. Most of the objects are simply that – a tourist’s souvenir, but a modern style of Balinese art has evolved, influenced by the European artists who came to Ubud in 1920, bringing new materials, new ideas and a market for local artists’ work.

In 1996, and possibly still today, villagers went to the nearby market town to sell agricultural items they had grown or things they had made and to buy vegetable, fruits, packaged and other foodstuff. Men sold cattle in a central market. Merchants traveled to the villages to buy agricultural goods or to sell such items as cloth, patent medicines or soap.

Life on Bali has changed since 1996; villagers are working outside the Banjar but they continue to identify as farmers. At harvest time, students return from the university, clerks leave their offices and professionals take their vacation time, all to help with the harvest and to participate in ritual activities in the temples and in ceremonies.

bali tourist map -- Kuta and SanurBetween 1978 and the mid-1980s I visited nine Balinese villages, each time flying into Denpasar and proceeding from there to stay for a day or two in each village, always focused on how the health care program in question was faring. In 1978, new to the scene, I naturally heard of the two prime tourist locations, Kuta and Sanur, and once visited Kuta because my interpreter/assistant friend was young and curious about this hippie hang-out on a beach where spectacular waves came crashing in at a sunset like none other I have ever seen. I was totally unaware of the village around which the tourism was building. My information about Kuta village is from a study done in 1984 by Antonia Hussey. She describes Kuta as a very poor farming-fishing village.

It is instructive to consider the consequences of tourism for Kuta village, a village with no land suitable for irrigation. They grew cassava, soybeans, groundnuts and coconuts, raised cattle and pigs and also fished in waters where fishing could not have been easy, even after they had the outboard motor. As described, the village, population 9000 in 1970, looked similar to other Balinese villages and was organized into Banjars, twelve of them, but did not, could not, belong to the Subak system. Tourism began after 1970, with explosive growth. Land became valued for commercial development rather than agriculture and villagers began acting as individualistic entrepreneurs who invested, built, sought employment, gained income. Outsider investors arrived, bringing development but also theft, prostitution and drugs. The Banjars, traditionally responsible for maintaining peace, surrendered their authority to the newly augmented provincial police force. Kuta village became a town and one of the chief tourist destination sites in Bali.

Traditional Bali fishing boatEventually a surfing colony was established in Kuta and it included boys and men from the original village. Alex Loenard, an anthropologist, did his dissertation on the society that took shape around the surfing at Kuta Beach. He wrote of the Balinese: The sons of fishermen, they were used to playing in the sea, and even knew and practiced a form of wave-riding themselves. “We called it serup,” a Kuta surfer in his early fifties told me. “Or another way of saying it was myosor umbak. We lay on pieces of wood and rode already broken wave to shore. We also used parts from the fishing boats that lined Kuta Beach then – the lengths of bamboo attached to the sides of the boats, the pangantang. So we understood the foreigners’ surfing.”

Kuta is not a place I would visit, but it is popular. In a good description for travelers — Once the sun goes down, Kuta is the rough and ready party zone of Bali.  I found on-line one tourist advising other guys on how to have fun in Kuta. He warned them against wasting time on the smiling Bali girl venders; they aren’t the ones for sale. Margaret Mead wrote that many women kept roadside stalls from where they sold food they had prepared and “ the vender girls who skillfully make a persuasive art of repartee …” Smiles, charm and talk, that’s all.

I stayed in a Sanur Beach hotel for two nights in 1978. The organization’s staff placed me there, probably thinking I would enjoy it, while they arranged my visits to the villages. Instead, I was annoyed; I wanted to start working, or at least be around the office where I could gauge what was in store for me. Still, I had a stack of documents to read — and a small adventure at the beach, described below.

Bali cock fightingBali gamelon practiceExcept for two villages in northern Bali, near Singaraja, I went into villages within driving distance of Denpasar and in each village stepped into another world, but one in tune with the larger society. I met with health care volunteers, interviewed, checked program records, etc. walked about and took photographs, such as those of the men with their fighting cock roosters, without offending anyone. In fact, the dancers’ group gathered for me to take their picture. Bali dance groupEveryone was pleasant, outgoing and cheerful. In a letter to Ravi I wrote “On Sunday I watched boys practicing a dance. They were quite good. The gamelan and the dance are part of life. The women in batik sarongs are wonderful to watch, especially walking in a row along the road, each carrying on her head a basket of food to be blessed in the temple. The society is tight, though, and control over the individual is thorough, from the top down. All quite gentle but firm nevertheless.”

And this returns me to my second question — How has the Balinese village survived the commercial lure of tourism? I was most concerned with the dance and wondered how changed it had become through its profitable catering to tourists, how, by being performed for money outside its ritual context, it could remain meaningful. Then, reading Margaret Mead’s study I discovered she had paid the villagers to allow her to photograph them as they practiced and performed the dances, and that was all right.

Dancer -- from an antique painting

Dancer — from an antique painting

Dance in a village

Dance in a village

She wrote: “Payment for theatrical performances is the economic base upon which the Balinese theatre depends.” The Rajahs once paid for theatrical performances. Next the Dutch paid for the same and many Dutch colonialist studied Balinese arts and religious rituals and pleasing ways and wrote books about them. Tourists are the most recent audiences eager to pay to hear the gamelan and see the dancers perform and leave them alone afterwards. Here for photos of a tourism performance and of the village volunteers.

Margaret Mead wrote: “… two characteristics of Balinese culture are the ready acceptance of those small details of customs and technology which can be absorbed without changing the basic premises of life, and the utter inability and unwillingness to contemplate any other drastic changes.”

With foreign investment changing the landscape, I wonder how long the village culture can last. The negative impact of tourism — rice fields sold to foreign investors to build luxury resorts, villas, residential complexes … malls and shopping complex built on a wetland … Subak organizations threatened … irrigation channels closed by buildings and roads … … And above all, rising individualism among the young … …

Finally, the small adventure on my first day in Bali –

I was stuck in the Sunar Beach hotel but had documents to read, so after lunch left it to sit in a chair at the beach. A beautiful place and no one around. I read for awhile, then went for a walk and came upon a group of girls, some ten of them about 7 or 8 years old, playing while their mothers were out in the water collecting seashells to sell to the tourists, and as I remember, seaweed for the family. The girls surrounded me and began asking questions in the little English they knew. Bali dancer RamayanaAs I coaxed out information from them I realized they would be the ones selling the shells later that day and decided they needed more English. bali dance face 2I had them stand in a line, repeat after me each new word and indicate they understood it. It was a cooperative exercise that for some reason included words for features of the face. Could their dance have been the reason why? Bali dance faceOur classroom exercises were fun and we played school for an hour or more until the mothers arrived and moved the girls on. They had work to do. I returned to my chair and documents. Later, when I was heading back toward the hotel, the girls came by, each with a basket balanced on her head. My favorite, the girl who had been the most eager to learn new words, stopped and came to me. With both hands she lowered her basket onto the sand, reached in, picked out a pretty small shell and handed it to me. “You are my teacher.” Of course, I still have the shell. What is better than a student’s appreciation.

 

bali in indonesia map

The villages of Bali were different from any I had ever seen anywhere else, and I soon became yet another of the many visitors who were totally charmed by the Balinese and their lifestyle.

In 1860, the famed naturalist, and Charles Darwin’s co-author for The Origin of Species, Alfred Russel Wallace, sailing from Singapore, landed at Singaraja, the Dutch port in northern Bali, and Bali, Tabanan, Jatiluwihtraveled inland to study the flora and fauna. He wrote of Bali: “I was both astonished and delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well-cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast about ten or twelve miles (16 or 19 kilometres) inland, where it is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of coconut palms, tamarind and other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between them extend luxurious rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the 1930s, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson lived in a mountain village and in a town, Ubud, in south Bali, studying and writing articles on Balinese culture.

Ubud Palace

Ubud Palace

The artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee all spent time there, with Ubud as their center. Their accounts of the island and its peoples created an image of Bali as “an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature.” Western tourists began coming to the island, first arriving by ship at Singaraja and after 1966 at the international airport near Denpasar.

I had barely heard of Bali before going in 1978 as a consultant to evaluate a national health care program being introduced there and in villages across Indonesia. This was the first of four visits to Bali, the last in the mid-1980s, always on an assignment, staying in an ordinary hotel, during the day walking about in a village observing and interviewing, always too busy to do much as a tourist, which was fine with me. Being with the ordinary people was entertainment enough. Pictures here.

But what was it about the villagers that charmed me so? Why was Balinese traditional life different, why the physical and social environment so orderly, pleasant, egalitarian, so much of it touched by art? One explanation occurred to me. It had to do with the effects that irrigation farming has on a society (I wrote about that here, in discussing the original city of Bangalore) but I needed to do some reading and additional thinking. To begin –

Borobudur, late 7th century, plow and bullock

Borobudur, late 7th century, plow and bullock

Central Java

Central Java

For more than 2,700 years Indonesians have used wet rice farming to grow their basic food crop. Javi and Bali, especially, are suited by their soil, climate and water sources to achieving the high yields that support a dense population, the prerequisite for a complex civilization. The climate is hot, averaging over 25°C all year round; the volcanic soil is fertile; rainfall is high during the west monsoon, from October to April, so the rice fields are naturally flooded for one crop, and from December to March, during the dry season, water is brought to the fields from a river or springs to grow second crop of rice or maize, sweet potatoes, lentils. Steps in the farming cycle are explained here.

bali terraced rice fieldsIrrigation is used throughout Indonesia but Bali’s is different. Beginning in the 9th century and continuing through the centuries, the Balinese developed an irrigation system known as Subak, the components of which are the forests that protect water flowing from the mountain tops; terraced rice paddies connected by a system of canals, tunnels and weirs; people from village communities using handmade tools to build, plant, harvest, drain and maintain it.

topography map

Bali topography map

Lake Batur and temple

Lake Batur and temple

Management of this large system, some 20,000 hectares, is exercised through a hierarchy of temples, the centers of control located at critical points either high on the mountainsides at the source of water or at points along its way downhill to the paddies below. No one person controls the system; it is owned by all the communities and is managed by consensus among the landowning families when they gather at the temples to keep informed, make decisions and do the work required.

Critically, Subak is imbued with symbolic and religious meaning, especially at the temples, expressed in the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana, which brings together the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature. The system became sacred, as do objects and ideas when they symbolize the good for everyone, the social above the individual. In 2012, Subak was enlisted as a UNESCO world heritage site. An article here on protecting the Subak.

An anthropologist, Stephan Lansing, using his considerable analytical skills and listening to the people of Bali, came to understand the Subak system and has explained its genius to the outside world. It is a system in which upstream owners of land share equally with downstream owners because they would lose if they did not; all of the owners must coordinate planting and fallow in complex ways to control the flow of water and to prevent an outbreak of pests that would destroy all the crops. Everyone contributes equally to the inputs and benefits equally from the harvest. The complexities of Subak are explained here in a brilliant summarization of Lansing’s writing, plus an account of how he helped save Bali’s heritage from international misinformed agricultural engineers. I highly recommend your reading it. This near debacle of an efficient, effective traditional system had me remembering why so many Third World socio-economic development programs failed.

I think it no coincidence that the Subak system began and took form in a time preceding the series of HinduBuddhist influenced Balinese kingdoms that ruled Bali and the Lesser Sunda Islands from the early 10th to early 20th century. The high yielding agricultural system supported population growth, prosperity and the establishment of cities, each with a ruling class and a sophisticated court culture.

Majapahit architecture

Majapahit architecture

Buddhism and Hinduism came to Bali through contacts with the larger and more powerful kingdoms of Java, from the 9th century  Medang Kingdom, the period of Borobudur, to the 13th to 15th century Majapahit empire. As the Majapahit empire waned, Islam spread in Java, primarily through increasing numbers of traders from the Indian state of Gujerat bringing their Muslim faith with them. I can picture them marrying local women and settling down, establishing small communities, building mosques, all analogous with what the Portuguese did, less successfully, in Makassar a century or two later. It is known that Muslim traders married into and converted royal families. However, Bali remained Hindu and became the refuge for fleeing Hindu courtiers, nobles, priests and artisans. (During my 1980s travels across Sumatra, Java and Sulawese, when I went walking in the towns where my hotels were located, looking into the shops, I found Chinese and Indian shopkeepers. The Chinese stayed separate in marriage and religion. The Indians were Muslim and married locally.)

Oddly, I have found no concrete evidence of Indonesian empires spreading through warfare, no paintings or carvings of warriors and battles. The one archer in a Borobudur bas-relief is a scene from the Indian Ramayana. How unlike what I have been reading about civilizations in India and further west.  I will return to this. It fascinates me.

Wayang, puppet theatre

Wayang, puppet theatre

Bali dancers 1929

Bali dancers 1929

So – I have the outline of an answer to my question of why Bali is so special. It is because of the basic Balinese community, the Banjar, that evolved within the framework of a unique system of irrigation, the Subak, that produces an abundant and a dependable supply of food for everyone in the society on a schedule that allows them considerable free time and leisure. And there was no need to arm against aggressors from outside. With influences brought to them from India via Java to add to their original culture, the Balinese developed and elaborated a rich artistic tradition. In the village, as a folk art, the boys play in the gamelan orchestra and both girls and boys dance. They are taught and they practice and practice; ordinary boys and girls acquire the skills of professional performers, and they put on performances to celebrate ritual occasions. The court culture has the puppet theatre and painting and the carving of wood and stone.

The Banjar community, about a hundred households, continues as the hereditary owners of the Subak. I think it may have historically been the village but is now is a sub unit of the larger village. Importantly, it remains the basic social unit in the society and has retained its unity as Bali grows in population and has become part of the modern world. A picture of the banjar today and how it controls interaction between tourist bars, nightclubs, shopping and the local society is here.

I have a second question: Why, at least in the years I was in Bali, had tourism not undone that traditional culture, detached it from its roots, changed the people and the culture, as had happened elsewhere? I think I found part of an answer to that question just a few days ago, reading Margaret Mead’s ethnography.

I’ll consider the second question next. — —

 

 

 

indonesia mapIndonesia was different for me from other countries where I had worked, and different also because in Indonesia I was in my empty-nest years, no longer a mother and wife keeping house and managing an active family social life while teaching part-time at the university or engaged in a research project. This had been my lifestyle in the U.S., in Somalia for two years , in Turkey for four years — mother, sometime home-school teacher, wife, housewife and part-time professional working in the environment that was also our home. In India I did not keep house but we did stay for extended periods of time in the homes of Ravi’s extended family; things Indian were woven into our lives. Then the children were off to school and I went to Indonesia as a full-time consultant, a place and culture unconnected in any way to my past or present. For thirteen years, from 1978 to 1991, I did consultancies there for health care programs, each time with a different international organization. Flying in from Ravi’s and my Paris apartment, I arrived in the Jakarta airport (clove scented cigarette smoke in the air) to be officially met and driven to the organization’s office that would be my base and from where I would go to meet my Indonesian colleagues, the persons who shaped much of what I saw and learned about their people and their land.

Fortunately, I liked my colleagues, enjoyed being with them, and will write about that, but first must make sense of the hundred or so photographs of Indonesia scattered over my desk. I rarely carried a camera when traveling; Ravi did that for us, but for my six months long consultancy across Java, Madura, Bali, Sulawesi (known also as Celebes) and Sumatra, probably because Ravi insisted on it, in the Singapore airport stopover I bought a camera and film. It also happened that my interpreter/assistant, Loung Ie, liked taking pictures and I went along with it. He took on the responsibility of getting the film developed for us. Unfortunately, I failed to write information on the back of most of the photographs, so now sit here, going through them, some of me sitting with people in a meeting, others standing with people at a vehicle, others walking with people along a road, trying to remember who they are, where we are. I’ll figure it out, even though I spent only two or three days in each village, then had to move on. I have my fieldnotes and the report I wrote and am matching photos to activities. These were fine people and we were doing good work together, which is the reason I wanted a photo memento of each occasion.

Usually, to get to a particular village I was scheduled to visit Loung Ie and I stayed in the District town hotel or government facility and commuted by government vehicle. On occasion, however, a village family could host us, and such a time was where we took these photos. It was in South Sulawesi, north of Makassar, in the rural area of what had been the Makassar Kingdom and other urban centers the Dutch encountered and also photographed. The village headman and his family took us into their home for two nights and helped me during the daytime with my interviewing.

I have to remind myself that the international organization and/or the Ministry of Health street scene from the villagesent me into a village to observe its health care program, not to analyze the people’s social system and economy. Nevertheless, knowing a little background information helps. As the street scene indicates, this village was relatively prosperous. In other villages, houses were built with more bamboo and less wood, and as I have in other photographs, not many villages had so many houses so neatly surrounded with a fence. I talked with the teachers, so knew the village had a primary school, and I heard that besides rice the villagers grew a cash crop, tobacco. Like villages generally in Indonesia in those years, it did not have electricity. Water was from traditional shallow wells.

Indonesia plowing field in bangkalan 2014Indonesia rice cultivation bangkalan maduraI did not walk out into the fields around the houses but think these photographs of rice farming taken in Madura, off Java, but would be similar to the way the people of Sulawesi farmed.

with the health care program volunteers

with the health care program volunteers

under the houseI can attest to the house being a pleasant space for spending time and for sleeping. The gentleman is relaxing under his house in the morning. The girl is sitting on a ramp that leads to the kitchen area attached to the rectangular of the house itself. The entire structure rests on pillars and can be, and on occasion is, picked up and moved elsewhere by as many men as there are pillars. The form and traditional materials of the structure are in a graceful balance, ideal for the climate. The use of wood and glass presents an updated version of the traditional house.

the district health centerNaturally, I met with the doctor and staff at the District Health Center and recalling all this has me thinking again of how difficult, with even the best practices and intentions, it is to remain healthy in the tropics without the aid of modern technologies. The continual heat allows insects and other disease vectors to breed and grow at rates unimaginable in a temperate climate where a winter freeze keeps much of that in check. And water – In the rather rainy U.S. state where I live, the average rainfall for most months is between 80 and 90mm, 10mm or so higher in March and in August. In Makassar monthly rainfall is near or over 200mm, a bit below 150mm in Sept and Oct. Think of the consequences for malaria and for water carrying parasites. Sanitation is a continual problem. People defecate on the soil where they also walk barefooted, being exposed to intestinal parasites and diarrheal infections. In cold climates people wears shoes, and have since at least the Iron Age, more than three millennia ago. For Indonesia’s preventive health program volunteers promoted the digging and lining of a pit called comberan for disposing of household trash and the digging and construction of pit toilets for sanitation. In America, when I was a child, many, maybe most, rural households had an outhouse, a deep pit under a small one room structure built of wood with toilet seats and a door to close for privacy. As for household trash, before the era of plastics, it was thrown somewhere away from the house and composted into the soil. In the Indonesian villages, floods or heavy rain frequently destroyed the comberan and backed up the pit toilets. Another concern for the health program was hygiene; people washed themselves but soap was expensive and not generally used. (On a later consultancy I saw women using a harsh detergent for laundry, and also for washing themselves, which I thought had to be hard on the skin.)

The headman and the teachers actively set examples for others in the village by adopting the preventive health program’s recommendations, one of which affected my stay with them. The headman had built, attached to the house, a small enclosure over a pit toilet with an important innovation: a floor level pan set in a cement slab over the pit. The pan was made of light plastic and shaped for a water seal called a gooseneck that prevented gases from rising into the enclosure. In this private space, a container of water was included for cleaning oneself and for flushing the toilet. If the price of cement is not too high, if the pit can be maintained and if water is readily available, this is an appropriate technology for a household. From what I read, it is used in parts of rural Indonesia but I find no mention of it in any other country.

Sanitation remains a huge problem in much of the world. The villagers I knew in India and Indonesia were much healthier then than they had previously been and certainly healthier than previous generations. Smallpox was eradicated and the incidence of tuberculosis, leprosy and malaria had gone down. Antibiotics were hugely important for treating infections. Access to modern medications through rural health clinics and doctors with private practices made a difference, as had, in Indonesia, the widespread acceptance of boiling the drinking water, but several basic causes of preventable diseases were still not being addressed.  I once repeated to a village headman what the District Health Center doctor had told me, that 90% or more of the children had intestinal parasites, and asked him why it did not worry people enough for them to take serious action to protect the children, such as wearing sandals, installing pit toilets and insisting on everyone using the toilets. And antihelminth medications were not expensive. The headman responded that formerly a child was a head and a big round belly with arms and legs like sticks, and now children look normal.

boys with Ascariasis (2)In two little boys I noticed the extended belly I was told is a sign of intestinal parasites but said nothing about it to anyone; it would have been inappropriate on my part, so I simply took this photograph to add to my fieldnotes. How very sad. I read that in Indonesia 37% of people in urban areas and 43% in rural areas still practice open defecation. I describe here my experience with this problem in India and wrote here of its devastating effects in India. For solutions to the problem here. For Indonesia here and here.

 

rice knifeI close with a photograph I took this week of my ani-ani, a souvenir, other than photos, of the villages. I had seen it lying discarded in a corner of the house and remarked on it, calling it by name. I am not certain how I recognized it and knew its name, maybe from having read years before I ever dreamed of going to Indonesia a famous, in anthropological circles, study of Indonesian culture. Whether there or elsewhere, for some odd reason I knew that women harvested rice by carefully cutting the grain off the stalk with a knife called the ani-ani. My host family explained that with the new strains of rice the yield was more abundant and people were harvesting with the sickle, freeing women from their slow, frugal salvaging of every single grain. He and the family were so amused by my recognizing the ani-ani that they gave it to me.

Oh my, not only is this a continuation, it is a correction. In a box of Indonesia photographs coming out of storage, there they were: photos from Makassar, twenty of them, some I had taken and others taken by Loung Ie, the student who became my interpreter and friend, assisting me as I crossed the major islands — Sulawesi, Bali, Java, Madura and Sumatra — to evaluate a nation-wide rural health care program. He was ethnic Chinese. I call him Loung Ie, but that was not the name he ordinarily used; he had a regular Indonesian name but at home his parents called him Loung Ie, so I did, too, except when we were in work situations with other people.

I now know I was in Fort Rotterdam and Loung Ie had to have taken me there to see it. Medical school indoor roomI have several photos of the buildings and grounds, which look in my snapshots much as they do in professionally taken photographs but the buildings shaggy and the grounds not so well manicured. Later I will post a few photos of Dutch colonial architecture. In the meantime, here is one room from somewhere at or near the medical school. This is the way to construct walls and roofs for being comfortable in that climate — shade and space for air to circulate.

professor and studentsObviously, I enjoyed being in the medical school with the professor, doctor, students and staff or would not have so many photos of them. Medical school outdoor roomThe open roofed area with the tables was typical of the indoor-outdoor spaces I later saw in homes and in public buildings. The man in the tan shirt, missing an arm, was an epidemiologist, remarkable in his knowledge and understanding of public health programs. I turned to him more than once to hear his views and seek his advice.

I had not gone alone from Jakarta to Makassar. The Ministry had provided me with a counterpart, a medical doctor who spoke English and knew his way around through the governmental bureaucracies. He was a charming man, always helpful. He arranged my contacts with government officials in the Provincial capital cities and accompanied me in the meetings when I was being informed about various aspects of the program. traditional transportationRegarding the photo, he liked using the beja, bicycle rickshaw, in the cities where they were available. I preferred taking the three-wheel cab, a modified motorcycle. In rural areas, where no sort of public transportation was available, a government vehicle usually took us from one official location to another. During stays in Jakarta, I walked from my guesthouse to the U.N. office building where I was based and to all the shopping I needed to do. Otherwise I took taxis. (except once had a motorcycle) Incidentally, along with the recovered box of photographs, I found my fieldnotes. In the first notebook, on the first page is a long list of words and phrases in the Indonesian lingua franca, Bahasa Indonesia, I would need to know. After the words for yes and no, the list begins with the numbers and I could still count to five before reading it.

Loung Ie's parentsFinally, I add photographs to my previous post on the site Loung Ie had told me was the remains of an ancient port. Makassar walled areaIt turned out to be of the Makassar Kingdom, not Portuguese. The photograph here to the left is of Loung Ie’s parents walking onto the site, probably from the ocean-side road. The next, unattractive as it is, I thought might be what remained of a gate or the entrance to a building. Makassar wall and meFinally, a picture of me standing at the wall on which I was sitting, on the other side, in a previous photograph. I do hope someone who knows and cares about Makassar will find this interesting and explain to me what these objects that caught my imagination thirty-six years ago really were.

map Ujung PandangIt was 1980 and I was in Makassar, then called Ujung Pandang, at the medical school and visiting government officials, being briefed on the Ministry of Health’s national rural health program I was to evaluate. I was in the city for three days and returned only to pass through on my way to other places in Sulawesi, to its small towns and villages. Later I will post my photos of the towns, and of the very agreeable people. At the moment, though, I am thinking about my two photographs from Makassar. I had seen hardly anything outside the medical school and government offices, so when a student, a bright young fellow, speaking excellent English, invited me to his home, to meet his parents, and to take a walk around his neighborhood before catching the plane to Jakarta, I gladly accepted.

at MakassarAs he and I walked and talked, with me regarding him as a possible interpreter/assistant, I noticed nothing about the shops or buildings or much else worth comment, except that certain walls were marked by bullet holes, which I ignored. We were in a Chinese ethnic neighborhood; discussion of previous civic strife and politics had to be avoided. Besides, an odd, unkempt space with a European style monument caught my attention, and being told it was the remains of an ancient fort, I had to explore it. To me, ancient European in Asia meant Portuguese and I imagined this to have been a fort like those Vasco da Gama and his successors established in India, on the Malabar Coast. at Makassar entranceThe name, Makassar, sounded vaguely familiar. I thought maybe, just maybe, it was because Ferdinand Magellan had come to Makassar and I wanted to believe it were so. I wanted to tell Ravi I had seen Portuguese influence in Indonesia similar to the Portuguese influence he discovered when the family moved to Bombay. It always amazed me that he had learned, and spoke, Portuguese. On the plane out I wrote to him about my abandoned Portuguese fort, unaware that on the very same day he was in Lisbon, Belem Tower in Lisbonat a conference, and he wrote to me, remembering the time we had visited Lisbon and the beautiful Belem from where the ships had sailed. I liked this image of us communicating between the two ends of historic events.

Subsequently, the program I worked in took me across Indonesia, experiencing the culture from the perspective of primary health care and the local community. I soon forgot this Makassar incident and the two photos ended up in a box with other snapshots of my life away from Ravi. He, not I, put together our family photo albums; only recently have I begun bringing out my Indonesia memorabilia, trying to make sense of that part of my life.

Indonesia map with Moluccas circledI now realize that, alas, my story of an ancient Portuguese fort was not based in reality. I had known a little of Magellan’s history. Indeed, he, like other Portuguese adventurers engaged in the highly lucrative, highly dangerous spice trade, had sailed in this territory, the future Indonesia, searching for the islands where the spices grew and also to gain any advantage he could against Arab, Chinese, Spanish and Dutch traders, and, of course, against local rulers and traders.

Remains of the Portuguese fort in Malacca

Remains of the Portuguese fort in Malacca

Magellan participated, 1511, in conquering the Malacca Sultanate (south of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, across from Sumatra) on the Strait of Malacca, the main shipping channel, to this day, between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. There they built their fort and established a base from which to trade, explore and control the competition.

From Malacca the Portuguese found their way to the Spice Islands, the Malukus, east of Sulawesi. Magellan, however, like Christopher Columbus, reasoned that by sailing west he could find a better, safer route and, being out of favor with the Portuguese power elite, persuaded the Spanish Crown to finance him. He sailed, with his five ships, across the Atlantic, down and through the Straits of Magellan into the Pacific on a horrific voyage and died at Cebu in the Philippines. One ship and 18 of the original 237 men returned to the harbor in Seville on September 6, 1522, three years after they had set sail. They had circumnavigated the globe. But relevant for me, Magellan never touched the Indonesia I came to know in Sumatra, Java, Madura, Bali and Sulawesi.

Makassar and the Portuguese

Makassar and the Portuguese

I learned from this excellent website a little of the Portuguese role in Makassar’s history. It was not about conquest. Instead, during the 1620s, Portuguese merchants, some 500 of them, were settled in the Kingdom of Makassar, trading in silk, cloves, textiles, sandalwood and diamonds, and on good terms with the Sultan; he welcomed them, allowed them to keep a community and build a church because they helped the economy and acted as allies against the encroaching Dutch.

However, in 1641 the Dutch conquered Malacca, gained control of the Strait of Malacca and drove out the Portuguese, many of whom moved to Makassar, increasing to over 2000 the number of residents in its Portuguese quartier.

In 1660 a Dutch fleet attacked Makassar and Fort Panakkukang. Apparently, its “defensive structures” was a simple dirt wall built in 1545 by Raja Tunipalangga. The conquering Dutch forced the Sultan to expel the Portuguese, which he did reluctantly. The Portuguese left Makassar over several years, moving to the Indonesian islands of Flores, Solar, Timor; Macau in China; Siam/Thailand; Batavia/Jakarta. I see on the map that a sub-district of Makassar, at some distance from the fort, is named Panakkukang.

Fort Rotterdam

Fort Rotterdam

I read, and see in photographs, that Fort Rotterdam, built in the late 1660s, is near, or at, the place in my two photos.

Fort Rotterdam

Fort Rotterdam

Again, I do not remember seeing anything resembling the buildings and grounds of the Fort. Given my lack of background in Dutch colonial history, I may have seen them and whatever was distinctive about them failed to register with me.

Except for Bali, which is special, and going in and out of Jakarata, Makassar was my introduction to Indonesia. By then I was living in Paris, explained here, and it was convenient for me to stop in India, visiting Ravi’s family, on the way to and from Jakarta, making a transition between the two cultures so close in time that I could not help but compare my experiences in each. In both India and Indonesia, my friends and colleagues were from that country, and although I enjoyed all of them equally, they were different from one another. What strikes me at the moment is that the British colonial past was far more evident in India than the Dutch colonial past was in Indonesia. (I have written at some length about the British influence on Ravi.) I was often struck by my Indian friends’ apparent lack of interest in preserving, even noticing, India’s ancient treasures, while in Indonesia friends and colleagues took me to see fascinating things from the Indonesian past. In Surabaya, on a Friday afternoon after work, someone secured a jeep and we went into the countryside to see a Majapahit ruin. In Bali, a friend took me to a remote mountain village where the original Balinese lived.  When I had meetings to attend in Bandung, a colleague arranged for us to take the train, perhaps making its last run, up past the green hillside rice terraces and palm trees, an unforgettable landscape, and after our meeting, not to the Dutch colonial town or a tea plantation but to the hall where the 1955 Bandung Conference had been held. In Bukittinggi they told me about the people whom the Dutch defeated, taking over an already developed area. And my memories of Yogyakarta … … I could go on and on. Indonesians were discovering their own rich history of complex, highly developed civilizations that flourished long before the Europeans arrived. That no one even mentioned Fort Rotterdam to me is understandable.

I will reexamine some of my experiences with working and being with friends in Indonesia and sort out the Dutch influences or lack thereof. I regret, for example, not having seen the Batavia part of Jakarta, and I will search for more information about the delightful guesthouse and lovely neighborhood where I regularly stayed when in Jakarta. An Indonesian anthropologist introduced me to it because she knew I would be comfortable there and not in a hotel.

Returning to my two photographs — They leave me puzzled. What are they picturing? Was I sitting on the Fort Rotterdam wall? What is the stele for? Maybe someone who knows will let me know. I love receiving additions and corrections on what I write. So – if you know something about the history of Makassar and about my photos, please share the information with me.

………

 

 

 

My expatriate life has left me with an odd assortment of interests and hobbies. Two came from living in Paris. Walking about, gazing into small shops selling things I had not known even existed, I discovered antique prints and the shop most agreeable for browsing among them. Hence my map collection. Having wandered into the world’s best stamp market, just off the Champs Elysees, I became a stamp collector. I love my maps and stamps but my deepest connection remains with the many pieces of cloth saved from the past, scattered around in the house and stored in the attic. A few items in my collection are described here.    I have ikat and batik from Indonesia; cashmere, silks, prints and embroidered cottons, woven belts from India; Persian prints; from Turkey, gorgeous embroidery on silk, a village carpet bag, but no felt cape worn by shepherds; bobbin lace from Belgium and Sri Lanka; perfectly printed silk scarves in abundance and lengths of wool, linen and cotton cloth traditional in various European countries, and of course, from Mogadiscio. The tapa cloth from Polynesia and mola from Central America were acquired while still in graduate school. One of the kilims and all the rugs are out and being used. Stored away are skirts and blouses from decades ago, beautifully made of beautiful cloth, several of which I cut and stitched myself. Occasionally I open the boxes and visit them. All this without mentioning the baskets brought home from living, working, visiting in lands where people still made baskets and used them daily.

Egypt Isis and NefetariAnd now I am thinking again of cloth and clothing. Archeologists found in Egypt, dating from 5,100 to 5,500 years ago, a linen dress, Egypt wall painting from tomb of Nefertari Thebesthe oldest known garment cut from cloth and tailored. It has a yoke with narrow pleats across the shoulders, long sleeves, V-neck, and the skirt, stitched down on the left side, sewn on to it.  Clearly, the dress had been worn; it was found turned inside-out, as if just taken off.Tarkhan dress

The usual dress in Egypt of the time was simply a loom width and length of linen, for men as a loincloth Egypt wall coverand for women a sheath worn either under or over the breasts. In the tomb paintings, and on clay figurines, what seems to be a strap, sometimes two, attached to a woman’s sheath may not actually represent a narrow length of cloth sewn onto the sheath. It may, instead, have been a convention for suggesting the mode of wrapping the dress; the strap has never been observed in a sculpture. Perhaps the style of wrapping intended is similar to that of women today

Nuer woman, Southern Sudan

Nuer woman, Southern Sudan

who speak a Nilotic language and live in the Upper Nile, in the region where the Egyptian civilization originated. The mode of wrapping is different from that of Somali women, shown here, from the Indian sari or the Indonesian sarong. In 1980 woman topless in BaliI took this photograph of a Balinese woman at work. My Indonesian colleague informed me that in the past Balinese women went bare-breasted and this elderly woman was keeping the traditional style instead of wearing the kebaya, the blouse, with her sarong.

The technology for producing a woman’s sheath and a man’s loincloth is well recorded in wall paintings, drawings and clay models found in the tombs. They were designed for the benefit of the entombed person’s afterlife, to provide detailed information on the proper way for life to be lived in the hereafter, Egypt flax linen productionincluding all the steps necessary for making the cloth, from planting, tending and harvesting the flax; to processing it into fiber; then spinning the fiber into yarn and weaving the yarn into cloth. Egypt Model of a workshop for spinning and weaving(A marvelous book on Egyptian textiles and the making of cloth, plus the making of writing material from the papyrus plant is “Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology” by Paul T. Nicholson, Ian Shaw, Cambridge University Press. Parts of the book can be read on-line.)

The Turkhan dress is from the earliest period of the Egyptian civilizations, but they were already in possession of a well-developed cloth making technology that had been established during the Neolithic, an era in human history named for the sort of stone tools people used. In the Upper Paleolithic/Old Stone Age, beginning 50,000 years ago, stone tools were flaked from flint, obsidian or quartzite, suited for hunter-gatherers, then, beginning some 12,000 years ago, a new type of stone tool came into use, tools for the tending, harvesting and processing of crops, for cutting down trees, building structures. More broadly, the Neolithic/New Stone Age was the Agricultural Revolution, beginning primarily in the eastern Mediterranean. The Jericho Neolithic site is the most widely known. People cultivated the land, grew wheat and other grains, raised domesticated animals, and  settled down into large communities.

By 9,000 years ago the first crafts were being practiced: basketry, weaving and pottery. I suspect the innovators were women; these were activities done close to the residence, compatible with the continual childbearing and childrearing that engaged a woman from her first menstruation until menopause. Pottery, especially after the potter’s wheel, became a male craft, but in many societies spinning, and often weaving, remained with the women and continued to be done in the home. For the elite of ancient Egypt, the production of linen became organized into workshops, and as spinning and weaving became specialized occupations, refinements in the nature of the cloth followed, illustrated here from the graves of late antiquity. (For interesting drawings and an historical account of making cloth, here)

Little is known of the origins of cloth. Dating of societies and goods by archeologists, and much of their analysis, is based on tools and pottery because items made of stone and metal and pottery are likely to survive and features of their change through time can be observed and recorded.

Neolithic spindle whorl

Neolithic spindle whorl

Since cloth rarely survives through the millennia, the earliest evidence of it having been made is the presence of stone or pottery spindle whorls, and the earliest spindle whorls are found in archeological sites in Jordan, dating from the Late Neolithic, 9500 to 8000 years ago. Spinning is the twisting together of drawn out strands of fibres (originally from flax, wool, cotton, silk) to form yarn, and the original spinning, hand-spinning, was done with the drop spindle, a simple straight stick wedged into a hole in the center of a round weight, called a whorl. The yarn spun in the Jordan site was from flax fiber, maybe earlier from goat or dog hair. In museums with displays from ancient societies, inconspicuous little spindle whorls are included among the more interesting pottery, jewelry and weapons, but I always look for them; they represent the women’s side of the culture. I first saw one, from Çatal Höyük, in the marvelous Ankara anthropological museum. For an explanation of the spindle whorl, here.  (I have an Ottoman drop spindle. It has an elaborate pattern delicately carved into the wood.) For information on the Neolithic spindle whorl pictured above, here.  No looms survived the Neolithic. Weaving during the Neolithic and the nature of the loom is inferred from later looms and weaving, as is done here.

The world’s oldest piece of cloth, linen woven with hemp, 9000 years old, wrapped around a baby skeleton, was found in 2013 in the archeological excavation of Çatal Höyük, a Neolithic site in central Turkey. The cloth is finely woven, most likely coming from the eastern Mediterranean, and like obsidians and sea shells in Çatalhöyük, was acquired through trade.

Move forward to 5,500 years ago and the Tarkhan dress. It is tailored, with the yoke cut from a length of cloth.  This was the age of bronze tools, none of which could have been used to cut a pattern out of cloth; scissors date from the first century CE. To the rescue came a tool from the Paleolithic: a newly struck flake from a flint block, razor sharp and equal to the task. Straight cuts were by tearing and the shaped areas were cut by the skilled hands of a tailor using a Paleolithic stone blade.

Aurignacian split bone needleNeedles and pins were part of the dressmaker’s tool kit. The first known sewing needle, made of bone, is from southwestern France and dates from ca. 25,000 years ago. Cro-Magnon hunter-gatherers in this cold climate had clothing made with flaked tools for scraping flesh off the animal skin, for cutting and shaping the hide. They wore close-fitting pants and shirts, shawls, hoods, and long boots, undoubtedly cut and sewn by the women. (as with the Eskimo. See the 1922 great docudrama “Nanook of the North,” available on-line.) I know of no needles being recovered in the eastern Mediterranean or Anatolian Neolithic archeological sites.

Needles for sewing the Tarkhan dress were made of pierced fish bones, copper, bronze or silver. They were pointed at one end with an eye on other end or were flattened and sharp at one end, folded at other. Pins, and thorns, were used on clothing being worn but not for holding the cloth while cutting or stitching the dress.

The evolution of materials and technology fascinates me and I could continue on and on endlessly, but briefly –

Egypt the sumerians odijkThe Sumerian Bronze Age civilization of Mesopotamia was established some 6,000 years ago. Sumer worshipperBoth men and women wore sheepskin cloaks and sheepskin skirts, skin turned inside and the wool combed into decorative tufts, wrapped and held in place by pins. From about 4500 years ago, wool fabric replaced the sheepskin.

A fascinating read, here, is on the history of cotton. In India and in New World Neolithics and civilizations, cotton was independently domesticated and its fibers converted into fabric. Independently, also, the same tools were invented, including combs, bows, hand spindles, and primitive looms. The one image of Indus Valley Bronze Age clothing I have seen is the Mohenjodaro statue of the Priest-King with a tunic over his shoulder, in an elaborate fabric either dyed or with a woven pattern here.

The weaving of silk from silkworm cocoons has been known in China since 5,500 years ago. Intricately woven and dyed silk fabric, showing a well-developed craft, was found in a Chinese tomb dating from 4,700 years ago.

I return to thinking about my unsystematic, eclectic but much loved fabric collection and wondering what will happen to it when I am gone.

I took these snapshots to remind me of my daily life in 1963-64 as a mother and wife in a part of Mogadiscio different from Hamar Wein and the Italianate city. The pictures are of the compound and the road, and only incidentally of the house, which I described in “Tales of Mogadiscio.” It had little more than a kitchen area, two bedrooms and a bathroom with basic plumbing, plus appallingly expensive electricity that we used for two light bulbs and a tiny refrigerator. The piped-in water was brackish, so we bought drinking water from a rattling old truck on its rounds in our mahalle. It used at least half the water in its tank to keep the rusted-out radiator full and leave a trail of wet sand as it passed by.

The Bondere houseWe spent our days at home under the bougainvillea arbor in front of the house and the children played in the compound. The photo is poorly done but it shows the outside wall of louvered wood panels, painted dark green; a chair and table for sitting under the arbor; and a cotton mattress from one of our beds spread across them to air in the sun. 38 Somalis trying to sell a bizarre wood carving to my husband. Azad is watching.The photo of Ravi with Azad and two Somali men shows more of the compound and the house. I explain the scene in “Tales of Mogadiscio.” inside the compoundThe children and me on the walkway to the gate. The boy looking into the compound is standing at the driveway gate, undoubtedly more interested in the car than in the foreigners. a boy at the Bondere compound gateRavi had a tiny Fiat 600 so lacking in power that it could not climb one of the steeper hills up to our road. He drove the children to the American primary school supported by the U.S. Embassy and to all the appointments in the city for his research. He was not one, like me, for walking everywhere within walking distance.

 

 

map mogadiscio hamar weinOur house/compound was in Bondere, a district on high ground, above the city, on Nasib Bundo Steet. At the time it was a road, not a street, and I had no idea of its name. Standing across the road from our compound, near the corner with Gen. Da’ud Street, looking toward the east, I took two photographs. our compound wallFirst I caught the wall and gates of our compound, then in the second photo the entry gate of our compound wall, electricity lines, tin-roofed wattle-daub structures, a part of the compound wall and gate across from us. Our house/compound and those around us, including down along Gen. Da’ud Street, had been built by the Italians, and when they left at Somalia’s independence,1960, Somalis and foreigners moved in. The husband/father in most the families living near us was a United Nations professional. acros the road from our compoundCompared with their houses, ours was small and minimally equipped. The personnel of foreign Embassies lived in the city, the higher ranking among them in beautifully appointed houses in gardened compounds, served by Somalis trained to work with household appliances and a modern lifestyle, to drive and maintain motor vehicles. There were twenty-six Embassies in Mogadiscio, population approximately 100,000, and many additionally ran a development program. They, and international organizations, were quite a presence in the city.

Standing across the road from our compound, at Gen. Da’ud St., if I had turned my camera to the west, I could have photographed the compound wall of our friends’ house, an Indian couple, the husband with a firm exploring for oil in Somalia. I often walked over to visit Hanim, the wife, but never beyond her house. I do not recall compounds further on along the road in that direction and was totally unaware of the President’s house. I walked two or three times behind our compound to a large, multigenerational house sitting out there, all alone, to visit with the women of the household. I think they were Yemeni. Pastoral nomads came to the area from the bush, bringing goats and cows and a few camels to the Bakara market, then a bare open area.

I walked once down Nasib Bundo road to the Somali neighborhood. No one spoke to me and I did not linger. 39 Woman with the family’s pack camel ready for moving to a new campsite.I remember only that the houses were wattle-daub and to me it looked like a village. It did have a market place where Asha, the woman who helped me keep house, bought vegetables and meat for me each morning. She was Hawiye, Abgal, the clan of the region. One day, standing at the compound gate, I watched a family walking to the village, its camel padding and swaying along soundlessly, carrying on its back all their worldly possessions. I like this photograph because at the top of the goods the camel carries is a stool, upside down. We have two like this, leather seat and wooden legs. I commented here on a stool shown in the etching of economic activity in 19th century Mogadiscio.

For our second time in Mogadiscio we lived in an ordinary modern house near the Juba hotel, near Corso Somalia. Our compound gate was opposite a mammoth printing press, a gift from Russia, that required more electricity to run than the Somali government could possibly afford. I describe this house in the book and here write in detail about the kitchen and my cooking for the family. Admittedly, as a family we were far more comfortable there than in Bondere, but for me it was not nearly as interesting. I did not bother to take snapshots of the house or the compound.

 

 

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