My research is about community perception. Community in here means people who live in the small islands or in other name, islanders. Basically I want to know whether one particular government project is working well or not i.e. whether the people aware about it, whether people really involved, etc. And that project is about Marine Protected Area (MPA).
My research area is in South Sulawesi Province; 2 hours flight from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. I choose to take 5 islands, out of 31, as my research sites. 4 of the islands are close together. I mean, 2 islands are close, then another 2 islands are also close. So I decide to go to 2 islands at one time; and the last island I’ll visit separately.
I stay one week in each island. So I travel for 2 weeks and go back to the mainland for about a week to prepare for the next trip.
Everything went perfect in my first trip. The 2 islands are near from mainland; only 1 hour wooden-boat rides.
In my 2nd trip, it was so messy. Here’s the thing: having boat ride here doesn’t mean that I travel with scheduled boat trip. There’s no regular boat trip. If you want to go to these islands, you have to go to the port and look for boat that will go to the particular destination. It means that we’re just hitchhiking.
So this time, I was told that the boat will leave at 8AM. Since I am just hitchhiking, I am so afraid that they would leave me. This has made my sleeping become a bit anxious. I am afraid that I can’t wake and the boat leaves me.
So there I was, half asleep, went to the port. And of course, the boat was late. They still need to buy gasoline and ice and those shops are not open yet!!! After waiting and waiting, finally we go at 12PM!!! It means the sun is 90o from your head! To make it worst, the boat is a cargo boat; so there’s no shelter for people!!!
Imagine, I am lack of sleep and tired of waiting; then I have to travel 3.5 hours with direct sunlight… A perfect way to make your body weak. And it does. I wasn’t 100% fit during my travel and jeopardize myself because I am entering malaria area :(