Alhor, our first mission is done and enough work is waiting for us!
On October the 28th a Kolewa delegation traveled to the Island Alor for the first time. From Denpasar(Bali) we had a short stop in Kupang (Timor) and flew to Mali-airport. It was a thrilling flight because of the hard wind and a short landing strip. Especially the Indonesian team members didn’t feel well, but luckily they recovered fast.
We managed to get the help of one our local contacts, Zarus and driver Frenky, who were waiting fur us near the exit. Zarus arranged a car, made reservations at a hotel and already made some other preperations to locate children with a cleft lip.
Alor is a beautiful Island that is barely noticed by tourists yet and has a wonderful coast, seven gorgeous diving spots and has a pearl industry. The people are friendly, approachable, live in simpel conditions and have restricted medical healthcare (not to mention plastic surgery). Alor has a relaxt atmosphere and looks some way Jamaican, because of the many rasta hairstyles we saw during our stay. Approximately 15 diffrent languages are spoken, called: ‘Papuan’. Luckily, Zarus speaks Bahasa Indonesia and a little bit English.
We went to local accomodations and restaurants. Sleeping, showering en toilet-use were not pleasant. However the food was very good (in Indonesian: ‘enak’). Our stay was at Hotel Kenari, which we cannot recommend for western people, but it was (sort of) acceptable (as other options were not availabe).
Our new scout prepared very well for our visit. We visited many consultation clinics and scouted multiple cleft lip children. Three of them we took with us to Bali for an operation. Next, we sailed to the Island Kepa and visited in Alor-Kecil a traditional village.
Soon it became clear to us that we are one of the first NGO’s with a focus on children with congentinal physical impairments. Posters and other information were happily received and hung up on the walls. Many people know potential patients we can help and therefore we decided to add Alor to our region we provide care to in Indonesia.
On the fourth day of our journey, we said goodbye to Zarus and offered him to continue ase a scout for our Indonesian organisation Yayasan Kolewa Harapan Indonesia. This young man, with background in architecture and without any current job or income, has pleasantly surprised us during our journey. He accepted our offer with big enthusiasm. Shortly, we will try to visit Alor again to pick up the next delegation of children we scouted. Two are on the wating list: a boy with a open palate and a girl with hydrocephalus.