Kotet Welcome

7 08 2010

From Yawan, 1700 m above sea level, we made a half hour walk to Kotet, the village where our gang was to stay a few nights. The path, curving round the mountain side, provided some excellent vistas en route. However, the sun was surprisingly strong and my pasty limbs suffered as a result.

Walk to Kotet

It was evident that the villagers had planned a proper welcome and, as we’d caught them a little off guard, we had to wait a bit until they were ready to receive us…

A 'gate', but not the 'gate'

A makeshift ‘gate’ had been erected, adorned with cut flowers and boarded up with banana leaves. When ready, the leaves were cast aside and we were welcomed in, each receiving a garland of orange flowers, and a singsing group sang backed by kundu drums as we processed inside.

Taim bilong singsing

Singsinger (and future caterpillar assistant)

Nice hat

Binatang = Insects

Finally, we were seated on a bench and speeches were made by Tonsep (village leader), Vojta (BRC bossman), and Markus (BRC team leader).

The Gang (minus Vojta who took photo)

Then, although uninvited, the village Lutheran preacher stood up and extended a welcome to us, albeit in his own rather shouty preachy style, so it felt more like being scolded by teacher!




4 responses

7 08 2010
Dave B

The panorama looks truly amazing. Good to see that the locals are very supportive of the project. Don’t spare the orange garlands as I always say

7 08 2010
The Donk

A similar welcome commitee will be arranged for your homecoming to Otley, but I am with your mother on this one – it must be sans ridiculous beard! I am not sure who could do the shouty preachy teacher bit yet but sure I will find someone…
Anyway looks amazing, carry on!

7 08 2010

This is better than David Attenborough. Orange is definitely your colour – goes with the beard. What a ridiculous life we lead in the west when you see how simply the folk live up those mountains and how the whole community pulled out all the stops to welcome you. You do look pasty though. Am sure your Mum will volunteer for the shouty preachy address when you return. Can’t wait for the next episode.

Love x

9 08 2010

I’m not sure I can live with comparisons to David Attenborough and Edward VII. Someone of lesser repute would’ve been more appropriate. Ben Fogle, for example! x

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