A conglomeration of three island names, Wakatobi is an amazing place at the far southeast arm of Sulawesi that has been set aside by the Indonesian government for protection - a Marine Protected Area (MPA). It was a wonderful place to get my introduction to the work that USAID does in the field. That being said, I'm pretty bummed that I didn't actually get into the communities. I arrived a couple days late due to flight and itinerary rescheduling at the last minute, so I missed the actually 'talking to the people' part. I did get to take a walk the morning of our departure and meet a couple of families, like this mother and daughter collecting octopus and starfish from the reef at low tide.
|Enjoying the sunrise before our dive.|
It was encouraging that the government appears to be committed to marine conservation. We toured the construction site of a new academy (similar to vocational school) dedicated to marine conservation practice. It was an impressive building. May be this child waiting on the stairs for his mom or dad to finish construction for the day will be a pupil in the new school.