Sunday, 23 March 2014

Beads for Papua 1 : Here We Gooooo...

Part 1 of 4 articles of "Beads for Papua"

Afternoon, Friday 6 Desember 2013. The clock in my office showed it was 15:30… one hour before the taxi to the Soekarno-Hatta Airport arrived. Once again I checked all the things I have to bring with me in this trip, especially the donated beads from some generous friends. Honestly, I was surprised with their generousity... the total weight of those beads was not less than 7 kg. Wow!
Lili Krist Manik Jawa and one of her friend, Tanti Saraswati, Tanty Sri Hartanti, Mikko Wiropati, Isworo Larasati, Febrini A. Risyad, and of course from me Esterina K. Jagiella… One by one I took pictures of those gorgeous beads, posted the pictures in Facebook Group Indonesia Bead Lovers (IBL) right before leaving to the airport.

From Mikko Wiropati who was the most enthusiastic with this program... sending beads as soon as she knew I was going to Papua *hugs!*

From Isworo Larasati... those gemstones are awesome!!

From Febrini A. Risyad.. just like magic.. using regular shipping service sent in the afternoon, and yet arrived before 8 o'clock the next morning... one second before I opened my door for leaving to the office... amazing!

From Tanti Saraswati... the first one to contact  LiliKrist excitedly wanted to participate in this program... I bet with that pretty bright colors, those beads would become a hit!

From LiliKrist Manik Jawa and her friend... Lilik was the one who had the idea for this program. Those blue yellow and green ropes made me confuse at first... what could I do with them...

From Tanty Sri Hartanti... haha.. just because LiliKrist made mistake giving me her number instead of Tanti Saraswati 's number... ended-up her to join the program and donated her beads. Those beads are pretty..
And this one was like magic too... the package arrived 1- minutes before I left to the airport. What a timing!!

And... Gudo seedbeads from me :) 


See... lot of beads!!! There were glass beads, crystals, gemstones, acrylic beads, resin beads, shells, corals, wood beads... plus the components: wire, including memory wire, ropes, jump-rings in several sizes, keychain rings,  earring hooks... and a lot more... everything you need to make jewelry was there.

This program was started from a small talk with Lilik Manik Jawa, who knows that I often went to Papua for my job. Finally, we came up with an idea of sharing and teaching the women in Papua for simple stringing. The first time, it was done in Oksibil, Pegunungan Bintang District in Papua. At that time, it was only with the beads from Lilik Manik Jawa and me... not much, only about 2 kgs.

This time, the second time, my trip was to a very small town in Ilu District, Puncak Jaya Papua. I searched in google and wiki, wanted to give you a little bit description about the town... found none! But you might knew already that Cartenz Peak, the highest mountain peak in Indonesia, is on the same district as Ilu. So, imagine... it's cold. Ilu is located on the slope of a mountain, not less than 2500 meter above sea level... very cold yes, but not freezing. 

 Yes!! that red mark.. right in the middle of Papua..               Photo Ilu, taken from a plane in 2011                     Ilu, seen from one of the hill                     
That was the third time I visited Ilu, which has a jaw-dropping landscape. The first and the second time was in 2011, for the preparation and implementation of free cataract operation program, which was organised with the Indonesian Red Cross and Dian Harapan Hospital. And in this third time, also for the same purpose... only that this would have more added values... Beads for Papua Program.

From several trips to several places on the Papua mountains, met and talked with the local people, in particular the Dani tribe, I understand that they very much respect and value beads, or "ingken" in Dani language. The Dani tribe is the biggest tribe in Papua, living mostly on the central high mountains. For this tribe, “ingken” has become their culture, that until now still being strongly kept and respected. Almost every one wearing bead necklaces, babies and oldies, men and women... Mostly wearing several very long simple-strung necklace that they circle several times on their neck... the more the better!
OK, now back to Jakarta. From Jakarta, Garuda flight Boeing 737-800NG took off at 21:15 in the evening, 20 minutes late from the schedule, arrived at Sentani Airport in Papua at 07:15, Saturday the following morning after 30 minutes transit in Makassar and Biak. Long flight ya? Indonesia is really big... spent long hour flight, and landed still in Indonesia... and that's only two third of the length hehehe...

Sentani Lake from the plane (see the runway?)
a moment before landing
From Sentani Airport, we have to travel by car on a winding road along the beautiful Sentani Lake to reach Jayapura city an hour later... having rest to continue our trip the next day (well, to have more sleep to be precise... hehehe) whilst preparing for the Cataract Program.

The next day, Sunday, we travel back to Sentani Airport to continue our trip to Wamena, with Trigana Air Service ATR 72-200. Only need 50 minutes to fly from Jayapura to Wamena. Wamena is the biggest city on the Papua mountain... more like the gate to access the other smaller city there. The same day, in Wamena, we were able to get two 4-WD cars to rent for out trip from Wamena to Ilu. After spending one sleep and sound night in Wamena, Monday at 8:30 morning we departed to Ilu. The trip with lots of bumps, jumps and 'ouch!' for knocking our heads on the inside of the car door. Yup.. very bumpy and difficult dirt stony road... several times had to get into the river to cross.. no bridges or broken bridges in some rivers.  The driver said : let's wash out the mud from the tyres!! hehehe... It was really an amazing journey.. :D Plus the picturesque beautiful landscape along the road, pretty mountains with blue sky behind them, the honais (traditional house of Dani tribe) on the mountain slopes and the side of the road... I was blessed!!! having a chance to experience this amazing journey. Luckily, it had not rained for several days before, so the road was a bit dry and we had less possibility to be stuck on the mud.

After more than 7 hours, we arrived in Ilu... our destination. In this small city district the free cataract operation and free eye examination would be carried out... as well as our "side program" Beads for Papua.

(To be continued to "Beads for Papua 2 : Ilu and Its Bead Culture")


  1. You are doing 2 very amazing & good jobs Esterina :-) Loved to read this post!

    Lots of greetings from your Dutch FB-friend.

    1. Hi Dini... so kind of you :D Huge thank you!!
      I am glad you joined me in that amazing journey. The more I think about it, the more I feel blessed, having a chance to experience all of that.
      The last part of 4 is on the blog now.. Enjoy reading..

      With the warmest hugs and best wishes to you.. :)