The Earthships attract quite a bit of attention on the island with their unique shape and bottle work that glows in the sun. Boats arrive almost daily with small to large groups that wander the tiny island and pass our homes on the way to climb the single hill and take in the 360 view of the surrounding islands. They would attract a certain amount of attention anywhere they reside due to their unique shape and obvious use of materials you wouldn’t typically see used in the construction of a home (tires, glass bottles, cans…), but since these are 2 of the only structures on the island and certainly the only 2 Earthships in all of Indonesia they get “oohs” and “aaahs” from every passerby as well as the obligatory photo or 3.
Left: bottle work in WC Right: in shower room
The sunrise illuminates the southern wall creating a beautiful frame for the ocean between.
And yes, they call it the “hobbit house.” When we are home we invite the visitors into the home to experience the interior and explain how these are entirely autonomous buildings without the need to be hooked up to any sort of existing infrastructure. Electricity is provided from the sun and stored in batteries, water is harvested from the rain (we are at the tail end of the rainy season) & stored in 2 large cisterns and filtered through a series of pumps. The tires create a structure that is stronger and more durable than typical homes and can withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. Various humitarian relief projects have been completed or are currently underway let by the pioneer, Michael Reynolds, to bring this concept to areas in need. We attended the Academy with a group of students from Puerto Rico who are now leading such an effort back home in conjunction with Earthship Biotecture. The results are amazing as it takes the debris from a storm that ravished the area and provides a home that can withstand yet another upcoming hurricane season without having to be fearful that there homes will be destroyed.
Yesterday, as Rob, Teri and myself cooked dinner on the veranda to the sound of the tide coming in and the sunset creating a pink sky, we were greeted by a large international group that had just arrived to the island. Barefoot and in bathing suits, approximately 20 people walked the shore in front of the house. We waved and welcomed them all in so that we could explain what it was they were marveling at. A young girl said this was something she was very interested in. I explained the Academy that we had attended to her and wrote some information down for her to follow up on. As the boats typically arrive around 5 so that the passengers can climb the hill and enjoy the sunset view, they soon left to do that just that.
Views from the hill…
We were pleased that the captain, a local Indonesian from Lombok named Omar, stayed behind to chat while we prepared our meal. He explained that his large boat typically takes 20-40 people at a time for 3-4 days around various islands. They provide all accommodations and food for the entirety of the trip for the equivalent of $120 USD. Yep, things are crazy inexpensive here. Rob and I are thinking of hopping on one of these tours as our exit off the island on the 28th and landing on another island. This particular boat is going to Moyo next. Omar spoke perfect English and invited us to stay at his home in Lombok when we get there as he lives right on the water and is one hour from the Rinjani trek we plan to do while here. Rinjani is the second highest active volcano in the country at 12,000+ ft elevation. One of the tourists we met tonight said he climbed it and it was an incredibly steep and difficult hike, even with porters. He was glad he did it and would never do it again. Sign me up. I’m itching for a climb that kicks my ass. We took Omar’s number and may have him pick us up from our island at the the end of the month and stay at his place before climbing. It’s great to soak in all this information from the comfort of our veranda as people visit and pass by. As this group descended the hill and walked back down the shore to board their boat and eat dinner we were told, “We thank you for what you are doing. The whole world thanks you.” Those words brought a smile to all 3 of our faces because we all passionately believe in the sustainability of these homes and the importance of living in this manner.
Working in the sun
Indonesia’s numerous islands straddle both sides of the equator so not surprisingly the sun is very intense here. We knew it would be and came prepared with SPF protective clothing and lots of reef safe sunscreen. The temperature is between 80-87 degrees F with humidity at 75-85% daily. It’s hot and sticky. Thankfully, we have the ocean to cool off in and the much desired afternoon cloud cover that rolls in. The monsoon season has passed, but we are still getting occasional afternoon/evening showers that we love. It cools the day off and brings a breeze. Eventually the humidity comes back through, but we are sleeping just fine with a light sheet over us. The heat limits how much work we do outside in the middle of the day, but the snorkeling is perfect with the cloudless sky and sun shining through to illuminate the fish at this time. We have been diligent about sun protection and happy to report no sunburns have occurred. Hoping it stays that way!
Completing my second cup of coffee as I finish this post and about to take a skinny dip in the ocean to smart my day. Wishing everyone a week filled with curiousity, gratitude and fulfillment.
Much love, Lacy XX