Kampung Wunga: First Inhabitants of Sumba

I fear growing old. It seems to me that I wasn't far away from high school when I had the energy to run back and forth the basketball court a thousand times. But today, is another story. I guess everyone maturing feels the same way as they began to feel their energy reduced day by day. Living in the big city and having a desk job makes it even worse! 

That is probably not the case for these first generations inhabitants of Sumba. As we were enjoying the wild beauty of Puru Kambera, we stopped by Kampung Wunga to check out the first village ever existed in Sumba. I wasn't expecting much other than very old houses made up of sticks and stones. However, the short encounter with the inhabitant was definitely an eye opening experience.

Meet Granpa Bhoku and Grandma Apu, some of the first living inhabitants of Sumba.
Chilling in front of their house.
One of the oldest house in Wunga Village.
Bhoku and Apu couldn't speak any language other than their native language. They couldn't even understand modern Sumba dialect. However, they greeted us with smiles when we showed up with money. I guess money is indeed a global language.

Through a translator, we talked about their names and their day to day activities. Since it was hard to find water and other source of food, they are used to long walks as far as 10 km. When asked about their age, they couldn't remember or estimate the exact number. Our translator estimated them to be about 90 years old.

As the conversation rolled, I asked them a permission to walk inside their house to capture more photos. I could see the confusion in their face as they reluctantly welcomed me inside. Trying to be as polite as I can be, I walked inside the house and smiled nervously. 
Buckets to transport goods.
Own made cushions as a sleeping mat.
Tombs where they bury their ancestors in the backyard.
Simplicity was their only option to live day to day. Luxury wasn't something that they seem to chase. They were all about providing the next meal for the coming days. I wasn't sure if that is the best way to live by, but they seem to be healthy and strong despite of all the lack of medic privileges that we can find easily in the big city.

I'm not a health expert, so I'm not going to go further with that topic.

As I circled around from the backdoor to the front, I found Bhoku writing down his name by scratching his fingernail on his calf's dry skin. The writing stayed for a few minutes, which actually showed us how dry his skins are.
Dry skin as a writing medium. 
After a few awkward silence, we decided to part ways. I took one last look at Bhoku and Apu and smiled at them. As they smiled back with a wide grin, I couldn't help but realize that life is moving at the pace that we choose. Living in the big city definitely has a faster pace than living in Sumba. I guess, in the end, it's a matter of choice.

To live fast, or to live slow. The best thing we can do is to enjoy every moment so that instead of dying, we are actually living every seconds of our life. 
Bhoku, chilling with style.

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