There was a blackout during one of our routine grocery runs and when the power came back on after a minute or two we assumed it was over. These rolling blackouts are common here in NTT and most are pretty brief. What we didn’t consider was that this was actually a much worse and longer blackout since we first learned of it at Hypermart. The power quickly came back on as the store is equipped with its own generator. When we got back to our apartment building, we discovered that the power had been gone for about 30 minutes and nobody was holding their breath for its return.
Some of the tenants were hanging out in common areas chatting in the glow of candles and phones. Among these candlelit socialites was our beloved teammate Nova and our neighbor Adi, whom none of us had met previously. Adi, as it turns out, is from the city of Waingapu on the Island of Sumba – our next destination for sensor deployment. His English was more than good enough to give us advice for working (and eating) in Sumba and entertain us with stories about Borneo (Kalimantan) and Sulawesi before he insisted he treat us to dinner at his favorite local Chinese restaurant. Over dinner Adi bonded with us and shared tales of his travels around East Asia and warned us of the irresistible temptresses of Sulawesi as well as the malicious black magic of betrayed lovers in Borneo. He also opened up to us about his family and experiences in business, as well as his enjoyment of discussion with new people. The food was delicious (as was the hot tea served in mugs) and no plate was left unfinished despite the engaging conversation. By the time we got back to our place the power had come back on and we could doze off to the heavenly drone of our air-conditioners, happy to have made such an interesting and generous new friend.
|A happy group at dinner, including our new teammate Adi.|