As the least visited shopping mall in Kuta put the holiday decorations and songs, it drew me to a reflective mood. Widi, Ira and I were talking about each other’s holidays. Widi was so inspired by Melbourne and Ira by Raja Ampat. I concluded, the best decision I made this year is going to Alor.
Alor, especially Alor Kecil, is a very exciting place. It is 20 minutes drive from the capital city Kalabahi or 45 minutes drive from Mali Airport. Alor Kecil is the door to many interesting water sports destination, be it scuba diving, freediving, snorkeling, fishing, yachting or sailing. Yachts and cruise ships often enter its waters. And most dive destinations can be reached around 30 minutes to an hour from Alor Kecil.
Alor Kecil is a safe place. I never lost a single item during my stay there. The people know each other, they are very welcoming not to mention friendly. That is the most important thing, no?
It is also the very place where I discovered the long lost painter in me. Drawing is indeed my hobby, but I had never explored it that much. Until in Alor. Before I flew there, I put my colored pencils, acrylic and watercolor paints with me with some books in my backpack, thinking perhaps I’m gonna need it.
To be sure, my painting marathon started in a funny way (at least for me): one day, I forgot to bring my underwater camera to Munaseli, where I was met with four sea turtles, three sharks, countless barracudas and many more. So when I went home, I grabbed my book and painted my experience. Yes, I found no difficulty in finding what to paint since the underwater beauty of Alor is very inspiring.
Over time, when sketch papers were scarce, I searched for other surfaces. Previously, I had used unusual media like paper cups, coasters, shirts and shorts, and baseball caps. What’s next? My eggsploration (pun intended) led me to use eggshells. It started when I made a (regular) visit for free meals at Acionk’s and Willy’s place. After every yummy meal, I told them out of courtesy, Let me wash the dishes. One day I saw a pile of cracked eggshells. I questioned myself, Are they beautiful? Can they be beautiful?
One day, I went with them to an underwater wall at Pantar Island. The site is so beautiful. Cannot forget the sight of millions of anthias springing from the colorful walls…. Quite scenic! Soon as I got home, I rushed to paint the anthias on the inside of the cracked eggshells. I had to be extra careful because they are so brittle. Once finished, felt the anthias came to life!
Thought, eggshells are beautiful, albeit fragile. They made me think of Alor underwater life: they’re beautiful and fragile. If we do not take good care of our underwater riches, they will be gone! I can’t imagine how great our loss be if they’re indeed gone.
These painted eggshells are a good media to convey the message. On a lighter note, it is also a way to make people want to go to Alor and witness the underwater beauty Alor is world-known for.