When I started the development of Togo Eang by late 2018, I was determined to do something to help the village nearby. At the time, I was still working in Malaysia and travel around Southeast Asia for work. I didn't have time to physically be involved with any village activities. I had a very good job and I enjoyed what I do.
I had a contractor helping me with everything - I just need to communicate with her and make sure everything in the right track and visited the island few times until I realised it was not working. I found out that not only she took my money, but the building is never gonna finished. It was a painful period of time.
The company I was working for expanded greatly in very short time, things then started to fall apart - emotionally amongst the employers. I didn't feel the soul anymore, everything started to all about money and less about people. The top management team is changing few times and there was lack of direction.
Finally on June 2019, I decided to quit everything and moved to island. I always wanted to develop this project with my bare hands and see the progress in my eyes. Working on a remote island has been really challenging yet exciting. With no experience at all in construction, everything is new for me. I had 3 workers live with me full time and 1 motorist live from the village that comes everyday.
It was quite a bold decision for a 30 yo single city girl like me! No body really understand, why and how on earth I do that. My parents who spent every winter in Indonesia (they been living both Indo-Germany for many years), came to live with us few months. They want to build a home for when they retired. In summer I live with my staffs and have visitor friends and volunteers once in a while.
I never know that I could live there full time, but then my life is way simpler and happier on the island. I started learning local language, food, jokes, local myth, and everything so new and interesting. There are many things that don't make sense, like ghost stories tho I do believe in spirit. I am still stress with the project but I can do many fun activities and feels like you are on holiday. I have a boat and motorist so I don't depend on public boats.
Activities I enjoy:
- Exploring different snorkelling place
- Fishing trip with my workers
- Kayak with traditional Bajau wooden boat around the island
- Yoga on the beach
- Evening drinks with my workers
- Getting gardening materials from the village (soil, cow shit, ect - they are all free to get!)
- Teaching english at local school village
- Go to nearby Bat Cave to get free guano
- Watering my plants and see them grow taller everyday
Now, I live with 2 adopted puppies (Shlumpee and Alice), 1 lizard pet (Oscar), 1 chicken (Tony), 3 workers, 1 volunteer. My motorist and a cook comes daily to help and cook for us. I sometimes go shopping for the project to Ampana, Palu, or Gorontalo.
Life is simple yet full of happiness. Life's a beach.