The Man And The Lonely Island
Mapa , Sakia and their granddaughter Karmila near their house.
Gili Bula or Pulao Bedil / 170 x 70 meters
Paulo Bedil or as our sailors called it Gili Bula is a tiny island, which is sized 170X70 meters and located close to Sumbawa. This island is the one of seventeen and a half thousand islands of the Indonesian archipelago.
Here in this tropical paradise we have met the only inhabitants of this island. They are 75 years old Mapa and his 60 year old wife Sakia. Mapa told us that he settled down here 40 years ago. At those times it was a lifeless sand island framed by a coral reef. Deadwood and feather grass were the only inhabitants of these places. Mapa Robinson built a hut, planted all around the coconuts and lived happily enjoying the tranquility and serenity. When the coconut trees began to give fruit, he started to sell them to a nearby island or change for fresh water and rice. Mapa was exempted from taxes in gratitude for his contribution to statistics of inhabited islands. So 40 years have passed on a small piece of land in this way.
During their long life, Mapa and Sakia have raised and gave education to 12 children who live on the mainland now. They send grandchildren to their old parents to make them not to be alone. Thus, there is already a third generation of Robinsons.
It was amazing to learn the history of people who are not afraid of difficulties and who mastered and adapted absolutely barren land for living and earnings. The only thing we want to do is to wish them a good harvest and good health. But we go further …