4th January 2010
Moni is a very small village perched on the edge of the mountain and sits either side of the Highway…which can be a little crazy when bemos are passing by! But it is quiet and pretty. I feel like I am in the middle of nowhere…this mountainous region is so remote from anywhere!I am settled in at ‘Watugana’ and feel totally at home straight away…Maria and I have become good friends fast.
My first morning I wake up at 4.30am to the ringing of the church bells…nice to hear them ringing out in the middle of the mountains. They were really loud, as the church is just behind ‘Watugana’. At 5.30am loud music started playing through speakers from the market – it was Monday and it was market day in Moni! And Moni was awake and alive!
I headed down to the Moni Monday Market pretty early – I was keen to check it out. It was super busy! So many people selling things – fruits, vegetables, ikat – or traditional woven cloth, fried snacks, clothes and so many other things!
The quiet village of Moni had suddenly turned into a busy trade centre for all the local villages nearby.
I ended up seeing Maria and I followed her around the market as she did her shopping. I didn’t buy anything, except for some local snacks – ubi with gula inside (sweet potato with brown sugar inside). It was really nice to just wander around and have a look. Two of the most important items to be on a shopping list for a local, would have to be chillies and betel nut…and it was quite astonishing to see the array!
After wandering around the market for a few hours with Maria, I decided to go and have a look at the church and the local primary school, which was next door. The primary school children were doing their morning sweeping!
Then Maria and I walked to the local traditional house – ‘rumah adat Moni’ – there were two houses with high thatched roofs. Maria explained that one of the houses was over 100 years old and that eight families still lived in that house. Unfortunately the houses were all locked up, as the families were (of course) at the market! So I couldn’t go inside the houses but it was enough to view them from the outside. I also took a look at the grave site, which was large stones forming a circular wall on the ground.