Have you ever travelled to eastern part of Indonesia? We know that Indonesia is a beautiful country. We can find the beauties from west to east of Indonesia. Now, the most place that is famous to be visited is Raja Ampat in Papua. Of course we can see many places not just in Papua but also hundreds of island distributed at eastern part. We may say Bali that is well known as tourist destination. Every one wants to see the uniqueness of Bali, even King Salman who has spent some nights in Bali before departing to Tokyo.
A few years ago, I visited some islands at eastern part such as Nusa Tenggara, Sumba, Flores, Ambon, and Buru. I visited the islands not for vacation but for humanitarian works. During the time, I was unaware that eastern part of Indonesia is also prone to disaster. Potential hazards may occur in those islands at any time such as earthquake, tsunami, flood, and landslide. I just noticed years after visiting the islands. During the time I just focused on my work and not the potential hazards around me.
We notice that some scientific researches on potential hazard in eastern areas are very limited. I knew about a big disaster occurred in Sikka, Flores years after. A magnitude 7.8 earthquakes that occurred on December 12, 1992 triggered tsunami. Huge wave swept away everyone living in Babi island. Around 263 local inhabitants in the island killed due to the tsunami, while 2.000 people in Sikka Regency, Flores.
Besides that, not only the potential hazards are the challenge in eastern of Indonesia, but also an infectious disease. It is malaria. Malaria is the infectious disease by microorganisms carried by an anopheles mosquito. In eastern of Indonesia there are areas identified as endemic-malaria, such as some regencies in Nusa Tenggara Timur, Nusa Tenggara Barat, and Maluku Utara. To address this disease, we do not have to worry about. We know that infected by the disease is worse experience ever. People may say that the malaria will stay in our body and never fully vanished.
We can make prevention before travelling to such areas with the endemic-malaria. Local people have their habits to prevent for being infected by the mosquito. They use papaya leaves, papaya flowers, or bitter gourd for being served as a vegetable dish. If we cannot process it properly, it will taste bitter. The vegetables are good for our blood. Local people say that it makes our blood bitter. It is why the mosquito keeps away from our body. They also practice to put papaya leaves at corners of their house and also at room ventilations.
In addition to malaria, we can use modern treatment as well such as put lotion of mosquito repellent or take drugs before vising the endemic areas. One of my friends practiced an extreme way, which is taking mahogany seed that is very bitter. He has never been infected by malaria for certain period living in Maluku. Meanwhile, I tried to practice the same thing. But I could not stand with the taste and ended with threw it up. It was very bitter.
So, we have to be well prepared for our travelling. We can make a checklist before travelling about what things can be obstacles, such as weather, disease, natural hazards, etc. Besides that, to observe local habit is important as well when we do travelling.