Our love story with Alor started in 1998, after several trips in Indonesia. Attracted by the Indonesian luxuriant seas and the friendliness of the countryside people, we felt under the spell of the unspoiled Alor islands with their wealth of sea life, and their so unique communities. So much to learn from their positive open-mind, their tribal consistency, their relation to the sea guided by their animist traditions, and so much other cultural or behavior characteristics that make you think about what life is… It was evident for us that we would like to live here, then we started our adventure on the tiny, beautiful and magic Kepa island, with members of the Menglolong original tribe of Kepa.
Respect of local communities and nature was naturally the spirit of our project. We have done (and still do!) our best to develop our facilities with the lowest negative impacts on the environment: renewable energy was important for us although finding solar systems was not easy, low energy consumption choices, local and mainly renewable ressources… Cedric had an unforgettable experience working with the local artisans for building with so limited tools but knowledge transmitted from generation to generation, and Anne’s engineer experience in waste & water treatment helped in technical choices.
Touched by diving virus at an early age (Cedric started to dive at 13 years), it has been a fascination to be immerged in Alor underwater world. And after all these years, he is still excited by a possible rendez-vous with some hammerhead or mola-mola, by observing the mutation of a juvenile frogfish or the pregnancy of pygmee sea-horse week after week, or by chasing tiniest nudibranch or new variety of rhinopias.
Slowly we set our family in Kepa island, having two daughters happy to grow in a great nature and caring enlarged family. After 2004 earthquake Anne worked with NGOs and later implement with Swisscontact a program to develop seaweed farming, which is not only generating income for poors but also shift their interest from easy destructive fishing practices.
Because this paradise is really sensitive we are always aware about ways to preserve it. We try to keep self-criticism about our own impact, to share information with coastal inhabitants, to support fishermen or government in their actions to protect the ecosystem and the resource.