A couple months ago I followed two super talented pro-surfer girls to the Mentawai's. Okay, that sounds creepy. I was hired to shoot these beautiful, badass girls on their quest to find good waves off faraway islands in the Indian Ocean. I shot photos for 10 days straight and surfed for 10 minutes with Kandui Villas owners' daughter (it was fun but we nose-dived a bunch and I got the worst rash from the SUP board we were using.) I'm not complaining. Put me on a plane to a exotic destination and I'll shoot anything. Two middle-aged men sitting naked in the middle of the hot Sahara desert mediating for 10 days straight? Okay, sure. I might see an Elephant.
It took us over 53+ hours to get to Kandui Villas. A series of flights [including a 16 hour plane ride from LA to Dubai], 3 layovers, and a 2 hour boat ride. Total mission and a reminder that I'm not 19 anymore.
I was pretty obsessed with everything. The water, the coconut trees, the people, Nasi Goreng. I was not impressed by the mosquitoes. I got eaten alive. It was painful. [Note to self: always bring bug repellent everywhere you go. Preferably organic and of citronella scents.]
One of the highlights of the trip was meeting the last generation of Mentawai medicine men. Their animism practices will soon be lost as their children and children's children reject the ancient practices for a "better" life in the city with cell phones and automobiles. Although it is a hard truth, I felt honored to meet such skilled men.. the last of their kind. I probably lingered for way too long and took way too many photos of them.
It was a good trip. All the way over there.