Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Short Social Fiction: Adventures of Tupi 17

Tupi did not sleep well. Should he inform Jenny that some parents are exploiting the system? How would it affect the orphanage? How would it affect the kids? What if the foreign volunteers find out?

Tupi decided to take a break and informed Jenny that he would be traveling around Jaffna to visit the different sites. Tupi took a tuk tuk to the ferry to Delft Island -- land with wild horses. It was indeed an effort to get to Delft island -- Chartering a boat is not cheap and there were specific times to take the public ferry, all of which there were no proper signs and directions to follow. The boat ride took more than 1 hour and it was more bumpy than the roads to Jaffna.

Delft Island is a small coral island with a few interesting landmarks. Tupi arrived and a Tuk Tuk driver who could speak English quickly offered his service. It was about 2000 rupees for a 2 hour trip around delft and Tupi agreed on the offer.

Throughout the island, there were lots of very thin cows on the island. "Isn't this island a sanctuary for the horses? Why are there so many cows?" Tupi asked.

"The farmers brought the cows." the driver said.

Tupi looked around and all the grass looked overgrazed. There was just too many cows, and Tupi did not see any horses. "Isn't this a horse sanctuary?" Tupi asked. "Why are there so many cows?"

"The farmers brought the cows." the driver said.

Tupi was confused, it was clear that the cows were not supposed to be here were overgrazing the land.

Delft Island was unbelievably dry and hot. The landscape is rough and wide. The ground is covered in stones, dead corals and especially dead palm leaves. There were skinny cows everywhere, and the environment was dusty and hostile.

There were people living in Delft. The locals live in houses and they build fences with corals. The island gave a very rustic feel and everything feels a little unreal that people would live in such hostile environment.

Tupi visited the various touristy sites like the Baobab tree and fortress, and finally went out in the open to find the horses. The terrain was rocky and bare. There was little shelter and the sun was just intense. Tupi saw a lot of poo on the ground and finally spotted the horses as the tuk tuk moves towards them. The cows still outnumber the horses and they look thin and malnourished.

"Poor horses..." Tupi said and approached the horses and they moved away. The grass was very short and there were few watering holes.

"Many horses died last month... algae in their water." The driver said.

"They fixed it?" Tupi asked.

"Now people come and clean the water everyday." The driver said.

"Still looks like not enough food." Tupi said.

"Yes." The driver said as they stood there for a while staring at the horses before leaving.

Tupi was then sent back to the pier to catch his boat back to Jaffna.

Delft Island was nice but a little depressing. It was clearly a horse reservation over run with cows, and there is not enough food for the horses. The climate was harsh and there were too many cows. It looked like it was at the brink of an ecological disaster.

The day trip took the whole day as transportation to the pier and to the island took a long time. Tupi was still torn with his feelings. He returned to his room and packed up. His heart felt heavy. Jaffna was confusing. It was a nice place, Tupi wanted to love it, as it did feel raw and rustic, but it seemed not to be inviting to visitors.

Tupi had dinner and went to bed early. He had a long journey back to Colombo to meet some other friends before leaving Sri Lanka. At dinner, Tupi did not inform Jenny again. Perhaps it was for her own good, for the orphanage, and for the orphans. It was better this way for everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment