Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
DECEMBER 1939
 
 
 
 
 
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JANUARY 1940
 
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FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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MAR 1940
12

Poso, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Tuesday, March 12, 1940

Thatched huts in Watoeamoe village
Thatched huts in Watoeamoe village, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
House in Watoeamoe village
House in Watoeamoe village, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Girl in Bada, Sulawesi wearing a traditional costume
Girl in Bada, Sulawesi wearing a traditional costume. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
A fine night and not rough. Had a better sleep than at any time on board as the natives for some reason did not come on the forward deck. When I got up at 6:30 as we were approaching the coast there was a range of mountains ahead of about 6000 ft and many low hills and inlets, much more interesting looking than on the north side of the gulf. We anchored at Poso at about 8. The landing was more attractive than any yet, with the small inn nearby, and very beautiful trees near it.

We soon washed up and shaved and were ready for breakfast. Good tea, boiled eggs, and sardines, but the butter and bread were both bad. Hugo could not stand the butter but ate the bread, which was sour. We have a good many supplies left from the boat which may still be useful.

I rather think this is a very hot place from the way the day starts in. Must ask soon if there is malaria, as I learned there was a good deal at Unauna.

We were very fortunate to have had good weather for 2 days and 3 nights on the Poigar and we both realized it and congratulated ourselves when we landed. The thought of being closed in with a heavy tropical rain and wind making a rough sea and half the natives sick, would have been unpleasantly memorable.

The natives were so thick on board that even in a moderate sea such as yesterday it was difficult to get from the forward deck to our baggage near the stern without stepping on anyone or sitting down on somebody’s anatomy.

After breakfast we presented our letters to the Assistant Resident, Mr. A. te Velde. We asked him about getting through to Palopo from here by way of Tentina. He was not very encouraging and thought it would be difficult. He said there was much malaria in all this country, just as much here as at Kolonodale. In many native settlements, he said, the spleens of all the inhabitants were visibly enlarged from malaria. The only form of control was to drain away all fresh water. A precaution he suggested was to always sit under a bright light in the evening.

We drove in a car with Te Velde about two hours on the Tentena road, where he said there were many palms. There were, but none of interest. I took some pictures on the way, one of a young Toraja girl whom Te Velde made dress up in her native costume and pose. She did not want to and was on the point of tears all the time. The costume was colorful but struck me as extremely warm for this climate.

Hugo and I had lunch at the inn.

I noticed at noon that the sun was practically vertical, as would be expected at this time, 1 degree south of the equator with the vernal equinox approaching.

Took a sleep and on waking up found that an army of small ants had found our supply box and had formed two one way traffic lanes across the floor. Their main interest was in the cheese and each ant was going off with a piece of cheese in its mouth. I decided to leave the cheese for them so put it in a more convenient place.

Mr. A. de Grijp a Dutch botanist who is in the Dutch service and has to do with an ebony and teak plantation near here talked with Hugo most of the afternoon on botanical subjects. He is an enthusiast and of course has much knowledge of this region, having been here a year. He is about to be married by contract to a woman in Holland whom he was bought up with and had not seen lately, after which he will go to Lombok to live. His English is very limited.

The rain came at 6 and was heavy for some hours.

I sat on the porch in the evening in shorts with the idea of studying the mosquito question but few turned up.

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