Meet Gafur and Fauji – our Dive Guide Trainees from Komodo Island
Gafur and Fauji have been a part of the team at Wicked Diving Komodo here in Labuan Bajo since August, when they both were welcomed to our dive centre on 4 week internship programmes in conjunction with Komodo Kita. They showed such competence, skill and above all passion, that we chose both of them to join the team on a permanent basis and complete Dive Guide training with Wicked Diving. They are great characters with huge smiles and zest for their new profession.
Gafur is 27 years old and grew up on Komodo Island. An avid nature lover, Gafur has played an active part in the research on Komodo to monitor the population numbers of Komodo dragons. He’s a great person to come on a trek with you, as he is full of knowledge and information. Gafur is known to make very loud noises of appreciation underwater when he sees something new and exciting. Gafur tells us that there are no monkeys on Komodo Island as they could not travel over from Rinca due to the strong currents in the Lintah Strait. He then tells us with a twinkle in his eye, ‘it’s because their fins are too small and they don’t have propellers. If there is a tornado though, the monkeys will ride the winds to the island.’ We think he’s teasing us!
Gafur has a wife and two children who reside on Komodo. He is missing them very much during his training. He hopes that he will be able to bring his family closer to him, when he begins work in Labuan Bajo. Gafur wants to not only be the best Dive Guide he can be, but also to show his peers that it is something that they can achieve too.
Fauji, 22, is also a resident of Komodo Island and grew up in the shadow of the dragons. Fauji is a great talker, and with no formal English lessons, he is already showing a real proficiency for learning English. He can now give a pretty much perfect dive briefing and is learning new words on a daily basis. He gets thrown a little by the strangeness of the English language. For example - Me, “So, two means dua, too means juga and to means ke.” Fauji, slapping his head, “ADUH!!”. (Aduh basically means ‘Oh dear!’).
Fauji’s family are all sea-faring people, with his uncle currently the Captain of Komodo Sea Dancer, Komodo Kita’s newly built dive boat. Fauji’s not the only one with a desire to have a career in diving. The team in Labuan Bajo are also teaching two of his brothers in the advanced swimming lessons that we are providing for students from SMKN1. They have a great example already in their brother and are hoping they will be able to follow in his footsteps.
Fauji tells us of a time when he didn’t know what existed under the waves, but always wanted to have a chance to find out. Now, when asked why he wants to be a Dive Guide, he says so that he can not only show people the beauty of his home, but help to protect it too.
Conservation Project Manager
Wicked Diving Komodo