16.11.14

Greenland: Kulusuk Village, Inuits & Cemetery

Kulusuk, July 2014




Kulusuk is the getaway to East Greenland and opportunities for the adventures on and around the island cover everything from cultural encounter to extreme expeditions.

I read it on some tourism brochures and I'm sold. With the best plane window view ever, I knew I already fell in love with this land even before landed.

walking tour to Kulusuk village

The first thing I did after checking into the only hotel in Kulusuk was joining the walking tour to the village. Guided by one of the hotel staffs, I walked about 6 km distance back and forth from the hotel - across the hill and valley together with some of the hotel guests. The island is actually small, only 8 km from north to south and 11 km from west to east.

cemetery with a view

After walking over a hilly terrain, we stopped at the village cemetery on a small hill. It's interesting to find that all those white crosses are nameless. The body is only a temporary home,  Inuit believes that life is eternal and death is only a transformation from one world to another. That's why they don't put name on the graves because the souls are on a journey to the other side. A world under water and earth, where there are plenty of seal meat and the sky rich on berries. According to them, hell doesn't exist.

When I mentioned to some friends that I was in Greenland, most of them were thinking about lush green island with colourful flowers. Nope, Greenland is anything but green. In fact it's mostly white with hardly any land at all. It's even pretty difficult for plants to grow that the cemetery is festooned with plastic flowers.




pathway to the village

Summer in Greenland means thousands of crazy flies. These pain- in- the- ass tiny creatures would buzzing and swarming all over your face. So annoying that a lot of people opt to wear mosquito hat net. I left mine in the hotel and I happened to swallow one or ten flies also some stuck inside my nose and ear. While walking, I kept saying "shuuh....shuuh go away" and doing some kung fu motion to keep the flies away. Though it may looked funny, believe me, it was not fun at all!


abandoned dogs :'(

Suddenly from a far distance I heard a long sad howling. As a dog lover, I recognised it well....it was a sound of dog crying. Naturally I walked faster towards the sound, curious to find what happened to the dog. My eyes noticed some movements behind a hill and I stood stunned in silence....feeling brokenhearted. There were about a dozen of sad faced dogs chained to a wooden thingy with a rotting seal carcass as their food.

"These dogs are being punished because their owner doesn't take a good care of them." I heard the guide were explaining to my group.

"How come the dogs have to be punished when it's not even their fault?" I could feel tears running down my cheeks. I had a mixed feelings of angry, sad and helpless for not able to do anything.

"The owners are too poor to even afford their own life and these dogs became aggressive from hunger and lack of love. Thus they are put in this 'prison' and will be slaughtered."




Kulusuk village

Feeling devastated, I decided to walk away from the sad scene. I realised travelling doesn't only teach us to see beautiful things but also learning some bitter truths. Whether I like it or not, this is how the local lives, I have to accept the law and culture of this foreign land.

It wasn't long until I reached Kulusuk village. The tiny village with colourful wooden houses clings to the rocky island above a glittering sea of iceberg with dramatic mountain peaks as a backdrop. It must have been one of most beautiful landscape I've ever seen. With only around 300 inhabitants, there's a supermarket, a post office and a church in the village.




Inuits

"Most of the Inuits here are pretty poor that sometimes they have to move from one house to another because they can't afford the rent." The guide told me. "They survived mostly from fishing and seal hunting."

Okay, now I kinda feel bad for blaming the dog owner earlier. The life in this village is actually tough. They hunt the seals and keep the carcass under the sea water. If it's not consumed within 3 days, they will feed it to the dogs. Besides hunting, the Inuits get some cash from selling handmade souvenirs. One of them is Tupilaks, 'scary looking' ritualistic figures made from wood, whale bones, tooth and reindeer antler points. In Greenlandic words, 'Tupilak' means an ancestors spirit. It's believed that a tupilak is a home for spirit and previously were used by the shaman to against a foe. Tupilak are often carved based on some figures from Inuit mythology. Pretty interesting, right?


Tupilak

handmade souvenirs

with some adorable Inuit kids

I've just posted some postcards in the post office when I spotted some curious-looking Inuit kids. I waved my hands toward them and pulled a plastic full of candies out my bag.

"Come here. Do you want some candies?" I offered a handful of sweets to them. Though a bit shy, I could see their eyes sparkled with joy and nodded gleefully. They said some words that sounded very foreign to me. I don't know, perhaps they were saying a 'thank you' or anything. I ended up sitting on the post office step and eating candies with these kids. Too bad I don't understand Greenlandic language. Though I was happy to somehow 'communicate' with them.


interior of the church

the only church in the island

colourful houses

cute Greenlandic dogs

Kulusuk village

Kulusuk is a remote, mysterious, extreme and a fairy tale like land for me. It seems bizarre yet I feel a strong bond with it. I could actually see myself staying here for a long term while learning about the Inuit life and culture. Maybe one day :)


FREEBIES!





Hey! I still keep some knick knacks that I bought during the trip. So, time for freebies it is!
3 winners will be chosen randomly and will get a package of postcard & keyring from Greenland plus passport cover and luggage tag.

Here's how to join:

1. Make sure you have followed my instagram @debbzie_leksono or twitter @twitdebbzie
2. Tweet this sentence >>> #GiveAway souvenirs from Greenland + passport cover & luggage tag. Join on www.debbzie.com! cc: @twitdebbzie
3. Don't forget to leave your email address and twitter or instagram user ID on the comment box below. So you'll be the first to know when you're chosen as a winner. Hurry! :D

Closing date: 30 November 2014 (closed)

Congratz to @shintaries @gypsysoul04_ @septimelia :)

91 comments:

  1. Itu bongkahan2 es nya keren yaaa macam di pahat2 trus rumahnya sederhana tapi colorfull warna2 nya kece

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    Replies
    1. iyaaa, macem2 bentuk iceberg-nya. Cakep banget sampe speechless :)

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  2. Awww. What a magical place. The scenery seems so perfect with its colourful establishments. So sad about the dog.
    My twitter account is @danirachmat email dani.rachmat@outlook.com.
    will tweet after this. :) thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's a magical place for me :)

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  3. kalau masuk blog ini selalu bikin iri perjalanan luar negerinya.. ngak apa apa lah... walau belum sempat ke sana saya dah cukup baca blog ini... baca blog ibarat menjelajahi dunia eropa...ma kasih mbak...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bacanya sambil make a wish aja, semoga suatu hari bisa sampe sini juga. Aku sering begitu kalo baca blog orang lain :)

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  4. Rusuh lagi ah klo ada giveaway nya kak Debz, hihihi...
    Seneng baca petualangannya kak Debz di Greenland tp kasian pas bagian ketemu anjing2 yg dihukum :(
    Setuju jg dg kata2 "The body is only a temporary home, life is eternal and death is only a transformation from one world to another and souls are on a journey to the other side"
    TOP lah pokoknya blognya kak Debz #ngerayu :D
    ratrindra@gmail.com
    @ratriic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahaha.....pake ngaku mau rusuh disini *kirim Tupilak buat Ratri* :p

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    2. Perasaan di poto freebiesnya ga ada Tupilak *merinding*
      Ampuuuun kaak... :D

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    3. kan Tupilaknya khusus buat Ratri, kakakaka :p

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    4. Jangan2... Tupilaknya yg request minta dikirim ke aq :D :D

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    5. emang mau ditaksir Tupilak? hihihi

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    6. Ndak mau kak, saya tidak mau mengganggu hubungan kak Debz dg Tupilak... *sok wise* hahaha...

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  5. AKU AKU AKU MAU IKUT! hihihi.

    Email : lohh.sharon@gmail.com
    Twitter : @lohsharon
    Instagram : @sharon.loh

    ReplyDelete
  6. anjing ya lucu2.. knp gk dibawa pulang 1 ci..
    asik ikutan kuis lg ah...kali aja yg mau b'day baik hati mau kasi ke diriku
    email : agung_real@yahoo.co.id
    twiter/instagram : @agungkristiono

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kalo bisa pasti udah kubawa pulang semua :'(

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  7. Wew... tdk seindah yg kubayangkan sebelumnya ttg greenland. Kecuali bagian es nya yang masih membuatku melting (krn gue hidup di negara tropis jadi melihat bongkahan es dimana-mana masih menarik. Hahaha..#satire) Tapi one day kalo dikasi kesempatan ya pengen kesana juga mencicipi pengalaman yg cakep seperti tulisan debbzie di atas.
    chrys_tanta@yahoo.com
    @JunitBamoeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aminnnn. Semoga bisa jalan2 ke Greenland juga ya :)

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  8. selalu ga suka kalo baca ttg hewan yg dibuang, dibunuh, diburu bgitu.. apalagi hewan2 yg sbnrnya bisa jd sahabat manusia kyk anjing :( Seal jg lucu bnrnya...makanya aku juga paling bnci nntn acara2 ttg hewan2 predator gitu mba... ngerti sih, itu udh rantai alam... tp tp ga tega :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sama Fan, aku juga paling ga tegaan kalo liat binatang luka atau dibunuh :((

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  9. Ci Debzzz mau passport cover nya yang lutju bingitsss donggg ;-) ... plus diksh foto ci Debzz yg paling tjantik jg boleh
    :-D

    Email: timothy.wpawiro@outlook.com
    Instagram ID: timothywpawiro
    Twitter ID: @timothywpawiro

    XOXO

    :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *kasih foto Tupilak yang tjantik* :p

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  10. yuni,indri02@gmail.com
    IG nd twitter : @yuuunique

    ReplyDelete
  11. Every time I see photos from Greenland I say I want to go but end up not doing it. I will for sure in 2015.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greenland is a beautiful place worth to visit. Hope you'll make it soon :D

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  12. Ya Tuhan Indaah bangeeeet, paling adem buka ini blog kalo lagi tripsick. hihii

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kalo honeymoon disini, dunia bener2 milik berdua lho, hihihi

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  13. Email: tuty.utut@gmail.com
    Twitter: @tuty_utut
    IG: tutymohamad

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cantikk bangett kak... Gerett akohhh kesana plissss kakkk ... *gelendotanKakdebz*

    Twitter: @debby_Nadia
    Email: debbynadiap@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aku juga rela digeret balik kesanaaaa #ehhh :p

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  15. ya ampun, ya ampun .. colorfull banget, Kak Deb .. astagaaa .. ngeliat via blogmu aja aku bahagia, gimana kalo kesana langsung .. lucky you .. ;)

    email : noerazhka@gmail.com - twitter account : @noerazhka - IG account : noerazhka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aslinya jauh lebih cantikkkkk, Noer. Ai pol in lope :p

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  16. Love traveling too, i hope i can travel like you do
    Email : zulidadwi@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't stop dreaming and make it happen :)

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  17. Kak debbie, sejujurnya baru kali ini aku gk suka baca postingan kk. Well even i can't hv dogs but i love them. I never agree if they're being victim of humans with anything reason! But if it's cause of culture, wht should i do?

    Tapi aku penasaran kak, desa unik ini lebih dingin mana yah sama Rjukan (kota di Norwegia yg tiap tahun hewan"nya sampai beku saking alamnya kejam) ato Longyearbyen (saking dinginnya org disana dilarang meninggal, blhnya di kota tetangga yg suhunya lbh manusiawi. Di Norwegia jg).

    Walaupun baca posting ini sambil nangis, tapi aku bahagia krn kak debbie sll bs jd motivator aku. Aku jg ingin foto norak brg salju

    Ditunggu ya kak kiriman saljunya setoples,
    Email: nintya.ramadhini@gmail.com
    Twitter: @NintyaSR
    Insta: @nintyaramadhini (i'm your stalker)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Aku juga sedihhhhh banget pas liat ekspresi anjing2 ini. Beneran mereka nangis sampe melolong, minta dilepasin. Kata guide, mereka udah seminggu diiket disini dan kalo gak ada yang nolong bakal dibunuh :((
      Kemarin aku ke Kulusuk pas summer, jadi biarpun dingin masih oke lah. Ntar ya, aku kirimin salju pake termos es :p

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    2. Huff. Udah ah gk mau bahas nanti nangis lagi yg ada. Hoo gitu. Tapi disana sinar matahari ada kak? Bener ya kak tapi smpe sini udh cair yg ada haha

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    3. pas summer sih terang terus langitnya. tapi ntar pas winter hampir sepanjang hari gelap dan dinginnnnn >.<

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  18. Nice story, Deb... Entah kenapa lihat kompleks makamnya nggak ada kesan serem, malah keceeee banget. Ehmm tanah kubur di sana murah nggak ya? *nyicil tanam daun emas* hehehe

    Coba ikutan freebies-nya ahh...
    Twitter : @halim_san
    Email : halimsantoso84@gmail.com
    IG : halimsantoso

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tanah kuburan idaman ini emang, Lim. Cantik banget ya :D

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  19. Hi, kak! This is my very first time ever to read about traveling to Greenland. And voila~ it captivates my heart. Surely I wanna give a shot to visit Greenland someday. The Inuits may seem to survive their life so hard, but their life is actually so colorful; make outsiders look at them with a wide range of perspectives. And yes, just like what we can see from the colors of buildings there (oh, that captivates my heart the most!), colors become a language for them; to tell everyone how deep and mysterious they are. And we will stay curious and curious.

    This is actually also my first time visiting your blog, kak. Just like the Inuits did, this post makes the grade to captivate my heart, and I think I will start kepo-ing previous posts haha.

    And please count me in your freebies!
    Email: septimeliautami@gmail.com
    Ig, Twitter: @septimelia
    Fb: Septi Melia Utami

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Melia :)
      Semoga betah kepo-ing my blog ya, hahahaha.

      Delete
  20. sebelumnya cuma tau lewat IG, tapi pas udah tau blognya ternyata lebih iwoow lagi <3
    very inspiring to travel oneday ^^
    dan Kulusuk ini oemjih oemjih indaaahnya..though their life is pretty poor, but God gives them an invaluable pretty scenery.
    ditunggu knickknacks nya ciciii awesome <3
    iyaaa_tya@yahoo.com / IG=iyaaatya / Twitter=iyaaatya

    ReplyDelete
  21. Cinta deh,, Kak Debb...!!skalian nimbrung pengen souvenirnya,, hehehe...

    Email : frebinasari_yuki@yahoo.com
    ID twitter : @Frebina_4JieSPi

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  22. Hello Mbak Debb!

    *selalu muncul kalo ada freebies* hahahaha.

    Itu di cemetery-nya kalau malam, gelap dan horror nggak, Mbak? Dan yg jelas dingin banget ya pasti.. Bisa kelihatan dari bongkahan-bongkahan esnya.. Hiiii. Anyway, gambar rumah-rumah yang colorful gini pernah aku liat di wallpaper hp temenku. Nggak nyangka, kamu bisa ke sana beneran Mbak. Gak cuman liat dari HP orang doang, huhuhu.

    Keep inspiring yah Mbak Debb :)

    Twitter: @shititsemily
    Instagram: @shititsemily
    Email: shititsemily@yahoo.co.uk

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    1. gak serem sama sekali tuh cemetery-nya. Hotelnya malah ga terlalu jauh dari kuburan ini. Kemaren kesana pas summer jadi ga terlalu dingin. Kalo winter sih katanya cuma bisa diakses naik dog sled gitu :)

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  23. Keren ya rumahnya Warna warni, jadi ingat film the secret life of walter mitty
    Twitter: @tiantosurizu
    Email: Sulistianto.id@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ah bener! kayaknya walter mitty ada yg lokasi di Greenland ya :)

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  24. i just realized, on that cemetery there were beautiful flowers bouquets right?
    itu dari pelayat atau memang udah ada di situ dari awalnya yah ci deb? soalnya kalo dilihat-lihat hampir semuanya ada bunganya

    Instgram: @meidianakusuma
    kalo aku dapet, aku di whatsapp langsung yah :*
    *mau cup luggage tag* ahhahahaha milihh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mereka pake bunga plastik, Mei. Udah dari pas ngubur dikasih bunga. Soalnya jarang tanaman atau bunga yang bisa tumbuh di tanah sana, hihihi

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  25. eh ity ada yg miripp maxxiii *nunjuk ke foto terakhir*

    ReplyDelete
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    1. lebih nakal maxi tapinya. Eh, maxi nyariin kamu lho, Mei :p

      Delete
  26. haloo mbak debz :))
    salam kenal :D

    aaak suka banget sama foto2 cerahnyaa

    yang foto makam latar laut itu bongkahan esnya kayak bebek gowess deh kalo dilihat sekilas :pp
    dan rumah-rumahnya cantik banget atulahh warna warniii gitu

    btw ikutan ahh bagi-bagi gratisannya
    ig @travelenno
    twitter @retnoandriani
    email travelenno@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. salam kenal juga. makasih udah ramein kuis freebies ya :)

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  27. What a wonderful experience, Deb! Have never visited Greenland, I wish so much I could go one day...!

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    1. Greenland is so beautiful, Lily. I hope you will visit it one day :)

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  28. Jadi pengen ke Greenland nih , mudah mudahan keturutan
    email : agus_gayungan@yahoo.com
    twitter : @agusmulyono2011
    IG : @agusmul2012

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aminnn. semoga bisa kesini juga ya, om Agus :)

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  29. Traveling really demands us to always be prepared for anything, including seeing things that can break our hearts. But there's always a reason for what we see, and as you said, for the people of Kulusuk life is already tough.

    Anyway, I really love those icebergs, seemingly floating near the land. What a magical sight! Ah Debbie, you're one of the very few Indonesian people who have been to Greenland, I believe. Where else will life take you? Somewhere exotic? :)

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    1. In Kulusuk seems like there are more icebergs than people. And yes, icebergs is beautiful. I could spend my whole day just gazing at them. My ultimate dream destinations are antarctica and ethiopia. Hopefully it will come true one day :)

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  30. IG @NURAULIA25
    twitter @nurauliaaa
    email nuraulia251010@gmail.com

    Semoga dapet hadiah lucu dari kak Deb :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Jadi pengen ke greenland :( ngeliat bongkahan es batunya jalan kayanya seger.. hehe

    Email: trifunnyjaizah@ymail.com
    Twitter: @tjfunny
    IG: @triff_

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Udara disana non polusi. Seger banget :)

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    2. Wonderfullll bgttt
      chemarcenda@yahoo.co.id

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  32. Joined this giveaway

    Hope to win these items! Btw Kak Debbzie foto-fotonya dan ceritanya selalu amazing !
    Hope to go there one day... tapi yang mau banget itu ke Verona, City where Romeo and Juliet story takes place
    :)

    My instagram : @cdesiani
    Twitter : @cdeci96
    email : cdesiani@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Verona is also a pretty city. Hope you will visit it one day :)

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  33. Hi Cici yang selalu kece! Cerita dan foto-fotomu selalu bikin pengen kelayapan melulu :P

    Btw, my e-mail is: josefine.yaputri@gmail.com

    Semoga bisa menang souvenirnya! :P

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    Replies
    1. kamu kan emang selalu kelayapan, Sefinnnnn :*

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  34. I've never heard the Kulusuk village. I've only just knew it after read Debbzie's blog. By the way, how cold the weather in Kulusuk village? I saw the snowball had float in sea water. I thought it is very cold. And then the house is pretty cute with colorful.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I was there during summer, so the weather was just great. Not too cold :)

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    2. Although in summer, I think it's so cold because in the north of equator dude.... Basically I never felt the four seasons. Hehehehe...

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  35. Kak deeeb, ngga mau buat travel book gitu? :((( terus bikin gathering buat sign buku sekalian share travel stories nya :c

    Twitter: @farahhfzh
    IG: farahhfzh
    Email: keybeoms@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aminnn, doain ya. One day bakal nulis buku juga :)

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  36. Super awesome!

    Twitter: @melisamds
    Ig: melisamds
    Email: emailnyamelisa@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello debz :D

    Join your giveaway, wish me luck

    Twitter: @shintaries
    Ig: shintaries
    Email: shintaries@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Heeeey Deb! Fun adventure & amazing shots you snapped there. What camera gear do you use? :) Anyway, my e-mail is salthair-dontcare@outlook.com and my twitter/instagram account is @gypsysoul04_

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anna! I use Canon G11 and Canon 650D :)

      Delete
  39. Wahhh... villa Kulusuk keren ya... Colorful gitu :D
    *kunjungan pertama, kayaknya bakal betah nih*

    Sekalian ikutan GA nya, boleh kan, mbak?
    Twitter: @siimisfil
    E-mail: v2ituaza@yahoo.com

    Terima kasih ^^
    Salam kenal...

    ReplyDelete
  40. wah...ini tempat memang sangat khas yah ...
    salam mba debi kunjungan pertam ku kesini sangat menarik baca tulisanmu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salam kenal, Ajie. Makasih udah mampir sini yah :D

      Delete

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