West Papua is not always about Raja Ampat; there are many cities you can visit there. When you are visiting Manokwari, West Papua, you gotta add Mansiman island to your bucket list. On this island, the Christians can make their spiritual trip. It is located around 6 km from Manokwari.
This Island is situated in Doreri Bay, in the south of Manokwari. The size is 400 hectares. The habitant is around 300 people. Every year on 5th February, thousands of people from Papua will come to this place to celebrate the day when two German missionaries, Ottow and Geissler were coming.
These two missionaries were very appreciated by the locals because they taught Numfor tribe in Mansiman Island how to read and write. They were learning the local language and translated the prayers. At first, it was very hard for the locals to hold their pencils, but they didn’t give up until they succeed to read and write. This is the root when other Papuan learn about knowledge.
How to Reach Mansiman Island
To visit this island, you can use a wooden boat that can take about 10-12 passengers from Manokwari Port. You only need to pay Rp5,000/person. But for additional information, when the boat is not fully occupied, you have to pay for the empty seats also, so they will go with you.
If you want to use a speed boat with a bigger capacity, you have to pay more. The price is around Rp250,000 to Rp1,000,000. You can take the speed boat from Hotel Mansinam Beach. You will spend about 10-15 minutes to get to Mansinam Island.
What you Will See In Mansinam Island
On this island, you will see the clear water, and the fish are swimming freely. If you were lucky enough, you could see a school of dolphins swimming and playing around!
In the seashore, there is the first landing place of the two missionaries from Germany, Carl William and Gotlob Geisller (Ottow and Geisler). In this location, there is a big Cross Inscription height of about 6 meters. Behind this inscription, there are reliefs with some pictures. These pictures are stories about how the missionaries were coming and greeted by the locals. There are also four bronze statues of both missionaries, these statues are facing to the ocean and the Cross Inscription.
Besides, there is an old church Lahai Roi. This church is now used by the locals to do their Sunday service. Behind the church, there is an old well, which Ottow and Geisller dug with the helping hands of the locals. This well is the water source for daily needs.
Going up to the hill, around 1 km, you will see a big and tall Jesus Statue. Its height is about 35 meters. This statue was a symbol when the Bible came for the first time in West Papua.
Government Help to Empower the Local People
According to the Head of Operation Mansiman Island, Rumadas, they do some training for local people as an empowerment initiative. They wish through this training that they will be ready when there are many domestic and international visitors are coming to this island.,
Meanwhile, the Presidential Special Staff in Regional Development Sector and Autonomy, Velix Wanggai hope that Mansiman Island will be an educational site for the young generation to learn about religious tolerance. Because this place is built in the Land of Papua with the join forces of Muslims and Christians.
There are many interesting places in West Papua we can visit, like Mansiman Island. In here, the Christian visitors can have their spiritual tour. But it is not limited to only Christians. People from other religions are also welcome to see this historic and beautiful place.