John Allen Chau, 26, of Vancouver, Wash., an Instagram adventurer who also led missionary trips abroad, traveled to the Andaman Islands an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal this month to make contact with members of the tiny Sentinelese tribe, police said. The tribe, which has remained isolated for centuries, rejects contact with the wider world and reacts with hostility and violence to attempts at interaction by outsiders. The island is off-limits to visitors under Indian law.
Chau’s riveting journal of his last days, shared with The Washington Post by his mother, shows a treacherous journey by dark in a small fishing boat to the area where the small tribe lived in huts. The men about 5 feet 5 inches tall with yellow paste on their faces, Chau wrote reacted angrily as he tried to attempt to speak their language and sing “worship songs” to them, he wrote.
“I hollered, My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,’ ” he wrote in his journal. One of the juveniles shot at him with an arrow, which pierced his waterproof Bible, he wrote.
?“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people,” he wrote in a last note to his family on Nov. 16, shortly before he left the safety of the fishing boat to meet the tribesmen on the island. “God, I don’t want to die,” he wrote.