Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Balik Kampung 2008

Two weeks before christmas 2008, the Saban Community Association in Miri initiated a 'Jom Balik Kampung' actitivity to coincide with their Saban of Borneo pre-christmas celebration. As an advisor to the association, I feel sorry for not being able to join them as I couldn't take leave at that particular time.
However, that is an exemplary programme to do and there are similar activities organised by a few villages in Baram during that period as well, eg. Long Atip.

At our personal level, my family chose to 'balik kampung' for Christmas in Long Bedian. This year has been a bit quiet for us and we did not plan to join any celebration whether its Harvest or Christmas. After our trip to Jakarta at the end of November, we decided to make it to Long Bedian with a driving trip to Miri and hoping for my brother-in-law Laing to drive us in his new Mazda 4x4 to Long Bedian. How plans would not materialise especially if things are not under your control, my in-law's car was involved in an accident before sunrise, the day we arrived in Miri 20th December 2008. They were on their way to send uncle & auntie to prepare rice for their cousin, Harry's wedding on the night of the same day, which we attended. Thanks God, no one was seriously injured in that wee hours accident.

At the crossroads, we got Julia's cousin, Richard to send us to Long Bedian on 22nd Dec 2008. It was a cloudy day but thanks goodness, no rain. The Lapok road is still as bad as it is and the journey to kampung is slowed mostly by this part of the road. There is improvement after the Lapok bridge for the Long Lama sector, and the ferry point really need improvement at landing, as well as keeping their own safety procedures intact. And Long Lama - Long Bedian through Temala is the normal logging tracks. The dry weather really helped and we reached Long Bedian at 4pm after 5 hours journey on a 2X4 Isuzu and we paid RM320 for the whole trip that include my parent-in-laws.

This is the second time our daughter Ruran been back to Long Bedian since 2005. She is now aware of all the good things in the village i.e the long house, sleeping under mosquito net, motorcycling the first time, river bathing, 'pah lung' - eat together at others home etc. Since we do not have our own vehicle this time around, we hardly move and just attended the various Christmas church services from 23-26th Dec and also being invited to 'pah lung' at other homes for dinner (3 times actually).

After Christmas we went swimming at Tenyok, the community resort place and had good times. The next day we just sit around at the long house and bought some souvenirs at the shops. I got a good bargain for a 5' rattan mat which is the Penan supply price RM50 as the item have not entered the shop yet and also RM10 for a skull of a honey bear. They asked what's the bones for and i told them its for display in office as am also doing wild life enforcement.
Photo shows Lapok at midday. No other vehicles can ply the roads without problems except 4WD... until when??

On 28th Dec 2008 we got a commonrail Hilux to send us back to Miri. All of us left the village together as my in-laws still got to complete their self-renovation works at their Miri house. We stop for snacks at Long Lama Bazaar. Not much change at this place for years, except the lesser frequency of express boats to Marudi. The weather was just fine and we arrive Miri after about 5 hours and paid Rm300.

It was a great experience to be back in kampung after so many years did not managed to do so. The photos we captured are duly uploaded in the Facebook (Tenmu Asan Family). We were also informed that Long Bedian will be hosting the religious "Irau" celebrations for SIB Apoh-Tutoh region in June 2009 and may make a trip at that time as well.

Our message here is to make it to our village whenever is possible as most of the elders there are lonely without seeing their kids and grandkids. Before we regret of not doing so, it is best to do while we are still strong and resourceful.