May 8, 2009

Leaving Ng. Gat at the break of dawn

By three a.m. we were up to take one of the most refreshing baths ever in our lives. Cold hill stream water piped into the long house bathroom. The day was already warm and so we delighted in this healthy morning cleansing ritual. Twelve of us had to take turn using just one bath room. There was indeed one interesting commotion outside the bathroom when she really had to go!

By five we were already moving out of the bilik with the Tuai Rumah shining a torch light to help. The wonderful leader kept us informed of any little danger that may lurk in the darkness. Near the porch a small kerosene lamp sent out a fragrance which was em bracingly warm . The smell evoked a nostalgic sense of an age which had already gone. I lingered for a while to breathe it all in. It seemed as if my grandmother and I were ready to take a boat ride to Sibu again.

This is the kaleidoscopically beautiful blue and black scenery which met my eyes as I climbed down the steep hill towards the landing to wait for the express.



my friends doing Praise Dance on the sand bank while waiting for the express...full of enthusiasm left over from the previous night and ready and rearing to go for the next stage of our work!!












A chicken in a nice plastic basket would accompany us....it will be given to a beloved child in Kapit.













Carefully we boarded the express which came right on the dot : six a.m. Yet it was hardly light!! A cool equatorial morning before the sun sends out its rays.



We have spent one day and one night with the longhouse folks of Rh Bujai sharing our faith and hope and our love. Alas time was just too short. If only we could stay longer.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your first picture there looks like some kind of art...very well written article indeed. Enjoyed reading it. Thanks

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks. This was a very special moment for me. It re-captured those memories of my grandmother and I waiting for the Chinese motor launch in Sg. Maaw.....my grandmother with her basket of clothes and another basket of chicken and the early morning mist over the Rajang. Wonderful days and wonderful memories!!

justin said...

This is very true for many of us who travel in the ulu once in a while. Many years ago my father and I did not have camera to capture those special moments. I wish we could. We were to see our uncle (married to my aunt) for the last time. It was so very sad. Now a low tide reminds me of them.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Justin for your comments.

It is always sad when we do wish to remember our elders with some photographs. But remembering them in our hearts is good enough.