The traditional Iban (Dayak) welcome had been too overwhelming the night before.
I was thrilled that I did not have to roll out my Camel sleeping bag as I was given a four inch foam mattress to be shared with two other ladies from Kuching. It was a luxury beyond my dreams. The whole "bilek" slept more than ten people - both men and women in their individual sleeping space. You will have to experience the long house culture to understand this. As I explained Dr. James he could go home to Sabah and brag that he had "slept with a few women in a longhouse room". Go and figure this out....
The Pala Dusun (he is head of three villages not just one long house) showed me how to eat this wonderful jambu lipa. This became my first breakfast in West Kalimantan - the headwaters of the River Kapuas.
Two beautiful jambu lipa. God is kind to the Dayaks here. These wild and delicious fruits are found every where along streams and roads in great abundance. It is a sweet fruit - and the texture is like a sweet fig or a strawberry. It is a dessert as well as a stomach filler.
Here I am given a fresh white fungus to eat...and even though it is a little bitter it is very refreshing!! White fungus is plentiful in the morning if you are observant. I spotted this myself!!
Another white fungus in the Pala's hand.
|An expensive chicken kept captive in a hanging basket - first one on the right.|
|=A prized chicken in a rattan hanging cage.|
1. all the adventurers walked to take their morning bath in a concretized stream filled with water fed by a small concrete dam built by the Tematu Longhouse folks with grants from the Indonesian Government.
2. Fresh jungle fruits (jambu lipa) and white fungi - freshly plucked from trees for pre - breakfast.
3. Eating salted tioman fish for (official long house buffet) breakfast at about 8. There were 6 dishes for breakfast including locally produced white rice). (See another later post)
4. Being taken around the longhouse by the charming Pala (Head) of the three longhouses in this area. That was a real honour.
5. Talking to a man using sign language and amusing him with my signs. He did understand me as he cooked his pansur or bamboo rice!! And yes indeed he was a man who was hearing impaired!!
That's a wonderful first morning in Kalimantan Barat.