June 22, 2014

Pa Adang : A slice of paradise

 Having be to some severely polluted places like Guilin, China, Fujian, China and other parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, I often think of one particular place where I spent 10 days, cutting hair, finger nails, washing hair, cleaning cooking pots, cooking, and teaching simple English.
Pa Adang is decisively a Penan settlement carved out of a small valley of the River Adang .

Here the government had set up a fishery research centre about 50 years ago but has been sort of abandoned. About 15 years ago, a scheme was to settle some Penans who have been nomadic in this region for hundreds of years. It was successful and around 1997 the Penans harvested their first rice from a fairly large (small may be to some people) area. This small beginning led to a change in their mind set.

A kindergarten was mooted and a timber company provided all the materials for the Methodist Church, which has long been famous for establishing kindergartens, to start a one room school.

Wonderful photo of the skies above Pa Adang...I will lift up my face unto the hills from whence my help will come..(Photo by Audrey Lui)

A photo by Audrey Lui, mission volunteers crossing the Adang...with some Penan students
Today several volunteer teachers and some pastors are in charge of the educational development of the valley.

Believe it or not, my left knee, which was suffering from thinning of cartilage, was healed because I walked into the cold water of Adang, and a miracle happened. I can testify to that moment of joy.

The Adang Village, photo by Audrey Lui.

In days to come, some of my first kindergarten students will be able to write about their school experience and they may even read in English, the inspiring book, "How Green was My Valley" by Richard Llwellyn. This is a place where you too can be inspired to WRITE.

source : wikipedia

 I will not forget the early  morning I left Adang when I met the Penan hunter carrying probably a 40 kg bear. He himself was barely 60 kg. My thoughts were : he could be an Olympic representative for light weight lifting..

He asked me to stay a while longer so that he could give me some of the meat. I declined politely.

I asked him "Susah cari binatang?"

He replied, " Tidak, satu shot sahaja."  The Penans are very good marksmen. There went my thoughts again...He could be in the rifle team of Malaysian Olympics.

Leaving them was like leaving a whole loving family behind. They embraced all of us like brothers and sisters.

Will I go back to Pa Adang again for a visit?

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