Thursday, 31 October 2013

Bringing Basic Necessity to Sarawak

by Simon Balan, volunteer of Kampung Sait, our fellow local Sarawakian

28th Oct 2013 marked a great journey for me. I was given the opportunity to be a volunteer in the Impian Sarawak program at Kampung Sait. Despite being an adventurous person, born and raised in Sarawak, I myself find it challenging to travel through and fro daily from the nearest town, clinic or even school to this village. Not in your wildest dream, you would imagine what other people had to go through daily to do their daily chores, small children had to endure to go to school every morning or even sick elderly and pregnant women faced just to get to the clinic. Basic necessity such as electricity, water, cooking stove, are things which we normally took granted for. The things we complaint when the electricity power were cut for few hours, or when our cell phone battery went low and we went all frantic about it, somehow seems irrelevant when we actually see what these people need to endure.
Kampung Sait, a beautiful village situated in Kuching needs 2 hour walking after a 40 minutes’ drive from Kuching city. There is no other means of travelling to the village except by foot. The condition of the road, or I should not be even calling it road as we actually need to go through a jungle to get to the village is not an easy way with stretches and stretches of bamboo bridges. What even more scary is the 30m long stretched of bamboo bridge, suspended 50 feet in the air also needed to be crossed as it is the only mean to the village.

As we approached the village, we were greeted with villagers warm smile and spectacular view of the mountain. The green surrounding somehow made us forgot how tiring the journey was. Villagers of all ages welcomed us and make us part of their families the 9 days we were there.
We laughed, we cooked, we eat and sleep together. This shows how irrelevant one race and religion is as all of us there were from different race and background.

The whole 9 days we were there, the spirit of working togetherness, co operativeness and the determination of completing the project is over whelming. Despite the hard work in the sun, coming home to village that has no electricity means no air conditioning, no tap water to bathe, the volunteers and villagers are happily chatting their way, sharing stories and learning each other cultures. One will be amazed at the atmosphere of the village and even neighbouring villagers would come and hang around with us.

I am truly thankful to be part of this project and looking forward to more of the upcoming projects where I can help to serve the place which I called home. With great power of determination and strong will, I believe we can UBAH.  

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