9th February 2012 (Thursday)
Diary #1 - Tired
I am almost dead today. Carrying my super duper heavy backpack with all kind of my belongings inside, all sorts of things I brought together for my three days stay in the village. Now, I am exhausted “tahap gaban”, all my back and my legs so painful now. It was two and a half hours walk crossing three rivers and four hills. Passing two different villages, I think its two villages but perhaps only one village with scattered houses along the road. I am not quite concentrate with my surroundings because of my heavy backpack. Not only that, I also forgot to take any photos during the walk, too tired to do something else in between my walk.
This is quite an interesting trip because I never did something adventurous like this before. The last walk I did was back to 2000, where I participate in “Belia Masuk Kampung” programme at Kg. Tiang Lama, Ranau, where we walk quite a while in the dark carrying our own bags to get to the village. This is what I call, “New Adventure Always Challenging and Interesting”.
This trip I need to do two things, first, I need to assist Raleigh Team on their Gravity Water System Project in this village and most of the things I do is communicate with the villagers. Second, I am doing a house to house survey on the possibilities of socio-economic projects that I can carry out in this village. Not an easy task to do when you did not have any point of contacts in the village. Zero, only a very little information I get from the old report back to 2009 programmed carried out here. So, I may say, I start from a little scratch. Quite interesting.
Arrive at the community hall and I stayed with the Raleigh Team there.
10th February 2012 (Friday)
Diary #2: Lost
What to do today? Walk to the primary school, looking for someone that I can talk with but not a good result. Met up with one of the villager and he told me, there were no men in the village for now because everyone is gone to the town. They were busy receiving their BR 1Malaysia. Without men in the village, how do I get assistance from the villagers to help Raleigh Team with the GWS? JKKK Chairman & Village Head is not in the village too. How? What to do? I am LOST.
11th February 2012 (Saturday)
Diary #3: Stranded
Wake up early as usual, following Raleigh daily schedule. Even though, I still feel very sleepy and lazy to wake up as early as the first bird song. Anyway, I am ready to go back to KM because I am supposed to go back today. My visit is only three days but actually I still didn’t get any information I need today. But, these past three days, heavy rain caused the water level in Nibang River arise. Therefore, my colleague can’t cross the river and they can’t get me out of the village too. So, I am stranded in the village till the weather changed.
I change my plan for the day. As the villagers pass by the community hall, they told me, the JKKK Chairman is in the village. Since I can’t go back today, I need to met up with the JKKK Chairman and discuss further on the GWS and also possibilities of the socio-economic projects. A HOPE begins here.
12th February 2012 (Sunday)
Diary #4: Hope
Things start slows but better to begin with something rather than nothing. This is a good start for the team. HOPE is in place. Even though we did not get any help yet but the leader of the village did promise us there will be a help for us tomorrow. Finger crossed but never lost hope. As for me, I must get to know more of the people in this village. This village will become my baby in future so I really need to start somewhere to create a good relationship with them. I need to gain their trust and hopefully they will see my sincerity. With that I put everything in God’s hand. I realize without Him taking part in whatever I am doing I will never success.
13th February 2012 (Monday)
Diary #5: Better
Slow but getting better. Today is a good sign when six villagers willing to help us, Jakiun, Nantui, Tododi, Magaya, Tinus and Jinudar. Six of hope that came by to lend their hands. Thank God for His kindness.
To be honest, I am not feeling well today. My right leg from my waist until my knees is so painful. I can’t really stand straight because it causes more pain on my waist. But, when the villagers are there to help us, I need to assist them. Ignore the pain, start with the work together with the villagers. So we start our work with identifying the breaks on the pipeline. We succeed identifying all 17 breaks on the pipe. Lucky us! That is why I say, today things become better than the day before. We are making progress.
14th February 2012 (Tuesday)
Diary #6: Love
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! It’s the day we celebrate the love that given by God to us to be shared with our families, friends and even strangers.
Divide the team into two groups. One, with carrying the rocks to the second tanks and the other group is replacing the break pipes. However as we go further with the pipes, we find more hidden breaks under the shrubs and underground. Therefore, we need to change our strategy, we need to recheck the pipe and yes, and we find even more breaks.
However, we manage to change a few breaking pipes and the other groups also making good progress by having more and more stones/gravel to the second tank. Good to see more things getting done. Thank God it’s Valentine’s Day too!
15th February 2012 (Wednesday)
Diary #7: Tough
The weather seems to be good and that is also a good sign right. Rainy days limits us from doing so many works but with this great weather more work can be done. Without recognizing that I am also having a sunburn on my face and behind my neck. Yai! It’s painful though.
The important task to be done today is transporting the two tanks to the village. A TOUGH one to be done if there is no help from the villagers. Lucky we have these two strong men helping us with floating the tanks to the village. Successfully done!
16th February 2012 (Thursday)
Diary #8: Sad
Today is my last day. My boss and my colleague are arriving today with Raleigh management team so, as well they are picking me up.
SAD? Yes, I am not feeling going back to KM now. I am happy helping the Raleigh team and get to know more about this village. I know more about who is in the village, what is the dynamic of the community in this village. I find out more and more interesting things going on in this village. They are accepting me more than a week ago. I am invited to enter the house, having a chit chat with the family and they are more open to share their stories with me. Now I can say, I feel WELCOME to this community. That is a huge success for me, a stranger from Sarawak, getting landed somewhere in the remote village of Pitas. A hardcore poverty community in whole Malaysia.
I am HAPPY to be here. God show me the way to help your people. I will RETURN to this village.
Anyone feel like to do some volunteer work on education especially teaching the adults Malay & English language? Or have any used clothes, shoes or bags? Feel free to drop a message in comments or just contact me. Little things that you do can make a big difference in others live. God bless.
Lots of Love,