Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Balik kampung...

Went back to my wife's village during the Raya holidays.. was happy to note that the road looked better (perhaps because its the dry season) and that there was a section that had been tar, but sadly it was just wide enough for my car.. and the road was high off the edges, so if there was another car coming.. it would be very difficult..but then again better than nothing.
We saw Akik, he was surprisingly well and could speak clearly enough. His left hand was a bit bloated, no idea why..was wide awake and well aware of us and spoke to us, so it was a good improvement from the  previous meeting.
Sadly our house project is still not ready, had added a section for father in law to do his kidney cleansing but still not ready. A lot more to do and with work at a snail pace, I do wonder when this will be ready. The village had run out of water, no rain for the past 2 months and the water sources had dried up, except for a small river where everyone went for their bath. Our place still has a slow trickle of water.. and that would be another thing to plan for.. water storage.
We also drove to the end of the road to have a look see, still have some forest but this will also soon disappear. There seems to be some confusion among those at the village, whether Sxxxxx or Bxxx will take the land for palm oil trees, as it seems some companies have started clearing traditional land, and issues of compensation are being discussed and companies are saying the other company did it etc etc. Sad. The only thing these people have, a few acres of land..soon to disappear. There was talk of people surveying the land for iron ore and if they find it they will ask the village to leave. Apparently my small patch of durian trees will soon go, but I asked that my land not be touched.. will see what happens. 
It was hot, and could see the relatives drying their pepper.. they had tapped rubber in the morning and told me that prices had dropped to RM3 per kilo. Even the Bugau (Indonesian Ibans that come across to work for a short term - illegally) dont seem to want to come and work the land and there is not many younger persons left in the village.
 Both Vina and Walter were sweating it out while they were there.. but they were running around with their cousins, had to ask Vina to sit down to pose so that I could get a photo of her and her cousin..both same age, but Vina seems to be short and round... lol.. just like her dad.

 On of the nice things to ear was sauteed durian flowers (the yellow one in the photo below), and there were tons of flowers, hopefully there will be tons of fruit. : )
 The road back to town has been made larger and with fine gravel.. hopefully it will be tar soon.
 On our way back we stopped at Balai Ringin market. I like how they mix up the words and make the words their own.. Maket comes from the English word Maket and Basah is a Malay word for wet; hence Wet Market.
 Ringin is an Iban word for...  otter and Balai is Hall, so Hall of Otters, and hence the sculpture. Sadly there is not many otters left in Balai Ringin or elsewhere. The kids enjoyed posing..
 A nice trip back, so much more to do (house to complete, to find a way to earn a living at the village, to help develop the village - water and electricity, etc), and now back to work.
Wonder if a homestay will work?
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