Friday, February 8, 2013

Akik's Burial

We were surprised by a late night call last Wednesday, from my wife's father. Somehow or rather late night phone calls are mostly harbingers of bad news. This time it was no different. Akik (my wife's grandfather, Akik is great grandfather - thats how our kids call him and his real name is Ashun Tuman) had just passed away. We left the next morning to the village, dropping by to buy groceries, chickens, foodstuff and some food for us on the journey.
Didn't know what to expect, so we went to a relative's house and dropped our things there and went to Akik's place. People were already there, cooking,
eating and drinking,
and making the coffin. The coffin was being made there and there with chainsaws cutting through hardwood, later to be fitted together and painted.
Most of the time was spent sitting next to the body, sometimes someone cried out loud, while mainly people were talking, eating and drinking and getting to know each other. My wife was with her family and I tried to look after the kids. We spent some time looking for rubber seeds to play games with, and it kept the kids occupied.

Soon it was night and we slept; thanks to the relatives who used the generator so that we can have a fan on for the whole night. I slept with Walter while Vina went with Doren to Akik's house to accompany him.
Around 7 plus I finally woke up and decided to go to Akiks house and was able to see them place him in the coffin, nail it shut and carry it to the burial ground (apparently up and down a few hills away.. and I was advised not to go; later my brother in law told me I would not make too fat for steep hills that are muddy and slick). As they carried the coffin away, someone else carried the cross and another person threw ash ( a local believe).

Later there was this bucket of water and flowers placed by the road, for the persons coming back from burying Akik. 
We spent some time finding more rubber tree seeds with the kids, and having coconuts to drink courtesy of relatives Mit and Pam. 
Its been tiring, sad, and a long 2 days..
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