Michael P

Inner Sarawak Mission Trip
August 18, 2008, 12:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So I’ve just arrived at the hostel that I’m staying at for the next three nights. Its been a long day of traveling on multiple different modes of transportation and I’m thankful to be done for the time being.
The whole excursion started At 4:30 am in KL. I caught a taxi to the airport and flew to Miri with a couple of people from a church in KL. When we got to Miri we had to get supplies for the next few days. We mainly got candy and prizes for the kids that we were going to be teaching. After getting the supplies we had dinner at a local pastors house. His family prepared food from the local indigenous tribes. They are from the Kayan tribe. I had lots of Kayan food on this trip. I really don’t know what much of it was, but it was amazing.

Lots of very fresh chicken, fish, and very interesting vegetables that I’ve never seen before. One thing I didn’t enjoy was blanchan. Its a flavoring that is common in Malay food. Its dried salted fermented mini shrimp. Its super fishy and really really gross. The Malaysians I was with told me that they love it.

The next day we met up with some more people from the church at the airport and piled into four wheel drive cars to make our way up to the first village.
It was a 5 hour drive. The first half of it was paved, then the rest was extremely windy roads through the jungle.

We finally made it to the village and were welcomed with rice desserts, milo (malaysian hot chocolate), and tea. The locals saw my broken foot and I was told that they wanted to massage it to make it heal faster. We had to explain that it was in a cast and wasn’t coming off any time soon. I don’t speak bahasa Malaysian or Kayan (local language) so people were translating for me most of the time.
On Saturday the group did a childrens ministry program and also worked with the adults to do childrens ministry later on. I couldn’t really help out much with this because I didn’t speak the language(s) and I couldn’t really walk around that much. So I read and took a nap.
After the church service on Sunday (which was only partially in English) we got on a long wooden boat to go to another village down the river.

Here the group was greeted with more milo, tea, and snacks. Followed shortly after with another big meal. This included mostly fresh water fish from the river. There were larger catfish in a stew, some local green vegetables, rice, and small whole fried catfish. I really liked these. At first I was pretty skeptical, but once I got over the fact that I was eating the bones and skin it was really good. It was like a slightly fish, really crunchy potato chip. I only ate part of the head, but other people ate the entire thing.
Then today was all travelling. We got up at 5 am, ate, showered, packed, and got on the local express boat at 6:30. These express boats go up and down the river during the day. you just have to yell from the dock/log and the boat comes over to pick you up. I got tired of sitting inside the boat, so I sat on the top for about 2 of the 3 hours with Elder Dava from the church in KL. It was amazing to see the mist in the jungle as we winded our way through.

We finally arrived in Marudi where we had a quick lunch then got on an 11 am boat to Miri. This boat wasn’t nearly at nice. It was super cramped, stuffy, much louder, and altogether much more uncomfortable. I was so happy when this 3 hour boat ride was over.

After getting Miri, I took a taxi with a Joseph from KL to the airport in Miri and got a plane ticket. I didn’t have one booked and I didn’t know if I would be able to get a flight tonight to Kuching. Miri wasn’t my favorite town and I’m happy I got a flight out. I’ll be here until the 22nd, then its off to KL for about a week and a half. I’ll post video of the boat/car rides when I get better internet in KL.
Overall it’s been an amazing past few days. I didn’t really know what was going to go on during this trip. I thought we were just going to be staying in Miri and doing stuff there the entire time, but I’m happy that it turned into much more of an adventure than than.


1 Comment so far
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Yes, belchan isn’t quite as nice as folks here say it is! Although I have met some Malaysians who don’t like it, so you are not alone! Glad you had a great trip and looking forward to hearing more details soon.

Comment by Kristy

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