Thursday, June 5, 2014

Phase 10

Elder Boyter introduced "ash on your face".  If you don't go down in Phase 10, you get marked with a white board marker.  Great fun with good friends.  Top row: Chin Poh, Melissa, Brother Christopher Bottom row: President Hedges (Sentosa Branch President), Elder Boyter, Sister Angelina and Sister Boyter.

The Men Having A Good Time Dancing

Elder Reynolds

Elder Reynolds was introducing a song he was going to sing and mentioned something about tears.  He spoke in Malay so I only caught some of what was said. But Sister Angelina went and got bowl to catch his tears.
After watching Melissa and Liyana dance, Elder Reynolds showed us how to do the dance properly.  Great fun.

Dressing Up with Our Iban Friends

Sister Boyter, Sister Angelina and Her grand-daughter, Mia.
Brother Christopher and Elder Boyter
Sister and Elder Boyter
Sister Angelina, Mia, Sister Boyter Elder Boyter and Christopher

Sister Boyter with Melissa

Melissa just turned 14.  She is very talented dancer.  Here she is in the traditional Iban costume.

Sister Margaret

Sister Boyter, sister Margaret and Sister Fonbuena at Gawai dinner.
Sister and Elder Boyter

Bidayuh Costumes and Dance

Last year at Gawai President Ero challenged me to learn the Bidayuh dance.  The year past quickly and I was hoping that everyone forgot but about 10 days before Gawai Victor (Pres. Ero son-in-law) reminded me of the challenge.  I had one practice with the daughters and then we performed.  It was fun but wished I didn't procrastinate.  Women below President Ero's daughters Lucia and Laura, myself and Sister Molly (the wife of Presdient Ero)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Gawai is a harvest festival by the Sarawak state indigenous people. primarily the Bidayuh and the Ibans. Families gather at their native homes (Kampong) with family.   They celebrate eating their native foods and drinking rice wine.  Sunday,June 1 we went to President Sator kampong.  We went to about 10 different homes in the Kompong.  We sang hymns to the families we visited, shared their food but did not share in partaking of the rice wine.  Drinking alcohol is a big part of the celebration.  A lot of pressure is put on the members when they go home for Gawai.  Elder Reynolds has a beautiful voice and rest of us joined in.  It was a wonderful afternoon and evening.  President Sator kept saying one more home.
Sister Anderson, Sister Fonbuena, Elder Mix,  Elder Reynolds, Sister Boyter.  Below President Sator played and sang for us.
Elder Reynolds, Sister Fonbuena singing a duet.

The traditional cooking area at the back of house.

Elders posing with antique swords and blow pipes ( guns).
Sisters with the swords

The basket handle fits on the head.  You pick your durian fruit and toss into the basket.
We begin our visits to the homes

Elder Boyter found flowers for our hair.

The chief of this Kampong.  President Sator shared with us that the chief must be pagan and cannot be of any religion but the chief's grandson spent some time with me and told me that his grandfather became a Christian about 2 years ago so things are changing.  The grandson also showed me the building where the skulls of their enemies are kept.  A number of years ago an Iban tribe attacked their Kampong.  President Sator said another Bidayuh tribe has also attacked them.  After they killed their enemy they take the skulls and keep them. The skulls protect the kampong.
Long house with traditional bamboo flooring
Men played for us.

We started visiting with this family and were invited to share in refreshments.  Come to find out the older woman was President Sator's mother's best friend.  During Gawai the homes are opened to anyone that comes with refreshments and a meal.

We went down to the river.  Children were playing in it.  It looked very inviting.  Across the river there were garden spots where they raised vegetables.

Replicas of their traditional homes.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Semenggoh Wildlife Center - the Orangutan

Borneo Island is where the Orangutan lives.  Orang means people and utan means forest.  People of the forest.  We went to the Semenggoh Wildlife Center to see them arriving just before feeding time.
List of who lives at the refuge.

Look closely there is a baby hanging onto mother

Their home in the trees.
Carnivorous plants.