***LOW BANDWIDTH WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS A LOT OF PICTURES***
Urban met Rural this weekend...
And they fell in love.
They were very fortunate to arrive at a time when rain was scarce so the water was shallow.
Besides getting to ride an express boat & a long boat for the first time, they also had the opportunity of getting off the longboat boat at shallow places to continue on foot until the water gets deeper.
Some of them had to push the longboats when it got too shallow.
Who wouldn't feel welcome when every member of the school was lined up to greet you?
The students from SMB Tiong Hin spoke to our prefects about their school & how they help run it.
The teachers exchanged tips & techniques for the classroom while students exchanged tips & techniques for the exams!
His expertise helped clear some misconceptions & polish the techniques of our athletes.
Obviously, there were cultural performances by our dance troupe.
They have gone a long way since the first time I saw them at the beginning of this year.
This was the best performance I've seen so far.
They have managed to go from height to height in polishing their presentation & coordination every time!
The girls & boys looked so pretty with the make-up on.
It's the prettiest I've seen of all of them.
They taught our students several chants & claps, sang a sweet Chinese song & performed a few magic card tricks.
They had something different to bring to the table & our students lapped it all up!
As you can see, the longhouse has recently been reconstructed to incorporate both concrete & wood.
I was surprised to see such a modern & neat longhouse.
The natural scenery from the longhouse was just breathtaking.
I stood there for hours just taking in the fresh air & greenery.
He is very friendly, hospitable & responsible.
His is always happy when foreigners come to visit.
He really made everyone feel at home.
I do not know the significance of this ritual.
Anyone care to enlighten me & my readers?
Many amongst us were durian fanatics. Not me.
You can see it in the way they sucked, licked, scraped & gobbled up all the durians gathered for them.
Considering their love for the fruit, there were obviously pictures that were too obscene to be shown on my blog.
It's my first time trekking in a virgin forest.
And it's the first time the 'virgins' from SMB Tiong Hin had ever ventured into a virgin forest too. (Actually, it might have been the first time they've been in any kind of forest.)
Oh, that 'virgin' word has got such an appeal!
I did the whole 3 hour trek barefoot!
The stones did hurt my feet but I think it's good therapy.
'Go Barefoot' achievement unlocked!
Some were steep, like really really steep, but it was not a problem for the Iban climbers who moved like mountain goats.
No pain, no gain.
We walked & walked to get to a small waterfall & to have some slurpy wet free-fall fun!
It was low tide so the waterfall was reduced to a mini-fall at the left side of the stone wall.
With a life-jacket on of course... coz I cant swim but still want to play, mah!
100% concentration. 100% coordination.
As you can see, our aerobics team was quite the entertainer...
We had our guests jumping for joy!
Our school is along the Katibas river & it is a must to have a dip in the river when you visit!
There is a perfect spot behind the school where teachers occasionally have picnics & barbecues.
The backdrop of greenery & clear skies also make for a sanctified healing place for the troubled urban sole.
From treasure hunters looking for dinosaur eggs to girlfriends playing group games to the laid-back lazing in the currents to the avid reader looking for a serene reading to the amateur photographer looking to polish his skills.
But I think this guy has perfected it.
I bet you do too.
After taking photographs of everybody, I finally appear in one of them!
From my observations, this visit has achieved its desired effect.
Both urban & rural students needed to have their minds & hearts opened up to the infinite possibilities & differences in life.
The rural students learned a lot about academics.
The urban students learned a lot about heart.
Both sides were crying when one had to leave.
A large majority of our students (without any kind of prompting) escorted & carried the bags of their guests to the boats.
The Ibans learned Mandrin.
The Chinese learned Bahasa Iban.
It was heart-warming to see two groups of people from different backgrounds feeling so intimate & concerned for each other.
This is true integration. A rare display of unity regardless of race.
The children have shown me the way.
Adults should follow suit.
Any schools or corporate bodies looking for an out of this world experience?
Just drop me a comment or email!
Our school would be more than happy to have you because it would be just as enriching for us too!