Location : Bawie Longhouse, Ulu Lemanak, Lubok Antu, Sri Aman, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Despite the numerous times that Charlie and his team of medical volunteers’ trip to this super remote village, it was our first time to join them. The 2.5hr drive to Lubok Antu was pleasant with most parts of the road resurfaced and widened for overtaking. But life suddenly changed once we turned into the logging track. One of the most punishing rides we ever endured- for more than 4 hours. Due partly to the fact that it was abandoned for more than 2 months ever since the new and shorter road was completed. No thanks to Charlie’s ignorance of this new development. But for Dr Sentil who loves off road driving, he had a thrilling time at the wheel. The breathtaking mountain views was a big consolation for the bone breaking ride. The best was at the peak just before entering the village. Bawie was adopted years ago by the Sathya Sai Baba organisation for its rural program. Ever since then the 3 longhouses have been receiving many forms of aids like children’s playground, solar electrification, cash, food and of course medical too. Tuai Rumah (headman) Dasu (19 doors), Bakar (24 doors) and Chindan (7 doors) must be very happy to see Charlie and his team coming back to their village. To them Charlie is like God sent.
The first day session started at around 7.30pm just after dinner. As usual a long line of patients suffering from knee and lower back problems. Luckily I had Mei Er, Janet and even Dr Sentil to help out. Otherwise I would have to carry on way past midnight. We managed to call it a day just after 11.30pm. Sore and tired but was glad to hear from the folks the word after the treatment, ‘nyamai’ meaning ‘feeling good’ in the Iban language. (Check out Day 2 here)
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