Location : Kampung Tuba, Ulu Sebuyau, Simunjan District, Samarahan Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.
All thanks to Mr Maramat , the son of Tuai Rumah Ngumbang of Kampung Tuba, for making this seva mission a pleasant one if not the best we have ever experienced . Tuba hospitality was truly ICHIBAN. The welcoming tea was super nice with the homemade delicacies contributed by the residents of Rumah Ngumbang . Without hesitation, I traded my packed lunch from Kuching with Maramat for that rare longhouse treat.
The drive to Pantu took us about 1hr 45min and another hour plus along mostly palm oil plantation dirt road with some spots very steep. It would be very problematic on a rainy day without a 4WD but thank God our first day was only cloudy. Down side was taking boring scenery photos. We had to park our vehicles about 2km before entering the village. 4 longboats were waiting to help to help bring in stuff while most of us hiked in along an almost completed dirt road. Reckon the bridge and road should be ready in a month’s time.
After the indulgence of the food I decided to check out Tuba for a bit before I get to work. The stroll along the long plank walk connecting the 5 longhouses reminded me of Kalimantan. Lots of black pepper processing here which is good income to the villagers.
Noticed quite a number of ladies busy weaving baskets with plastic strapping material. Rattan being almost unavailable these days plastic strapping has become a very convenient and better replacement allowing more creativity in terms of colours and motifs. This is the turning point in Sarawak’s basketry which our Sarawak Craft Council has overlooked. Tradition in the face of raw material shortage must be sacrificed in order that the art can survive. Hopefully, someday this newly evolved form of basketry receives its recognition it so deserves. (Related link : BorneoPost)
Anyway, I had to hurry back to the ruai or longhouse corridor to do some whacking on those guys waiting for my treatment. Mostly rotator cuff, rhomboids and gluts muscles complaints. Pretty much the norm for farmers in the villages.
Ms Eda and her bunch of hairstylists were already busy trimming and styling the hairs of the Tuba ladies. Her group probably worked the hardest. Besides, they took the trouble to pack goodie bags and soft toys for the kids in Tuba.
Medical students took care of the kids, doctors from SGH busy diagnosing, Jimmy had his hands full in the dentistry department while the rest under Chanderan and Charlie preparing dinner. Busy…busy…busy, the busiest I have ever seen. That’s our first day story.
To see more photos, please click our FACEBOOK PAGE
Also please check out our posts on Day 2