Friday, March 25, 2011

Kayak For Humanity

Sekelip mata sahaja, ekspedisi sudah sampai ke penghujungnya.
We are now all at Kuching safe. From my last blog at Kuala Matu, we went to Tanjung Manis, Kampung Semop, Kampung Serdeng, Belawai, Kampung Grigat, Kampung Teriso, Sebuyau, and finally reached Kuching safely.
We are very fortunate to have Tok Hamzah with us guiding us kayaking routes via rivers. While we planned for sea kayaking, the marine police has constantly warned us against kayaking at sea, the sea condition was not suitable for light craft. Tok Hamzah planned for river kayaking and headed our expedition throughout.
At Kampung Serdeng, we gave talks to children and at Belawai we cleaned the beach. We also donated fuel and helped clean Kampung Teriso as well as met folks at all villages we could reach.
At times the rivers in Sarawak were so difficult to paddle as the current was very strong. PLC 4 marine operations force catamaran, a larger boat that PSC 12, was sent to escort us starting 19th March.
Having the privilege of 2 boats, we sent all land support vehicles back. Thanks to UNIMAS, they have provided us 2 vans and 2 4WDs throughout till we have the boats.
PLC 4 was also our accommodation, we set tents on the deck to sleep at night but all got wet in the morning due to rain and morning mist.
At times when current was so strong and sea condition was not suitable for kayaks, PLC 4 was also our storage for the kayaks.
We also had water rationing as the catamaran could only carry a maximum of 2,000 litres of water, which was used up within hours by more than 30 people on board! No shower or bathing allowed and we use mostly river water for washing and cleaning ourselves.
Rivers in Sarawak are very wide. When kayaking we felt like we are at sea, only difference was that you see trees on the left, right and front of you.
We also experienced staying a night at the terminal where we slept wherever possible - the waiting area, praying room and on the floors. At times we felt like refugees from nowhere and I wondered if we get donations if we just spread a hat on the floor! Haha!
All well, we did what we aimed for. Five causes - environment, youth outreach, sports development, organ donation and unity - all achieved.
We have Malays, Chinese, Indians, Bajau, Melanau, Iban, and other ethnics in our team - doing things together in a harmony way. That proved that
Malaysians can always work in a united way.
For environment, we pick up thrash at many areas, did gotong royong with kampung folks and educated all participants on the importance of environment preservation.
We also gave talks on organ donation and I shared my experience giving part of my liver. We have about 20 people signing the pledge to donate organs after death.
The team also reached out to over 25,000 Sarawakians and about a thousand followers on Twitter and Facebook. We also successfully introduced sea kayaking and expedition experience to all participants - they particularly love kayaking with high waves and strong wind as compared to river and lake.
We are now at Bintawa marine base and will kayak to Kuching Waterfront and expected to reach waterfront at 5.30pm.
Today is also the 204th Police Day and we are very pleased and honoured that the marine police served as a GREAT partner for us. They did not only escorted us but they helped carried our kayaks, assist every paddlers, even did community service works with us. Most importantly they have saved our lives and always gave us precautions on safety.
For that we also gave honour to the Royal Malaysian Police force to have a representative on our expedition - L/Cpl Norazif Ab Rajak.
Happy Police Day!

things just happen, the rest is up to us to make it GREAT!

Hoong Ling

Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone

1 comment:

  1. Kak Orange,
    I miss those moments damn much...
    Reading this post dah hampir buat I menangis...
    I wish I could turn back time...