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3 Generations of a village life. This young man is called M and his being young & strong is needed for a village which sits in the mountains and jungles of Borneo 5hrs walk from nearest trade post. No other way to get to the village except trekking through jungle trails. My previous 2 posts from Kampung Semban were on an old ethnic tribal lady and a young boy playing ball, so I would like to complete the cycle of life by showing young man as 3rd post of travelogue. Nested in the Borneo highlands, Kampung Semban is a village of roughly 30 households with less than 300 shrinking population.

Early morning, M was busy preparing chickens/duck for Gawai and a major wedding feast in the night. He was squatting under morning bright sun at the front porch of his hand-built house and shy about being photographed and uttered words 'please dont take my picture' but I took it as a shy manner rather than refusal. This was from the direction of the sun when I was standing in the grass compound where they rear chicken. I showed his head shot on concentration and his focus to his work on the floor.

The afternoon before, he carried 50kg payload from town and walked to reach home just before 6.30pm. His lege muscles cramped and could not stand up. I met him last night again at airport, while handing photo prints to him, when he came to pick his 12-year son returning from football competition representating the State of Sarawak. [my earlier post of self taught boy playing football, you know how they love the game up in the jungle]. He had to carry a boy on his back yesterday and walked from village for 4hrs and it hurt his back.

From the story, you will know that the survival of the village in Kampung Semban depends on the able-bodied young men like M. They carry on the tribal tradition and culture passed down from generations. I have read the EIA report given in my previous post and asked him about the effect of Dam construction and if the village is going to relocate. His answer : no. Perhaps next year Gawai there is hope and chance to visit him again in Kampung Semba by another 5hr trekking in the Borneo Highlands trail.

p/s And he promised to wake up 5am to catch sunrise. His son's under-12 team secured 2nd place in Malaysian competition for 2009, a boy self trained in the jungles and on a football pitch in the jungle of sand, soil and trees. At least I made good use of my heavy tripod and heavy 50-500mm lens hauled all the way through the jungle trek.

I also met the village school teacher at airport, and noticed how some school boys upon landing at airport return, cried with tears when seeing their teacher welcome them home. Sadly I did not bring my camera last night.

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Additional Photos by Bill Laucp (trekks) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2260 W: 172 N: 4300] (14348)
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