In Borneo, Roosters, Blowdarts, and, Surprise, Orangutans!

Ms. Ditkovski writes:

We awoke at about 5 a.m. to the sound of the roosters. This Los Angeles native was under the impression that roosters crow only once, but as we learned this morning there is a good two-three hours of crowing. The early morning light was breathtaking as the sun rose over the longhouse and the surrounding water. We soon ate breakfast (Ham’s French Toast is perhaps the best we’ve ever had in our lives), packed up our things, got a few souvenirs (one of the ways the Iban earn a living) and headed down for our last activity at the longhouse: a blowdart demonstration. This was the primary way the Iban people hunted for game and also killed enemies. They learned this skill from another tribe from what is now Indonesia (the name of the tribe escapes me). We each took turns attempting to hit our target (never fear—it was a leaf!). Turns out we have excellent aim. We said our thank you’s and goodbyes (some of us in the local dialect!) to our hosts.

We all savored the journey across the reservoir again knowing it would be our last time taking that beautiful trip across the river. While everyone was ready to get back to the hotel and shower, Mr. Seamon and I had a little trick up our sleeves. It turns out that an orangutan sanctuary was pretty much on our way back to Kuching, and we surprised the kids by making a stop. It was out of this world. Not only did we see a mama feeding its baby, we actually walked past an adult male on the trail.

Back at the LimeTree hotel in Kuching we had a couple hours to rest before dinner. We all met down in the lobby at 6:45 where we journaled for a bit and we went over our plans for the next couple days. At 7:15 Ham picked us up and we drove the short distance to our dinner spot where we enjoyed eating another meal of various dishes that we all shared. Dinner conversation was particularly lively as was the energy level in the van on the ride home. Even though everyone is rather exhausted from our long day, we’re having so much fun it’s hard not to always be leaning into all activities at full tilt! Everyone is now back in their rooms getting packed up and prepped for our very early departure tomorrow morning. Mulu, here we come!

See more photos here.

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