Our day, in bulletpoint!
– Went to the Lok Kwai Wildlife Park
– Made tire monkeys to decorate the park
– Made a chair out of tires
– Made a water tank system for rainwater collection
– Watched the animal show
– We saw….Parrots, bearcats, and snakes
– Deers, donkeys, orangutans, ankoli, pheasants, peacocks, otters, and the proboscis monkey, tigers, black bears, porcupines, many other types of birds
– samples some local delights including durian bread, kaya milk bread, sabah milk tea, laksa, and coconut milk pudding
– We found out that we had some spongebobs in our team…
The first Sabah morning embraced us with a sense of anticipation and joy. After eating breakfast which consisted of toast, eggs, sausages, sponge cakes, noodles, we made our way to the Bukit Harapan Therapy Community centre. At Bukit Harapan, we met a joyous group of people who we later found out were energetic dancers, creative artists, and talented musicians. Our relationship with Bukit Harapan started off with a musical interaction, where they sang ‘We Are the World’ in Malay and we responded with ‘Count On Me’. Together, we played football (soccer) and frisbee, made origami pieces including swans and flowers, made decorations, and had a dance off to Malaysian and Global pop songs that lasted for hours.
After making valuable connections to people in Bukit Harapan, we made our way to the Sabah Indoor Climbing Center, where we did rock climbing, slacklining, and tire flipping. The walls were colossal and seemed intimidating with its size and rigour, but we were able to conquer this challenge and enjoy it for ourselves. The center offered a plethora of rock climbing experiences, including one where we climbed a chimney-like tunnel as if we were ninjas. Slacklining was a test of resilience, concentration, and faith. Although none of us were able to walk across one side from another like the adept instructors, we were able to balance ourselves on the rope. Tire flipping was a test of strength and mindset, where Mr Copeland and Faolan shined by flipping the tire multiple times.
As fun as the trip can be, we must always keep safety as the priority. We were reminded of the value of safety when Preston injured his hand due to an unfortunate accident. Thanks to the quick-thinking and skilled First Aiders in the team (shout-out to Sheryl, Marco, and Athena), we were able to patch Preston up for his trip to the hospital. However, Preston was to return to Hong Kong for a surgery as a precaution, and we said our emotional goodbyes. Although Preston made an early leave from Sabah, his heart will summit Mount Kinabalu in the form of a fluffy, cuddly companion.
Waking up at 5 am and getting ready to head for the airport was certainly an exciting moment for all of us. During our 10 am flight, some of us slept whilst others played cards and mingled around. Thankfully, after we landed, it only took us 1 hour to pass through immigration, get our luggages and travel to our hostel. By the time we arrived at the hostel, we were all extremely tired, however we didn’t want to waste our precious time, therefore the majority of us decided to explore the fascinating streets around our hostel. By 6 pm we gathered at D’HARZ, the famous local restaurant, to have our first Sabah dinner. The local Malaysian food was extremely unique and certainly gave us an insight into what Malaysian food culture was like.
After our fulfilling dinner, we strolled around the local night market trying new food, drinking new drinks and buying handmade trinkets. We had an amazing time exploring the unique stalls and it allowed us to get a better understanding of how lower class citizens of Sabah work their nights away. For many of us, going to the night market gave us the opportunity to try Malaysia’s famous fruit— durian for the first time. On the other hand, we also noticed how the night market was mainly filled with citizens who were living a harsh and difficult life. Many of them were wearing torn clothes and running around barefooted; some of them looked like they haven’t slept in days. Most of us found it especially hard to witness young children begging for food on the streets. Witnessing such a huge wealth gap sparked a introspective conversation within our group. By the end of the day, everyone went to bed learning something new.
Day 1 of the Sabah CAS trip was definitely a great start to the trip.
Jane, Winnie, Ms Devries first time durian.
We made it here safe and sound last night and enjoyed the sunset and a good feed, straight into morning chores today at Bukit Harapan!