Today was spent exploring the town I am in Pankalan Bun to see how the locals live. This place is so behind the times its incredible. Some people have nice stoned walled houses, others have the shanty wooden shacks with a dirty stream running by. Others have houses so close to the river bank that when it rises, these poor people are going to get the water right into their poor home. You have to feel sorry for them. But they smile and simply get on with their day to day business.
In the photos you can see people bathing in the the water. This water is where people will bath, throw rubbish into, wash their clothes, dump dirty bath/toilet water from their homes, boats toilet excess gets dumped here too. i mean its dirty, yet their are happy to swim and bathe in it.
People were very nice, I mean they don’t have much but what they do have is kindness and a smile. They were excited when I asked if I could take their photo. They were excited to see a foreigner walking around with a camera so some even asked me to take their photo. Some of these people will know what ‘google’ or ’email’ is, some will not, its 2010, what a shame, but yet they are happy, that should count.
The kids play out on the streets, the older brother looks out and plays with the younger sibling. No PS3 or Xbox, back to the days of creating your own entertainment. It was nice to see that, thats what kids should be doing!
No drugs here YET but the guys do drink alcohol, I mean serious strength alcohol. Most of the people(inc women) smoke, its cheap local cigarettes but I guess thats their escapism. Their local doctors are not really good so for anything serious they go to Java (mainly visit Jakarta). Some will not even be able to afford that so if cancer comes knocking, I bet you it will be so advanced that nothing can be done about it. But its their choice, everyone in this world has a choice.
In some places the water is polluted with wooden bits, crisps packets and sheer junk, but walking the streets, for a place like this, it wasn’t so bad. Recycling has not hit home yet. But some (mostly) do bag their rubbish. Some do understand its an island and so if they make the mess, its only them that’s going to be living in it.
Later in the afternoon (nothing much but family time happens on a Sunday) I went to the care centre with packets of peanuts to be given to our red heads and heres a treat of a photo I took yesterday.
Oh I forgot to tell you, yesterday I needed a cab/scooter back home at around 5.30pm but because its Ramadan, the place just comes to a halt! They all pack up what they are doing, forget the rest of us waiting for their service, they just rush off to eat! How healthy is that? Luckily I found someone to give me a ride at the back of their bike! So today I stuck to walking. To not eat or drink all day in this hot place and then eat and drink like crazy before the sun comes back up, surely that can’t be healthy. If you’re supposed to be fasting you eat one meal, not several because the sun is down, but each to their own!
Tomorrow I am off to see some people at a Dayak village by speedboat so I’ll keep you posted. By the way Dayaks are hindus but a severely different form. They actually used to (up until 10 years ago) behead people. So incase you don’t get my next blog…. you know why 🙂 Gulp!