Hope and approval.

Hope and approval.

It is
less likely for a regular person who lives in the city to wonder what it would
be like to live in a small town and live life on a day-to-day basis instead of
literally sketching out plans for the future.
I for once, did not. Adding
ignorance into the fact thinking that I anyway grew up in a small town. Bario was a pleasant surprise in so many aspects. But, if I had to choose one particular
aspect that always had my heart touched and my mind wondering; it would be the endless
blessings we received over our course of stay.
I remember that hot Saturday
afternoon when I walked into the long house being the new member that was
missing for the past 10 days. I questioned my acceptance into the residents of
this home, I was anxious if the first impression I bring would be counted, I
was engulfed in fear not knowing where I stand; not knowing if my presence was
accepted. I was first greeted by the homestay host’s daughter, Aunty Su who
very willingly gave me a warm hug even before knowing who I was. This hug made me feel a whole lot calmer. 
Aunty Su, the first person to welcome me into the long house.
However, the moment that really touched my inner self was when the homestay host, Tepuq Sinah Rang and all the
other Tepuqs came over to the kitchen to welcome my other team member and I.
Each and every one of them greeted me with so much warmth, hugs, wide smiles,
and excitements. Besides all of that positive vibe I received at my first introduction,
I was genuinely touched and moved at the fact how some of these
lovely Tepuqs said, ‘Semoga Tuhan memberkati kamu. (May God bless you)’ when they gave me a hug.  
I’m not sure what was it that got
me, but there was a sense of genuineness and acceptance that I honestly have
not felt anywhere else. At least not in the first hours of my presence in a new environment. This thought is often followed by the fact that I am
nobody to them, literally nobody. I have just met them minutes ago, and at the
next meal I am referred and accepted as someone’s grandchild.

I remember two days before flying home,  my team member and I who had both our Tepuqs ( Tepuq Uloh & Tepuq Ribet ) working together for that whole week decide to
take them out for a meal. As they were emotional at
the fact that the journey for all four of us together was coming to an end,
they never forgot to give their blessings to us. With tears in their eyes, we were
blessed with good health, to excel in our studies and to always remember that
being humble and having a good heart will give life the meaning we need and a
journey worth remembering.

There was a lot of hope and approval
in their blessings. I am not sure if anyone else would have felt the same, but
how often does one hug you and give you their blessings; so genuine and heartfelt? In a day and age where everyone seems to be a little self centered, voluntary well wishes like these should always be cherished and taken to heart.
Count your blessings. They don’t
come by as often. 

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