Lesson Learnt

Lesson Learnt

Aunty Jenette and I 
Throughout my time in Bario,
I was assigned to Aunty Jenette. She is the mother to Aunty Nicole, the Bario
Asal coordinator. I first met Aunty Jenette on the day we landed in Bario as we were journeying to Tepuq Sinah Rang’s homestay.
Aunty Jenette has numerous jobs. From owning a bead shop, planting paddy in the fields and to running a homestay, I was immediately impressed because doing these three different things require many different skills and also hard work. 
When we first spoke, I noticed that Aunty Jenette speaks very fluent English. During the meet and greet session with all the other Tepuq, I remember talking to Aunty Jenette and getting to know her. From the start, she was very lively and open to talk though she barely knew me. She shared with me the jobs that she does, about her family especially her children and even explained to me The Bario Revival in 1973 when I asked of the significance of the cross on Prayer Mountain. She spoke most of the time while I listened. 

I was really glad that I got paired with Aunty Jenette. Throughout the next two weeks, I also realised that Aunty Jenette is also a very good cook and without a doubt she is a very knowledgeable woman who knows Bario like the back of her hand. Whenever I asked her about bits and pieces of this place she grew up in, she happily tells me its history such as the various places in Bario that were once an airstrip and how the longhouses in Bario got their names. 

Through her telling me these stories, I realised that I myself do not quite know the history of the city that I live in. If someone were to ask me about it, I would most likely stammer and be tongue-tied while struggling to recall some details of it. To be frank, I have been ignorant about it and did not think it is important because I thought that no one would ask me of it so there is no need to know such information. Now, as I think about it, I realise that it is not about just knowing such information but it is about appreciating how the place where I lived came about and the challenges overcame to become what it is today. 

This, is one of the lessons learnt while spending time with Aunty Jenette.

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