|Aunty Jenette and I|
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.
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.