I remember the day I
returned to KL from Bario. We reached KL at 6pm and my mum and sister surprised
me at the arrival hall. My mum had offered to send a few of my batchmates back
and the car was filled with our voices, talking and laughing. By the time we
sent everyone home and my family started
driving to a restaurant for dinner it was already 8pm. I remember the conversation
in the car ceasing as I stared out of the window while the roads passed. I was
extremely tired as we had been travelling from 8 in the morning and all I
wanted to do was sleep. However, flashbacks of Bario kept replaying in my
head. The night before,how we had all danced together ( they call it
poco-poco) to Beatles songs, our last
debriefing session, the goodbye’s, the conversations, the jokes we had,
wondering what my tepuq was doing. And I realised I felt scared that I would
forget this wonderful experience once I
returned to college and started my normal daily routine again.
Today, eventhough it has been 22 days since I returned,
Bario is still in my heart. When I hear my dog crying at the gate when I get
home , I remember the dogs in Bario crying when Agan returned( Our longhouse
neighbour). When I bathe cold water, which I have been doing since I returned, I remember Bario and
the super-cold morning water that could probably induce hypothermia if anyone
dared to have a bath. When I walk home from the train station everyday after
college, I remember walking together to the only ABC shop in Bario when we were all tired, under the hot sun and
the satisfaction when we reached. Whenever the lights automatically come on at night, I remember the many
nights without electricity which we survived successfully and the feeling of
awe when we would suddenly have electricity. When I am alone at home and my
sister is at university studying extra hours and my mum is at work, I remember
the longhouse, always full of people, noise and laughter.
Staying there for 16 days has taught me many things. The
people there, the atmosphere, my tepuq , my friends,the experiences all have
taught me something special. Some of these lessons can’t even be put into words. Sometimes
in life you meet a group of people who start of as friends or strangers from a
new place who may seem so different. As time pass, they touch your life and
you never realise how much you learnt from them until much later. We went there
as teachers but returned as both a student and a teacher. I guess everywhere we
go and in every interaction we have, we give and receive. This was just that. Just through one’s
actions, choice of words and expressions, another can learn a lot. Sitting in the
plane 22 days ago, I had enough time to think and contemplate on the huge
impact of Project WHEE! in my life.
Throughout my experience there, I spent most of my time with my tepuq and my batch mates. I never realised how much they taught me until I returned home.
And so I would like to thank all who were involved, all who
touched me in different ways .
She taught me to be brave and strong.To be determined and
committed and to chase my dreams and to not follow the norm. She led us with
He taught me to be comfortable being myself, to never think twice and live spontaneously. He taught me to be kind to others, to accept different people and that every person makes a difference.
She taught me to be comfortable and confident with my own
life decisions. She taught me compassion with her true concern, connectedness
and gentle genuine love for everything around her.
Thank you Rachel.
He taught me to see the deeper meaning of things/situations.
He taught me that every moment of life is meant to be lived. He showed me the
beauty of solitude and independence.
Thank you Wai Min.
She taught me not to take things personally and to love everyone.
To be free of all inhibitions.
He taught me that there’s no such thing as enough laughter or
happiness in ones life. Nothing could ever dampen his spirit and his
Thank you Satesh.
He was always practical and taught me social responsibility.
He was always on-the-go, helping others.
Thank you Adrian.
He taught me to not take anything in life personally and to
be optimistic no matter what life throws at you.
He taught me to be open to others and to have patience. He
was very concerned and loving. He taught me simplicity and to be real.
Thanks Andrew GorGor.
She taught me not to limit myself and to be spontaneous and
And lastly, I taught myself that I don’t and can’t control
everything in my life. I taught myself that anything is possible, and that life is
just a canvas.To not let the norm restrict me because life is meant to be lived
The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.