Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Udah datai maya

Malam 27 Dec kami sebilik, kaban belayan begulai enggau bala ari Sibu enggau Belaga ngerami Maie enggau Cris betunang.

My son-in-law to be, Crispin Nyipa, is the eldest son of Mr Ali Basah (Alex) and Madam Dorothy Adrian. Cris works as a consultant in KL.

Cris' mom bearing the tray carrying the engagement ring.

Alex & Dot, Dadi and I with our respective firstborn.

Begambar begulai enggau apai indai & aki ini.
Sarang tinchin

Bala kaban belayan
My beautiful isans-to-be : Carol (Mrs Christopher Adrian) and Alex's four sisters.
Rev Fr Kevin Chundi blessing the engagement ring.
Engagement blessing.
Cris' aunts, uncle and cousins.

Family members.
Rev Father Kevin and Alex.
Rev Father Kevin Chundi besembiang, merekat seduai ke betunang.

Ika aku apai Julie ngelalu ka penatai bala. Udah nya dadi bejaku, ditangkanka aki Cris.

Menyadi aku apai Sampai enggau indai Muntai, sereta apai Muntai.

Bala petunggal enggau ibu.

Benung makai.

Menyadi aku indai Anna, indai Julie enggau petunggal aku indai Ann & Mary ari Miri.

Begulai enggau bala isans-to-be enggau ini Cris.

Sudan begulai enggau ika aku apai Julie.

Maie enggau menyadi aku indai Julie.
Ibu aku begulai enggau ipar aku.

Tiga menyadi

Monday, November 15, 2010

Losing someone you love

Today a superior in the office told us he lost his mother over the weekend. He couldn't go to her funeral, he was ill and she had to be buried fast according to the customs of their faith. I am sorry for him, for I can't bear the thought of not being there to hold in my arms someone I love and pray the divine mercy as he/she breathes his/her last, to be at his/her bed side to say the final goodbye, and to be at the funeral to throw flowers when he/she is lowered to the final resting place. May God have mercy on her soul and may she rests in peace.

His story of his mother reminded me of my mom.

My mom is 80 years old and barring some ailments to the legs which we have been trying to ease with glucosamine and chrondoitin with some small success, she is healthy, praise the Lord, thank you Lord. However for the last few years my mom has been talking about death, wondering when the Lord will take her. There is no fear in her, she is always eager, always ready to meet her Maker. Last year when we visited my father's grave, she said, "you are happy dear, you are already with the Lord". She had given instructions for whatever savings she has to be used for her funeral expenses, including for buying her casket. We just smiled at her, refused to be drawn into her eagerness to meet the Lord.

When she dies, I will be grateful that she has lived a long life, that she is happy, that she got to see her children married, bearing and raising children, that she got to see her grandchildren successful and happy. Above all, I will be happy that she has become a devout Christian and like her, I burst with hope that she will see the beatific vision upon death.

I will grieve, for even now tears came to my eyes as I thought of what she had gone through. My maternal grandma was ill with leprosy, she lived in a leprosy centre in Kuching, leaving my mother and aunt bereft of a mother's love and care. My mom was motherless at the age of about 10 years old. My maternal grandpa did the best he could to bring up his three children, but nothing could replace the love of a mother. My mom married at about 18 years old and bore five children - Jacinta, Patricia, Martin, Lily and me. I am the middle child, for my Iban name she named me Sarimah, after the film star Sarimah, her idol.

My mom was widowed in her forties. She raised us three youngest siblings, gave us the best she could offer, always ensuring there was rice on the tikai bemban - no, not on the table, but on the straw mat, as we could not afford to buy one. There was just this round marble-topped table but that was used for my study table. The table was bought during better times, when my father was still alive. The marble table top is still with us, kept by my eldest sister, Jacinta, with whom my mom is living now. I guess it keeps her connected to the past, its joys and pains. On most days the rice was served with daun ubi, changkuk manis, paku, kemiding and several times a week, fried eggs and fish. My late uncle Jangin was an avid angler, he always gave us some portion of his catch. Meat was a luxury, we had it on several occassions a month, after Jacinta sent money home - Jacinta was a teacher. My children ever asked me whether I missed the good food, etc. I told them I didn't, for how could I miss something I never had.

Even with the little we had, mom always ensured that I brought money to school, enough for me to buy meehoon, kuih or nasi lemak. In those days, a packet of mee and nasi lemak cost 30 cents and kuih, 20 cents. A packet of mee and a piece of kuih was enough to see me through until I got home from school by about 1.30 pm. Together with my aunts, sometimes mom worked at the pepper garden of our Chinese neighbours, earning RM5.00 per day. Out of the meagre sum, she made sure there was some money for me to buy books. I was so much in love with reading English novels. Apart from borrowing books from the school library, I bought Women's Weekly novels, then priced at RM1.00 each. It was ironic - we were poor but my mom ensured that was a luxury I kept. It bore fruit mom, for the things I read made me curious to know the world, it fueled me to be successful in my studies, so that one day I could eat the food described in the novels, I could wear beautiful dresses like the ones I read about, I could see places mentioned in the books. I passed my passion for reading to my daughters mom, and like me they found the immeasurable joys of reading. Today my shelves are overflowing with books. Thank you mom, for feeding my passion for books.

We went to church every Sunday. I was in the choir. In those days I liked to sing and I sang at the top of my voice. I seldom sing now - well only karaoke during Gawai at the long house where folks are not too bothered with whether you got the pitch right or hit the high notes well. When I was in Form 2, I particpated in a talentine competition, nama utai ulih, nadai lumor wai, keruan enda ngemuaska ati ti ka belagu. It was only in my late teens that I realised I was no Uji Rashid material, one of my favourite singers in the 70s. Yes, some people learnt late... Mom never complained about my singing, I guess she allowed me to express myself, unknowingly nurturing the budding of my self-confidence.

When I was still studying in Niah, I helped mom with the farm works on Saturdays and school holidays. Like most folks in Niah then, we planted pepper and paddy. Working was not unpleasant for my aunts took me under their wings. They told stories that made me laughed, they helped me carried the raga - the rattan basket - when it was full and heavy with ripened pepper berries. After school, I made sure our house was spick and span you could lie down on our anak tangga without having to worry about dirtying your body or clothes.

After I graduated from university and started work, I invited mom to stay with me - I wanted to care for her like she cared for us. However she said no, she couldn't leave my sister and my nephew & niece - she was looking after them. Then a few years ago I once again asked her to stay with me, again she said no, your sister, brother in law and Ann-Marie need me, she said. I will move in with you after Ann-Marie starts to walk by herself, mom said. That's my mom, always humble, always giving of herself, but finding joy in doing so. Truly the faith is alive in her. May God continue to bless you mom.

If I am God-fearing, hardworking, dependable and loving deeply the people I care for today, I credit it to the values I learnt from my father, mother, aunts and relatives. I am grateful for my religious upbringing. I am proud to have come from hardworking stock. I am proud to belong to people willing to sacrifice for the happiness and wellbeing of others. I am proud to belong to people who when we love, love deeply, till the end. My aunts, like my mom, were widowed young and they never remarried. People were mostly fooled by their appearance - they saw them tough on the outside but didn't know they are gooey inside. My aunts brought up my cousins well and for more than two decades, my aunts never had to work again, for their children took them in, loving and taking care of them in return...thank you Lord.

When I heard and saw how some mothers and mothers-in-law are meddling, I vowed to myself not to be one, I vowed to be like mom, always giving of myself, always nurturing, always giving joy to the people I love.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Jogja Girl

No, Mami, I will not go to Solo. Our posting at Banjarnegara ends tomorrow and my friends and I will return to Jogjakarta. I will stay put at Jogjakarta. See it from my point of view Mi, I am training to be a doctor, I am in the business of helping people. It just won’t do for me to blah at the first sign of trouble, she said. Furthermore the uni is strict, I don’t want to have to repeat my posting to Ops if I take leave. Yes my housemates have all been evacuated to Solo, but I will stay with friends. Don't worry about me, I’ll be safe, I know what to do. That's what my daughter told me over the phone last Friday, 5 Nov. She was away in Banjarnegara, interning at a health facility there - its 3 hrs drive from Jogjakarta - so she wasn't among the Malaysian students evacuated to Solo and flown home over the weekend.

What can I say in the face of her resoluteness? To plead with her to come home would make a travesty of my faith, of what I believe in. So I pulled the greatest cable of all times - I pleaded to God. Early Saturday morning, Maie and I went to church and I asked Father Michael, our parish priest, to offer mass for her safety, and the safety of Malaysian students at Jogjakarta. I was comforted, for during the sermon Fr Mike said not to worry, not to allow events to control us, rather we should place our trust in God, that God will see us through.

Her university had suspended classes for 10 days to organise aid to villagers in evacuation camps and the injured are taken to the Sardjito Hospital, the teaching hospital where she is doing her internship. She told me most are suffering from burns, one man at ICU is still unidentified – he was burnt real bad.

In her 1st year at medical school, she expressed her desire to work in poor countries after she graduates. I told her you don’t have to go far to serve the sick, there's plenty of help needed at home… ba ulu sungai, ba rumah panjai, tak mungkang bebai kantung kita tiga menyadi ila ngubat urang ke begunaka tulung ku aku. So I guess the Merapi eruption has given her an opportunity to witness first hand how its like to bring healing and comfort to people in need.

Sudan has always been determined, in many ways she is like me. But she is also a bit quiet like you know who. When she was in Form 5, she saw me coming home from office, tired. So she told me, I will study hard Mi, so that I get good results and obtain a scholarship, then you don’t have to work any more, okay? Au, ku aku. See, she has a view that mothers should stay home, raising children. Pahai aku kasak anak aku nya, study high high tang nyu ka nyadi indai fulltime. Ee, ukai nadai ama deh, pia ku aku nyaut.

She is not beyond doing something outrageous, well, outrageous by my standard. Two years ago she came home for the holidays, with streaks of blonde and plum colored hair. Ngapu aku. Anang nganu Mi, I was so stressed during the exam, I needed to destress by doing something extraordinary, pia ku iya.

The next time she came home, she told me she wanted to have a tattoo. No, absolutely not, over my dead body, ku aku. She is not my child without knowing that in that tone of voice I really, really mean business. So she went back to Jogja, opened her Bible and looked up where in the Bible that says Christians can’t have tattoos. She thought that its against the teachings of the faith to have tattoos and that must be the reason why I forbade her. She found the appropriate verse in Leviticus 19:28

You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD”.

Oh, no wonder Mami said no, ku iya. I didn’t know she went to such length until early this year when the family was holidaying in Phuket. We were in the MPV and talking about Iban tattoos and Igat, who has been fascinated by tattoos since he did an assignment on that subject in high school, told us he wishes to have bungai terong tattoo on his shoulders one day. Oh, aku rindu amat ka pantang bungai terong, ku aku, remembering the bungai terong that my late grandpa and his Batang Rejang relatives spotted. When she heard that, she thought I was okay with Igat's plan. She roared from the back seat. Mami! Enda asi! Aku enda di asuh nuan bepantang, Igat di asuh di! pia ku iya. ‘Igat, you can’t have tattoo, its forbidden – its in Leviticus”, she prompty told Igat. That’s how I knew she looked it up in the Bible. Igat’s reaction was so vehement – “why do you have to tell me that its forbidden! I’d rather not know so that I can do the tattoo. Now that I know, I won’t dare to do it”, pia ku Igat. Nama ga kita enggai enda madahka aku nya enda tau. Uji anang madah, lak ka aku ngereja nya. Tu aku nemu nya enda tau, nyu enda aku ulih bepantang, pia ku Igat, naka pengerenjan iya ngelabuhka jaku. Keh keh keh, ga iya chali chali bala anak aku… kasih amat, ka amat bepantang….

Well the Catholic position on body tattoo is like this – Body art as a form of adornment that is ordered to the ultimate good of the person and humanity, if it observes modesty and avoids vanity and if it respects the fundamental integrity of the human person – including integrity of the body – that kind of body art can be morally permissible. Eyebrow tattoo would seem to be morally permissible. But that is quite distinct from many of personal mutilation that many of today’s extreme tattoos and piercings entails. We are to discern which form of tattoo is sinful and harmful and which is acceptable and morally neutral. For Christians, the guideline we should follow is aptly expressed by Scripture,

Your adornment should not be an external one, but rather the hidden character of the heart ..which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

In a nutshell, don’t do at all, for you may not be able to discern well, or you may be motivated by vanity – an inordinate self-love related to the sin of pride - this makes it sinful. This is the reason why the Church warns us against the incipient moral danger associated with extreme forms of body art.

From the context of Leviticus 19:28, Catholic bible scholars view the prohibition as part of Jewish ritual laws, not moral laws for which Christians are bound. As Christians, we are bound by moral laws contained both in the Old and New Testaments, but we are not bound by Jewish ritual laws.

Tang, Sudan, Igat, the answer is still NO!!!

PS I love you my Jogja Girl, more than words can say. Stay safe, stay smart and don't forget the Evacuation Plan... di asuh aku nyimpan gari, ai irup enggau pemakai handy ba kerita, ambi ulih ngebu ka diri ma Merapi tak meletup enggau balat. Iya madah sida ka lari ka tunga Parangtitis, mua ka selatan Jogja (Merapi mua ka utara).

Tu gambar ke dilekatka Igat ba assignment iya suba. Minat amat Igat ka Ernesto, nanya aku sekalika aku nemu sapa Ernesto. Nemu aku ku aku, lawyer baka aku iya. Pandai amat iya neh Mi, pia ku Igat. Au. Asai ka bisi studio iya ba KL din, kelimpah ari ka ba Kuching, pia ku aku.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Antu udah nemu nama

Empai lama tu kemari tua dadi nemuai ngagai sida apai Kumo, nunga bala ke bisi datai ari menua. Sigi baka sida sekaban, ma begempuru sigi nadai jerita bukai, ngenang sawit aja. Diatu bala anak menyadi, anak petunggal dadi ke gawa di Bintulu sama besawit magang, nya alai sida gagit amat. Urang di menua pin gaga laban ari ke besawit bala anak suah agi pulai ke menua, meri penampak ngagai pengidup sida.

Lebuh ke berandau, Bakar (au, anak apai Bakar ke lelingut nya meh) lalu nusi tanah ke diungkup apai enggau indai iya ke seduai apai Cassie berimbai enggau pendam. Sekali lebuh sida biak suba kala sida me-indai-indai lari meda utai ta guyap-guyap semak babas mua ka pendam. Nemu nya tudah niang apai B, ngiga daun sabung semak nya. Apai B enggau indai B benung ngumpul buah engkabang. Seduai nadai nemu takut ku sida, seruran ta bemalam sebelah tanah. Ma ka tinduk seduai ngelamun tubuh enggau buah engkabang, ambi enda empa nyamuk!

Sida pin lalu mulaika pengingat, bisi lebih 10 taun ti udah, sida sekaban begau pulai ke menua tengah malam laban indai B udah lelang kenu ku urang di menua. Sida sekaban di Bintulu lalu begau, datai ngagai rumah kami, baum ka pulai. Siku ari sida nadai minyak, nyu ulih ngumpa minyak ari kerita kami ke siti, namaka ngagai tangki kerita ia. Maya nya stesin minyak enda buka 24 jam baka ke diatu (nya alai dadi enda ngelak ka kerita nadai minyak, enggai ka tusah ka ngesah urang di menua ku iya. Taja diatu bisi stesin 24 jam, dadi mengkang enda ngeleka ka pengawa ti bejaga-jaga bakanya).

Datai di menua, sida lalu ngagai langkau kebun apai B, seduai melaki bini diau di kebun laban nanam sawit. Apai B nusi seduai melaki-bini bisi becheregay lemai nya, nya alai indai B lari. Abis sebelah madang sawit enggau umai seduai di tujah sida malam nya, rauh-rauh nganggau, tang lalu enda tetemuka indai B. Nyu dini ari bedau ga indai B temu, nya alai sida ngetu, lalu berunding ngiga baru pagi siti. Laban ke nyau lapar, bala pin lalu bebela, munuh serati. Nyu makai meh sida dini ari nya. Ia enda lama udah nya, urung pukul 4 pagi, peda ta nyunggah indai B. Urang pin lalu nanya iya, kini nuan tadi, ku urang. Peda ta enda tentu stidi jaku enggau pejalai indai B, iya lalu nusi diri baru pulai ari langkau ini Yi, ngirup tuak din ku iya. He he he, uhang ke digiga nyu happy hour dataika dini ari!!! Pama bintis manuk indu kami nya!!!

Tembu nusi jerita apai enggau indai B, sida lalu ngenang pendam lama sida di ai Dijih, naka pengerepa ku jaku. Takut mansa diatu ku sida. Udah nya Bakar lalu nusi baru ga jerita L ke mansang mukat enggau nginti ba tebing ai semak pendam di Sg Dijih. Ka geli-geli L ke nginti kia, tang iya ka kia laban dia mayuh ikan. Endur iya ke mukat melakangka pendam lama. Baru ka ngenan pukat, dia L lalu ninga urang nganggau ka iya, nyebut nama. Antu!! pia ku L, iya pin lalu lari enda be apai enda be indai. Utai di tinggal ka iya magang. Datai di rumah iya lalu madah ngagai entua iya, ku iya

'apu apai, enda lama agi mati aku laban antu udah nemu nama aku'.

Sida sebilik pin lalu besudi, ngambi semengat L. Apin lama udah sida ke besudi, L betemu enggau apai tuai siku ke dikelala iya, apai tuai nya diau enda jauh ari rumah panjai sida. Ku apai tuai nya nganu L, ia nama kebuah nuan ta lari maya aku nganggauka nuan sari nya, aku ba puchuk kayu enda jauh ari nuan ke nginti. Aku nginau babi meda balat amat bekau pelangkan dia ku apai tuai nya. He he baru la L nemu ukai antu ke nganggau ka iya, tang mensia!!! Aku lalu lekik-lekik ketawa... amat pahai kitai enti antu udah nemu nama...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Learning to trust

Mami, please pray for me, I am having a hard time with my revision, so said Igat several weeks ago. Oh, I’ve prayed for you this morning, son, I responded. Mami, please pray for me now Mami, now, Igat entreated. I heard the urgency of his need, so over the phone, I prayed for and with Igat, asking God to give him the wisdom and understanding required to excel in his studies, asking God to take away his anxieties, asking God to give him good health, asking God to cover and protect him against all dangers, trials and temptations.

Feel better now? I asked, and Igat said yes. I told him not to worry, I told him to put his trust in God, because God answers all prayers. I don’t want him sick in the head over his studies, his spiritual and physical wellbeing is more important to me than acing A-levels examinations.

A mother would know the kind of prayer I made – the one that comes deep from the heart, a plea, a cry out to God for peace of a much beloved son. That’s why a mother’s prayer is powerful because it’s from the heart – born out of faith. (James 5:17). Thank you Lord, because almost a month had passed and Igat is doing okay now, a lot of study to do but happy. Just this evening he cheerfully told me he’s fighting to the end. God will see you through son, there’s no doubt about it.

I’ve been reflecting on how I measured in trusting God. I realized that I was a fine one for talking to Igat about trusting God while at times I too am short in that department. There were times when I still worry even after lifting up prayers to the Lord. Last year when Igat was ill during the H1N1 outbreak, I was so worried for him. He was away from home and I was not there to care for him. Yes I prayed, in tears, pleading with God to protect Igat from the dreaded virus, asking God to make him well again. But after the prayers my anxiety remained. Had there been a flight out of Bintulu to Kuala Lumpur that evening I would had gone to see Igat.

It was also with anxiety that I left Jogjakarta in August 2006 after visiting Met. Jogjakarta was still trembling after the devastating earthquake in May of the same year. I worried about her personal safety, my heart ached that she had to live away from the comforts of home. I surrendered her to the Lord, but I still worried. Cried, even.

What did my actions say about trusting God? I failed, miserably. Truly I identify with the lyricist in the hymn “And I Thank You Lord”, the one about not putting our human nature down and let God take control of all we do. Trusting God is to let go of our dependence on our own strength and capabilities and instead rely on His strength. Trusting God is to have peace in our hearts come what may. Trusting God is believing that everything will turn out to be good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Trusting God is to accept in humble obedience His will in our lives.

When I was a young magistrate, a lawyer who’s also a friend popped into my chambers and told me of his flight from Kuching to Bintulu. The plane encountered turbulence and he was scared out of his wits. To his amazement, a priest who was sitting next to him was so calm and relaxed. And he told me “how nice to have that kind of faith”. My friend found the faith – he and his family converted to Christianity, still actively serving the church.. 25 years on and that conversation is still fresh on my mind.

So what do I tell the Lord?

I am sorry Lord for my lack of trust in you. I am learning to trust You fully Lord, so help me. If you would stretch your patience with me, I promise to be a good disciple. Amen.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lelingut, Lelingai

Lelingut Apai Bakar
Gawai tu kemari kami menyanak bisi ngabang ngagai sida Apai Bakar, ba rumah panjai di ulu Dijih. Iya nya tanah aya apai Maie, lalu bini iya petunggal dua kali dadi. Nya meh tudah indai Bakar enggau menantu iya indai Cassie nyu kisuk ngenah ka kami pemakai. Pia Cassie riak-riak nyabak, enda tan angat lalu takut meda sekeda palan ba bilik dapur enda terang. Momok mami, pia ku Cassie. Kasih sida uchu, teleba diau nyamai di nengeri, enda nakal diau ba rumah panjai laban nadai karan kena masang aircon, injin api muti ulih musinka kipas. Nyu ke penyuah indai Bakar kelut-kelut mantaika pemakai, nya iya lalu nyebut ngagai apai Bakar. Salin lalu sadung ai nya apai Bakar, anang ta bara lelingut dia, pia ku uhang indu. Kami menyanak pin lalu engkikir ketawa ninga indai Bakar ngumbai laki iya lelingut. Tuchum kambin tudah apai Bakar, matak setan lalu nuang ai...

Lelingai Apai Maie
Aku lalu ngingatka apai Maie, lebih kurang baka apai Bakar nya meh maya nerima pengabang. Enti apai Bakar lelingut apai Maie lelingai, bepelawik patung nunga temuai. Puji Tuhan iya mayuh bala anak menyadi enggau menantu, bala menantu mantu aku bebantaika utai, sida ke lelaki nyadung ai enggau utai dempa. Apai Maie kala nusi ka kami menyanak jaku niang apai iya suba, enti ta semua mela, sapa ke makai legi, pia ku niang aki sa Maie. Au, sekira apai Maie nusi jaku apai iya ngambi aku ke enda bebai mela meh nya. Apu, enti aki labang, apai labang, enda alah ga Igat nunda ku aku. Aku lalu nangkap Igat, lalu madahka iya nuan anang bakanya ila Igat, enda tau enda nulung bini nuan, kelebih agi enti seduai sama gawa. Au Mi, ku tudah Igat. Ba aku, pia mega pelaba aku, ba mayuh kitai indu bukai, enda kitai ngiruh laki maya ari biasa, tang enti maya gawai, maya berami, kitai sigi begunaka tulung laki enggau anak. Semua tulang dipeguna magang, husband or not, tuan or not. Kati asai sida neh, enti kitai indu ta rendih-rendih, sebaka enggau sida ke bepelawik patung?

Lelingai di Kuala Lumpur
Tu aku nusi jerita diri empu. Ari lima tu kemari aku bisi ngulu aum di Kuala Lumpur, baru pulai lemai mari. Udah tembu baum, ngalih ari nya aku ngagai Sogo, lama amat udah enda kia, ka meda angka bisi gari ka chun ba mata, kena sembiang. Tudah diri enda tebai ka diri enggau urang bepisin iga ba pekayan, ngipak ka tubuh, ngipak ka umur, ngipak ka gamal ga kitai begari.

Aku ta asai ke bemimpi remban enti meda kitai indu ngena gari bekebelik maya siang ari, tau ke ngena gari ke sendat, nyu ngayanka gumpal isi. Pemadu ia enggai dipeda aku bala indu ke maya kami tu, tauka biak agi, ke ngena tanchut getah ke sendat, apu wai, amat ta pelimping gumpal pah enti kitai gemu. Pia ka nyu ayan sirang tanchut dalam laban tanchut nya ngempit. VPL (visible panty lines) nya a no-no ku urang ke pandai senentang adat basa begari. Ta pejam enchelak, pejam enchelak mata aku ma meda bala wai wai kitai Iban ba sebelah pasar maya ari minggu bepekayan bakanya.

Siti agi legging ke pandak, ba tengan betis aja, lalu kadang-kadang bisi ribin ba tisi. Ku aku bisi bagi urang ke tau ngena legging enggau ke enda. Enti urang tinggi, manah tubuh, ehem, urang ke biak meh, manah ga ngena legging, laban tubuh sida manah, lalu bisi shape datai ke baruh din. Tang enti tua gemu, isi nyu begumpal ba dada enggau punggung, di baruh aja ke mit agi, nyu baka katun spongebob enggau square pants kitai. Tambah ka enti t-shirt tauka baju kitai pandak, alamak, ayan sirang W ba belakang, ayan sirang V ba mua, terumbu ga tinggi, enti tanchut sendat amat nyu W meh ba mua ("camel's hoofs" ku sa Maie & Sudan madahka aku), .......pahai wai kitai nyu nyadi utai kena merindang ati uhang ke meda!!!

Nitihka utai ti dibacha enggau dipeda aku, adat kitai indu begari bakatu: lalai ka utai ti enda manah, kemas ka ba bagi tubuh ke manah. Enti berang kitai besai, anang ngena baju ke enda beberang, enggai ka nyu baka pemalu tawak lengan kitai, chukup enda manah. Pia mega enti kitai gemu, enda semesti iya kitai ngena gari ke balat begimbo, enggai ka ta nadai shape lalu. Umbas ia ga pengelunggar gari, chukup kena ngelalaika spare tyre enggau gumpal isi. Oso, anang ngena baju dalam ke sendat, enggai ke dipeda begumpal isi kitai ari belakang ma baju kitai fit. Gaya kitai begari pin tau ngasuh urang meragamka gaya pikir enggau pendiau kitai. Enti baju seksi, ngayanka sekeda buah labu, urang tau meragamka kitai nya bansa urang indu ke senang di ulih, dikuntik. It's about penampilan ku Melayu, bakani kitai begari, bakanya meh urang masa tauka enda masa kitai. Tambah kitai enda tau enda masa tubuh diri empu. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit ku Bup Kudus (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Au, pulai ngagai aku ke ka Sogo.

Nyadi ba Sogo, sida bisi ngadaka market segments ti bebida. Bisi gari ke manah kualiti sereta ngam ba urang ke ka begaya, tang rega ia mar agi. Pia mega bisi gari ke ngam ba urang ke enda tentu milih pisin, ditipak ka enggau rega ti murah agi, ulih di ibai ka urang mayuh. Nyadi aku tu ari market segment ke tengah-tengah, enggai meli utai mar, tang ka ke utai ti bisi kualiti. Siti pengelebih sida bisi ngadaka pisin ti chun ba aku, kain panjai, blaus pandak belengan panjai tauka tiga suku. Urang ke sama ngiga pisin bakanya sigi bala indu Melayu din, makcik-makcik baka aku....

Aku enda tetemuka utai ti di ke inginka ati, laban bisi pisin ti ngam ba aku tang kelalu balat ukir enggau churak - nyu genarau, betata batu ke seleka dua, pelaba aku laluh pisin Hari Raya. Andal amat aku ke kia, angka ta bulih sepasang dua ke umbas ia, ta lelingai kitai ngena baju baru neh, anang enti chun gamal.

Aku ke nurun ngagai Sogo nepan teksi churak gadung. Ka diambi ka bellboy teksi eksekutif ke biru- sida bellboy bisi diberi driba komisyen enti kitai ngena teksi nya - aku enggai laban mar bayar. Sida nya enda paham-paham ga ku ati aku din, kitai ke diau ba hotel mar bakanya (Grand Millenium) laban dibayar kempeni, ukai bayar diri empu, meda kitai ke diau dia kumbai ta mayuh duit kitai. Tambah mega kapa bangat mayar utai mar enti bisi ke murah. Nya aku minta tan ka sida teksi biasa. Datai teksi gadung aku lalu tama ninga bellboy madahka driba ka nganjung aku ke Sogo. Pakai meter kak, ku iya. Ok ku aku, lalu tama. Datai ba Sogo dipinta driba mayar RM20 lebih, peda aku meter amat nyampau nya. Aih deh deh, laban bara lelingai enda sedar ka diri ngambi teksi ke mar, bansa meter ke belanda...Ku jaku enggai bebayar mar, nyu mar ga bayar. Aku ke pulai muti RM10 lebih bayar aku laban ngena teksi mirah.

Nama kebuah aku tu ta ilap, enda meratika teksi nya tadi ku ati aku din, mutap ka diri empu. Nama kebuah aku ilap, laban bara lelingai, ngenang pemujur aum kami pagi nya, utai ti diperambuka kami udah dibantaika enggau manah ba urang ke ngaga pemutus, lalu udah dikemendarka urang. Nya alai laban aku ke nguluka market research sereta ngaga project proposal ti dibantaika bos besai kami, ta lelingai asai tudah diri...urang nadai pin muji kitai, tang kitai nemu meransang diri empu... enti enda pia enda ransing kitai ngereja pengawa....thank you ku urang, you are welcome ku kitai...lalu lelingut, lelingai kitai...

Friday, September 10, 2010

We try, but its never easy to say goodbye

Dadi, Igat and I saw my 2nd daughter off this evening. She came last Sunday and was supposed to go back tomorrow, unfortunately she had to go earlier as she has to start her rotation at Radiology early Monday morning, 13 Sept. Mami, this is the worse part, leaving home, alone overnight in KL and missing you all, said my daughter. Once I reach Jogja, I will be fine, said Met. It's not easy for me too, honey, never has been and never will be. I became teary eyed going into their rooms, straightening the bedcovers, picking up hair bands and books by the side tables, closing their closets, putting away leftovers - snacks, pastries & roast and soon, my fridge will be half empty once again....Parting is such sweet sorrow. Thank God Igat is still home until next week.

Happy faces, waiting for food to be served at Lutong Cafe.

Daphne has to work for the raya holiday so we went to Miri to visit her. The first night's meal was at Lutong Cafe, they love the deep fried pork legs and fish head curry. Dinner for the 2nd night was at Apollo - for the ikan bakar.

Next day we went to Brunei - Daphne looked so forlorn at being left behind, Mami, she said, although I will be at the hospital today, my heart is with you all, acih ulu. We drove all the way to BSB and had lunch at a Thai restaurant, the Lemon Grass. We love Thai food and the tom yam and spicy fried fish was authentic Thai and delicious. On the return journey we dropped at Supa Save and Met & Igat oohed and aahed over the selection of biscuits and chips. Mami, may we buy more to bring back to college? Yes you may, ku aku. I was happy to be able to get goat's cheese, filo pastry, scones & flapjack mix. Thirty minutes later, dadi was left very much poorer! Datai di Miri kami tiga lalu bebantai, ngeso ka booty ngagai Maie. Udah pulai makai sida menyadi lalu snacking sambil berandau. Nya meh maya ke best, begulai, besulu enggau bala anak.

Lunch at BSB.

On the way home, we stopped at Niah for lunch. And look what I took home with me, a photo of aki Lakam, my maternal grandpa. This photo was taken in the early 60s, said mom. I have many fond memories of my aki Lakam, one day I will write about my times with him, so that my children will know of the great-grandpa they never met.
Stanislaus Belayong ak Ju, my aki Lakam, of Sg Sut, Batang Rajang.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Love like my mother, eldest sister and brother-in-law

This was supposed to be a mother’s day tribute to the people I love, but I never did get to sit down and write, not until tonight. I’ve been thinking about my mother, sister, brother-in-law and Ann-Marie, missing them to be exact – I have not met them for about 3 weeks, not since dadi and I came to visit to see Kumang off (my youngest niece, Wendy – I call her Kumang cos she was born on Gawai day, 1 June)– she accepted an offer to do a degree course in TESL at Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris and left for Tanjung Malim in early July, praise the Lord. My mother called last Sunday, asking how we were, told us she was home alone as my sister and brother-in-law had gone to Sibu. Maie wanted to pick her up but Indai said she couldn’t come to visit, she had promised to visit my youngest sister who was coming to pick her up at 5pm.

My mother, she's 80 years old

Since my brother-in-law (my children call him “Ayai”) retired, my sister (she’s “Tuai” – short for indai tuai - to my kids) and her family have been staying at their long house in Sepaduk, about 25 minutes drive from Bintulu town. They only come to stay at their house in town during weekends to attend Sunday mass, sometimes just for day trips. Their long house has the necessary utilities – piped water from LAKU, electricity from SESCO and of course Astro – so life is comfortable there. The only downside is there is poor coverage for mobile phones – so they installed a land line to their bilik.

When dadi and I miss them, we would drive to Sepaduk, close to dinner time, to join them for dinner. I love having dinner at their long house, because invariably they have hard-to-find lauk – jani kampung, jani menua, kasam ikan and not-so-hard to find but fresh daun ubi and changkuk. Sigi pemakai kitai Iban. During our last visit, we were served landak – my sister fried it with ginger and kichap – nyamai wai, mula nyima aku makai, angka tak bau, tang enda bau…bendar diri kami makai landak sambil ngirup Martini….ditambahka jani - benung kami menyanak dia urang bisi bulih jani, nya ipar aku lalu meli sepiak belakang & pah, alu diguring akak aku. Ia kami pulai dibekalka akak aku jani dibai pulai….…puji Tuhan.

My brother-in-law, sister and mother are not so mobile, as they have to take care of my grand niece, Ann-Marie Jeburi. She's named after my mother, Jeburi. She's my niece's 2nd child, she’s 4+ years old but still can’t walk – she was born premature and spastic, with very poor motor skills. In addition to the routine physiotherapy sessions in Bintulu, my brother-in-law and sister would send her to Sibu to meet with the specialist and physiotherapist once a fortnight. The exercises she has to undergo during the physiotherapy sessions are painful, she cries from the pain. It really breaks my heart to know she’s in pain. When Kumang was still home, Kumang gave her her daily massage, not a five or ten-minutes kind of routine, but hundreds of strokes to the limbs and lifting of hips to strengthen her pelvic muscles. She’s improving, now she can sit by herself and she’s learning to walk with a custom-made walker and in custom-made shoes.

Ann-Marie is so pretty and smart, she can speak and sing in English and when she sees a TV programme where a child is without a mother, she would say don’t cry, I don’t have a mother with me either. Bendar aku ngenatka ai mata ke ka labuh maya indai and akak aku nusi jerita iya. Now she’s missing Kumang, they became close since this year as Kumang was home most of the time, waiting for her STPM results. They watched cartoons of the likes of Pocahontas, they sang together, Kumang sang their cartoon song when she was asked to sing during her interview for the teaching course. Ann-Marie’s mother, my niece Julie lives in Johor, she’s a teacher and her husband is in the army – they have 4 other young children to take care of and with her teaching schedule, she is not able to send Ann-Marie for the medical treatment she needs. Plus, with her condition, Ann-Marie needs caregivers with lots of TLCs, and who better than her ini, aki and ini ichit to give her all the love and cares she needs.

My sister Jacinta and my bro-in-law Thomas Igai on their wedding day. They have 3 children: Julie is a marine biologist but opted to become a teacher, she went for teacher's training after completing her degree course; Barry the middle child is an engineer with one oil & gas company in Shah Alam and Wendy is the youngest. Dadi and I congratulated my bro-in-law and sister when Wendy got the offer to do TESL-God granted her prayer for a TESL course - we told them they are successful parents. God truly loves the humble and obedient of heart.

Taking care of a special child is not only physically taxing, but can be emotionally draining, if one is not close to God. There is of course the financial aspect – not just the medical costs but special milk, vitamins, choice food, pampers, hotel charges in Sibu, fuel cost etc to bear. When I reflect on the hardships my sister, brother-in-law and mother have to go through at their beyond-golden age, I thank God for the graces He gave and continues to give us, for sustaining the people I love. I firmly believe that God gave Ann-Marie to my sister’s family because He knows that that’s the best place for her. He formed their faith so they put their trust in Him, the love that He poured out into their hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) was made perfect in them (1 John 12) so they could love others, Ann-Marie, as they love themselves. It’s this love that gives them not only strength and endurance but peace and joy. They have peace and joy, knowing that they are answering the call made to all disciples - to follow the Lord, to carry our crosses gracefully (Luke 9:23) and trusting in God's promise, that He does not put a burden beyond what we can bear and for the things He wants us to do, He gives all the help that is needed. Cor 10:13). We carry our cross whenever we do God’s will instead of our own will. There’s this song I used to sing when I was young,“He ain't heavy, he’s my brother”. Whoever wrote the lyrics obviously knew Scriptures. No burden is Ann-Marie to bear, we’ll get there, for the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

This is Ann-Marie, undergoing sand therapy. Told you she's pretty.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ah, agi belala begawai

Kami menyanak pulai ka rumah panjai kami di Dijih begawai, seminggu kami din. Taun tu kami nerima mayuh amat pengabang, pia mega kami ngabang asuh urang. Dua ari berunggu (1-2 hb) kami semina ulih ngali ka diri kira-kira pukul 11 malam.
Gambar tu patut di pos dulu sebedau gawai, itah kena meri selamat ari gawai ngagai semua...enda laun deh, bedau ngiling bidai, ujung minggu tu kami ngiling bidai.

Tua dadi gaga amat laban Maie enggau Sudan sama-sama bisi enggau begawai, semina Igat ke enda ulih laban benung exam. Nyamai amat aku sekali tu, laban bisi anak dara mela, ulih la aku nyenguk urang kin kitu enda lama, berandau, enggau urang nyimpan pulut...Pagi 31 tumu Maie dani enggau aku berengkah mela, manduk chapi, dah nya Sudan dani manduk manuk masak merah. TR nulung aku ngelulun enggau manggang. Sulu aku bara kin kitu, meresa tali api urang, meresa pam ai meh iya.. Puji Tuhan rumah kami udah bisi karan ari SESCO disambung kena 25 hb Lima. Projek ai ngena gravity feed mega udah nyadi berengkah ari 28hb Lima, projek tu diberi pangan tua dadi, Dr Richard Mani ari upis Mineral & Geosains (enti salah nama upis minta ampun au).

Indai enggau anak dara, ba ruai diri empu, maya kami serumah makai lemai 31hb Lima.
Tiga iku menyadi: Apai Nyah, Apai Maie, Apai Nyala. Sapa sigat agi?

Makai begulai malam 31.

Sida Apak Win sebilik, ba ruai sida. Tu "Ngalai" kami serumah, laban pandai belagu.

Nyu ke pemuas aku meda bala memain, bepoco-poco, aku lalu matak tiga iku indai taui kami serumah ngasuh bepantun. Bala anak sida lalu ketawa, ngumbai aku nemu milih, laban sida tiga sigi nemu bepantun. Tu ini Uchak ku bala anak, bini niang mandal TR kami.

Tu bala beramban
Tu sida ka bepoco-poco. Bala ke meda ngundi ni bagi ke pemadu pandai, nya bulih perais.

Tu limbo rock bansa ke tekalih, tubuh bukai enda tau kena semin, semina jari enggau tunjuk kaki aja.

Uchu Tony Bantin, anak apai Kubu ke biak. Ka amat nemuai asuh bilik kami laban rindu begulai enggau Sudan.

Kami besembiang bebala mayuh malam 2hb.
Belagu muji Tuhan sereta meri terima kasih ngagai Allah Taala.

Tu ba ruai kami, maya kami nyambut pengabang - sida TR Agup serumah. Di ranyai kami sida, di asuh belagu, bepoco-poco, di ulu ka anembiak kami serumah.
Jam nyu udah nyau amat, nganti pengabang ka pulai kendua menyanak duduk di ruai.

Uchu Boniface Unau nguluka bala TR Agup mansang ngerebahka ranyai.
Tu ba bilik urang di Ulu Dijih, bilik anak menyadi apai Maie.Kami ngabang kia tengah ari 1hb.

Tu bepangku bala uchu, sama ka enggau ngabang ka Ulu Dijih.

Chara baru ngaga lemang, panduk ba tin chat dulu, udah ai dalam ruas langkang nya baru naing ruas ba api. Aku enda manduk pulut, dinga bini Tuai Rumah lalu madahka iya nyangkung aku, dah mansau di anjung iya, siap udah dikerat manah-manah. Terima kasih, urang memberi, kita merasa, enda pia. Tu utai ti dikerinduka aku, adat basa, penyiru enggau diri sama diri ke agi dititihka di rumah panjai. Laban aku ke nemu sida selalu nyangkung aku upak, ngambi ruas, ngambi kayu, manggang, nya alai aku sigi ngungkupka sida kek maya Gawai. Taun tu endu Indai Lalai meri aku upak pantu.

Ku pangan aku siku, enti nadai jani sigi enda begawai. Ka best amat betangkap-betangkap kitai makai ma iya agi angat...tu di marinate aku ngena Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce, laban bala anak ka makai stail tu. Taun tu kami menyanak enda meli jani, laban diberi anak menyadi dadi sepiak tubuh pemerat 30 kg ungkup kami, kena sida sebilik meri terima kasih ngagai tua dadi ke ngadu ka bala anak iya ke sekula ku iya. Terima kasih Endu.
Ari 2 hb kami ngabang ngagai bala apai Maie di Kua, ba rumah anak petunggal iya, Henry Nabau. Tu indai Boy (bini Henry) enggau bini TR Jantang berandau enggau aku. Urang dia gagau nyendiaka pengawa melah pinang malam nya, nya kami lalu dibai urang merarau begulai enggau sida ke benung gawa.
Dadi, sepiak iya Henry Nabau enggau tisi nyin Tr Jantang.

Malam 30hb, bala indu mungkus perais kena berami 31 hb. Digaga ka Maie & Sudan kupi, kami sebuat pin bekelukau berandau datai tengah malam.

3 hb kami dibai anak menyadi apai Maie (Apai Kubu) nemuai ngagai rh panjai entua iya di Baoh, kira-kira sejam ngena kerita ari rumah kami. Jalai bebatu, bisi jalai pasir nyu semak kin baru bisi di blakin, ia ga balat bingkok.. akai dai, tak mabuk puang aku pulai mansang enda nakal begusak dalam kerita.... Mayuh amat jani dibunuh sida serumah, 40 iku, rumah mina 23 pintu aja. Sida mayuh ngambi urang ngabang, urang ke berantu semina 4 pintu aja. Aku ka kin ngambi Maie enggau Sudan meda chara urang din ngintu pengabang, meda adat basa, bekelala enggau bala kaban, meda menua urang sereta meda bakani ku urang berantu.

Sempat meda pendai urang Baoh.
Ba bilik indai Kubu. Tu sida petunggal, me ibu-ibu enggau ini Baoh - Indai Giri, ini Baoh, Julia, Maie, Kumo (Marilyn) & Sudan.