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Eventful day in the jungle …

Yesterday was my actual first working day at the Sumbiling Eco Village. Finding things to do is easy. The jungle is humid. One of the consequences is that everything quickly gets dirty, natural materials dissolve or get mouldy. Mending and repairing is one ongoing task. And we all know how it is in our own homes. We tend to get blind to the things that needs to be blind. So I see things with fresh eyes.

My biggest obstacle yesterday was to figure out who is responsible for what and who is good at what. Jeffrey is a watchman here. But he is also the one who talks to Leslie, the boss, if something has to be purchased. Yan is the driver but also the handyman. Magat is doing all sort of things but he likes to use the big machines.

The whole night and morning it had been raining. The tarpaulin over my tent was filled with water. I have emptied it from water, cleared from leafs that was heaving the roof. I also put more supporting planks underneath. Not a difficult thing to do if it weren’t for all the ants colonising the tarpaulin. Me and Magat had our fair share of bites.

The recycling station only had one bin instead of three. It took a while to retrieve the missing ones but when so we had them cleaned, put plastic bags in them and placed them in their places. I mended the broken lid over the recycling station and cleaned the sink text to it.

Ezz, the cook, and I collected bamboo sprouts and veggies and made dinner for today’s guests.

The day before I noticed that when Minah was making the dishes by the sink outside the kitchen, water was pouring from the drain. I located the problem and fixed the leaking pipe. I also noticed that the level of the drainage is wrong and needs to be fixed long term. I talked with Magat and Yan about it and we agreed that we don’t need new pipes, we can just adjust the preset ones but the work involves some digging. So that has to be done when we don’t have any guests.

I wasted the tablecloths and cleaned the washing machine. Izz helped me figure out how to manoeuvre the washing machine. The water is not connected to the machine so the washing is done half manual half automatic. I need to look in to that one day.

And there were some more wood to move to the barbecue area. There is an open fireplace where they burn wet wood 24 hours. Keeps the mosquitoes away and for that we are all very grateful.


It was a good working day. Everyone here are amazing. They are so kind and helpful when I start different projects. We achieved more than has been done here in a very long time. Everyone was very helpful. A lot of surprised eyes over my physical strength. Leslie wants us to build a new roof over one of the houses. When Magat heard about me helping out he was doubtful. The day before yesterday he tested me when he wanted me to move the heavy wood to the barbecue area. Yesterday he watched me climbing on the ladder and swinging the hammer. Last night he was talking about ‘us’ building the new roof.

I knew beforehand that gaining peoples trust and respect was essential if we were going to achieve something during my stay. But I never expected them to open their hearts to me an treat me and make me feel at home. They proved that to me yesterday afternoon when Yan, Izz, Minah, her mother and I went to Bangar for some shopping. When that was done Yan took me to meet his mother and father. They treated me with some delicious Dorian and gave me some in a box. Then we went to see Izz’s family. They are muslims and this month they are celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfri. When we got there they treated us with all kind of tasty sweets. I was blown away by their kindness and hospitality.

Yesterday was a wonderful day in the jungle.