Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Orang Asli Roadtrip

So today, Aneez, Fang, Vic, Naufal & I went on a daytrip we had planned for quite a while now.  Things only came together so it was a bit rushy.  Pulled off the logistics, though! :D The original plan was to rent a van & go to Bidor, Perak.  After a few discussions, plans changed and we opted to visit the Orang Asli village in Trolak, instead.  The whole objective of the trip was to deliver the NoKero lights we had raised funds for during our events in school.

Left rather early, and made it to the Sungkai exit on time.  Unfortunately, we got a little lost thanks to a mislabel on Google Maps.  Luckily, it wasn't difficult to get back on track.  Once we were deep-er into the plantation, we turned off the a/c & rolled down the CR-V's windows.  It was fun as we weren't going that fast.  The final stretch going up was fun to drive.  Hehe!  The village itself was very quaint, and despite being rather close to the Felda Residences, still had not been modernized too much.

We had a small meeting with the Tok Batin, explaining to him as well as many other eager and curious villagers what is the NoKero lamp & how to use it.  The people of the village are known as the Semai and are the native inhabitants of Perak.  Vic slept a good portion of the journey. Hehe!  The village itself is roughly 210m above sea level.  The village gets it's running water from the nearby river via a series of pipes.  At the moment, there is no electricity.  At least, not for most of the village.  I don't think they're in abject poverty... Um... The somewhat ambiguous definitions given are clashing with how I define abject poverty... So, I would say no. But the vague definitions imply yes... Hmm.

After the briefing, our guides talked to the Tok Batin, presumably regarding the NoKero lamps as I could not catch what they were saying.  It wasn't Bahasa as I know it.  It was almost like another language, which was fascinating.

Vic & I started to photograph the children and show them the pictures.  I also photographed some of the elders.  Apparently, the elders enjoy being photographed, & viewing their pictures as much as the children do.  Vic & Fang were then invited to enjoy a meal prepared by villagers.  Apparently it was daging kerbau of some sort & got the thumbs up from both of them.  While the two of them were chowing down with the village elders, Aneez, Naufal, & I were busy exploring the river.  It was fun dipping our feet in the cold river, especially after our feet were slightly sore from walking and jumping along the rough, hot boulders that line the river.

Vic, Naufal, Fang, & I ventured quite far upstream whilst Aneez opted to stay downstream under the shade of the tree with her feet in the water.  The young village children were extremely lithe, agile, and athletic.  Our venture upstream yielded us a view of the kids playing in their naturally-formed water slide.  Wanted to give it a shot but I didn't want to face the hassle of having to change clothes later on.  After resting a bit, we headed back down, took a big group photo with the children, and then with the elders.

The drive back was quieter as everyone was tired.  It poured heavily as we approached the exit onto Guthrie Corridor Expressway.  The wet road didn't bother me, I was worried I would miss the exit.  Thankfully, I didn't.

There's a lot more I want to tell but I think the pictures on my Facebook tell the story much better. :)

That's all for now. Au revoir.

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