Words by Hamza Delbar
Photos by Hamza Delbar
7.30 am: We started the day with our usual group breakfast
Today, in true Malaysian fashion, fried rice and egg was on the menu. Breakfast also spared us some time to set our schedule for the day.
8.30 am: Session with Mount Kinabalu guides
Seven guides came to the church we were staying for a session. They told us about the life and experiences of working as a guide at Mount Kinabalu. The guides described about how to handle climbers and making sure they are constantly safe. They also shared about how the lives through the earthquakes of 2015 where 18 people lost their lives on Mount Kinabalu were later on affected. The session ended in cheers and clapping by members of the ISO Sabah team to congratulate the mountain guides on the fantastic job that they do while not earning a lot.
Q&A session with the mountain guides
10.00 am: Walkabout in Kampung Kiau
Our guide Sintiah took us for a walkabout in Kampung Kiau, which is where he lives. We felt conned as it turned out to be a hike-about on the hills of Kampung Kiau. We were all out of breath after 5 minutes but the view made it all worth it. The few slips in the mud of some of our teammates were also pretty funny to watch (no one got hurt). We were also able to see the community of Kampung Kiau up close in terms of their housing, vegetation and water systems.
View of Kampung Kiau from a hill
11.30 am: Keaamatan Festival in Kampung Kiau and visitation to the pineapple farm
We went to visit a pineapple factory that produces jam and pineapple juice. We were able to taste the juice produced at the farm
We then headed to the event. It started with a cultural dance from youngsters of the Kampung Kiau community. We then got even luckier by getting invited for lunch where we were served with several local dishes. Wine fanatics were able to taste rice wine which was part of the rice wine competition that traditionally occurs at the festival.
A member of the jury tasting rice wine
14.00 pm: Left Kampung Kiau to Kota Kinabalu. One by one, ISO Sabah members fell asleep
16.30 pm: We reached Kota Kinabalu and returned to Masada Backpackers. All the millennials were happy to have Wi-Fi connection and no longer needed to chase off weird-looking bugs. Also, the hot shower felt like luxury after two days spent in the kampungs of Sabah.
19.30: We head out for dinner at Pasta Pasta which was a place recommended by Grace during the heritage walk on Day 1.
Hamza is a Mauritian that fell in love with Malaysia. He does not believe that Malaysia is a great country. On the contrary, he thinks there is so much that Malaysia needs to achieve especially in regards to political freedom but nonetheless he finds himself at home here and cannot go too long without Banana Leaf and Nasi Lemak.