an Epiffany

I like it!

After a few days alone in Tawau, a medium sized town on the Malaysian/Indonesian border I picked up new crew, got the Indo visas and supplies. The town is one of the few places where I there were few if any westerners, English was scarce and the people not openly friendly. This was a chilling change from the places I have been. Not that they were unfriendly, just not openly friendly, I was by andlarge ignored. Even in the yacht club where I purchased a temporary membership only a very few engaged in conversation, I think it is a general lack of curiosity.

I am waiting for some needed paper work from the states so much delay entry into Indo, so no better way to spend a few days than truck on back to Mabul. We made the 5 hour crossing in calm seas and anchored in the same place we had been a week earlier. I contacted my good friend Vanessa and made arrangements to come ashore. She cordially invited us to share dinner with her guests and went to work finding room on her boat to Sipidan for us.

While waiting for dinner I took Eedra, the newest crew member, on a walk around the tiny island. Mabul is the home of a large population of locals living in stilted crude homes along the water and living a subsistence life amongst the tourist accommodations, a stark contrast.

As we walked we saw scads of kids playing, some pushing small wheels with sticks like yousee in a 1030’s American movie, some kicking a ball, all smiling and jubilant.I broke out the balloons and soon was surrounded by kids all in wonder as I produced the first balloon dog. As I have seen so many times, the oldest kid took it and handed it to the smallest kid, then waited for theirs to come.

Eedra pointed out the smelly pile of smelly garbage next to the dirt trail, strange as it may be; it was at the sight of the smelly garbage piled by the trail I had an epiphany. A flood of joy came over me and I realized how it is the essence of this life I love so much, warts and all.

I love the crude houses that are real homes

I love the dirty poor kids with the big smiles

I love the sharp piercing smells, sights and sounds of the villages

I love the exotic sound of the Muslim call to prayer over the crackling loud speakers

I love the picnic table bar where I joined local guitar players playing ten dollar guitars.

I love the constant and warm waving brown faces as we come by in the dinghy

I love the open markets where the aroma of foods fills the air and each vender is a new friend, even if there is no language shared.

I love sharing dinner with people from five countries, five languages and all sharing.

I have written allot on the life changing events I have experienced on this voyage,sometimes I forget and need a kick to remind me how fantastic this life is.Today I got it from a pile of garbage.