Borneo Blues

It been exactly two weeks today since I arrived back from Borneo, it feels like a lifetime away already. I am definitely suffering from the lack of warm sunshine as I sit here with a rug around my knees with the knowledge that our energy bills are about to go up! I miss my fellow expedition comrades, as we experienced so much during our stay in Tumbang Tohan. I miss the kids, The Dude, Mr Face and the early morning wake up call of dogs and chickens. London feels alien, its Autumn feeling like Winter and I am still struggling to readjust to being back in the fast city. I am slowing working through the photographs, films and sounds collected, each piece collected transports me straight back to the moment it was captured and I love to step back into these snapshot moments.

In the coming weeks I would like to share some of the moments of my time in Borneo and to give you an insight into the lives of the people who live and work there.

It took us two days to reach the furthest village Tohan by boat. The main form of transport on the river is a Cis, a kind of kayak with an outboard engine. The Cis had no seating and you would have to sit crossed legged on the floor, I ended up getting a very sore backside, but worth the pain to see this incredible landscape. We had the best guys taking us up river and one of my favourite people Pak Wawan (I am hoping I got the spelling right) an amazing person who lived in the village of Naan which is two hours away from our final destination Tohan. He has been working with various conservation NGO’s over the last few years and has the most beautiful house on the river. Its very simple but has the most incredible view and waking up here on my first morning was something to behold and one that I won’t forget in a hurry! I could quite happily retire here……

On our first night at Wawans, I got a little nervous as there was a  large chicken tied up with a piece of string attached to his leg, I just assumed this was going to be our dinner that evening!  Obviously as the only vegetarian in the group was hoping I would not be around when the his time would come. Thankfully to my relief it was later relayed to me he was the family pet!  After eating that evening we all sat on the deck under the stars drinking sweet tea and listening to the gentle croaking of the frog that resided under the deck. (We named him Kong Kong Man, which would become our superhero for the duration of the trip!)

I am still working towards what comes next and have a number of ideas bubbling away, everything needs to sit for a time before I can actually see sense. I want to develop a project that will include some interactivity obviously I do not have such skills,  will need to find a willing expert to help me develop these ideas!

For those of you who helped contribute to my indigogo fund as part of this trip, I will be contacting you in due to course. You will all be getting your gifts very soon!

I have also been working with Shabnam Shabazi on her new version of Body House which will be performed on the 24th October at the Chelsea Theatre as part of the Sacred Season you can find more information here.

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3 Responses to Borneo Blues

  1. Pingback: Borneo Blues | Neotropic

  2. jay foley says:

    you’re an inspiration…..and have quite a fertile mind ….I’m lookin’ forward to seeing more…hearing more…keep up the great work Riz

    • sangpo108 says:

      I thoroughly concur with Jay Foley here. Your Indonesian updates have been a joy. I can’t believe it’s over “already”, it seams like you just left. But in that time, I’ve returned back from my home in India to my home in the US, so I guess it’s been a while. What you’re experiencing Riz is sort of a reverse-culture shock. I have a hard time re-assimilating back into the west, and our paradigms here. Thank you for all your posts, and I hope the experiences you had may serve you creatively.

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