Inu denga kem Tuyang? (How are you doing my friends?) My name is John Wan Usang, the other co-founder of The Tuyang Initiative.
Long ago, when the Kayan people still resided in Apo Kayan, which was along the Batang Kayan river, a longhouse community had been suffering the loss of their livestock.
A long time ago there lived Kangkaput. Kangkaput was a tame bird. It would perch on the outstretched rafter, on the outstretched beam and would even enter houses. It would call out, “Kangkaput! Kangkaput! Kangkaput!”, almost everyday.
I have been holding off writing anything about the global situation we are all currently facing. It just felt like whatever that needed to be said about the pandemic and how badly it is affecting anyone and everyone, had already been expressed. I imagine, like most people, it’s a mixed bag of emotions – fear, anxiety, sadness. And so many questions.
My breakfast pack consisted mainly of kanen Ee’ok, steamed rice packed in leaves (laun kanan), some siai (fire-dried roasted meat), belacan (shrimp paste), boiled tapioca leaves, water and black coffee packed in a small flask. Besides my foodstuff, I also packed my baeng (local made parang/hunting knife), some spare clothings, and our shotgun (dismantled into two pieces) .