Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Buduk Bui Part 1

What an amazing trip we just had.  We have just come from the most beautiful spot I think I have ever had the opportunity to see.  I didn't think villages like this one, and the others near it, ever truly existed.  I thought they were just found on picture post cards or in National Geographic.  It will take more than one post to share all the great things we saw, we did, we ate, we learned.  The pictures we took don't really do it justice, but remember, we are not professional photographers.  Merely to old missionaries having the time of our lives.  I still have a hard time believing the Lord has sent me here and I am seeing and doing the things I am.  I never would have believed it in a hundred million years, and now here I am.  How did a poor city girl from Ogden Utah end up in the beautiful little village of Buduk Bui?  (Pronunciation:  BooDuck Boo ee) (now abbreviated BB).
We left KK last Tuesday morning for the city of Miri in the state of Sarawak, very close to the border with Brunei.  We met with the other senior missionaries there.  They had a possible project for us to look at and some people they wanted us to meet.  The next morning we were off to BB.  We were a little bit hesitant about our plane, it was an 18 seater and they weighed everything before you got in the plane, including each person.  You can just imagine how much I loved that.
A view of the plane and a view from inside the plane.  Usually you could see the pilots through the little curtain in front.  You could be a back seat pilot I guess if you wanted to.  We made a quick stop at the metropolitan airport of Lawas:
The control tower is a 2 story building just to the left of the "terminal".  Both ends of the runway sit on a big horseshoe bend in the river, consequently the river is on both ends of the runway.  The had a "Kantine" in this terminal, but it was closed due to Ramadan.

Our next stop was at Ba'Kalalan.  There were rice paddies at both ends of this run way with workers in the paddies planting away.  The plane only comes to Ba'Kalalan on Mon., Wed., and Sat. mornings so everyone comes out to watch the plane land, all 20 of them and 40 dogs.
This is their method for unloading/loading luggage from the plane and transporting it to and from the, I don't know what to call it.  It's not a terminal, just a building I guess.
 This is the fire department in case there should be a crash landing.  The motorbike has a hitch on the back that can hook on to the two fire extinguishers on the left in case of a fire.  There was also a crew of four all dressed in firemen's uniforms standing by to watch the landing and taking off.
We were met at the airport by Martin who owns one of the few trucks in town.  He loaded all our luggage and all of us in the truck and off we went.  I need to mention that we were accompanied on this trip by Patrick and Ann Panai and their daughter Phyllida.  Patrick is a member of the Rotary Club which was the partner of LDS Charities on this water project.  Patrick was also born and raised in one of the villages which received a water project.  His village was next to BB.
Ben getting into the back of the pick up for the trip to BB.  The man without a head in the middle is Patrick.  The other man is Patrick's cousin and the man in blue is Martin the driver.  We headed off for BB down a pretend road.  We had to keep checking to make sure everyone was still in the back and hadn't summer- saulted out of the truck.  The road was pretty bad.  So many ruts, rocks and ravines a person could get lost for days.  It was only about a twenty minute drive from Ba'Kelalan to BB.  Thank Goodness!
Some locals right outside the village of BB.  I didn't think this really existed.  I thought it was staged for the NG photographers, but it is true and it is so neat to actually see.
This is one view of BB.  There are green rice paddies, green meadows, green mountains, and green trees.  There are ducks, chickens, water buffalo, cats, dogs, birds, pigs, little kids, big kids, old men, old ladies, young men and young ladies, fathers, mothers, grandmas and grandpas.  They do not have a road in the town.  The only road is above the village.  There is a nice walking trail down the middle of town and you can see everyone in the village on the trail at one time or another.  There are about 25 homes in BB.  They are mostly like the one you can see on the left in the picture with the red roof.  They are really quite large.  The home we stayed in had seven, yes 7, bedrooms.  All of the bedrooms are very large.  And the kitchen -- it was huge.  You could hold a Cowles Family Thanksgiving in the kitchen and everyone could sit at one big long table.  While the houses may be large, they are very sparsely furnished and  the construction would never ever pass inspection in the U.S.  But they are cozy and just what is needed in this area.  BB is up in the mountains so the air is cooler at night.  You just open the windows and let the cool mountain breeze blow through.  No need for air conditioning anywhere here.  It was just so pleasant.

I will post more a little later and tell you more about the project(s) LDS Charities did in this area.  You will be very proud of what the church has accomplished in helping these people.  Stay tuned for more news from BB.  In the meantime, our love to all.  Keep the emails and blogs coming.  We love to hear from you.  E/S Read


  1. Wow, what an adventure you little city girl is having. I'm so glad that you are able to exerience the world in such a beautiful setting, adding your service and love to all you come in contact with. I'm so proud of you two and so thankful to be able to share through pictures and your blog the journey of your lifetime. Luv ya so much!

  2. What an amazing adventure. I don't know if I would have been excited to get in the plane and then look down at what it was trying to land on. I guess it makes you appreciate all we have here. Another couple in our ward returned from the Philippines last week and had many of the same experiences as you are having. We told them about all you are doing in KK to help. You are always in our thoughts and prayers.