Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mantanani Island - The story of us

The Mantanani Island Community Project Crews
Okay, this is how I am going to write this. Now I am in a hospital shift taking care of my loved one. I am just going to summarise my story short for this particular posting. 

Here we go again, the six of us embarking on a journey to Mantanani Island in Sabah for the second time. We went there for a purpose, i.e. a community project which taught the local about alternative livelihood and sustainable living. It was a challenging task for all of us but we made it happened within our capacity. The project was a specially designed programme namely Mantanani Sharing & Caring Programme 2015.

Flying via Air Asia. Photo courtesy of Awang's Samsung Handphone

We had a perfect team. Our crew members were consisted of a leader, i.e. Awang, myself as a facilitator together with a photojournalist cum scuba diver facilitator, a photographer cum children programme facilitator and two videographers. It can't be any more perfect than this!

I was happy and very thankful to be able to create memorable experience and spending time with these selected individuals. In fact I was feeling honoured to be able to work with them, professionals who shine bright in their respective fields and most importantly they are friends that matter.

This is how we do it. On a local speed-boat to Mantanani Island.
Our first trip to Mantanani was made on 7th-10th September 2015. We had Sharing & Caring Programme with the school children. The second trip was on 8th-11th October 2015 which we had programmes with the adults. Alhamdullillah, all the programmes went well. 

Our greatest challenge in Mantanani was the weather itself. It was scorchingly hot. The only transportation to reach there was via a speedboat. You either take the ones provided by the resorts or take the ones offered by the homestay. In our case we use the homestay as we would like to get closer to the community. There you can see us converged on a locally made speed-boat. We saw the boat handler made his own boat using very minimal tools. Very impressive. 

Kg. Rampayan Jetty
The starting point to go to Mantanani Island was from the jetty in Kg. Rampayan. They had many jetty to go but the shortest distance according to our Homestay Leader was this one. So off we go. It took us only 45 minutes to reach the opposite shore. 

I fell in love with the sceneries. Even the jetty looked classic to me. The mangrove was another story. They say you can see fireflies at night as well as proboscis monkeys. But we haven't had the time for it on both our trips to Mantanani. Maybe next time.

The locals use these types of speed boat to move about
The sceneries during boat ride was super fine. Lots of seagulls, even a flying fish if you get lucky, lots of activities going on and the mountainous background was breathtaking. The sea water was super magnificent blue, with emerald and green hues to it depending on the depths. However, as you can tell, it's crystal clear, baby! 

Who would have thought that this island existed in Malaysia. Nobody really pay attention to it even until now when I am writing this. Therefore I hope this posting will help bringing it up a recognition higher locally and internationally. God's willing. Aamiin.

Okay, until next posting. I am signing off now. It's 2.50 am. I am already too sleepy sitting stiffly on a hospital chair. Going to sleep on this chair too. Huhuhu.... Chiow. Mwah! Mwah!

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