Saturday, February 12, 2011

When Americans Met a Dayung in the Sky

(Flew from Kuching International Airport, Sarawak Borneo Malaysia to Changi Airport, Singapore on August 18, 2010)

Two American couples

I checked my hand-watch. It was almost time to depart. I looked around, expecting to see attractive people in the waiting room. Suddenly, a young woman in MAS kebaya made an announcement to all passengers.

“Good afternoon ladies and gentleman, you are all invited to line up for boarding pass inspection. Please present your passport and your boarding pass to our staffs. First, we would like to invite old citizens and parents with small children to embark first. Then, follow by "first class" passengers and lastly the economy class passengers.”

Parents with children, old citizens, and business class passengers rose up and went forward to make a long line next to a counter where the lady made her announcement. After all of them entered into the docking station, the economy passengers were asked to line up. Since I sat in the front seat, I got into the front line. After getting the clearance from one of the staff, I walked straight till reached the airplane door. There, I was greeted by a beautiful Chinese air-stewardess. I replied to her greeting, and she ushered me to enter the airplane. Inside the airplane, I checked my seating number on my boarding pass. It was 14F, a seat next to a window. I put my bag in the bag compartment and then sat in my seat. While waiting for the other passengers to come in, I read the MAS Going Places inflight magazine. I was occupied with my reading, till I did not realize two white couples sat next to me. From their conversation, I could guest both of them are Americans. The lady looked and smiled at me. I smiled back at her. Then she asked me a question.

“Are you going to stop in Singapore?”

“Yes, but only for three hours before flying back to the United States.”

“Very interesting! We are originally from America. What are you doing there, my dear?”

“I’m going to start my second year as a graduate student there.”

“I see. That’s good. By the way, I’m Marilyn. This is my husband, Donald.”

“I’m Dency from Kuching. It is nice to know both of you.

Their missionary works

They were so interested to know me more. I was willing to tell about my personal background to both of them. They were delighted to know that I could perfectly speak English with them. For them, this was their first time to meet a native lady from Sarawak that is currently doing her study in their country. I got to know that they worked as missionaries in Sibu, and they flew to Singapore as they wanted to visit their friends there. I asked what kind of missionary activities they had done in Sibu. Donald answered my question.

“We went to this Iban kampong and visited few families there. Teach them about Jesus. Few of them are poor. Life is so hard for them. We helped whatever we can.”

“Do you have a hard time communicating with them?”

“At first yes as they speak Bahasa Melayu or Iban. Even our helpers talk little English. But, it’s not a problem for us as we also learn few Dayak Iban words from them.”

“Our native people in rural areas still lack many basic facilities.”

“Yes Dency. Indeed. I believe that there is a better hope for all native people in Sarawak. Probably, you as an educated native woman could change this situation.”

“Let me finish my study first. Pray for me that I will pass and then I will come back to Sarawak to help my people.”

“That’s the spirit girl. Keep it up. I’m sure you can do it. Believe in God that He will always help you.”

Three of us talked till the Captain made an announcement that we would be starting descent into Singapore Changi Airport within 15 minutes. Then, one of the female stewardesses asked all passengers to fasten their seatbelts. Soon, we would be parted and went in different directions. Donald and Marilyn wanted to keep in touch with me. We exchanged our email addresses and promised to add in each other as Facebook friends. Marilyn did invite me to visit them in Minnesota in future.

A gift of remembrance

Once the airplane landed and parked at the gate terminal, sound of seatbelts clicked could be heard within the airplane belly. Everybody was busying themselves to take out their bags from the above compartments. Donald took out their bags and my backpack. Before three of us went out, he gave me a book as a gift with his email address written on the front page. Even, he took a picture of me. Then, we walked out from the airplane belly together. At the lobby area, Donald and Marilyn reminded me to keep in touch with them. I nodded my head and promised to do so. They excused themselves and said goodbye to me. I stood looking at them walked among people until both of them disappeared from my view. I took out the book from my sling bag. I found out that they gave me “The Book of Mormon-Another Testament of Jesus Christ”. I smiled knowing that I had met lovely, nice people from a foreign country who dedicated themselves to help my native people in Sarawak.

22 comments:

Coffee Girl said...

They're Mormons? owh... hmm. Different doctrines, but they wud make great friends. :-)

Globalized Dayung said...

Yes they are very good Americans. I respect them for helping our people. I make friend with everybody regardless different doctrines, religion, and races.

Puan Isah said...

What nice people you met :)

Be safe my dear

Wan Sharif said...

Jauh berjalan luas pandangan..
Got your blog from Ida Athanazir.. salam pengenalan..
Looking forward to your future posts on your beloved region/ our country

AmirFX said...

Peramah sidak ooo.. Kmk dolok pernah juak nemu student amerika yang peramah.. Sampei bertukar duit syiling inda sebabnya pengumpul duit syiling... haha...

Big Momma said...

ermmm.... nice. u must have that approachable look! that helps a lot! great!

Tiq said...

I am seriously impressed with them and it's so true Dency, religion/race differences is not a barrier for us to be friends with anyone.

Great post !

suituapui said...

I've seen them around - very nice, friendly people...and all so young and good looking. A few guys used to stay two doors away from my house but not anymore...

TimmyLicious said...

hehehehe. An American once said to me in a plane before. He said i have a nice T-Shirt. hahahaha. I was wearing this T-Shirt that spells Marijuana and it look like Mcdonald logo except it spells Marijuana. hehehe. And everyone in that plane look at me. hahahaha.

wa khairul onggon said...

ktk sambung belajar rah US? wow.. gud luck utk ktk.. :)

Ida Athanazir said...

Nice people would meet nice people. Hmm... paper dah abis??

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Globalized Dayung, very interesting blog you have and enjoyed your eloquent posting.

Here's wishing you, good luck in your studies....
may the wind always be at your back, and the sun upon your face, and the winds of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.

Have fun and keep a song in your heart.
Best regards,
Lee.

Jue said...

ari ya da ku bc entry tok
tp tenet slow da juak
lelah refesh nunggu komen box tok kuar ^^
best hor pat jumpa org bait camya
in fact, most of them is a nice people mun nasib kita tserempak ngan org camya la =)

tubik said...

hey good luck! COme back with the cert ya.

Cyril Dason said...

I personally find outsiders, particularly those from the West very enlightening if compared to Malaysians...

Met this guy from Europe once while eating at Bishopgate. It was such a delight. Wonder why in Malaysia, we only exchange stares among our selves most of the time.

Globalized Dayung said...

Puan Isah,
Will remember that...Tq

Mr Shariff,
Tq for visiting

Amir,
Auks nang sidak baik ba..Donald & Marilyn are really nice people...

Big Momma,
Yupe nice people will meet nice people also...

Tiq,
Thanks...

Suatuapui,
They are really nice & friendly...

Onggon,
Auk...trima kasih!!!

Ida,
Belum gi Kak...lak mek madah dlm fb ku...

Uncle Lee,
Thanks for visiting..U have a nice blog..love to read your posts

Timmy,
I just laugh reading your comment..hahahaha

Jue,
Nasib dapad merik comment

Tubik,
I will....

Cyril,
It's hard to say Cyril...Maybe what we can do is by greeting them first "Selamat Pagi" or "Selamat Tengah hari"...for sure they will reply your greetings...

KRISTIANNE WYNONA said...

Hi Dency! Just find out your name ;) btw how old are you? U are so lucky to have further your studies in the US. I've always dreamed of studying overseas but biasalah no money...nak dapat biasiswa x cukup pandai lak hehehheh.

Anonymous said...

спасибо было интересно прочитать

Norris said...

selamat pekenalan..dapat blog ktk dari blog anak buah aku Reeyau..takecare!

Anonymous said...

Cупер статья.Очень хорошо и подробно вы описали, спасибо.

Globalized Dayung said...

Kris,
Hahahaha...carik ko dah!!!

Noris, Selamat berkenalan....

Anonymous 1,
спасибо было интересно прочитать Translate using google: thanks it was interesting to read

Благодарим за посещение ...

Anonymous 2,
Cупер статья.Очень хорошо и подробно вы описали, спасибо. Translate using google: Super article. Very well and you have described in detail, thanks.

Ваш радушны ... Спасибо за ваш комментарий ...

Anonymous said...

awal yang baik