Tuesday, August 9

Youths sign up for night safari ‘fun’

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KOTA KINABALU: Forced to live without electricity and their handphones, five participants of the one-night safari at Sabah Museum which began yesterday can only think of a word to sum up their experience – ‘fun’!

Adrian Teong, 15, Maximilian Amex, 16, and Erik Joannes, 17, who are cousins from Papar, signed up for the night safari yesterday.

“We are expecting to have a fun time!” said Adrian, who is studying at SM St Joseph Papar.

Maximilian thought of the same idea.

“It is not the first time we are sleeping without the basic amenities in life such as electricity. Our grandfather has brought us to stay at his ‘sulap’ (a small wooden shack) at the paddy fields,” said Maximilian.

He added that the shack was without electricity and they had to use candles to find their way around.

“It was fun, although we were made to work hard and helped him harvest the paddy. We got to play in the mud and ride on buffaloes!” exclaimed Maximilian.

Aside from spending several nights at the shack at the paddy fields, the trio also joined their grandfather for several nights at his other shack inside his fruit farm.

“The fruit farm is in Kimanis (Papar), and we were plagued with so many mosquitoes,” he said.

Eric also chipped in saying he could not wait for the activity to start whereby they would be staying at traditional houses.

“That activity is very interesting,” he said.

Shannon Audry Donny, 16, also from SMK St Joseph Papar, meanwhile, was signing up for the night safari for the second time in her life.

“I came for the first night safari last year and it was wonderful. I had the chance to experience staying inside a traditional house, which was infested with mosquitoes, and learn of their hardships,” she explained.

She added that they were only allowed the very basic of amenities – a torchlight and their sleeping bags.

“It was frightening to live in a condition where it was dark and lacking in so many ways,” she said.

However, she signed up for the night safari again because she expected it to be as fun as it was the first time.

Shermerlyn Casey, 15, from SMK Bahang, was also joining the night safari for the second time.

As a cadet, she did not find the experience of sleeping at the traditional house perturbing.

“I met a lot of new friends. The first time I joined, we didn’t sleep at all because we spent the whole night talking.”

She added that she was excited about the treasure hunt activity that would be carried out in the dead of night at the museum.

“That particular activity was a bit scary, but it was exciting at the same time. We went out in threes and armed with just one torchlight. We went out into the jungle, as well as into the museum to search for clues. It was scary because we heard a lot of sounds that we were not used to,” she said.

The night safari at the State Museum is a programme organised for members of the public and for youths keen on experiencing life prior to the introduction of modern amenities such as electricity and television.

More than 80 participants signed up for the night safari. Among the activities that were lined up in the one night event are visits to the museum gallery in search of clues during the treasure hunt, following the fixed trail to the Ethnobotanic Park, and spending the night at the traditional houses.