Borneo Tom Book Review

Posted on Feb 20 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011 Borneo Tom by: Tom McLaughlin Borneo Tom by: Tom McLaughlin has it all….romance,travel through Southeast Asia, orangutans and more, all being told with sketches throughout the book instead of images. At first glance you would think it’s a children’s book because the cover is vibrant. However, Borneo Tom is one of those “Don’t judge a book by its cover” books. After caring for his parents in the years before their death, Tom impulsively...

Rare Bear Born in Malaysia Borneo

Posted on Feb 14 2011
A Sun Bear cub was born at the Matang Wildlife Center about 24 km outside of Kuching. A very rare event in efforts to save the endangered species, Volunteer Leo Biddle stated this rivals efforts obtained only by the San Diego Zoo, a world renowned reproductive center for critically endangered wildlife. “We had an idea she may be pregnant because she began acting strangely,” Mr. Leo continued. “Then she dug a huge burrow under the largest tree in the bear enclosure. We have had glimpses of...

Expat Father in Borneo, Malaysia

Posted on Feb 13 2011
I guess being a father at age 60 is like having a grandson except the child never leaves. Dzul, sleeps, eats and poops around here all the time, morning, noon and night. I really don’t mind because my wife has the equipment to feed him so I am relived of sterilizing bottles. I have lost the job of changing diapers. While working on the computer, Dzul told me in no uncertain terms his pampers need to be changed. In mid-thought while writing, I rushed through the process. My wife could not figure...

Seri Aman: A Town in Malaysian Borneo

Posted on Feb 02 2011
I am just getting around to writing about one of the towns we visited before the birth of my son Dzul. We were on our way to Brunei on the only road north in Borneo when he suddenly decided to greet the world a month early a few towns later. Please go to thetentacle.com and click on my name for those adventures. A river town on the Batang Lupar, Seri Aman is known for the tidal bore that travels everyday up the river. Wave height and velocity depends on the moon. A tidal bore, according to the net...

Counting Orangutans

Posted on Jan 22 2011
One of the most difficult tasks in Borneo is determining how many orangutans are living in the area. Estimates have ranged from 20,000 to 60,000 and more, a huge range. The major problem is they live very high in the tree tops and are difficult to see. A curious lot, one orang can move ahead of the researchers, watching, and will be counted several times. We need to count the orangutans because we need to know where they are, how are we going to save them, which groups are declining rapidly and where...

Borneo Gibbons and the Myth of REDD

Posted on Jan 03 2011
I love walking through the up land rain forest. Looking through the lower trees I can see everyone is different just by the bark on the trunks. I sometimes try to identify them but I need leaves, and the leaves are way…up….there. I took my daughter, her boyfriend Cody and Rod for a walk through the wetland rain forest and, as you probably have guessed, the land was very spongy. We pulled many leeches off. A major difference was that the trees were mostly all the same. My daughter and her boyfriend...

Moms Care After Birth in Borneo

Posted on Dec 26 2010
As an American who married a Malay lady in Malaysian Borneo, I have attempted not to interfere with the local customs in the after birth care of my wife. I watched in awe and wonder as the family came together to care for my wife. When we arrived after the unexpected birth of my child in Sibu, my mother in law met us at the wharf and followed us to our condo in Kuching. She was the typical doting grandmother, recognizable in any society, every where. One of the first things she did after checking...

Malay Folk Medicine points to Cancer Cure Tree

Posted on Dec 23 2010
A drug from a tree that belongs to the pomegranate family found here in Sarawak has shown promise in the fight against certain types of cancer. Known for hundreds of years to the Malay folk community, the plant grows in the highlands of central Borneo. Misnamed silvestrol by Dr. Douglas Kinghorn because he was misinformed of the correct scientific name of the plant, the drug does wonders in the control of leukemia in mice that have been bred to have the disease. To make a very long story short...

Bead Art in Malaysian Borneo

Posted on Dec 12 2010
I really didn’t give much thought to beads until I moved here to Malaysia Borneo. Being an expat from the States, I remember wearing them during my hippie days of the sixties and early seventies. Being the curious type I am, I couldn’t help but notice that bead art is everywhere and I decided to investigate. The indigenous peoples of Malaysian Borneo, have used beads as part of their dress for hundreds of years. They add a vibrancy and color to formal occasions. Beads first came to Borneo through...

After Birth Confinement in Malay Borneo

Posted on Dec 07 2010
In the Sarawak Malay world, the mother is usually confined to the kampung house for about forty days. (interesting how that number keeps coming up). The mother will either move in with her of visit everyday. Just after delivery, the placenta is washed and prepared for burial. (See a previous post). The mother rests in bed for the first few days. Traditional herbs and medicines are given to the mother to consume. My mother in law mixed 13 different herbs and spices. They include cinnamon, coriander,...

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