Mentawai experience: Siberut trekking Part III.
Healing the Shaman or how pigs follow you to the toilet
Our last host on our Siberut trekking was a Shaman who was present at the ceremony, and his family. It was a shorter trek in the jungle and we had to cross the river, so not many people visit him. We wanted some peace anyway.
We came and we were greeted by 6 kids, Masin Dere is over 60 and has 10 children, 5 with his first, deceased wife and 5 with his second one. The youngest is around 1 year old but they’re not sure as they don’t know when their birthdays are.
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Wife came later with a basket full of durian. She greeted us warmly, showing her filed teeth. Sometimes women file their front teeth because it looks nice. She always had a cigarette of tobacco in her mouth and was different than other wives we met. She and her husband had long conversations we wished we understood and she was very caring with the kids. Youngest one was always on her boobies, nipples serving as pacifier.
“He’s not coming.”
It was getting dark and we realized Levi’s not coming. Sheer luck that we bought some food, just in case. And that the Shaman was coughing and didn’t want to smoke too much. Sulai went to find Levi after breakfast and we were alone with the family. They were friendly and understanding, they showed us pictures sent by a tourist. They were so proud of them. Shaman showed us a letter that Mentawai speaking Australian wrote for him. It said guides lie and don’t pay much money to the families. At that point I really felt sorry for them. We come to their house, uninvited and they open their homes for us and share what they have. We gave as much as we could.
Sulai came back with few things and lot less money Levi told us he was going to pay. That little shit.
Meanwhile, we were doing what? Yes, nothing much 🙂 So we decided to make a flute (this time, a real one :D). Quite unsuccessfully I must say. But it felt so good to be productive 🙂
“Where’s the toilet?”
“There’s no toilet, they have pigs.”
We had an interesting way of using the toilet. When I had to got o number two, Mic was guarding me with a stick so pigs didn’t come to close. And by close, I mean right to me, waiting. Yikes! I understood what Sulai meant when he said we don’t need a toilet because they have pigs. Ew.
Healing the Shaman.
Our Shaman host had a very bad cough for two days and was spitting snot. Yucky. He had a sore throat and a fever. We knew it was bad when he didn’t even want to smoke. He even asked us if we have any medicine. At first I gave him some painkillers but before we left I gave him antibiotics. He has 6 young children! I was a bit surprised they are not scared of our medicine. He is a healer after all.
The mudder fudger.
We left the family some money and took off for the village. Levi was waiting for us there and didn’t say one thing about being away. But we were angry with him so we kept for ourselves. He paid us the ferry back and he avoided us all night, in the and he didn’t pay for the cab. I think he can’t play this game for a long time anyway.
All in all, we came back happy, despite problems with the guide. This was a once in a lifetime experience and probably one of the most memorable in our lives. Jungleeeee! 😉