Having made the decision to leave Malaysia as abruptly as I had made the decision to start working there in the first place, I had some unfinished business to settle. And by business I mean Borneo and by settle I mean visit and immerse myself in the romantic ideals I had of this secluded island. Fortunately for me, two buddies of mine were at hand to join me on this last adventure / sunset bromance. One was a British lad named Patrick with a hilarious fear of birds and the other was a giant Australian named Sacha who sought to satisfy his life long obsession with proboscis monkey.
Through conception we arrived on this planet, Mother Earth- we call it. We haven’t a clue from whence we came and where we’re going. But like that astronaut, who travels beyond our sky, we are explorers. We are the eyes of an intelligence that can never be duplicated. And with these eyes we should explore. We should seek a basic understanding of man and his habitation. We should ask questions like; what should we eat? What should we do? What should we strive for? How can we get the best living out of this thing called the body, that our spirit has been attached to? We should be relentless in our observations like the absorption of a sponge, taking in nothing but the best nourishment for our bodies and our minds.
At some time in the past every man was on a quest to find himself. But somewhere, somehow, we…
Commander Melvin H.McCoy of the U.S.Navy had survived the Bataan death march on the Philippines and was now in the notorious Davao Prison camp on Mindanao. Like most prisoners of the Japanese they were on starvation rations and men were dying on a daily basis.
On 29th January 1943 they got a lucky break. For whatever reason the Japanese had for once decided to hand over the Red Cross parcels that had been sent from the States. This was a very irregular event. Many prisoners of the Japanese never saw any of them.
Red Cross parcel
The importance of such support from home could never be underestimated:
“It’s Christmas, Commander McCoy!” he shouted. “It’s Christmas!”
I was well aware that Christmas had already passed, practically without notice, so I asked him to explain his excitement.
“Stuff from home,” he babbled. “Boxes from the States. Red Cross boxes.”