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It's Official...

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We're engaged!! After 6 years of being together, Matt proposed and of course the answer was yes. We were in a luxury treehouse on the coast of Borneo, and had just enjoyed a romantic meal...really it can't get more perfect. We are both very happy to continue sharing our lives together. We aren't sure when the big day will be, but we can guarantee it'll be a great party! IMG_2113.jpg Happy coupleIMG_2116.jpg The ring, made in borneo
IMG_2106.jpg Fresh juice with our dinner
IMG_2093.jpg The treehouse!
IMG_2088.jpg View from the treehouse
IMG_2099.jpg Storm brewing from the beach

Aside from the big news, we have been busy and Borneo has treated us very well. We have met so many nice people and really got a taste of true Sarawak living.

First, we went to Bako National Park on the coast, which is known for its wildlife viewing and endemic pitcher plants. We had to take a boat ride to the park, in a crocodile infested river, and it was bumpy! We survived and spent one night in the park enjoying its great trails and amazing scenery.
IMG_1769.jpg Boat ride to Bako
IMG_1792.jpg Proboscis Monkey
IMG_1890.jpg Pit Viper
IMG_1888.jpg Bearded Pig
IMG_1809.jpg Pitcher Plant

We then visited the family of our hostel owner in their Iban Longhouse for two nights. Many of the native peoples here lived traditionally in extremely long houses (hence the name) essentially under one roof. A lot of times these houses are only reachable by boat, however ours was a little more modern and we were able to drive to it. The sense of community within the longhouse is strong, and at all of them that we visited we were invited to spend the night, drink lots of rice wine, and basically have a party.

We first visited a few different longhouses to get to know the locals. We were greeted warmly, though most of the elders who are there during the day only speak Iban, so we had to rely on our guide and our drama skills. The first house we visited had 100 year old human skulls from the headhunters who were celebrated in the area

After loads of rice wine and cigarette offerings, we stopped by a fish pond to catch dinner for the night. IMG_1952.jpg

At our longhouse, we quickly suited up in river clothes to go fishing, what we didn't know was that we would be fishing IN the river, sometimes swimming to put the poles into the river bank. We were assured that there were no crocs or snakes in the river, but later our guide Alesia told us she was "scared of the snakes"...whoops.IMG_1973.jpg Gathering worms for fishing
IMG_1983.jpg Fishing IN the river

Later that night after dark we had to head back out and get into the river! Little fish were nibbling at our toes as we checked our lines and found we had caught 3 fish! A thunder storm quickly came in, and it was basically flooding by the time we got out, quite an experience.
IMG_2012.jpg Our catch

At the longhouse we ate all food that had come from the farm or the river. It was nice to eat straight from the land. Erin was taught to be an Iban woman by cooking while Matt got to play with their adorable little girl Julia.

The next day we learned how exhausting Iban life is. We went to help in the farm where we were dealing with hordes of mosquitos, ants in our pants, and 90 degree heat. Luckily the river is nearby to cool off in. We gathered corn, bamboo shoots, pumpkin, greens and combined them with our fish caught the night (cooked in bamboo) before to have a great feast cooked fresh over the fire in a little hut. It was much needed!IMG_2019.jpgIMG_2041.jpgIMG_2054.jpg

We were wandering through the jungle when Alesia took us down a little path to show us the blacksmiths who made the machetes we had been using. They were in the middle of nowhere, and apparently it takes one week to make one machete!IMG_2021.jpg

The last night, exhausted, the ladies dressed us up in the traditional Iban wedding attire...who knew we'd be engaged the next day! Traditionally there's a dance that goes with the outfits, but we mostly just posed for photos. IMG_2057.jpgIMG_2062.jpg

We're back in Peninsular Malaysia getting ready to head into some tea plantations then to a beach for Christmas. We hope everyone is surviving the snow at home, hopefully you'll have a white Christmas.

Posted by matterin 21:28 Archived in Malaysia

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Congratulation to both of you! I wish you all the very best on your relationship!

Nice pictures! I'm from Indonesia, celebes Island and my parents had this kind of life long time a go and I'm kind of missed that peace full life. We are all still together now but more to typical cities life.

by aomatic93

Congrats again, Erin and Matt, I loved looking at the pictures! Your travels have been so amazing. Can't wait to hear more. Miss you
and love you guys. Merry Christmas!

by myork14

We are sooooo soooo excited for you both!!! I told David before Thanksgiving I had a premonition that you two would be getting engaged on while on your travels, I visioned you guys buying rings from some open air market in an amazing country and getting engaged... I just had this feeling.... Wow, we are so happy and excited for the both of you! It will be so exciting to have another amazing sister... We wish you both safe travels and a merry christmas... Take care and have so much fun.. Our due date for baby Gray is to be May 27th, our ultra sound to find out the sex of the baby is on January 6, we are very very excited as well... Always,,, David & Sally

by Davesally

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