As Shawn Henry Baybutt arrives in the rainforest of Borneo, the oppressive heat that permeates even his very breath hits him like solid matter. The heat forms steam that rises slowly from the tops of the trees into the atmosphere. In the background, he hears birds singing and monkeys communicating with each other. He wonders what their daily lives entail as they live in this sweltering yet beautiful place.
Shawn notes Borneo’s divisions, made up of three countries being Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. The Indonesian territory covers the vast majority of the island covering around 73 percent. The Malaysian territory contains the states of Sarawak and Sabah and occupies around 26 percent of the northern part of the island. The sovereign state of Brunei claims the remaining parts of Borneo making up just 1 percent of Borneo’s land mass and existing on Borneo’s northern coast.
The rainforest of Borneo contains 15,000 species of flowering plants creating a colorful tapestry covering the forest floor with multi-hued beauty and texture. In addition, 3,000 species of trees, 420 species of birds, 221 species of mammals and 440 freshwater fish all call Borneo home. Shawn remembers he heard that the endangered Bornean Orangutan also lives within the confines of this amazing rainforest.
The rainforest of Borneo is actually a refuge for many animals including the Sumatran Rhinoceros, the Asian Elephant, the Bornean Clouded Leopard, the Dayak Fruit Bat and the Hose’s Civet. Shawn Henry Baybutt recalls reading that 361 plant and animal species have been discovered in Borneo since 1996 meaning the depths of this massive rainforest still may have secrets yet revealed. After enjoying the beauty of the rainforest, Shawn stumbles upon an interesting looking village that he decides to explore.
The village in the Indonesia region of Borneo’s rainforest is a tiny settlement of people vastly religious in their beliefs called the Dayak. As Shawn enters their village, he is his greeted by the spiritual leader of the tribe and thus their most respected and trusted elder. He and Shawn move under a tree to find some respite from the oppressive heat that makes even breathing somewhat difficult. They share up a cup of cold water and eat some fruit gathered from the plentiful trees within the rainforest.
As Shawn observes how these people live their daily lives, he is very thankful for the common conveniences that make up his life, which he takes for granted on a daily basis. Gathering food and water for them is a job while he simply runs to the store or turns on the tap. This revelation makes him feel ashamed for ever complaining about his comparatively insignificant problems.
As Shawn leaves Borneo with his plane tickets in hand, he realizes the beauty and majesty that the rainforest holds will not soon leave his being. He hopes to come back again and visit with the Dayak people or perhaps visit with other ethnic groups in the area. At any rate, he wants to return to Borneo, which is one of the most beautiful and mysterious places on earth.