The Rainforest World Music Festival is over and so it is time for Helen to start the Tusita Meditation Retreat. Because we don’t want to take advantage of the hospitality of the Hare Krishna family I move on, too.

Last week we visited Cyril, a nice guy running a guesthouse. He has built a combination of a resort, a hotel, a restaurant and a spa in the heart of Kuching. Since seventeen years he is improving this place and created a little paradise. Some weeks before I found his place and the volunteering opportunity on With a rented scooter at hand we simply drove by. Somehow after a little chat he agrees that I come for one week helping with different things that need to be done at his place.
Before going to his place I drop Helen at the Tusita Hermitage. She is nervous but also smiling and excited. Next the scooter needs to be returned, so I drive into the city center and take a bus afterwards to Cyril’s holistic retreat…

Let me describe his Secret Sanctuary (Link to Tripadvisor) a little more in detail. It is a collection of different two story wood buildings separated by fish ponds. Bridges are crossing the waters here and there. There is a big swimming pool with waterfall to cool down. It’s surrounded by several hammocks, couches etc. to relax. A Japanese style bar with a lot of expensive sake bottles is in the center. And if that wouldn’t be impressive enough there is a jacuzzi and a steam bath, too.

After arriving Cyril assigns me the room above the bar. It’s amazing! I have a hammock, a small table with two chairs and a comfortable bed. Even aircon is available. Everything is clean and tidy. What a luxury and for a little nerd like me the best is the super fast Wi-Fi.

The first evening is quite relaxed. Cyril takes me out to a local food court and that’s it. Next morning the real work starts. I have to clean up an area beside the bar. Huge elephant ear plants and an unwanted kind of wine have to be removed. I enjoy the physically demanding work and clean everything as good as I can. It’s unbelievable how fast things are growing here. It takes me around three hours to remove plants grown in one month! After the work in the garden I clean the bar and finally start to work on the open source project I’m involved in. It feels really good to be so productive.

The next days follow more or less the same structure. I’m waking up early and do some meditation. After that I have a delicious cheese sandwich breakfast. Then the manual work begins until early afternoon. Next I work on the computer and learn Japanese and finally I do some sports in the monkey park nearby and have a final meditation. I really love this schedule <3

On my second day my main project starts. A pool is leaking beside a big family bungalow and it has to be fixed. Time is running because the fishes inside will start to die if we don’t move them to one of the others. First we pump out a lot of water so that the fishes stay together and then I take them out with a net. With buckets we move them to the other ponds. Finally we pump out all the water.

Next morning I start to clean the pool with a German kärcher water blast device. And finally I fix one eroded side with concrete. It’s the second time I’m working with concrete, I start to like it.

In the meantime different guests are coming and going. A French family, a French couple and many more.

After seven days it’s time to pick up Helen. Cyril and I take the car and drive to Tusita. When we arrive I see Helen talking to a nun and smiling a lot. I’m very glad to see her so happy. Cyril likes the place too and perhaps want to come back again.
Back at Cyril’s place I show Helen around and she also loves the place and we decide to stay two more days before heading on to Brunei. Cyril is ok with that too and doesn’t expect us to work a lot. We just help removing some fabrics above the pool and do some cleaning. Most the time we just enjoy the place and  relax. One evening Cyril offers me to eat one of the fishes we moved one week before. It’s a absolutely delicious fish.

Before leaving on our last day he is taking Helen for a ride on his Harley Davidson to fetch the trekking shoes she forgot at Tusita. it’s going to become a three hours road trip including visiting a nearby fishing village and getting the best coconut shake ever. With a big smile Helen returns.

Unfortunately it is time to leave. I could stay here for months helping Cyril to take care of his treasure.

Thank you Cyril for the great time and trust. If we ever come back to Borneo we’ll stop by again.
Let’s go for Brunei now…