Kate on Location (Day 3)

KATE NOKWE brings you the latest from the SA Swimwear shoot in Borneo.

Being an insomniac has its moments. I survived four years of university exams solely by using this sleep-denial demon to my advantage. Being ‘normal’ wouldn't cut it, so my method was simple: sleep in the afternoon, pull an all-nighter, then zombie-walk to my exam room and write down the answers which my sleep-deprived state convinced me were right. Head home. Sleep. Repeat.

It may sound a little extreme, but it worked and, happily, I have a qualification, thank you very much.

But there is a different side to this coin: the times when insomnia decides to bite. And when it does, it doesn't just scratch the surface; it cuts deep and reminds you who is boss. Needless to say, on this side of the coin I come off second-best. And day three in Borneo for SA Swimsuit is more than an unpleasant reminder of exactly who is in charge. Oh yes, insomnia reigns supreme and I find myself its unwilling servant.

The day started off with Candice Boucher, Jason (TV crew) and me being invited to join Gaya Island’s resident naturalist for a nature ‘walk’. Most people would call it hiking. Uphill hiking at that!
Not that this deterred me. I have always been at my happiest outdoors. So this walk, on any other day, would have been a breeze. But not today, because at 02:45, I was catching up with mates in South Africa, fully aware that I had a date with the mountains. But closing my eyes at that hour was not an option. As I mentioned, sleep and I parted ways many years ago.

Now, despite being surrounded by the magnificence of the outdoor life of Borneo, by the 20th minute of this 80-minute hike (I'm choosing to call it as it is), I was playing the ‘are we there yet’ game, questioning my thoughts of entering Survivor South Africa, which I have been entertaining for the past week. Somehow, I put one tired foot in front of the other and managed to survive.

My own personal drama aside, the walk introduced me to Asia's amazing history. Every tree has a story, every rock, sound, smell, including Asia’s most popular plant, Eurycoma longifolia (commonly known as tongkat ali, or natural Viagra). It is dangerous if taken in excess, as it suppresses the immune system, and can also cause a miscarriage if a woman takes it when pregnant.

Fast forward to a rained-out afternoon in which Rosette Mogomotsi and I play ‘Malaysia Master Chef’. Included in this gastronomic stand-off is a dish of Iranun-Kota Belud ethnic origin. This one is easy to remember: chicken in grated coconut.

I never thought I’d see the day when I would win a cooking challenge, but I kicked Rosette’s tiny butt! I am now ready for another reality shot. Hit me!

Look at the time... I will never learn.

Overall, it has been a fun, but very long day. And now with darkness all around, most people are sleeping. Unfortunately, I'm not in that category....yet. It is past the magic hour of midnight but I am determined to have the upper hand over the sleep demon tonight. Yes, I can feel the blissful warmth of sleep stealing over me...


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