Retiring teacher from Long San relieved to be home to teach while running 49yo family store

Cikgu Rita serving a customer at her store on a Friday afternoon (March 15, 2024).

By Ling Hui

ULU BARAM, March 16: A 58-year-old Kayan teacher, Rita Daya Apo, in Long San, is relieved to be back home to teach at SK Saint Pius while managing a convenience store she inherited from her parents.

She said she had been posted to SK Long Moh and SK Long Palai before being transferred back to SK Saint Pius, which she was happy about since she could now be near to her parents to take care of them.

She also looked forward to her retirement in 2026, after when she could focus on running the family business with her husband, an Iban from Kanowit.

All the basic school supplies are available at Maping Apoi, Long San.

“I’m the second generation (operator) of this store. It was started by my parents in 1975, but last time, they just ran the business at the Long San longhouse.

“In 1982, we moved here (near SMK Long San), where we have our own shophouse. It was in 2005 when the longhouse was destroyed in a fire,” she said.

Cikgu Rita, as Long San folks called her, said she loves her job, although there may be challenges when teaching English in rural schools.

She herself has four children, the youngest graduating from the Teachers’ Training Institute (IPG) in a year and the only child who follows in her footsteps.

Maping Apoi, a quaint convenience store in Long San, Ulu Baram.

Her two eldest children are currently working in the hotel line in Miri, and the third child just graduated from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) about two months ago.

Despite the possibility of having no one to succeed in the store, Rita said she hoped for the best for her children.

“I just hope that they finish their tertiary education, get good jobs, and have their own families,” she told DayakDaily when met at her shop here yesterday (March 15).

Maping Apoi was the first and now the oldest convenience store in Long San.

All the necessities are available in the store, including CONNECTme NOW prepaid WiFi hotspot coupons and school supplies such as uniforms, stationery and workbooks. — DayakDaily

The inside of Maping Apoi.