(Update on the Myanmar kids — my apologies for the delay.) It was a Christmas treat for them, and 15 volunteers helped me take the kids to Janda Baik for a day outing. Political writer Syed Hussein Alattas hosted us at Taman Hana, the garden he built from scratch and named after his wife.
Managing 30 kids wasn’t easy. I’m glad I had help from the Rotaract gang, Alex and friends, rif, and Daniel and friends. Together, we all made things possible. Christy was part of the planning process, and she arranged for this venue. A pity she couldn’t come back for this.
We picked the kids up from Puchong at 8.30am and convoyed to Janda Baik. Half of them got carsick; not because the volunteers’ driving was bad, but because they were not used to travelling and the bumpy terrain didn’t help. Thank god for plastic bags!
As soon as we arrived, the kids wanted to play in the stream…so 6-7 volunteers (including myself) went in to keep an eye on them. The other volunteers watched over the kids by the side of the stream. Some of them remarked that the huge rocks and pebbles in the steam felt like “home”.
We made sure the kids got out of the stream by 1.30pm – the younger ones were starting to turn blue in the lips. While waiting for lunch, they ran around the garden, sat by the pond and interacted with the volunteers.
Daniel and his friends brought some chocolates and gave them to the kids at the end of the day. I’m not fond of the idea (bad for teeth) but every now and then, it’s ok to give them treats.
I was initially so worried things wouldn’t go smoothly, but it turned out ok. Thank you Alex, Lawrence and Raymond, for helping us arrange for the day at Taman Hana. Thank you Sanjeev, Bel, Rudran, James, Daniel, and all the other volunteers for helping me make this work. And thank you rif, for accompanying me there!
*Things are pretty hectic at work, but I still visit the kids (whenever I can) with rif’s parents…bringing them fruits, toys, books, pencil cases, clothes and bags. Otherwise, his parents would send the items over on my behalf.