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February 17, 2011

Myanmar Kids Outing @ Taman Hana, Janda Baik

(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.

“Welcome to the Universe of Life,” he said to us.


The garden was beautiful. Full of colour with beautiful landscaping, and a clear stream that lead to a pond.

“It’s a writer’s retreat,” Syed Hussein said to me. “A place where people surround themselves with inspiration and learn. Come here whenever you need to feel inspired.”

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!

With some of the older kids

Fung (teacher) and Daniel (volunteer)

*heart*

Bel

Sanjeev

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”.

This kid poses better than I do. LOL

Snack — pomelo


Fried chicken

Fried long beans with egg

Chicken and tofu soup

The cook

Cooking area

Lunch time!

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.


Goodie bag courtesy of Syed Hussein

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!

Group pic


*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.


3 Responses

  1. w1ll1amk1m86

    Aww…Seems like everyone had fun there. Maybe I'll go and get my own inspiration for my fictions one day ^^

  2. Baby

    nice place… btw, where is the home for these myanmar kids?

  3. eiling lim

    it was indeed a good outing and a very meaningful one. This garden does look like a writer's sanctuary

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