THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Family Day : My Observations

Although during our Family Day outing last Sunday, we made sure we didn’t mention anything about HIV or related topics, I still managed to observe the PLWHA families, especially those under my care.

Hey, why the raised eye-brow? Just because I was enjoying myself silly, it didn’t mean I never bothered to observe the people around me, okay?! I always like to observe people (although I don’t usually notice things like new jewellery or new watch or the likes as I am not bothered by them) and so even while sliding down the Tube Raiders…


OR

Cliff Racer…



OR floating along the Adventure River… passing by the big monkey (not a blogger) with the bulging tummy…


I still OBSERVE people!

Of course, there may be other people observing me… and probably wondering why on earth was this makcik behaving like a hyperactive child (*chuckle*)… but I was not at all bothered by that.

I was actually observing how they got along with each other…

What I noticed was that there were a few groups. One group was the not-getting-wet mothers group. They sat there chit-chatting while watching over their children who were having fun getting themselves all wet. In this group were Yah, Fuzi and Aini and they were accompanied by a trainee volunteer who also did not want to get wet.

Zainab and Mrs. K did make friends with them but at the same time they had younger kids who needed to be supervised at the pool while Mr. K was not feeling well enough to be moving around too much. So he just sat under the hut and relaxed.

It was nice to note that Mrs. K’s 12 year old daughter and Aini’s 13 year old daughter got along really well as though they had known each other for years. In fact while I was floating along the adventure river they were on another tube nearby and kept warning me, “Makcik jaga-jaga Makcik, nanti basah!” every time we were about to pass any sensor-activated “animals” (monkeys, frogs, whatever) which would spray water on us when we pass by. Yeah, right, jaga-jaga nanti basah… as though we weren’t already wet…

On the contrary, Shila’s daughter Laila was so attached to her mother that she didn’t make any new friends despite there being a few other children around her age. As a matter of fact, she got along better with Jah, the happy-go-lucky PLWHA who became close friends with Shila ever since they met during the International Aids Memorial Day (IAMD) in May. But Jah can actually get along well with simply anybody… even the Thai lady (married to a Malaysian Chinese) who couldn’t speak Malay or English. How did they communicate? Like chicken and duck…

There was one particular PLWHA I was interested to get to know. From day one at the HIV clinic, Miera, a young Malay lady, specified that she didn’t want a Malay buddy. Initially she was also to attend the IAMD in May, but when she found out that the accompanying buddy was a Malay lady (yours truly lah) she was quite reluctant. She withdrew. She was afraid that fellow Malays would look down on her, it didn’t matter that her buddy (a Chinese lady) told her many times that I was alright. So when Miera joined our Family Day outing, I thought it was a good chance to get her to mix with the rest without having any fear of being looked down upon.

What I noticed was that Miera was the quiet type. Yes, she finally did make some new friends with other PLWHAs, Malays and non-Malays, but she didn’t really talk much. Since she was single, she didn’t have any kids to look after and so she joined us volunteers… Malays, Chinese, Indians… for the fun rides and slides. When we queued up for the Cliff Racer, coincidentally I was right behind her and so she had no choice but to become my partner sharing one tube. And while climbing up to the starting point of the slides, she finally talked to me! I gave her the choice whether she wanted to sit in front or at the back when sliding down. Just like my fellow volunteer who partnered me for the Tube Raider, Miera too preferred the back seat for the Cliff Racer! (I guess they were thinking whatever happens let me face it first!!)

Well, thank God I didn’t break any bones in me, but the Cliff Racer definitely broke the ice between me and Miera.

At the end of the day, some of the PLWHAs did exchange phone numbers, but knowing them, the “credit habis” excuse will be used most of the time when I ask them if they have been contacting each other…

19 comments:

Lightnur said...

Assalamualaikum Pi,

I am so glad that you and the families enjoyed the Family Day at the Lost World of Tambun. It sure made the families get along fine, thanks to you, Pi.

Sound like a fun place to be, based on your posts, off course. Insha Allah when I go back to M'sia, I would certainly take my family there for fun. Can't wait to go to M'sia. You make me miss M'sia and it's people.

IBU said...

the monkey with bulging belly is not a blogger eh? haha... u sure do have a wicked sense of humor la kak pi.

these 'away day' is a sure good way to break the ice & establish rapport as it help people realise that others are like themselves too, just humans wanting to care and want to be cared for/by each others too. And oh yes... that people like to enjoy and still by a large a kid at heart still (this is to justify the makcik who enjoyed herself too much!) hehehe....

glad it went well....

p/s Whose daughter was it who worked part time as cashier at tesco while waiting for her SPM results 2 years ago? Yours? Or your other sis?

Pi Bani said...

Lightnur,
Fun or no fun, it doesn't only depend on the place, it also depends on the people around us. I wouldn't have had fun if the people around me were no fun! So, thanks to them too.

Pi Bani said...

Ibu,
The monkey with the bulging belly made lots of monkey sounds when I passed by... probably excited at seeing a blogger monkey-ing around...

The one who worked part time at Tesco 2 years ago was my niece - my eldest sister's daughter. I'm not married... so no kids of my own. My kids are the PLWHA children under my care.

Hmmm... that explains the "unconscious old folk" at Lost World, eh? (orang tua tak sedar diri daaa...)

winniethepooh said...

Cant believe that while having so much fun, u still can observe and remember soo much things that happen around u!! must open Pi Bani brain to see what it is made of! amazing!! hehehe

sometimes God just has his way of making things work :) am glad that the thinny ice layer between Miera and u has been "thawed" :)

Have a great day Pi Bani!

Pi Bani said...

Winnie,
Alamak... like this takutlah want to meet up with you. Nanti you cut open my kepala to see my brains. HELP!!

winniethepooh said...

hahaha Pi Bani, ure so cute lah! no scared Pi Bani, i wont dare to :P if i did..gee alot of other people will be after me to open up my brain!! hahaha

have a great day! :)

nyonyapenang said...

i believe you have been trained to have a keen eye and an acute power of observation and of course a listening ear. they are your 'charges' and you will always endeavour to do the best for them.

Pi Bani said...

Winnie,
Ya lah... winnie the pooh so nice one, how can cut open my brains, kan? Have a nice weekend, Winnie!

Pi Bani said...

Nyonya Penang,
I'm not too sure about being "trained" for this but I have to admit I am quite an observant type. One time when I attended a work related seminar, the speaker said the wrong thing by mistake and didn't realise it. When I spontaneously pointed out his mistake, he was so amused because nobody else noticed it. (maybe they were all too sleepy by then, haha!)

mo'men mohamed said...

Picnic happy
I wish you every happiness and contentment
How I wish that I become sons play with them and Attensh
God given you all the best
May peace and God's mercy and blessings

Pi Bani said...

Mo'men Mohamed,
Thank you for flying all the way from Egypt to come to my blog... :)

And thank you for your kind wishes too. May God bless you.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
loveujordan said...

salam,

I pun ada dapat comment macam kat atas, I dah delete pun...entah sapa yang kacau...

Bagus sebenarnya adakan event yang boleh memberi manfaat buat semua, the volunteers and the clients.... paling tidak pun dapat tukar-tukar no telefon... ( kalau terdesak adalah credit tu..heheh )

Pi Bani said...

LUJ,
Entahlah, orang dah takde kerja lain nak buat agaknya. Hari tu dah kena sekali dengan a whole string of political comments (like the ones in Raden Galoh's comment box - she's not around to delete them). Ni dah yang lain jenis pulak. Looks like nak kena moderate comments juga kot...

Anyway yes, events macam ni mudah nak break the ice tak kiralah between volunteers & clients or between the clients themselves. And yang paling best seeing the children enjoy themselves.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Pi,

Wah! Ada theme park kat sana ya? How nice. Glad to hear you guys had a great day. Apa ni cakap2 with Winnie ala Hannibal nih? Eeee...dahshat takut eh! Keep up your good work.

You're gonna be around menyibuking on 18th? He he...see ya.

Anonymous said...

Salam,

Out-of-topic, kindly accept my apologies.

A lady in a yahoogroup tried initiating a campaign writing to TNB and requesting to pay only half of the latest monthly bills. The other half - should TNB agree - would go to the sole surviving family member. Think you and other bloggers could help?

On the campaign letter, the draft copy is made available at http://aminiskandar.wordpress.com/ - Amir

Pi Bani said...

K.Ruby,
Yes, insyaAllah I will be around membusykan body on the 18th. See you then...

Pi Bani said...

Amir,
Will check out the campaign letter soon. Let's see if we can be of any help.