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)

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Merdeka eve house visit, and more house visits to come

I got a call from Mrs. K last Monday, saying that Mr. K had to be hospitalized at the district hospital near the town they’re staying. The problem was, the moment the staff at the ward found out he had HIV, they gave Mr. and Mrs. K the “one kind” of treatment. Mrs. K too was stared at as though she was an alien. To think that there are even some hospital staff who still has some sort of stigma against HIV patients, imagine those not in the medical line. So Mrs. K asked for her husband to be discharged so she could bring him straight to Ipoh GH. At least in Ipoh GH they won’t be treated as aliens. Furthermore, Mr. K’s medical records are all in Ipoh.

So by Tuesday morning, Mr. K was brought to Ipoh by his wife and accompanied by their eldest son, Shah. Mr. K was quite weak so they needed Shah to accompany them just in case. You know what that meant? That meant…
- Mrs. K had to take leave from work, and given that her salary is calculated on daily basis, she'll get less pay this month.
- Shah had to miss school to accompany his parents.
- The couple’s 12 year old daughter who will be sitting for her UPSR next week also had to miss school, because since Shah had to follow them to Ipoh, somebody else would need to stay home to take care of the 8 month old baby.

Anyway, I was supposed to visit them earlier in the week and bring along some groceries for them, plus the baby’s supply of milk powder and diapers. Since they were busy with Mr. K’s hospitalization, I postponed my house visit. But on Wednesday I was told the baby’s milk powder was almost finishing, so on Thursday, the eve of Merdeka, despite both Mr. and Mrs. K being at the hospital, I still went to visit the children at home.

I know for sure Shah didn’t go to school again that day. Mrs. K is accompanying Mr. K at the hospital and so Shah has to take over the responsibility of taking care of his siblings at home, particularly his youngest baby sister.

The children were waiting for me when I got to their house. I sought Shah’s help to get the things down from my car – milk powder, diapers, rice, oil, sugar, bread, biscuits, canned food, eggs, Milo, noodles, etc. All bought using the money contributed by various donors including readers of this blog. The moment the 10kg pack of rice was brought in, the 5 year old girl said to her 12 year old sister, “Akak, hari ni adik nak makan nasi…” Oh dear… I think they have not been eating rice for the past 2 days at least… maybe even more.

As usual, I didn’t stay long. Knowing they would not open up any package of food stuff while I was still around, and suspecting that they may not have had proper lunch yet, I left so they could eat whatever I brought for them. And I lost count of how many times the children said “Terima kasih makcik” when I was leaving….

After the visit, I headed straight to my NGO centre. There I decided to call Bashar, the uncle and guardian to Lily’s children. I wanted to know if the orphans are getting any help from the welfare department. According to Bashar, an application had been submitted and he received a call from an officer of the welfare department saying they would be visiting the family at home to assess their situation. It has been quite some time since that call… still no sign of any visits. I sought his permission to visit the children at his home. I have not met the children since Lily’s funeral. Bashar said he may not be home as he works as a lorry driver and may be outstation, but I can always liaise with his wife. The HIV infected child, Boboy, is already on medication and Bashar is very concerned about making sure Boboy takes his medication on time. The good thing was that Bashar was no longer talking about handing Boboy over to somebody else who knew how to take care of an HIV infected child.

On a happier note, I was told that Lily’s eldest daughter got good results in her UPSR trial exams. I sure hope she will do well in the UPSR exams next week.

Yesterday Malaysia celebrated her 50th year of independence. I had wanted to post this entry on Merdeka day but since the eve of Merdeka, right through the whole of Merdeka day, the phone lines in my kampong went dead. The last time that happened, somebody stole the telephone cables. I guess to some people out there, Merdeka means they are free to take what they want as and when they wish!

So, while I had more time during the long weekend to blog, there was no internet connection. Sigh…

I took the time to reflect…

While I have had a blessed life, there are still some people out there who are not as lucky.

While I have more than enough to eat day in day out, some children are just happy at the sight of the little amount of food at their home.

While I now have the opportunity to take care of my mother, there are kids who had lost both their parents at such a tender age.

Well, there is still hope. As long as there are caring Malaysians out there who are willing to walk the talk, the not-so-fortunate families can still be helped to build a better future for them, particularly the children.

WE can help, can’t we?

I am already beginning to get contributions to be distributed to the unfortunate families before the coming Raya celebrations, followed by Deepavali in early November. Come Ramadhan I will have to do more house visits to make sure the contributions reach the intended recipients in time.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who had been giving their support to me in carrying out my voluntary work. Your support has motivated me to try to do even more for the unfortunate families.



Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

Ha...I saw somebody in her car today morning at the junction outside her taman (about 9 something am), pakai big sunglasses! Orang sini wave like orang gila, but somebody didn't see...=(

I'll continue to walk with you Kak Pi, so please continue to do what you do best, and remember to blog about your work! Hopefully, we'll have less people wanting to kill people with AIDS as a way to solve the problem, then...

Happy Merdeka to you and mum...

Pi Bani said...

Hey Daph,
Didn't it occur to you that somebody pretended not to see you because you waved like orang gila?!!

No, just kidding... :) Seriously I didn't see you lah. Where were you anyway? Yep, 9 something I went out to go to the bank etc (other days tak sempat nak pergi bank so today baru sempat nak bank in some cheques... thank God for cheque deposit machines!)

Will still blog about my work but sometimes the work has become such a routine I run out of fresh ideas on what to write about...

J.T. said...

I am now trying to imagine Daphne waving like orang gila. hahaha

Running out of fresh ideas? Take a break. How about sharing your blonde bimbo moments, if you had any. :D (I do believe you still owe Typhoon Sue that entry).

It is good to hear that Lily's children are doing well.

Thanks for the reminder about how lucky most of us are.

Pi Bani said...

Bimbo moments? WHERE GOT??!! (yeah, right...) Kan I told Sue I didn't read that entry... :) See lah how... if I can think of anything interesting enough to write about.

Anyway, yes, Lily's children are doing just fine. I think the uncle's love for the children has grown ever since he started taking care of them.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Kak Pi,

Not sure where to begin with. Even the first paragraph got my attention. Its just odd to get ‘the stare’ from someone who is in the medical line. Cant imagine how the receiver wld feel.

Then, the next one- ‘Akak, hari ni adik nak makan nasi…’ that really crunches my heart. From what I can imagine now is the scenario is something taken out right from the bersamamu tv show.

But the good thing that comes out of it is that we learned how polite the kids are, showing their gratitude towards you, thanking you non-stop. I expected the kids to be more reserved and introverted. Their parents, mr and mrs K must have brought and thought them well.

And to you akak, keep up the great job. Unlike daphne, I’ll 'wheel' with you instead.

winniethepooh said...

Happy Merdeka to u Pi Bani, I'm sure every visit of urs to the families bring them lots of hope and love. When there is love, there is hope.

Keep smiling, Pi Bani..your smile might be the sunshine that they look forward to seeing each and very time. :)

Have a great week ahead Pi Bani!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Pi,

Shadiah @Shady

U.Lee said...

Hello Pi Bani, kesian bacha about the K family. You always the Angel that appears in people's lives and one who brings not only a smile but sunshine to them.
I couldn't help smiling about you wanting to do posting and no telephone connection because the wires got stolen. Ha ha. It reminds me of the time I was in KL on holiday in 2002 near Bukit Bintang. I had to make a quick call to someone, went to a nearby phone booth, picked the phone, no sound. Looked down, alamak, wires da la hilang. Went to another callbox dekat Hilton, this time, not only wire hilang, telephone pun hilang.
Di sini, one time local municipality naik gatal wanted to install those merah telephone booths like in England. Sini banyak Mat Sallehs all exiles from there want to make like still in England.
Tada tiga hari, whole merah phone booth pun hilang. Ha ha. Baru keluar surat khabar about the phones, some curious people drove for miles to see, one empty spot. Ha ha.
Habis cherita, back to Canadian boxes.
You keep well, Pi Bani. UL.

Pi Bani said...

Oh yes, you've written about "the stare" in your blog, didn't you? I'm sure you understood how Mrs. K must have felt.

As for the children, usually when their parents are around, they are very reserved and quiet. But that day when I visited them, the parents weren't around, so they knew they were the ones who needed to do all the thanking and what nots.

And yes Kerp, wheel with me, walk with me, run with me... whichever way you choose, I welcome all of you!

Pi Bani said...

There is always hope as long as we don't give up! And my smile alone is not enough... we still need contributions from the public you see... :)

Pi Bani said...

Ah, back in Kuwait? Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for the support!

Pi Bani said...

Yes laa... public utilities also get stolen... last time just the phone or wires at public phone booths. Nowadays they steal the cables terus!! But still, the whole red phone booth hilang?? Maybe somebody brought home the booth and turned it into his jamban instead... :)

Azer Mantessa said...

keep going and may you be blessed.

Pi Bani said...

Thanks Azer Mantessa... and thanks for dropping by!

Raden Galoh said...

KakPi...Like the rest of them...I'll walk, run and pray with you..insya'allah, will chip in alittle help to ease them...let's make this world a better place to live eh Kak...

That staring act shows that we are still not merdeka inthe real sense...ah so judgmental huh...but I noticed it happens to ignorant people, mostly...

We need more people like you Kak! Kudos and don't give up ya.

Pi Bani said...

Raden Galoh,
Yes, there are still so many judgmental people out there. And you're right, most of them are simply ignorant.

Give up? InsyaAllah tak. As long as there are people like you to keep on motivating me to continue, I shall continue for as long as God gives me the ability to do so.