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, 21 May 2008

IAMD KL & Various Updates

IAMD KL -

While we were preparing for our IAMD exhibition last week (not that there’s anything much to prepare), one of the guys from Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) called me up to inform me about the International Aids Memorial Day (IAMD) organized by MAC to be held on 31st May in KL. Like previous years, MAC is inviting us to send our representatives, especially our HIV clients, to the event. The deadline to submit the reply slip was 20th May – so I only had a few days to call around and ask whoever wanted to attend.

Actually an email was sent to our usual contact person, our former secretary, but since she’s overseas for the moment, we did not get the invitation earlier. Only when our MAC guy called to follow up, he found out that our usual contact was not around, and so he immediately called me. I asked him to forward the email to me so I could do the necessary.

And so I forwarded the email to my fellow Buddies, asking them if any of them wanted to go, and asking them too to ask if any of their clients wanted to go. There was no response. Well, it will be during the school holidays – I guess many would already have other plans.

I made a few calls myself. The first 2 who came to mind was the same 2 who attended last year’s IAMD – Jah and Shila. As I had expected, they were both excited to go – especially at the thought of getting the chance to spend the night at a hotel… fully sponsored by MAC. Never in their life did they ever stay in a hotel before. Then I called Fuzi, whom I thought may be interested to go as it would be a great opportunity for her kids to go jalan-jalan during the school holidays. Again, as expected, she said yes. I tried calling Yah but couldn’t get through. Since I had a deadline to meet, I could’t afford to keep on calling – so it’s no go for Yah.

There were clients whom I didn’t bother to ask – those whom I knew wouldn’t be able to go no matter how much they want to…

Lin, for example, works on weekends and it won’t be easy for her to get leave from her boss. Same case with Hana.

Maria? Naaah… she wouldn’t be able to get the green light from her hubby.

Sha? Her son doesn’t know about her HIV status and she’s always afraid that by attending any of these functions, her son will end up asking all sorts of questions.

So the final list coming from Buddies consists of Jah, Shila (plus 1 child) and Fuzi (plus 5 children). That’s already an improvement from last year. My only worry now is for them to get to the hotel. Last year, Jah was already at her aunt’s house in KL while Shila and her daughter followed me in my car for a day trip. This time, they will need to go on their own – by bus – all expenses paid, of course, but still, once they get to Puduraya, they will need to find their own way to the hotel. Traveling out of town is not something they get to do often and so they are not too confident about traveling on their own. My plan is to get them all to go on the same bus so that they will have each other for company. I will also need to brief them on all the whats, wheres and hows before I send them off at the Ipoh bus terminal.

Myself? Well, I will be in KL that weekend for some family matters, so if I have the time, I will be attending as well; but not needing hotel accommodation. After all, the event will be held at One Utama, which is not that far from my brother’s house where I’ll be staying.

Yes, this year MAC will organize the IAMD at One Utama and for the first time ever, it will be an open-door event – unlike previous years’ closed-door by invitation only. So if you happen to be free, why not come over?

Day/date: Saturday 31st May 2008
Time: 7.30 – 9.30 pm
Venue: One Utama Shopping Centre, New Wing (main entrance)

Highlights include performance by local artistes, showcase by People Living with HIV, and candle lighting.

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Various updates -

Opah called me last week. She needed to bring Hamid for another appointment and since I do have some funds with me meant for the traveling/medical needs of the poor, I told her to call me if she needed help. After banking in the money into her bank account, I called to inform her about it so she could go to the bank and withdraw the money. She was so happy she ended the call with, “Terima kasih cu… peluk cium dari Opah!” Hmmm… even my real Opah (may Allah bless her soul) never said such things to me…

Early this week I received a text message from Maria. She was feeling down as her mother just passed away last Friday. Maria being the only child, her mother had always been staying with her, even after her marriage. I can imagine Maria feeling the emptiness now. And with her on-and-off problems with her husband, I guess Maria may feel a bit worried too now that her mother is no longer around. I must go visit her one of these days…

Fuzi’s house was repaired over the weekend. I have not gone to see it yet but I was told now her house has a proper door! Definitely more secure. It has been quite some time since my last visit to her house. I need to visit her soon and bring along the trainee volunteer who’s supposed to be my “baby” (baby for training lah!).

Ahh, but there so many things to be done… sigh!

And oh, before I forget... remember R from my posting here? Her blood test results are out and she's been confirmed negative. Yes, she's FREE from the virus, alhamdulillah!!

I love good news...

8 comments:

Raden Galoh said...

Salam akak...

Aha! Good timing for us to meet up again, yes?

Will 'pop up' insya'allah...will take the boys too, need to give them some exposure about HIV/AIDs too...

Pi Bani said...

RG!
It'll be great if you can come. And yeah, give the boys some exposure too. As long as they don't end up asking me too many 'Tak terjawab' questions dah... ;)

IBU said...

Kak Pi....

Oh lama nyer tak ke sini. A lot to catch up.

I need to pass to you 'something' lah Kak Pi! But I'll be in Kuantan that weekend. Hmmm... nanti i fikir sat cammana ek?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

Yay for R! Good news indeed huh? I'm sure you're both (and R's family too!) must be sooo darn relieved...=)

Looks like there will be 9 people (or which 6 are kids) who be attending IAMD this year! PLus you, 10! Good to let people see that HIV/AIDS affects not only adults, but the lifes of the children too...

Keep up the good job...We need more people like you! *Hugs*

Pi Bani said...

Ibu,
If you want to pass me "something" or "anything" (or better still, "everything" haha!), you can always send the "thing" to your ex-boss punya rumah. You know his house tak?

Email me a pibani@yahoo.com

Pi Bani said...

Daph,
Besides her husband, R's family doesn't know anything. The most relieved person is definitely R.

As for the IAMD, one of the kids attending is himself infected. So not only do we have the affected kids, we will also have the ones infected. These ones LAAAGI kesian laa...

Typhoon Sue said...

good news for her. I'm sure the time she spent in limbo would've opened her eyes about HIV and AIDS and make her a better person (even if she already was an angel before all this). Experiences like that often change ppl forever.

Pi Bani said...

Sue,
It certainly did open her eyes alright.... though I'm not too sure it opened her husband's eyes! The worry about getting infected may be over for her, but she still worries about her marriage.