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)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

A visit by a TS

I was at my NGO center as usual on Thursday afternoon last week, having a final browse at the reports for the coming AGM, when suddenly I heard a knock on our front door. We don't have any doorbells, so visitors will either have to knock or call out for us. I got up, opened the door, and saw a lady and a TS. For the uninitiated, TS means transsexual.

"Ni Buddies kan?" the TS asked.

"Ya, cari siapa?" I responded.

"Saja nak jumpa Buddies lah. I pernah datang sini dulu."

Then I remembered a few years ago when I was still a newbie in Buddies, a 2-day workshop was held at our center whereby Persatuan Wanita dan Kesihatan, KL (WAKE) sent a team to guide us in carrying out outreach work. A group of TS came over, and Geena was one of them.

While visiting Ipoh last week, Geena decided to drop by our center with a lady friend. The lady friend owns a salon and knows many of the TSes who frequent her salon. In fact, Geena became one of her best friends.

Anyway, they came just to have a chat and to find out more about Buddies. They thought our center was some sort of walk-in or drop-in center where they could come in anytime. I explained to them that we don't have any full time or part time staff manning the center and that one or two of us would come in once a week to check on admin matters. Geena and her lady friend were just lucky that they came when there was somebody around.

Geena: "Kira gaji ikut hari lah?"

Me: "Tak... takde gaji."

Geena: "Oh, dapat elaun ajelah?"

Me: "Tak... elaun pun takde. Ni semata-mata volunteer. Cuma kalau kena travel luar Ipoh, bolehlah claim mileage."

Both Geena and her friend were rather amused that we're not paid anything. I guess to them it's always "ada kerja ada gaji".

Geena was more interested to find out the things that we do... whether we do rapid testing and the likes.

They didn't stay long though. It was just a "saja-saja singgah" visit, so after a short chat and exchanging phone numbers, they left.

Coincidentally today I received a call on our hotline number (since we don't have anybody full time at the center to answer calls, we got ourselves a mobile number whereby the Board members will take turns to keep the phone - and it's now my turn until the next Board meeting). The call was from a university student who got our hotline number from our site. She and her friends are doing a research on HIV/AIDS and transsexuals, and so they wanted to interview Buddies to get some info. I told her I'd call her back once I can arrange for the right time and the right people. I don't mind meeting her myself, but given the topic, I feel it would be best if one of the volunteers from our outreach team attends to this...


Naz said...

Before I started with SOHO, we do get a lot of these saja-saja visits at the previous office. Sungguh sungguh menyemakkan! Sometimes I wished I had an eject button for each chairs there :D

Pi Bani said...

This kind of visits to our NGO center I tak kisah. They just want to get acquainted with us and we'd be pleased to entertain them. Boleh menambahkan networking in our voluntary work.

BUT, the saja-saja visits to my office by people who look as though they have nothing better to do, memang rimas dibuatnya. Tambah pulak jenis yang tak reti nak balik when we have lots of other things to do... rasa nak guna magic wand to make them disappear! Whoosh!

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Masa tuan saya belajar kat universiti dulu, kata Pak Malim dengan tangannya yg berbulu, ada beberapa TS. Mereka sering diejek dan dipulaukan. Saya masih ingat ada seorang pelajar TS menangis sambil berlari-lari balik ke asramanya kerana dicemuh dan dikata nista dengan begitu teruk sekali oleh pelajar universiti yg lain, kata Pak Malim sambil memakai kain. Manusia adakalanya, amat zalim, kata kucing ray yg alim.

Pi Bani said...

Pak Malim,
Sepatutnya mereka ini didekati dan dibimbing, kata Pi Bani sambil makan belimbing. Tiada faedahnya mengejek dan memulau mereka, kata Pi Bani sambil membalut luka.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

shemale sounds more familiar to me.

Pi Bani said...

I'm not sure about shemale, but TS is something they don't mind being called.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

Excellent! More awareness is spreading...I like! ;) The fact that people now singgah semata-mata and call for info is a good thing to me...

Pi Bani said...

Yes indeed, the more calls and queries, means more awareness is spreading. Maybe we need to start thinking of having someone full time at the center... nantilah, slow and steady...