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, 30 September 2009

Targetting the OAs...

When I took Shila along with me to visit Anita at the shelter home last Sunday, the drive from her place to our destination took about 1 hour. So we had ample time to chat during the drive.

Remember I mentioned about the Orang Asli lady staying in an ulu kampong who has yet to contact me? I couldn't contact her as she doesn't have a phone. To go to her place, I wasn't too sure how to get there. When I asked Rosnah earlier, she told me we'd need a 4 wheel drive to get to the place. That stopped me from trying to look for the place on my own.

Well, Shila also stays in the same town, so I decided to ask her as well about this OA kampong. Guess what? Shila stays even nearer to the place! As a matter of fact, to get to the kampong, we just need to go further in using the same road leading to Shila's kampong! Shila herself had been to the kampong twice for a picnic with her family. The place it seems is quite popular for the locals there to mandi sungai. And according to Shila, although the road may be rather narrow, it is still accessible by car.

Great, I thought... maybe one fine day, I will get Shila and maybe one or two other PLHIVs to join me, and we'd try to visit this OA lady. If we can't find her house, we'd just go to mandi sungai!! Hehehe...

Anyway, we had a board meeting last night and I suggested to the board that we should try to arrange for HIV/AIDS awareness programmes at OA settlements. The Board agreed that we try to target this for our World AIDS Day programme this year. For that, we'd want to liaise with the state JHEOA people.

Other than just giving talks, maybe we can also arrange for rapid testing. There does seem to be more and more OA cases referred to the Ipoh HIV clinic of late. There may be more OAs infected without them knowing. The OA lady I'm trying to contact for example, not only had her husband died of HIV related illness, her 12 year old daughter too died of the same. Now she still has a 10 year old son (not infected), but her own CD4 is so low, and without assistance, chances are she herself may skip her own hospital appointments (she's not working) and as such, I'm not too sure how long she'd be able to last. What will happen to her son then?

I believe there are others in her kampong who may have also been infected, with or without them knowing. Their lack of knowledge on HIV may contribute to even more infection amongst the OAs. This is certainly an area to penetrate.

So yes, that is our next target - creating awareness amongst Orang Asli communities.

I do hope this will not end up as a NATO project. (No Action Talk Only lah...)

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Raya Rounds - #3

Sunday, 27th September 2009 - By 9 am I made a move from home as I had promised to pick up Shila and her daughter at their home at 9.30 am. I made it to their house at 9.30 am on the dot! I had also earlier tried to call Jah to ask if she wanted to join us (she usually never says no to invitations to jalan-jalan anywhere). But my calls didn't get through and my SMS was not replied. Since her house was just on the way, Shila and I decided to simply terjah her house.

Oh well, she wasn't home. She had been at her in-law's house since Raya. Too bad then, the kaki jalan was not able to join us for our trip to the shelter home.

I purposely invited Shila to come along. There were times when she would whine about her life... how unlucky she was etc etc. I wanted her to see for herself the group of people who were left by their family members at a shelter home and the shelter home ended up as their permanent home because their family members never came back for them. I wanted Shila to remember to be thankful for the family support that she has.

We reached the home at about 10.40 am...

Anita was cleaning up the tables at their yet-to-be-completed dining hall. She held her one year old baby while working. Wiping the table and having a good morning towel around her neck, Anita looked like she was running a mamak restaurant. According to Kak Ana, Anita is quite hardworking when it comes to doing all the household chores. She doesn't have to be told what to do. Very unlike Sharifah who stayed there earlier - Sharifah was quite lazy if compared to Anita. She even wakes up late. Their problems may have been the same (out of wedlock pregnancy & childbirth) but both came with totally different upbringing - Sharifah the manja type while Anita was brought up without much family love and care.

I took Anita's son from her arms. The boy seemed quite comfortable sitting on my lap. He is so used to being held in his mother's arms, as long as you hold him, he's quiet. By right he should already be able to walk, but because Anita had been rather overprotective of him, the boy has yet to walk. Kak Ana has told Anita to let the boy roam free so he'd learn to walk sooner rather than just berkepit celah ketiak mak...

After a while, Kak Ana called out another girl to take the boy to his room so he could take a nap. He looked rather sleepy.

Then out came Kak Ana's daughter with none other than... yep, my little Cek Mek!!

Cute little Cek Mek with not cute at all Cek Pi. Notice the peha berlipat and pipi labuh? (Cek Mek's lah, not Cek Pi's!)

Frankly, I think Cek Mek must be one of the easiest baby to take care of. Other than making sure the girl is given her medication on time, she is so, so tak banyak ragam and not cranky at all! Yep, still with her muka sadin, but when I asked her to "senyumlah sikit", she did smile! Woo hoo! Apa lagi, cairlah Opah Pi... hehehe... And when Kak Ana was telling me about her, the little girl actually did some goo goo ga ga stuff, like saying, "Hey, why are you all talking about me?!"

After a while, Anita came over to invite us to the dining hall where she had prepared some drinks and raya cookies. Well, most of the Raya cookies were donated by visitors but Kak Ana did make some with Anita and one or two others helping out. I brought some cookies as well, but the bulk of the things in the box I brought down from my car were actually for my babies... milk powder, baby food, baby biscuits etc. Nak bagi cucu makanlah katakan...

Anyway, the home, which provides shelter for about 50 occupants, mainly the mentally handicapped, still needs lots of funds to complete the necessary renovations and to cover for their monthly expenses. This year they have been getting less donations as compared to last year, and so far nobody has invited them for any raya functions whatsoever, unlike when they were earlier housed in Sabak Bernam (the landlord wanted back the land so Kak Ana had to find a new place).

This is the yet-to-be-completed dining hall...

Here it is from a different angle...

But it is still being used anyway as they don't have enough space inside the house.

Inside, they are repainting the walls...

Those who would like to help out, you can call the home at 05-6237530 and speak to Puan Rohana Saidin. Or you can bank in your contributions to their account:

RUMAH TITIAN ASHRAFUL ROHANIAH
CIMB 08021252940051


Tomorrow? Oh, no house visits tomorrow. I need to continue with my puasa enam. But I will probably continue with my raya rounds when I really really raya next weekend, insyaAllah!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Raya Rounds - #2

As planned, today I went to visit Sofie's family. I informed them 2 days ago that I'd be coming, and told them to get their baju raya ready as I'd be taking their family photo. When I got to their house at about 11 am, Sofie were ironing their clothes while the last of the kids just had their bath after kena letiaq by Sofie to hurry up before I arrived. I noticed Ika, the youngest girl, had some make up on. She did the make up herself - using whatever was left of Sofie's old make-up set, which Sofie used when she was still working some years ago. For a seven year old, I'd say the make up wasn't bad at all. At least she didn't look as though she was going to perform for a Wayang Cina!

Welcome to Sofie's home. This is the front door...

And this is the wall inside the house...

There's only one bedroom, so Sofie usually sleeps in the hall (if I may call it so) together with her daughter. If they need to change clothes, the boys and girls would take turns to use the one and only room. During my previous visits, the queen mattress was at the hall, so I'd usually sit on the mattress when I visit them. However for Raya, they kept the mattress at the back... leaned against the wall.

Outside the house, there is no proper drainage. So whenever it rains heavily, sometimes the house would get flooded.

I asked if anyone had visited them since Raya. Well yeah, a few school friends of Sofie's sons did visit, but I was the first adult visitor since Raya! So you can just imagine their excitement, especially since I brought along lunch and a hamper. Somehow people usually give hampers to big big bosses who can actually afford all those stuff. By right, people like Sofie's family are the ones who deserve it more. Imagine her children's excitement at seeing this hamper which was almost as tall as Ika.


This time I had lunch together with them. I knew they loved chicken, so I suppose you can guess what I brought along for lunch, huh?

I had a good chat with the kids during lunch. Interestingly, Sofie told me that when her sister went back to their father's hometown, their father, a bomoh, "tolong tengok-tengokkan" and said that Ika has also been infected with HIV. Hmmm... I wonder if his services can be used for the premarital mandatory HIV testing! No comment on his methods, but I hope with the diagnosis given by her father, Sofie would bring her kids for blood tests soon instead of postponing things. I told her to bring both Ika and her 11 year old brother, Saiful for blood tests.

What I need to personally do next is to bring Saiful to get his eyes tested and rearrange for another appointment with an eye specialist for the boy. Sofie used to bring him for appointments at the Ipoh GH eye clinic, but ever since her ex-husband began deserting her, Sofie could no longer afford to bring the boy for appointments (no need to pay to see the doctor but she still needed money to bring the boy to Ipoh). The last appointment was in 2004 - definitely the records are no longer to be found. Saiful would need a new referral letter to get an appointment with the specialist.

Sofie did bring the boy to an optician recently just to get his eyes tested for free - the boy actually needs glasses with power of over 200 for each eye! And he is still not wearing glasses because Sofie couldn't afford to pay for them! In school, he sits right in front of the class... even then sometimes the writings on the board were not clear at all.

I still have some money with me, donated by friends and blog readers - I intend to use some of it to make glasses for the boy. I promised them I'd come again during one of these days to bring Saiful to the optician.

Tomorrow... next stop... Kak Ana's shelter home to visit Anita, her son and my little Cek Mek...


Friday, 25 September 2009

Raya Rounds - #1

I had initially planned to start my Raya rounds on Saturday with a visit to Sofie's house. But a friend invited me to her open house today, and so after completing only one day of my puasa enam, looks like I have to cuti 3 hari from Friday to Sunday and only continue on Monday.

And since my friend's house is in a town not far from Lin's house, I figured I might as well visit Lin's family today.

As usual, whenever attending gatherings or the likes, I'm usually one of the earliest to arrive, if not the earliest. Today, I was the earliest. Well, my friend did say the open house was from 3 to 6 pm, and I got there at 3.15 pm! So I wasn't really early, they were the ones who were late. I wanted to be there early so I could leave early to go to my next pit stop - Lin's house.

Even my friend was not home when I arrived - she was busy going around the neighbors' homes inviting them to her open house. But all her 4 children are already familiar with me so I spent some time chatting with them instead.

I didn't eat much at the open house. Oh, they had good food - mee rebus, satay, cakes, etc; but I didn't want to overload my tummy with too much stuff. I was fasting yesterday and if I ate too much today, I'd probably end up with a stomach ache. (orang Perak kata perut tak semiak!)

Before I left my friend's house, I called Lin to find out if she was home. Well, she wasn't. She was already at her goreng pisang stall which she just reopened today after a whole week of Raya break. She invited me to go to her stall instead.

So yep, after the open house, I headed straight to the open stall... :)

It wasn't too busy when I got to the stall, and Lin's daughter who is still on holiday was helping her out at the stall, so I could chat with Lin without worrying about her having to man the stall. I was served air kelapa, pisang goreng, keledek goreng and cekodok. Ahh... a change after the usual Raya cookies...

It was a good thing I didn't go head straight to Lin's house. Apparently she moved to a new house just before Raya.

You see, the house she and her children had been staying in all the while, belonged to Lin's father. The father, who had remarried since her mother died, stays with his new wife at her house, but from time to time would still go back to his own house. Which is not the problem really. The problem is, Lin's 18 year old son, who had been doing nothing but lepak-ing with his friends since he finished his SPM last year, doesn't seem to get along at all with his grandfather. They fight every time they meet. Lin herself doesn't know how else to handle her son. Her other children seemed very responsible, especially her 3 elder daughters; but this son doesn't seem to want to listen to anybody. Not Lin, not his sisters, and definitely not his own father, Mr Darling.

There was once when Lin was at her stall, her other son came cycling as fast as he could to inform Lin - "Abang dengan Tok Wan tengah bergaduh, siap dah keluar parang!!"

That was it for Lin - she figured she might as well give in. The house wasn't hers anyway, and to avoid more of such confrontations between her son and her father, Lin decided to move to another house. She has to pay rent of course, which will make life more difficult for her financially.

According to Lin, her son did seem interested when Lin suggested to him to join the police force, but he will have to wait until he officially becomes 18, which will be in October. If he is no longer interested to study, he might as well work. Lin doesn't really trust him to work simply anywhere - she's hoping that by joining the police force, the discipline instilled during the intensive training may change him. I hope things will work out.

Before I left, I handed over 6 packets of duit raya to Lin, to be given to her 6 children. I also left some money for her 14 year old son's school fees since the boy is under our sponsorship programme. All in the amount to be paid to the school is RM91. So I gave her RM100 and told her to keep the change. At least the balance was more than enough to cover for the air kelapa and all the goreng stuff they served me. I also took down her new house address, so that I'd know where to head next time I need to go to her house.

Tomorrow insyaAllah will be my next stop... Sofie's house.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Raya still...

My house is back to quiet mode now. My suku sakat kaum kerabat have gone back to their respective homes and so it's just me and my mother at home. I am still on leave though. My office is closed for the whole week.

We (my mother & I) have therefore decided to start our puasa enam today. I will however need to take a break this weekend as I intend to do some raya visits, and I shall continue with the puasa enam next week.

Quite a few of my PLHIV clients either called or sent me text messages to wish me Selamat Hari Raya. Both Sharifah and her mom sent me text messages - in fact Puan Nur even said "rindu lama tak jumpa". Yeah right, macamlah dulu selalu sangat jumpa... :-)

Murni called me a few days before raya. At first I thought she had a favour to ask from me. Most of my clients would usually call me only when they need something. But no, Murni called simply to ask how I was doing, and also to convey her raya wishes to me. How sweet of her.

Fuzi, Asiah and Anita too sent me text messages. However, Anita sent me not one, but a few SMS. First to reply my raya wish to her. Then to tell me that Kak Ana (whom she now has started calling Mama) had brought her and her son shopping for baju raya. Then to say that Papa (Kak Ana's hubby) made some nasi impit. Then to ask me when I'd be coming to visit them at the home. I told her I was busy with my own family so I wouldn't be able to visit her anytime soon.

Yesterday she called me again, to ask what I was doing, and when I'd be coming to visit. Aduuuh...

At first it occurred to me that maybe Anita kept on asking when I'd be visiting because she doesn't like it at the shelter home. But come to think of it, her text messages about going shopping for raya etc made it sound as though she was quite excited with the whole experience. I guess her own Raya prior to this had never been as meriah for her.

And I noticed that Anita has started calling me Kak Afizah. Before this she kept calling me Cik Afizah despite me describing myself as kakak everytime I spoke to her. In fact, in her text messages before this, she kept spelling my name as Encik Afizah - I was wondering why at first... but then I remembered Anita never went to a proper school. The fact that she knows how to read is good enough, so I'm not going to complain about her using the wrong words or salutations...

Anyway, I intend to go for my raya visits this weekend, starting with Sofie's family. For one thing, her place is nearer than the shelter home Anita is staying in. In addition to that, Sofie's 7 year old daughter had asked earlier if I'd be coming to visit them for Raya. So yeah, I'll visit Sofie's family first.

The rest... maybe after I complete my puasa enam...

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Meme: Save Yvonne's Sight


I have been tagged by Elviza and Daphne to do the Save Yvonne's Sight meme. Since many bloggers did their meme before raya, I decided to wait for mine to come out after raya.

I first read about Yvonne Foong when MarinaM blogged about her here.

Amazed by her determination, I immediately placed a link to her blog on my blogroll. According to her latest update, the blog meme has managed to raise an additional RM20,000. She needs to raise RM154,704 by 23rd November 2009 for her surgery. As at her update on 23rd September 2009, she has managed to raise RM75,602.

YOU can also help by sending on this meme. If you do, please follow these meme rules:

1. Create a blog entry titled "Meme: Save Yvonne's Sight"

2. List three things you love to see. Add in the picture of Yvonne's book cover. The URL is http://www.yvonnefoong.com/images/banner/my-story.jpg

3. End with the line, "Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF). Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at http://www.yvonnefoong.com.

4. Tag 5 blog friends. Be sure to copy the rules, OK?

5. If you have a Facebook account, please check out Ellen's new invention, a "feme" pronounced FEEM, a meme designed for Facebook here. And if you want to blog about NF, that would be great too!

The three things I love to see are:

1. People living in harmony regardless of nationality, race or religion.
2. Smiles on everybody's faces, especially children.
3. Cute little babies!!

I'm supposed to tag 5 blog friends, but since most of my blog friends have already been tagged, I shall leave the tag open. If you are reading this and you have not done the tag, well, you are hereby tagged!


Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF). Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at www.yvonnefoong.com

Monday, 21 September 2009

Jemputlah masuk...

ASSALAMUALAIKUM!!! KAMI DATANG NAK RAYA!!!

Eh, jemputlah masuk... buat macam rumah orang lain... (kalau buat macam rumah sendiri, nanti kena basuh pinggan mangkuk pulak kan?)

Silalah makan apa yang ada...

Ha? Apa dia? Nampak macam sikit je rendang tu? Eh, don't worry, banyak lagi dalam periuk! Rendang ayam ada lagi...

Rendang daging pun ada lagi...
Rasa tak larat nak makan pulut, makan lah mi...
Kuahnya dalam mangkuk ni...
Nak cookies ni bukalah bekasnya. Bertutup tu bukan tak bagi makan, takut masuk angin!

Eh, budak-budak! Nak balik dah ke? Wait! Wait! Don't forget your duit raya!

Tak nak? The inside got this you know...

Thank you all for coming! Do feel free to drop by again anytime, open house or not.


Friday, 18 September 2009

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri


Kepada semua pengunjung-pengunjung Pi's Twist, diucapkan Selamat Menyambut Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, semoga bergembira bersama keluarga masing-masing.

Sekiranya ada terkasar bahasa, terkata, terkutuk, atau apa-apa "ter" lagi yang mungkin menyinggung perasaan, ampun maaf dipinta, dari hujung uban sampai kepala lutut sampai hujung kaki.

Dijemput semua ke rumah terbuka Pi's Twist! (virtual open house only lah... hehehe)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Various updates

Today I sent over some foodstuff over to the K's. In addition to the Raya cookies, I also had an additional pack of rice, sugar and a bottle of cooking oil; plus some other used clothes still in good condition. The last batch of clothes I sent were only suitable for Mrs K, this time I had some suitable for the daughter as well.

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Tomorrow morning before I go to my office, I intend to send Raya cookies to Rosnah and her daughter. Rosnah did mention earlier that this week she'd be working on afternoon shift, so she should be home tomorrow morning.

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Anita sent me a text message today, asking about her IC and her son's BC. I called her back, telling her we'd proceed after Raya since right now everybody seems to be busy with Raya preparations. She said she and her baby are okay at the new home. She also asked if I'd be visiting them for Raya. Adoi, so many people to visit la for Raya...

Anyway, I spoke to Kak Ana last week and according to Kak Ana, Anita seems to be very rajin at the home. She helps with the sweeping and all, and without anyone asking her, she volunteers to help bathe the younger children. I guess she is so used to being the "slave" at her sister's house, she doesn't feel comfortable not doing anything.

Due to her family upbringing however, she doesn't know how to pray, and so Kak Ana will teach her.

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As for myself - I've mowed the lawn (yes, puasa, puasa juga... rumput tetap kena mesin!). Tomorrow to shop for some needs before the family gathers this weekend. Friday, to clear up my ever messy table at home. Saturday, got to cook lah!

My office will be closed for the whole of next week. BLISS!

Monday, 14 September 2009

The cheque presentation

Yesterday was the day for the presentation of cheques awarded by Yayasan Sultan Azlan Shah for various NGOs and shelter homes in Perak.

We (the reps from the various NGOs/homes) were to report to the person in charge at 2.30 pm while HRH The Regent of Perak was scheduled to arrive at 3.45 pm.

I had never been inside DBI's premise, so I wasn't really sure where the function hall was. And so I decided to go early. Good thing I did. I thought the venue would be somewhere at the ground floor - but apparently the function room was on the 10th floor.

There were quite a number of representatives already present by the time I reported to the person in charge. After a while, they called out each organisation to make sure we sat according to the numbers allotted. Mine was number 69. And in total there were 71 recipients. Surely you can guess where I sat, huh? Yep, last row...

Anyway, when the emcee called out the names of the various organisations, I kinda figured he wouldn't pronounce Buddies correctly. As expected, he mentioned Buddhist of Ipoh. I pointed out to another officer that it's supposed to be Buddies, not Buddhist. So this officer went to correct the emcee. The emcee replied back, "Tapi tulis sini budis!" Duh, dah lah tak tau, degil pulak tu!! The officer then said to him, "Ni tulis orang putih, sebut BA-DIS bukan BU-DIS."

Hmmmph... maybe next time we should just change the spelling to Badis...

Anyway, after our seating arrangements were settled, the protocol officer then briefed us on what to do etc. The lady sitting beside me began to get nervous. Every now and then, she'd be asking me, "What is it that we have to say after we get the cheque?" And every now and then I'd have to tell her, "Menjunjung kasih, tuanku."

At about 3.50 pm we heard the sound of sirens loud and clear. Obviously HRH had arrived. And walking in along with him were the Raja Puan Muda, and also Raja Ashman and Raja Eleena.

The official function started off with a bacaan doa, followed by a speech by Raja Nazrin and then on with the cheque presentation. The emcee did some blunders as well during the official function, with wrong pronunciation of names. Despite the presence of royalties in the room, our giggles were rather obvious when the emcee tried to pronounce Persatuan Autisme. And at one time, he was about to say Persatuan but realised it was Pertubuhan, so he went like... Pers..tubuhan... (now what does THAT sound like??)

I was quite worried that he would again mention Buddhist Society of Ipoh - what a shock it would have been to those present seeing this Mak Aji going to get the cheque!

But guess what? I think after the giggles due to the word autism, this time he played safe. He only mentioned my name without mentioning the organisation!

Well, anyway, with 71 recipients altogether, frankly I had expected a cheque of maybe just RM2K, or at the most, RM5K.

I hope nobody realised I went terbeliak biji mata when Raja Nazrin mentioned in his speech that each recipient would be awarded RM20K each. Of course, there's a condition to it. In six months time we will all have to send a written report with details on how we spent the money.

Time to plan for new project, maybe?

Saturday, 12 September 2009

McPi McDelivery

Since judgement has been made that a particular fast food chain doesn't have exclusive rights to the use of "Mc" for only their products, I guess nobody should be complaining about the title of my posting this time. If somebody does complain, I shall just McDono (make donno daa..), tak gitu McYam? (for the uninitiated, that's MekYam!)

OK then, back to my story...

I got home from Putrajaya yesterday at about 2 pm. I still had some shopping to do for the poor families but I needed a rest first. So immediately after my zohor prayer, I took a short nap which was good enough to refresh me.

Then off I went shopping - other than foodstuff for the poor families, I also needed to look for a birthday present for Wani's 7 year old son, Shahril. You see, both Wani's sons are sponsored under our Education Sponsorship for Children programme, and since Shahril's birthday was yesterday, his sponsor has sent some money for me to buy him a present.

I wasn't really sure what to buy for Shahril. I was looking at this, looking at that... unable to decide what to buy. Suddenly I saw a boy about Shahril's age, begging his mom for a badminton racket. Hmmm... why not I thought. Besides, he has a brother to play with. So yep, I ended up buying a pair of badminton rackets, complete with the shuttlecocks, of course.

I was too tired and lazy to cook (actually I was plain lazy), so after shopping yesterday Pi Bani masak guna jari telunjuk. Tunjuk, tunjuk, tunjuk... BAYAR!

This morning, after my pasar tani routine (erm, not so routine actually - had more things to buy today as my suku sakat kaum kerabat is expected to be back next week for Raya), off I went for McPi McDelivery. (Mek Pi make delivery...)

First up was Wani's house. Besides being the one furthest amongst the 3 homes I intended to visit, I also needed to get the raya cookies I had ordered earlier to be delivered to the other families. Wani was actually just expecting me to get the cookies and pay for them. She was pleasantly surprised when I handed over the birthday present, some foodstuff and some duit raya as well. She had purposely kept quiet yesterday (about Shahril's birthday) as she didn't want the boy to nag her for a present. Her intention was to buy something after raya, ie after she gets money from her temporary job selling the cookies.

Next up was Sofie's house. I pay extra attention to this family - no, not favoritism... but based on the fact that Sofie herself is still rather weak to cook or go out shopping. For the other families at least I could just hand over some money as the mothers are still strong enough to cook for their children and go shopping for their needs.

Apparently just yesterday morning, Sofie's 7 year old daughter, Ika, was asking, "Mak, makcik Afizah tak nak datang ke dah dekat nak raya ni?" Oh God, thank goodness I decided to visit them today. She was already outside her house on the buaian hijau, waiting for me.

Her 2 older boys, who slept after subuh, got up when they realized I came. It was almost 11 am by then. They had already asked their younger brother to wake them up at 10 am, but the boy forgot...

Sofie's sister (the one she had been staying with before this) and family will be going back to their father's home in another state on Friday before raya. She did ask if Sofie too would like to balik kampong, but Sofie is not fit to travel that far. So yep, it's just Sofie and her children on Hari Raya this year.

And since Sofie is too weak to cook for Raya, this time I made sure the foodstuff I brought along were either easy to cook or "instant" stuff. They were delighted when they saw the nasi impit segera I brought. Sofie was thinking of teaching her second son (the 13 year old who had been showing interest in cooking although he doesn't know how to cook) to make some kuah kacang. But I told her there was no necessity for that as I had also brought along canned kuah satay, canned rendang ayam and canned beef curry. Nothing beats home cooked food I know, but at least Sofie doesn't have to worry about her children not having anything special to eat for Raya.

I also gave them the Raya cookies I ordered from Wani. Again, the children were delighted. They had earlier on hoping they'd get some courtesy raya cookies from a neighbour. Apparently, Sofie's 11 year old son had been helping out that neighbour with some easy tasks with her kuih raya business, to get a little income for raya. Gosh, only 11 years of age and already has some sense of responsibility to get income for the family. Mind you, the little income he gets is for the family, not himself!!

Before I left, I handed over a packet of duit raya each to the children. Ika then asked if I'd be visiting them during Raya.

I told them I'd be busy with my own family on Hari Raya, but I promised I'd come to spend Raya with them within Syawal. Hopefully within the first 2 weeks. And this time, I hope to bring along some home cooked food for them.

After Sofie's, I headed straight to Fuzi's house. I didn't tell Fuzi earlier that I was coming. I just decided to drop by since her house is just on the way back.

Nobody was home. When I called, Fuzi said they were out shopping for the children's Raya needs. I asked if it was okay for me to leave some kuih raya and some other stuff outside her house. She said it should be alright. So yep, I just left some kuih raya, foodstuff, used clothes and the family day photos they had been asking for.

And so that wraps up McPi McDelivery for the day...

Thursday, 10 September 2009

This and that

Remember my posting about Moorthy who will undergo a surgery in October when both his legs will be amputated? He is for the time being staying at the hospital ward for many months already as he doesn't have a place to stay. Amma illek, appa illek...

With no home, no family members, no money, and added with the fact that he is unable to fend for himself, not only does he need a shelter, he also needs caregivers to take care of his needs.

So we can't simply send him to any shelter homes, we'd need a shelter home with proper caregivers, and one which would accept HIV cases.

Guess what? Eureka! Yep, I found one. In Penang. I've spoken to the person in charge and she said there shouldn't be any problem as they still have 2 or 3 empty beds and they have caregivers around the clock! My only task is to arrange for transportation to send Moorthy over to the place. I don't think there should be any problem with that. In fact, since his case was referred to us by the hospital, we'd probably get them to send Moorthy over to his new home in an ambulance.

Whatever it is, we will wait until after the surgery so there's still time. At least we've got one problem solved...

---------------------------------------------------------

As per previous years, during Ramadhan I'd usually be getting a lot of contributions coming in from my networking, for me to distribute to the poor families I'm dealing with. In fact, this year I'm getting a whole lot more than usual. I'm using some of the money to buy goods to be sent to the families, while some will be distributed in cash, either by sending personally or by banking into their respective accounts.

I wish I can send some financial help to one particular lady and her 10 year old son. This is one of the new cases referred. Although somebody else was assigned as the buddy, the case was still referred to me for the Children Education Fund.

The only problem is, the lady stays in an orang asli settlement in an ulu kampong. And she doesn't have a phone. I cannot contact her, she will have to contact me.

But it has been 3 weeks now, and she has yet to contact me. I do have her address, but when I googled for the map, the kampong doesn't seem to be listed. So how lah?

Then I remembered I have a few clients staying in the same town - different kampongs, but they may know where this kampong is. So I sent a text message to Rosnah, and her reply came:

"Nak ke kampong tu kena naik 4 wheel drive, ala adventure mendaki. Jalan tanah merah & berbatu-batu."

Oooh... sounds adventurous. I love adventure! Woo... maybe I should transform to ala-ala Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider, huh? (a particular cat in Sydney must be choking now...)

But seriously, looks like I can't go in my Kenari. And even if I can get a 4 wheel drive, by the sound of it, I'd probably need a driver experienced enough to drive on such terrains. I don't want to end up upside down...

Any suggestions, anyone? Hmmm, since there seem to be more and more cases involving orang asli, maybe I can liaise with JHEOA for awareness programmes in orang asli settlements, and let JHEOA arrange for the transportation, huh?

---------------------------------------------------------

Am going off to KL this afternoon as my mother's follow-up appointment at Hospital Putrajaya is tomorrow morning. Will be driving back to Ipoh immediately after the appointment. I've got some house visits to do on Saturday, and on Sunday, I'll be attending the cheque presentation from Yayasan Sultan Azlan Shah by HRH The Regent of Perak.

 

See you later folks!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

09/09/09

Today is 09/09/09. And I am purposely setting this posting to be published at 09:09 am. Oh... saja gatal... :)

I do hope nobody saja gatal to call 999 though!

Anyway, my anticipated "sekejap cakap lain, sekejap cakap lain" for Anita's IC and her son's birth cert has begun.

No, I haven't brought Anita to JPN just yet. My colleague, who has been handling Anita's case earlier before Anita decided to call me (I am not Anita's Buddy) was the one who had been liaising with JPN.

Earlier on, when I sent Anita to go back to her hometown, my colleague told me as long as Anita could get any one of her sister's birth cert, that'd be good enough.

"Are you sure?" I asked.

"Very sure!", came the answer. I wasn't too convinced though, although I was amazed how sure he sounded even though I was sure he wasn't so sure himself. (errrrr... am I making sense?)

When Anita came back to Ipoh last week, I called my colleague asking him to arrange an appointment with the officer he had been liaising with. He said he'd call the officer and get back to me before 4 pm the same day. He never did.

On Monday, the colleague called me from my NGO center. He wanted to tell me that there was a fax from the Sultan's office to inform about the cheque presentation from the Yayasan. Yep, the one I had already settled last week.

He didn't even mention anything about the JPN matter. When I asked, then only he mentioned about some forms that needed to be filled up and submitted to JPN.

"No need to bring Anita?", I asked. "No need. We can submit for her", he said. Frankly, I didn't believe him. He has a tendency to assume things. Anyway, he said he'd leave the forms at the center.

Yesterday I went to my NGO center to get the forms. One look at the forms and I knew that the forms were meant for the child's late birth cert registration. Nothing at all on Anita's IC. So I called that colleague, and since he was already on the way to the center, I waited for him to come.

When he got to the center, and I started asking him questions on this and that, he answered each question as though he was sure of things... and even mentioned that Anita has to go back to the JPN at her hometown to get some documents from there. Well, how come earlier when Anita was at her hometown, nothing was mentioned about having to go to JPN there?? I wasn't at all convinced.

I asked him for the form provided by the hospital when Anita gave birth earlier (the form they gave to be brought to JPN for child's birth registration). Anita gave the form to him to seek his help earlier. The piece of paper, which now looks like kertas balut belacan, was at his home. Adoi, why lah keep at home. Keep lah at the center!

Anyway, he promised he'd pass the piece of paper to my office today.

I have been getting contradicting advise from different people - some say just do the baby's birth cert first, no problem. Some say we'd have to get Anita's IC done first.

So which one really should come first? The chicken or the egg?

I am not going to bring Anita to JPN only to be kicked here and there like a ball. I don't want to call 999 on 09/09/09!!

I think I'd better look for networking in the right department and get all the necessary info on the correct procedures before I proceed further.

I'm quite tied up with some other matters now, and I bet those at the JPN are already in their raya mood. So rather than getting the "ni bukan bawah bidang kuasa saya" answer, I think I'll start getting some networking first and only proceed with matters after raya.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Of compliance and raya cookies

Last week, while I was shopping for some household needs, I received a text message from Wani. She was on her way to Ipoh to get her blood test done and she wanted to leave some raya cookies with me.

No, Wani doesn't make the cookies herself. She helps out at a friend's place and gets RM10 each day she helps with the baking. If she can help sell the cookies, she can get some extra cash. And so she sought my favour to help sell the cookies. Which was why she wanted to leave the cookies with me.

I told her to call me once she got to the hospital. I found it rather odd though when she mentioned she'd be doing her blood test at the Klinik Kesihatan Greentown instead of at the specialist clinic at the GH.

I found out later that she had missed her hospital appointments for quite some time and as such her records are no longer at the ID clinic. SN was the one who told Wani to go to the klinik kesihatan, and tell the people there that she wanted to do HIV testing.

You see, since her records are no longer at the ID clinic, in order to arrange for another appointment, she'd need to go back to square one. Get tested at a klinik kesihatan, and when the results come out positive, she'd get a letter referring her to the ID specialist clinic.

I asked Wani why she had not been going for her hospital appointments. She just smiled.

Earlier on, SN called me to ask whatever happened to Shila. She missed her last appointment and didn't even go for her blood test. I later found out that Shila decided not to go to the hospital for fear of H1N1. Her buddy had then advised her to fix another appointment and wear a mask when she goes to the hospital. As of last week, SN told me Shila hadn't even called her. SN got so fed-up and just said, "Suka hati dia lah! Nanti kalau sakit jangan cari saya."

Sigh... I don't know how else to stress to these people the importance of compliance. They seem to think it's okay to miss their appointments... it's okay to miss their ARV once in a while. Gee, I wonder if I can strangle them to get the message through?

Anyway, back to the raya cookies...

Wani brought 4 types of cookies - tarts, semprit, almond london and shortbread cookies.

Frankly, sales is not my expertise, so seeking my help to sell the cookies is not really a good idea. But I agreed to help her out anyway.

I have been planning to buy some raya cookies to be distributed to the poor families before raya. So, instead of helping to sell, I just ordered some cookies from Wani. That way, Wani can get some extra income and I get to distribute some raya cookies to the poor families! Kill 2 birds with one stone, huh?

Anyone wants to try some tarts and semprit? Here, have some...




Woi! Try lepas berbukalah... jangan try siang-siang hari!

Friday, 4 September 2009

The escape... at last!

Despite the smooth escape from her "evil" sister's house last week, Anita couldn't be too sure of how things would turn out when she visits her other sisters back in her hometown. I too was quite concerned of a "keluar mulut buaya, masuk mulut harimau" situation. When I managed to speak to her eldest sister on Tuesday morning, I thought there was a chance. But after that there were no more calls from Anita. And it has been a whole week since I sent her off at the bus station. I began to wonder if she got into some kind of trouble.

As I was driving to my office this morning, my phone rang. It was from Anita - and she was already at the Ipoh bus station! Aduh, why lah didn't she notify me before she boarded the bus?! I had already made other plans this morning so I couldn't simply go to the bus station to fetch her and send her to the shelter home. Besides, I'd also need to notify Kak Ana at the shelter home - she may have other plans too for all I know.

Anita had no choice but to wait. I had to settle some work at the office and I also needed to go to Istana Kinta. You see, I got a call yesterday from a lady from Yayasan Sultan Azlan Shah to inform me that my NGO has been listed amongst the recipients of grants from the Yayasan and that the cheque presentation is to be held next weekend. I was asked to go to Istana Kinta where their office is to confirm attendance. (Yes, THE Istana Kinta where some political drama took place earlier this year but I shall not go into that)

So yes, I went this morning and once I got into the Istana compounds, I was a bit tercangak-bangak looking for the office but made it without making a fool of myself... or so I think. Anyway, I read through the letter and noticed that for the cheque presentation (by HRH Raja Muda), the dress code for ladies is baju kurung/baju kebaya. I never had any kebaya all my life and it had been quite a while since I had any baju kurung in my wardrobe. My wardrobe now is full of jubah or ala-ala jubah. Hmmm... wonder if my sister still has any baju kurung that I can borrow. Never mind, that I can resolve later!

Back to Anita's case, as soon as I got to my office this morning, I called up Kak Ana. She was on her way somewhere. I told her about Anita's sudden appearance in Ipoh without notice, and asked if I could send her over to the shelter home today. Thank God Kak Ana said she should be back by then.

Then I called my colleague who had been liaising with the JPN officer, and asked him to make an appointment some time next week if possible. Today was already too late, and Monday is a holiday in Perak. Simply bringing Anita to JPN any time next week may not be a good idea. I don't want Anita to come to Ipoh all the way from the shelter home only to find out that the officer is on leave or outstation. It's best to make an appointment. After all, Anita's case is a bit, errm no... a lot complicated, which definitely needs the attention of a higher ranking officer, not simply any Mat, Minah, Ah Chong, Mei Lan, Muthu or Meenachi at the JPN counters.

After my zohor prayer, off I went to fetch Anita & her baby boy. I didn't want to get caught in the anticipated jam in my kampong as the Deputy Prime Minister was scheduled to make an official visit to my kampong around 4 pm.

Anita and her baby had been at the bus station since morning. Poor souls! But without earlier notice from Anita, it was difficult for me to reschedule my commitments. Anyway, as soon as they got into my car, we headed straight to the shelter home, which is about 1 hour 20 minutes drive away. I didn't want to come back to Ipoh too late and rush for buka puasa. Any questions whatsoever that I needed to ask Anita would have to be done on the way to the shelter home.

We reached the shelter home around 3.20 pm. Kak Ana was not back yet but her husband and daughter were there to greet me and Anita. The daughter then called Kak Ana and was told that Kak Ana would reach the home soon.

While waiting for Kak Ana, guess who I got to see, hold and play with? Yep, none other than my little Cek Mek! Woo hoo! Goodness, she's such a good girl - tak banyak ragam langsung! And she has obviously become chubbier! Unlike some babies who smile or laugh when we play with them, Cek Mek has that selamba look - like muka sadin like that! Eh, sounds familiar lah pulak... ikut siapalah agaknya... ;)

Anyway, after a while, Kak Ana came back, and after explaining some matters to her, I simply had to make a move. Initially I wanted to leave by 4 pm, but since Kak Ana herself got home a bit late, I only managed to make a move at 4.20 pm. I had at least another 1 hour 20 minutes of travel time to go through and I wanted to have a bit of rest before berbuka so I wouldn't be too tired for terawikh.

I reached Ipoh about 5.40 pm and since I hadn't performed my asar prayer, I immediately headed back to my kampong. But just before the bridge in my kampong, some traffic police signaled to me to stop by the roadside.

No, I wasn't breaking any traffic rules lah! Definitely not speeding - it was after all just a jalan kampong!

The DPM's visit to my kampong that I mentioned earlier, remember?? You see my kampong is a traditional kampong smack right in the middle of Ipoh. The roads are small and at certain stretches, when cars are going opposite direction, one car would have to make way for the other. And my car was going the opposite direction of the DPM's car!

So, guess who had to make way? The DPM? Of course.... NOT! Not only did I have to make way for the DPM's convoy, there were so many other cars also going out as the function had just ended! Wrong timing sungguh...

Oh well, at least I've settled Anita's escape and a new shelter for Anita and her baby boy. As for her IC and the boy's BC, I believe we've still got a long way to go... at least another 6 months if we're lucky...

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Busy day at the clinic

I was on clinic duty again today. I went to my office first in the morning, and only left the office at 9.30 am to head to the GH. This time I didn't bother to go a few rounds around the hospital to get a parking space. I just went one round, and ended up parking my car at a proper parking lot, within walking distance from the hospital, but still considered quite far for those with knee problems or the likes. Thank God I don't have such problems... yet...

As I got to the specialist clinic, I noticed most of the hospital staff were wearing masks. Alamak... I forgot my mask! I left them in my car! I was too lazy to walk all the way back to the car park, so I thought, whaddaheck, I will just make sure I use the hand sanitizer which I always carry in my handbag. Then I remembered, hey, I did have one mask in my handbag!

Well, anyway, after leaving my things in the counseling room, I immediately headed to the doctor's room, to inform SN that I was already there, and also to pass her some ole-ole I got for her from Bali recently.

Things started quite slowly at first, but once the cases started coming, we (my team-mates and I) hardly had enough time to talk about anything else. All the cases referred to us today were guys...

CASE #1

The first was Ravi, a young chap in his thirties... married, has an 11 year old daughter, and his wife is now pregnant with their second child. So, what made him go for the HIV test? You see, the wife knew about his previous affair with another woman, and when she found out she was pregnant, somehow she got worried that her husband may have been infected by that woman, and as a result, she too may have been infected as well. As such, she requested for the HIV test herself. She felt a whole lot better when the results came out negative. She told the husband to also go for blood tests initially, but when the time came to take the results, she got scared and told Ravi not to get the test results. Ravi still went, found out he was infected, but have yet to inform his wife. She's due to deliver soon, and he didn't want her to feel depressed. I'm not sure if he is ever going to tell his wife about it now that his wife is confirmed negative, but I reminded him to at least practice safe sex.

CASE #2

The second case referred to us today was Hasan. He is about my age, married, and has 4 children, the youngest is a 10 year old. Hasan had to undergo an operation at a private clinic to remove his appendix a few months back and it was during the full blood tests done before his op that they found out about his HIV infection. They broke the news to him the day before his scheduled operation. He was so frustrated, he felt like jumping off the 3rd floor of the hospital, where he was warded. Then his wife came and he broke the news to her. I must say Hasan is one lucky chap - his wife gave him the much needed support and encouragement to carry on with life. She was definitely his pillar of strength. She told him straight in the face, "Yang nak terjun dari tingkat 3 tu apa faedahnya? Kalau mati terus satu hal le jugak. Kalau tak mati tapi cedera teruk, tak ke lagi susah nak jaga?" Hehehe... clever wife.

Hasan does feel better now, knowing that his wife supports him, and after speaking to SN and us Buddies, he knows there are many other people out there just like him, who continue to lead a normal life. However, he has yet to reach the 100% redha stage... and still has the "if only I didn't do that" thoughts coming to his mind from time to time. Yes, he regretted all his wrong doings. He wasn't faithful to his wife, and yet when he got infected with HIV, his wife is still there for him. His wife, by the way, has been tested negative, alhamdulillah.

CASE #3

After Hasan left the room, my colleague went out to call the next person, Ramli. Ramli came in with a young lady - I thought his wife at first (he was wearing a mask, and he looked quite young behind the mask - hmm... I wonder if I looked young behind the mask too... haha!). Then the young lady introduced herself as his daughter. I looked at Ramli's file, and saw that he's 43. Well, still young, and with a grown up daughter, he must have got married at quite a young age. The daughter who came with him just got married recently.

I then asked how he found out about his HIV infection, and almost choked when his daughter selamba-ly answered, "Sebenarnya masa ayah kawin nombor 4 baru-baru ni kena buat test HIV. Dari situlah dapat tau."

I hope behind my mask they didn't notice my terkejut beruk face. Whoa... in our contact report form which we have to fill up, there is one column for "Spouse's name". Duh, do I now have to change it to "Spouses Names"??

I asked if his family members, especially his wives all know about his HIV infection. Here goes...

Wife #1 (also mother to the daughter who accompanied Ramli): She knows, but has yet to go for testing. 4 children with this wife... all grown up and all know about his HIV.

Wife #2: Also 4 children with this wife, the youngest is 4. All the children are staying with him. I was quite concerned about the 4 year old, but I told them to just get the wife to go for testing, if she's negative, then no need to worry about the kids. The problem is, while the children are with him, the family doesn't know the whereabouts of the wife now. As such, they are unable to get her to go for testing.

Wife #3: No children. It is believed Ramli got HIV from this wife. The wife, a foreigner from a country north of Malaysia, was infected by her earlier husband, but did not inform Ramli about it. She just mentioned she had TB. And she died of TB. Habis cerita.

Wife #4: Of course she knows lah, it was during the mandatory pre-marital testing that Ramli found out he was HIV +ve. But she still married him anyway despite the HIV and the 3 earlier wives...

CASE #4

Three people came into the room when we called for Shamsudin: A young chap in his early thirties, and a couple in their sixties. As I figured, they were his parents.

It was the father who did more of the talking, insisting he already knew about the few things I mentioned, and insisting to know about the results of the latest blood test. I told him he should talk to the doctor about the blood test results, and that we Buddies were there more for the counseling session. The mother was more... well... motherly lah kan. She was the one who had been taking care of Shamsudin, making sure he took his medication (he was on pre-HAART) on time. When I asked how Shamsudin was at home, whether he felt depressed or anything like that, the father said no. "Takdelah, dia nampak okay je", said the father. The mother's answer was more acceptable... "Kadang-kadang elok je dia gurau dengan adik-beradik dia. Tapi kadang-kadang dia termenung." At this point, the father said, "Dia orang ni suka berahsia dengan saya." I'm not surprised...

Shamsudin himself didn't say a word. I was beginning to wonder if he could even speak! But I did suspect that he didn't feel comfortable pouring out his feelings in front of his parents, especially his father.

Finally at one point, when the father was still doing most of the talking, cutting me out whenever I said anything, Shamsudin blurted out, "Persatuan ni ada tak tempat tinggal untuk pesakit macam saya ni?"

Finally! He then started to open up, saying that he needs to see for himself HIV infected people who has succeeded in life. And he ended up crying. Gosh! He must have kept so much inside him. From what I saw, although his family did not shun him, and tried their best to give him all the encouragement (including his father - although his style may not be suitable to Shamsudin's emotional needs), he probably felt inferior at home. He probably even felt as though he was a nuisance and a useless son no matter what his family told him.

Well, there are no shelter homes in Perak specifically for HIV cases, but since Shamsudin is an ex-IVDU, I intend to refer him to Perak's Persatuan Pengasih. They do have a home in Ipoh with all the much needed activities including motivational ceramahs, and they do accept HIV cases. His parents agreed that maybe he needed to stay with "those in the same boat" to boost his confidence.

I didn't have Pengasih's phone number with me off hand, but I promised Shamsudin and his parents I'd get the number for them.

CASE #5

Well, SN didn't really refer this case for counseling purpose. She just wanted to find out if we could help out Moorthy, who needs a place to stay. Moorthy wasn't even sent to the counseling room. He was unable to walk and was actually on a hospital bed which was pushed to the HIV clinic. So we had to go to the doctor's room to see him.

Now, helping Moorthy is not as simple as finding him a place to stay. Other than no longer in touch with any family members, Moorthy cannot fend for himself.

He had an accident some time ago, and all these while had been staying at the hospital ward in another town. He was brought to Ipoh GH for the HIV case and he is also scheduled for an operation in October. Operation? Both his legs will need to be amputated. Which means, whichever home he is sent to, will need to have people who will be able to take care of him as he will be dependent on others even to move around. The hospital had informed welfare department and officers from the welfare department came. But the moment they found out he had HIV, that was it. None of the gomen shelter homes seem to accept HIV cases, be it for children, for the elderly, or for OKU cases.

Sigh...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

A little update on Anita

No, Anita is still not back in Ipoh. Her bags of clothes and milk powder for her little boy are still in my car. Despite travelling light (well, the boy wasn't that light lah...) the other day, looking as though at the most she'd only travel for 2 or 3 days, it has been 5 days now and she's still at her home state.

But she did call me, three times including this morning's phone call.

The first call was the update I included in my previous posting on her "escape". The second call was on Saturday. By then she had gone to her late sister's house, hoping her brother-in-law would have a copy of the SIL's birth cert. Too bad, he didn't. Anita then asked me what to do.

Knowing that Anita had other sisters (although she didn't sound too fond of them, and likewise, they, of her), I asked her to try get a copy of birth cert of at least one of her other sisters. We just needed to show that they share the same mother, and that the mother was already a Malaysian.

Since Anita is now at her home state, and her eldest sister stays in the same state, Anita decided to go to this sister's house. No doubt before this they didn't get along too well, but I was hoping the sister would at least have a little pity on Anita. Anita just needed copies of supporting documents, that's it. And the sister doesn't even have to post the documents, Anita's there to collect the documents herself.

Well, this morning a call came in from Anita. The moment I answered the call, she immediately passed the call to another lady - Anita's eldest sister. The sister told me the only document they have is their mother's death cert. I asked if she still has her own birth cert. She said yes, but then asked if a copy of her IC would do. I suppose like most of us, since we already have our ICs, when people ask for our birth certs, we'd have to search high and low for it. Likewise with Anita's sister.

But ICs don't show our mother's name, and so her sister's IC wouldn't prove anything. Meaning, yes, I'd still need a copy of the sister's birth cert, and yes, the mother's death cert. And whatever other documents they can produce.

Alhamdulillah, the fact that Anita's sister herself spoke to me at least indicated that she was willing to help out with that bit of giving copies of the supporting documents. Or at least I hope so.

For now, I am still not sure when Anita is coming back to Ipoh. Or if she still wants to go to the shelter home. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, her eldest sister had mellowed and opened up her heart to accept Anita? Maybe the little boy managed to melt her heart? Maybe there is no need for part 2 of "The Escape"? Yeah, who knows... (but I'm not putting my hopes up too high though)

Whatever it is, I hope Anita will not give me short notice and call me in the middle of the night to tell me she's at the Ipoh bus station. I told her earlier that if she needed me to send her to the shelter home when she comes back, if possible she'd need to get a bus which will reach Ipoh in the morning (or at least during daytime), and she should call me once she buys her bus ticket so I'd know when to expect her.

I have my own life to lead too...