During our Family Day meeting on Thursday night, we decided that we’d just stick to booking confirmation for 70 pax. As at the time of the meeting, a total of 98 pax had confirmed attendance (including volunteers, clients & their family members), but based on past experiences, usually only about 70% of those who confirmed their attendance would actually turn up.
Now THAT shouldn’t be too much of a problem if we’re going to a venue which doesn’t require entrance fees, like last year’s event at the National Stud Farm. But since this year we’re going to a theme park where entrance alone would take up the bulk of the cost, and then the food which we’re not supposed to bring from outside, the package price per person is not a small amount. Imagine booking for 98 people and eventually only 70 turning up, what a waste of money it would be.
So we’re sticking to booking for 70. In the event that all 98 turns up, we’ll just buy additional entrance tickets there and then. Food? Well, we can always share the food… or if not enough, we’ll just buy separately. I don’t think the amount will exceed the amount of paying for the full package for 98 pax.
Anyway, since we’re sticking to bookings for 70 pax, we decided not to pay 50% deposit. Instead we decided to pay in full immediately. Saves me the trouble of having to go to LWOT a few times. I already wasted one trip the day earlier when the 50% deposit cheque was wrongly written.
Okay, so I went yesterday to settle our booking, and then I headed back to our center. On the way, a text message came from Ifa. Remember Ifa? The young single lady who got herself into all sorts of trouble BUT unlike the other problematic young ladies I was assigned to, Ifa never got pregnant?
Well, in her text message, she asked if I was free in the afternoon and if we could meet up. She actually asked me to “ambik baby kat rumah kakak”. Whoa! Baby? Did she say BABY??! Don’t tell me she now has a BABY!! OH NO!! When did this happen?? It had been a while since she last contacted me, but nobody, not even the staff nurse at the HIV clinic ever mentioned about Ifa being pregnant!
Then, after a while, after I got myself thinking… it finally dawned on me… Ifa is known as “Baby” amongst her family members. I never call her by that name and I’m not sure why she used her nama manja to refer herself to me, but the BABY in her text message was a 20+ year old baby - HERSELF! What a relief…
I already had other plans for the afternoon, and so no, I didn’t meet her.
Later yesterday, Sofie called. Hmmm… I had just visited her the day before, what could she need now? Did someone step on Saiful’s glasses again?
Sofie had just received a call from the staff nurse at the HIV clinic. Her next appointment at the clinic is supposed to be in November, but after getting the results of her blood tests, the nurse called her up telling her that she’d need to bring forward her appointment much earlier. They’ve set the date for early August instead.
Sofie told me that the nurse mentioned something about her CD4 increasing a whole lot. CD4 increasing? That should be good news, why the need to bring forward her appointment? Then Sofie added that the results of her blood test just came from Penang. Huh? Penang? Putting 2 and 2 together, I think the test results were her viral load tests, not CD4. And yes, if her viral load had increased a whole lot, then there’s a problem.
Sofie herself doesn’t understand all these CD4s or viral loads or whatever other medical terms. Even earlier on when she had to take some medication for some kind of brain infection, she told me that was her “ubat sakit otak”. :-)
Anyway, I told her to just make sure she goes for her next appointment so that they can figure out what went wrong. Was she not compliant in taking her ARV? Or was there something else?
Meanwhile, Sofie is back to thinking that she may be dying soon… and now she worries about her children. Whatever it is, her appointment will be after the Family Day; so come 1st August, God willing, Sofie and her children will still be joining in the fun.
Today, Saturday 17th July, I had to give another talk. This time to a group of school girls from Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh; and the topic was on HIV in general.
Then, when they’re wide awake, I get to bore them to sleep… :-)
A busy week it had been. So far no plans for the coming week other than the Family Day meeting to discuss on the logistics, especially on who’s fetching who and where. I think (and I hope) I can relax a bit this coming week.