Initially for Thursday’s home visits I had wanted to bring along one of the trainee volunteers with me to be introduced to the clients. He (the trainee volunteer) stays in the same town with the families I intended to visit and since both families are husband/wife clients, I figured it would be more appropriate to introduce a male buddy to them. I don’t usually introduce male buddies to single mothers as the ladies may not feel comfortable.
However, on Wednesday evening when I texted the volunteer to ask for the place to meet before we proceed to meet the clients, he replied saying he wasn’t sure yet if he could make it as he was on the way to the hospital – his father had to be admitted due to heart problems. We always tell our volunteers that family comes first, so I told the trainee volunteer not to feel obliged to come with me.
So on Thursday, off I went as the Lone Ranger! HI-O-SILVER!! (Ok folks, the theme from the Lone Ranger is supposed to be ringing in your ears right now…)
First to the home of Jeff and Riz, a couple newly diagnosed. I wrote about them here. Since I wasn’t familiar with the place, and the kampong is not listed in my GPS, I asked Jeff for a landmark, like the nearest school maybe. Jeff told me that the kampong was very near a particular school. I made sure I got the name of the school. I didn’t want another of the Tamil school incident earlier. (Actually I did ask my colleague to get the name of the school, but he insisted it was the only Tamil school around. Hah, ambik kau, kan dah tersilap sekolah!!)
When I searched for the name of the school in my GPS, yayyy… it was listed. And since Jeff did mention to just call him once I reach the school, I didn’t have to worry about looking for his kampong. Just follow the GPS instructions to get to the school.
As soon as I reached the school, I just parked my car in front of the school and called Jeff. Within minutes, Jeff came on his motorbike. Ah, his house must be nearby, I thought. Indeed, I just had to follow him into the lane right after the school, and his house was at that very same lane. It was a PPRT house, granted by the government to Jeff’s mother. Jeff and Riz stay with Jeff’s mother. They don’t have any kids (but I did see a cat) and so there were just 3 of them staying there.
Jeff’s 75 year old mother immediately came out of the house when she saw my car reaching her house compound. Smiling, she was happy that someone came to visit them. Wah, rasa macam VIP le pulak… only this time, minus the V and the I, leaving only pea-brained Pi…
Jeff’s wife, Riz, was in the house, not feeling too well. She had just started her antiretroviral and was still having some side-effects. How one’s body adjusts to the medication varies, some take longer than others.
Anyway, I clicked with Jeff’s mother immediately, especially when I started speaking in Perak dialect. But I couldn’t really stay long, there was another house I needed to visit. So after leaving a box of groceries bought using money donated by blog-readers and facebook friends, I left their house.
Next stop, the K’s. Although it wasn’t my first time visiting them, after they moved to another house in a nearby town, I had not been visiting them. So, another task for my GPS. No problem looking for their house.
It was a working day, so I knew Mr and Mrs K wouldn’t be home. But I also knew that their eldest son, Shah, would be home looking after his youngest sister, the 3 1/2 year old girl who underwent a heart surgery about 2 years ago. They weren’t expecting my visit, so it took some time before Shah opened the door. I think he was only in his shorts earlier and so he went to put a shirt on before opening the door. The little girl came out upon seeing me, and followed me to my car when I went to get the groceries out. I also left them with a bagful of clothes, again donated by friends.
That left me with one more box of groceries in the car. No, I didn’t go to visit another family on the same day. After visiting the K’s, I headed home.
I waited until the next day, Friday, to deliver the last box of groceries, this time to Fuzi’s house. Due to the increased number of new clients, I will be handing over Fuzi’s case to another volunteer who doesn’t have a client. So I needed to inform Fuzi about the arrangement as well.
When I got to Fuzi’s house, I honked. They weren’t expecting me either. But it didn’t take long before Fuzi opened the door. And behind her, her 2 younger sons, smiling as always. Yep, the same two boys who almost gave us a heart attack during our recent Family Day when they went missing (they decided to venture Lost World on their own!).
The youngest boy jumped in excitement when I brought down the box of groceries. And when I got into the house, he came running to me, with 2 small flags, a Malaysian flag and a Perak flag; then he shouted “KA!” Yes, kiddo, MERDEKA to you too!
Anyway, Fuzi told me that her children had been chosen to join a group of other children from poor families to go shop for their baju raya next week, alhamdulillah. Fuzi’s only concern was that the function will include buka puasa outside, and her HIV+ son is supposed to take his medication at 7.30 pm. Fuzi herself will not be following (the organisers are only taking the children). I told her not to worry as her 15 year old daughter should be able to take care of that.
I’m glad at least the children will be getting new pairs of baju raya.
With that visit, I am almost done with my Ramadhan visits/deliveries. There will be only 2 more of my usual month-end visits – to Sofie’s and Lin’s to deliver their monthly supply of groceries, sponsored by another club.
I plan to visit Sofie and Lin by early next week, so I can cuti raya earlier. I will be going to my brother’s house in Damansara on Thursday as I need to bring my mother for her appointment in Putrajaya Hospital on Friday. Immediately after the appointment, we will ‘balik kampung’.
BAALIK KAMPUNG… O-O-O BAALIK KAMPUNG…
What’s that? Balik kampung mana? Oh, balik to where I am staying now lah… :-)