Yesterday being the fourth Tuesday of the month, I was in Taiping again for my clinic duty. I didn’t bother to go too early as usually the cases are referred to us quite late. I reached the hospital at 10 am and immediately headed over to the doctor’s room to inform the nurse that I had arrived. According to the nurse, there were supposed to be 3 new cases but none of them were there yet.
So I just waited at the makeshift counselling room (it’s the prayer room actually).
I always make it a point to bring along my netbook computer and usb modem, so at least I have something to do while waiting for cases to be referred. Meanwhile I texted Jay to tell her I would be at the counselling room until 1 pm. She replied saying she wanted to see me, but she had some work to do, and so she may come after 12 noon.
After a while, somebody knocked and opened the door. I saw a familiar face, but couldn’t remember who it was. I was expecting Jay, but the lady I saw wasn’t Jay.
“Kak, bulan lepas akak ada suruh saya bawa surat beranak anak semua kan?”
Ah yes! Then I remembered, this was the lady who came with her husband. Her husband was the one who was diagnosed HIV positive, and from what I gathered, his condition is quite bad although he can still walk around. Seems his liver is in real bad condition. His wife, Shima, had been tested negative, alhamdulillah… so no worries about their children.
Anyway, I told Shima I’d need to visit them at home for further assessments. She had no problem with that. However, they don’t stay in Taiping, so I’d have to make another arrangement for the visit.
Jay came in when it was nearing 12.30 pm. I told her I couldn’t consider her children for sponsorship as there were many families worse off than her. Jay was however, thankful enough that she’s getting help under our Children Education Fund for their back-to-school expenses. The monthly expenses, she can still cope.
12.30 pm? No cases referred yet? That would probably mean the new cases didn’t turn up. I went over to the doctor’s room to be doubly sure, and the nurse confirmed none of the new ones turned up. So, why should I wait any longer, right? Off I headed home.
After maghrib, I headed out again. This time to our centre for our year-end dinner. Since we’re just a small group, we just decided to order some food and had dinner at the centre. 17 turned up, all but one turned up in red as our theme was red. One volunteer turned up in blue. I’ll just take it that he’s colour blind… :)
This morning, I went for one last round of back-to-school shopping for the year (hopefully lah, there’s only 2 days left). This time it was for Yah’s children. It had been quite a while since I last took them shopping. Not that I didn’t want to, but at one time Yah was bitten by the “angau” bug, and 2 of her children were sent to an orphanage. I had to make it clear to her that I wouldn’t accept any nonsense from her if she wanted our help. She knew I was angry with her, and after a while, when she finally got back to her senses (I hope!), she told another colleague of mine that “Saya dah baik sekarang.” Hehehe…
Anyway, the last I saw the youngest girl, Aini, was when she was still a baby. I used to visit them at home, bringing along milk powder, and her late grandma always told the girl, “Tengok, mama datang!” (referring to me as the mama because I was the milk supplier – ni yang orang kata lembu punya susu, si Pi dapat nama)
Well today, when I saw the 4 children, my my they have grown! Except for Abang Chik, the hyperactive boy who still looked very much the same, the others have changed. Kak Ngah is bigger than Kak Long though. Kak Long will be in form one while Aini, the youngest girl, will be 5 and going to pre-school already! I thought it was just very recently that I was delivering the milk powder for her. Now she’s already going to pre-school? Aaargh! I’m getting old ain’t I??!
Thank goodness this family was the last that I brought for shopping. With Abang Chik, the ADHD boy around, it wasn’t easy controlling him. He simply grabbed the uniforms etc and put them in the trolley saying he wanted them all. Thank goodness, he still listened to my stern NO and put them back when I told him to. Then he just grabbed another one without even looking at the size. Finally, the only way to control him a bit was to grab him and tried out some uniforms on him, at least he knew that I was going to get him some uniforms. There weren’t any problem with the girls though.
And oh, Kak Long by the way, obtained 3A 1B 1C for her recent UPSR. The C was for her English. I noticed most of these children have problems with their English. If only they are all staying in Ipoh, I can probably give them free tuition…