Been busy for the past five days. Over the weekend there was the awareness campaign in Kg Ulu Geroh, an Orang Asli village in Gopeng. It was in conjunction with the National Law Awareness Week, organised by the Perak Bar Committee.
I had to go there on Saturday, to set up our booth, and then again on Sunday, for the campaign itself. Although Gopeng itself is not that far from Ipoh (usually just about 20 minutes drive to Gopeng toll), we had to take another 40 minutes or so from Gopeng town to the kampong itself although it was less than 10 kilometres in. And although we did see a few cars going in and out of the place, it was more advisable to use 4 wheel drives.
We Buddies had always depended on the personal vehicles of the volunteers to go anywhere. But none of us had any 4 wheel drives. However, lucky for us, we were sharing a booth with the Perak Family Health Association, and they had a Pajero! The lady who was to represent PFHA at the booth, is only used to drive the Pajero in town, didn’t dare drive on the terrain heading to Kg Ulu Geroh, and she needed someone else to drive the Pajero for her. So it was a fair deal. PFHA provided the 4WD, and Buddies provided the driver! Yours truly had actually never driven a Pajero before, whether on smooth tarred roads or on uneven grounds, but being some sort of a daredevil, volunteered to drive anyway. And made it we did!
3 Orang Asli “Cetak Rompak”
Early Monday morning, I was again out of the house when it was still dark. This time to drive (back in my auto Kenari) to Penang for the 2nd National Aids Conference in Equatorial Hotel, Penang. It rained all the way, but although it was a rather smooth drive from Ipoh to Juru toll, the jam started as we were about to get onto the Penang bridge.
Anyway, I learnt a lot during the 3 day conference, particularly on the latest updates related to HIV/AIDS, and I am hoping to organise one session for my fellow volunteers to update them with the knowledge I gained during the conference. I think many of my volunteers are quite “outdated” in a way… they’d better equip themselves with more knowledge to enable them to carry out their work as a buddy more effectively. So many things have changed since the last training session was held for them.
One of the sessions held during the conference.