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, 5 December 2012

Back-to-schook shopping 2 : Sofie’s children

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After a one day break from back-to-school shopping on Tuesday because of the exhibition in conjunction with World Aids Day in Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh, today I continued with round 2 of shopping, this time with Sofie’s 2 youngest children, Ika and Saiful.

It had been quite some time since I last went to visit them at home, so this time I figured I might as well just bring the 2 of them instead of bringing them together with other kids from a few other families like I had planned earlier. Besides, Saiful needed to get a new pair of glasses done, so it was more practical if I brought them out separately.

Told the kids I’d fetch them at 10 am, when I got there 10 minutes early, they were ready. Even their Aunt Rozi was home, but she didn’t come along shopping with us as she was actually on MC. Without the aunt, I had to help them choose the schooling necessities, especially their uniforms and shoes. (usually when I bring the children out shopping, I’d just let their mothers/guardians help their children choose and I’d just pay) Ika and Saiful weren’t really the fussy type, so there wasn’t really any problem in that department, although I had to keep reminding them of what else to buy.

“Apa lagi belum ambik?”

“Dah, semua dah ada.”

“Pencil colour dah ambik?”

“Eh, ha’ah, lupa!”

We finished shopping before noon, then I brought them for lunch before we headed to the optical shop where Saiful did his glasses before. And why on earth did he have to make a new pair? You see, he wore his glasses while playing football in school and while trying to catch the ball (he was the goalkeeper) he knocked the goalpost and broke the frame into 2! His aunt went to a few optical shops trying to get new frames without having to replace the lenses, but all said they didn’t have suitable frames. He’d have to make a new pair and with the high power (950/750), they all said they’d have to charge RM500 at least. And how much did I manage to get the new pair for Saiful today? RM400.

That done, I brought them home. Ika said she had to go for tuition at 2 pm. Tuition? Yep, their next door neighbour offers very cheap tuition for children within the neighbourhood at RM8 per month (she just wants to help the kids I think, RM8 charged just as a token amount), but for Ika and Saiful, the lady gives them FREE tuition. I guess, knowing the children’s situation, she just wanted to help them. May Allah bless her!

Since I was there, I figured I might as well get some updates on their older brothers… the eldest, Azlan, now doing a mechanical course in IKM, and Azman, the culinary boy, remember?

Apparently Azman did not complete his course at the culinary school. He had been using his Tabung Kemahiran loan to spend like a rich man’s kid. And making things worse, his aunt (the one who had earlier spread to the whole kampong about Sofie being HIV+) kept on calling him, asking him to stay with her. And so he did. After failing to pay his hostel fees for a few months and the admin of the school kept reminding him about it, he just simply left. Just like that. What a waste! What he still doesn’t realise until now is that HE is the one who loses. Not anyone else.

Azman is so bigheaded he even uses “aku” and “engkau” to talk to his Aunt Rozi. Rozi has given up on him. If he prefers to stay with the aunt who had caused so much suffering for his mother when she was still alive, then there wasn’t much Rozi could do. Azlan, the older brother, tried to advise him, but they ended up fighting. Even Saiful and Ika got pissed off with Azman.

As for Azlan, according to Rozi, he seems to enjoy the mechanical course he’s doing now. As a matter of fact, even though he is just about to complete only his first semester of his 2-year certificate level course, he is already considering going on to diploma level. Good for him! I hope he will succeed.

I guess we can’t win them all. For the moment there’s not much I can do about Azman but to hope and pray that he will one day realise his  mistakes and change before it’s too late. As for Saiful, he will be sitting for his PMR next year, and since his interest also lies in the mechanical line, he is hoping to join a vocational school in form 4.

Ika is still in primary school, not doing too bad in her studies (she was 9th in class for the last school exam). I hope she will continue to see the importance of education for her future…

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