Monday 17th December:
I had promised the guy from the bicycle shop I’d be collecting 2 more bicycles from his shop this morning. 1 bicycle had already been delivered to Ika last week. The additional 2 bicycles were to be delivered to Mas, whose 2 primary school children need the bicycles to go to school as Mas herself is always unwell and may not be fit enough to send them to school on her motorbike. I wanted to send the bicycles to Mas on Tuesday morning, but since the bicycle shop only opens after 10.30 am, I decided to get the 2 bicycles from the shop on Monday. So yeah, the bicycles had to spend a night in my Kenari before being delivered to the intended recipients.
Tuesday 18th December:
Since the address Mas gave me just indicated the name of the kampong and no specific house number, Mas told me to give her a call once I reach the Dewan Serbaguna at her kampong. Thank goodness the kampong is listed in my GPS, and so I wasn’t really worried about getting to the kampong itself (have GPS will travel!). My only worry was if Mas couldn’t give reliable instructions to get to her house once I reach the place.
The Dewan Serbaguna itself was just along the main road, so there wasn’t any problem finding it. The problem was when I called her to ask for further directions, although I told her I was coming from town A, she just said, “Akak kena jalan depan lagi sikit. Nanti saya tunggu tepi jalan.” “Kalau dari arah saya datang ni sebelah kiri ke kanan?” “Kiri”, she said. I drove slowly further up, and looked for her, but nope. Didn’t see her. Then she called, “Akak, akak bawak kereta Kenari ya?” Apparently she was on the right side of the road where I was coming from, and when she said I was to go further up, I was supposed to turn back. Her place was before the Dewan Serbaguna. Her earlier instructions would be appropriate if I had come from town B.
I then asked if I turned back, which side of the road would she be… and she said, “Kanan.” Turned back, slowly drove, and saw her on the left side of the road. She said kanan because she was facing where I was coming from and so my kiri became her kanan…
But ah well, I did make it to her house and finally delivered the 2 bicycles for her children’s use.
Wednesday 19th December:
Another round of back-to-school shopping. Wait, didn’t I mention in my earlier posting that I was DONE with this year’s back-to-school posting?? Well yeah, I was kinda hoping all the other clients whom I did not take shopping would be able to buy first the schooling necessities and we’d reimburse them later once they pass us the receipts. But there was one lady, Jamilah, a new client during the year, who said she couldn’t afford to buy anything yet. She stays quite far from the 3 places where I had brought a few families shopping earlier, which was why I didn’t ask her to join the earlier groups. But since she needed to come to Ipoh on Wednesday for her hospital appointment, I told her to bring along her 3 children, and after she’s done with her appointment, I’d take them shopping for their schooling needs.
But Jamilah was one of the last to see the doctor that day, and by the time I got to the hospital (after I had my lunch and zohor prayer) and I called her, she had just been called into the room to see the doctor. Wow, I can imagine how restless her children were, having to wait there since before 9 am! Her eldest son, 16, came by motorbike, to cut down on cost… otherwise the bus fare from her place would be RM20 per person.
Brought them direct to Mydin’s, but knowing that they hadn’t eaten anything since morning (by then it was almost 3 pm), I took them for lunch first. Once their tummies were filled, then only I took them up to buy their schooling needs. By the time we were done, it was already 5.10 pm. Initially we were thinking of packing everything nicely first into their newly bought school bags so that it would be easier for them to carry the things on the bus when travelling back home, but the last available bus to their place was at 6 pm. We didn’t want to take any risk, it was after office hours, we needed ample time in case we got caught in a traffic jam going to the bus station. So we just chucked everything into my car and while I drove, told the boys to put everything into the 3 school bags. And yep, they managed to do so before we reached the bus station at 5.30 pm.
Thursday 20th December:
Early morning around 7 am, a text message came in from Maya. All of Maya’s children (all girls) are under our sponsorship programme and so Maya does report to me on the progress of her children’s schooling. Earlier on when I brought them shopping, Maya told me that her 2nd daughter became top student among her form one schoolmates at a fully residential school. I was impressed. This time she texted me to inform me of her eldest daughter’s PMR results. The girl scored 7A 1B. Alhamdulillah! News like these always warm the heart. They motivate me to keep on helping these families, especially involving the children’s education…