I think it has been quite a while since I was last invited to give a talk to school students. There was an enquiry last year but after that the teacher who called me did not follow up.
So a few weeks ago, when a teacher from a nearby school called me to ask if I’d be able to give a talk to the students of her school, and I said yes, immediately I rummaged through my powerpoint files to choose one suitable for an all-girls school. I realised then that my slides were mostly not updated, especially on the HIV/AIDS statistics.
This morning, accompanied by 2 other volunteers, off I went to the school, which so happened to be the same school where I casted my vote during the recent GE13. I don’t usually mind going alone, but I was told before hand that the number of students attending the talk would be around 300, and so I figured I may need some assistance by one or two of my fellow volunteers. I am also hoping that by following me during my talks, one day they’d be able to give similar talks in future.
The talk went well. The girls seemed attentive enough. Oh of course there were some who weren’t paying attention and a few who may have dozed off during the talk, but overall, the girls did listen. And at the end of the talk, when I started asking questions (to see if they understood whatever I explained during the talk), even the sleepy ones were wide awake. Why? Because I took out small soft toys to give away to those who could give correct answers.
Immediately after the talk (and after being served some light refreshments), I headed straight to the hospital for my clinic duty. I was told there were supposed to be 2 new cases, but I waited and waited and waited… no cases were referred to me. Nearing noon, I went over to the doctor’s room, and the nurse told me that the 2 new cases did not turn up.
Just as I was about to leave, SN told me that Mar had just left their room. Ah yes, Mar. Her 2 year old daughter had recently been diagnosed hiv+ and today was her appointment at the paediatric clinic.
I called Mar. She didn’t answer the phone. Just as I was about to get to the staircase to go down, I met up with Mar. She just came out of the pharmacist’s room, getting some counselling about her daughter’s medication.
We then walked down together, met the little girl, and I gave the girl a Buddy Bear. She was thrilled! And I was happy seeing the little girl’s expression, although deep down inside me, it hurts knowing that the innocent 2 year old has to live with HIV all her life.
I’ll definitely be following up on this girl’s developments.