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)

Saturday, 4 January 2014

House Visits to Start The Year

With December being my “back-to-school” shopping month, now that school has reopened for the new year, it’s time for me to start sorting out the children’s various fees and workbooks.

For those I had brought out shopping last month, I told them to inform me via sms once they got the details of whatever amount that needed to be paid to the various schools. For those who had to use their money first to buy the children’s schooling necessities, I try my level best to visit them at home to get the receipts and to reimburse them.

While I did go to Lin’s house in December, it was for her daughter’s wedding. And so it definitely wasn’t the right time to discuss her youngest daughter’s schooling needs. Because of the kenduri, they couldn’t join the other families during the shopping either. And so I just told Lin to buy whatever necessities first, and I’d reimburse her later. Knowing Lin, I didn’t have to worry about her going over the budget.

So yesterday I went to visit Lin. It being a Friday, her youngest daughter was at school and so I didn’t get to see her. But I did get to meet Lin’s 2nd daughter, the one who just recently came back from overseas with a medical degree. She’s still waiting for her housemanship posting though, and so for the moment she’s still at home. A very responsible girl, I must say, and I am pretty sure Lin’s life will be much easier once this daughter starts working. Hopefully soon enough.

It was good to know that although both Lin’s sons didn’t do too well academically, with the older boy (who’s also Lin’s 4th) jumping from one job to another, the boy has finally settled down with a job he is happy with, and this time he’s sticking to the job long enough to get a promotion. Maybe not a “big” job, but the promotion is a start at least.

Lin’s youngest daughter is in form 5 this year, meaning this will be the last year the girl is eligible for sponsorship. I am pretty sure the girl’s older siblings will be able to help out if she intends to further her studies after SPM.

Another person I needed to visit was Laila, the orphan. If you recall my earlier postings, Laila is the daughter of the late Shila, who passed away almost 2 years ago. I couldn’t bring Laila shopping in December because the girl would usually be at her paternal grandparent’s house in another state during year-end school holidays.

So after checking with her aunt to make sure that all the details for Laila’s schooling needs were ready, I told them I’d be visiting this morning. It seemed rather quiet when I arrived, but Laila herself opened the door when she heard my car outside. Her grandma, who sells kuih in the mornings to earn some income for the family, wasn’t back from her stall yet, but Laila’s aunt was home.

Laila was just smiling all the time. However, being shy and quiet, Laila didn’t talk much. She’d just nod or shake her head every time I asked her any questions. She showed me a copy of her report card for last year’s exams. She didn’t do too well, especially in English. I asked if she needed tuition, she just smiled. According to the aunt, Laila wasn’t too keen on tuition. Laila however agreed when I suggested to her that maybe she should start tuition next year if she still couldn’t improve on her weaker subjects.

Next week there’s one more family I need to visit. Zainab’s kids were at their grandma’s kampong during the school holidays and so they too couldn’t join last month’s back-to-school shopping.

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