Having planned for my umrah trip from 4th to 15th April, I had to make sure the monthly pocket money, bus fares and other monthly fees for the children under the Buddies sponsorship program were settled before I went off for my spiritual retreat. With March meeting only held on the 31st, and I needed to wait for the cheque to clear before disbursing the amounts into the various recipients’ account, I actually had just enough time before I left for umrah.
Before I left I only informed the nurses at the Ipoh ID clinic, and a few of my fellow buddies… the ones who most likely would be calling if they didn’t know I was overseas. I didn’t inform any of my clients though… there are simply too many of them.
As always, it’s when you don’t expect them to contact you, that’s when they contact you. I had just arrived at KLIA2 when Aini’s daughter sent me a whatsapp message, with a picture of her mother, in critical condition, at the hospital. I had to tell the girl I was going for umrah and thus, was unable to visit. But I also told her to update me on her mother’s condition. The girl just asked me to pray for her mother. By the time I reached Jeddah and switched my handphone back on, the last message received from the girl was, “Mama tenat.”
And if I thought that would be the last of my clients to contact me during my break, boy was I wrong. Asiah who seldoms contact me, sent me a whatsapp message out of the blues, just to ask “Akak buat apa tu?”. Then came another long lost client, Timah, sending me a text message asking if I still remembered her.
Another text message came in from Maya, this time to tell me that her daughter (who sat for SPM last year) was offered a place at a matriculation college somewhere up north. Good news, finally!
Well, at least this time none of my clients called while I was overseas. I remember when I was in Bali some years ago, Yah called me a few times. I didn’t answer initially, but when she kept calling like it was so urgent, I finally answered… and turned out it wasn’t so urgent after all. Then when I was in Bangkok in 2013, Nuri, who seldom calls, suddenly decided to call.
Well, now I’m back home, but for the moment I will still need to stick to using either whatsapp or SMS to contact people. I was down with sore-throat while in Makkah and have yet to fully recover my lost voice. Guess that means I need a break from talking for the moment. And that means no calls or visits yet.