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, 6 May 2015

After 8 years of blogging...

When I first started blogging in March 2007, my main objective was to share stories of the families I deal with in my voluntary work. Since my voluntary work involves sensitive and confidential issues such as HIV, I made it a point not to use real names in any of my stories. I felt the need to create awareness among the public about what goes on in the lives of people living with HIV and their families. Simply telling people the basics of HIV didn’t seem to have much impact as compared to sharing the trials and tribulations of people living with HIV.

The objective still remains, and while many fellow bloggers have abandoned their blogs after many shifted to Facebook, I never abandoned mine.

Of course my blog doesn’t get updated as often as it used to. Back then when blogging was the trend, there were times (like the time when I had to deal with the birth of my Little Cek Mek) when I’d actually update my blog almost every day!

Despite no longer getting many readers, I make it a point to update my blog from time to time, because I actually managed to get quite a number of donors (who don’t even know me personally) through my postings on this blog. They don’t get annual reports from Buddies, so any updates on whatever goes on in my voluntary work, they can get them through this blog (that is, if they still read my blog).

It was also through blogging that I got connected with so many marvellous people… fellow bloggers and blog readers, many of whom are now on my friends list on Facebook. Some I’ve met, some I’ve yet to meet till this day.

Well, somebody came up with the idea of reviving those good old blogging days, and today, 6th May, has been set as the #blogreviveday, when bloggers are to revive their blogs with new blog postings. While I don’t have to revive my blog because I never abandoned it in the first place, I decided to join the other bloggers in publishing a new post today.

And since many of my old (“old” as in both lama and tua… hehehe) blog readers had not been visiting my blog for quite a while, I guess it is appropriate if I give an update on my clients whose true life stories used to be highlighted in my blog postings during the first few years of my blogging days. I wonder if you remember people like Shila… Yah… Lin… Mr Darling… Fuzi… Nuri… Sofie… Mr & Mrs K…

Shila passed away in 2011, leaving behind her one and only daughter, Laila. Laila was still in primary school then, about to sit for her UPSR that year. Laila has since been taken care of by her grandma and her aunt at her grandma’s house. Time sure flies, she’s a big girl now, already in form 3 this year. She is still covered under our Education Sponsorship program and so I still do visit her once or twice a year.

Yah? Her stories back then sure added a lot of varieties to my blog, huh? Going angau over Mr Darling (Lin’s ex-hubby). Flirting around with men as her revenge because she got HIV from her late husband. Leaving her children under the care of her parents and the 2 older ones even went to stay at an orphanage once. Well, at one time I thought things had been going well for her after she got herself a job at a factory and her children were all staying back together again. In fact her children are doing reasonable well in school. But recently she started to come up with all sorts of excuses again after she lost her job. A fellow volunteer of mine tried to help out by calling a friend at the factory where Yah used to work, but even the friend couldn’t help because on her personnel records were written “NEVER TO BE HIRED AGAIN” because of all the problems she had been giving her employers.

As for Lin, I only contact her from time to time now because her family is already independent. Her 4 older children are all working, one of them graduated with a medical degree and is now doing her housemanship at a general hospital. Lin’s 3rd daughter is also already married. (Hmmm… wonder if Lin is already a grandma, I think I will call her for another chat soon…)

Mr Darling… Lin’s ex-husband, the guy who once asked Yah to marry him during their first ever meet at he hospital. After Yah became all angau over him, he freaked out. And after several failed attempts to coax Lin to remarry him, he then married a lady, who also has a daughter about the same age as his own youngest daughter. I later found out from Lin that Mr D were facing police charges for molesting his step-daughter (his eldest daughter was so mad as he forced her to go to the police station to bail him out, calling her anak derhaka if she refused). They got divorced but he somehow managed to coax the 2nd wife to drop all charges against him and so now he’s roaming free.

Done with the Yah-Lin-Mr Darling twists, next up… Fuzi, the Indonesian lady with 5 children, the youngest, Iwan, born out of a rape case and is fatherless. While the first 4 children are all considered Malaysians by virtue of having a Malaysian father, Iwan doesn’t have Malaysian citizenship as Fuzi herself had not even obtained PR status despite already staying here for almost 20 years. Initially Fuzi thought she got HIV from the rape case, but later after the children got tested and it was found that her 4th child, Ijam, was infected, it was clear that her HIV didn’t come from the rape case but most probably from her late husband. It was only then that Fuzi told me how often her late husband used to go to Golok with his friends when he was still alive.

Anyway, Fuzi’s eldest daughter is now taking up an accountancy course at a local university. Her 2nd daughter is in form six, and although she had not been doing too well in her studies previously, she seems more motivated to do well now after seeing her eldest sis going off to university. Fuzi’s family may still have some problems from time to time, but at least things are looking a lot brighter now.
Next up… Nuri. You may recall that Nuri’s youngest daughter is also HIV+. The girl is already in form 5 this year and seems to be doing okay, healthwise. Nuri’s eldest daughter is also already working while her 2nd daughter is taking up a nursing course.

Sofie passed away 3 years ago. While I tried my utmost best to make sure her children continued their studies, not everything went according to plan. Sofie’s sister, Ros, was also very cooperative, but 2 of Sofie’s sons, Azman and Saiful, are now leading their own lives away from the family. Azman didn’t even bother to get his cert from the culinary school I sent him to, while Saiful ran away from home before even sitting for his PMR after his aunt Ros scolded him for playing truant in school. Ros & her husband even lost their jobs after taking so many days off work to look for him. Since then they’ve moved back to their kampong in another state, taking the youngest girl, Ika and the eldest boy Azlan with them. Azlan, who also used to be a problematic boy himself, is now doing quite well after I got him a place at a vocational college, doing a course he likes. Well, at least there’s still something I am happy about for this family.

Last but not least… Mr & Mrs K! Ahh, the family who never seem to have enough money, no matter how much they get. Mrs K always tried to borrow money from me. I never gave. We only help out with the children’s education, and those are not loans. Last I heard Mr & Mrs K are now living separately as Mrs K could not take it any longer. The eldest son, Shah, is working and despite my attempts to coax him to at least go for a short vocational course to at least get a cert, he never did. But all is not lost. The 2nd daughter is now at a college doing a diploma course. The younger 2 children, including the youngest girl who underwent a hole-in-heart surgery at IJN once upon a time, are still in school. I do meet them at least once a year for their back-to-school shopping.

There are many other families I’ve blogged about, but am not sure how long this posting is going to be if I were to give updates on each and every one of them. Let’s save some stories for later, ok?


ManaL said...

Salam kak pi bani, looking fwd to your whimsicals again :D

Pi Bani said...

Welcome back to my blog, Manal. :)

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Gua caya sama lu lah, LawnMower Woman....hahaha

Unknown said...

I am from Community AIDS Service Penang and I find your blog interesting. I hold the post of Hon. Secretary and am involved In education programmes and nursing care of the AIDS patients at the shelter here in Bkt. Mertajam. I look forward to reading
your blog. Congrats.

ZABS said...

You always have good stories to tell. Tqvm Pi.

Yati WTL said...

salam perkenalan

Muni Samad said...

Hi Pi,
Have added you to my blog reading .. will come back to read other postings...

Pi Bani said...

Dah lama tak ada seramai ni mengomen kat blog... :)