Saturday 21st May: I was in Kg Suak Petai, Manong for another freemarket. This being our 3rd freemarket, we thought we were all prepared. What we didn't prepare for, was the rain. It started raining after we had arranged the clothes, on hangers by the side of the tent. We had to quickly take them all down before the clothes got wet.
But overall things still turned out well. We managed to rearrange the items to be closer to the center of the tent, and the turnout by the kampong-folks, despite the rain, was overwhelming. Most of the items on display were taken!
Sunday, 22nd May: I was at the Kandu in Gopeng, witnessing the remarkable results of a remarkable programme called "Program Memperkasa" by Yayasan Kampar to improve English among children in Kampar district. A particular project, Reading by Moms, had been chosen for a special presentation during the coming MELTA International Conference at the end of this month. The event I attended on Sunday was some sort of a competition, where the kids, from as young as 5 years old, all to way to late teens, doing story-telling, poem-recital, and singing.... all in English. And these are kampong kids. What's so special about the project is, the moms, the kampong-folks, are trained to read to their children. I must say I was truly impressed by them, not only because of their command of English, but also by their level of confidence performing in English! Truly awesome.
Monday, 23rd May: I decided to visit a client, Aziah, whose son was offered a place for a 3 year diploma course at a college. After seeing the list of total fees for the 3 years, my client was on the verge of telling her son to turn down the offer as she couldn't afford it. This being her first experience, she wasn't well informed of PTPTN and/or other study loans. My explanation via phone earlier wasn't convincing enough I suppose. It is always easier to explain things face to face. I went prepared with all the info, all printed in black and white for her reference.
Aini called while I was driving at the highway. I told her I'd call her back as although I was on handsfree, I didn't want to be listening to people's problems while driving. And when I did call her back, she was complaining about getting billed for things that usually she never had to pay for. You see, since she has to go for dialysis every other day, the ID clinic arranged for her to get her blood test done at the dialysis unit to make things easier for her. According to Aini, she ended up getting billed for the service. I told her to either call the ID clinic and ask, or if she really wants to me to ask, she'd have to wait until my next duty at the hospital.
When I got home, I saw a text message from another client, Syaz, who told me she was feeling stressed. I immediately called her, and the moment she answered my call, she started crying. She told me she couldn't talk because she was at her parent's house, and she didn't want her parents to hear. I told her I'd call her later in the evening when she gets home.
So later in the evening, I called again. And again, she cried. When I asked her what was upsetting her, she kept on saying, "Takde apa." When I did finally get her to open up, it was very difficult to unstand what she was saying because she was crying while talking. All I could manage to figure out was that it had something to do with her husband. I thought it would be easier if I could meet her face to face rather than listening to her on the phone, but for the moment during daytime, she'd be at her parent's home to help take care of her father who was recently involved in a road accident. Since her appointment at HRPB is in early June, I told her I'd try to meet up with her then.
I sure hope she's taking her ARV regularly and on time. All the stress, the worrying and the crying are definitely not good for her pregnancy.