as logged by Xin Tian
It was another chilly and beautiful morning here in SK Temuno Teringai Darat and I woke up after Jacklyn, as usual. A sense of sadness struck us when we realised that today is the third last day for us to hang out with the kids, to teach them, to play with them and to converse with them in my worst language – Malay. We are so used to living here together without phone and internet services but solely focusing on the students themselves. Even water for daily usage originates from the river nearby. Mosquito repellents, Tiger Balm, Mopiko, Zam-Buk and red body oil are daily necessities. I wondered how it would be like to return to civilisation two days later.
From 8:00am to 10:00am, all of us entered 6 Impian to teach our assigned kids Mathematics. My three Impian babies, being the best Maths students in this class, had vast differences in their learning styles. Hebarth was always attentive and her learning speed was the fastest. She solved most of the questions correctly and made me so proud. Maxonel was slightly more easily distracted when it came to learning new concepts. Nevertheless, he was smart enough to undo his mistakes and asked for ‘kerja rumah’ whenever he could. As for Alever, just like his name, he was actually a clever boy. Although he tended to be lazy and not pleased when I explained questions to him, he was happier than everyone else when he finally got an answer right. At the end of the day, it was their gradual improvement which granted me a huge sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
After class, Sean, Wei Teen and I decided to complete the mural painting while the rest of them worked on the giant farewell cards for each class. Unfortunately, the day was hotter than before and my skin got really tanned after the mural painting. It did not matter as we had successfully created one of the nicest murals in the school compound, with our names on it as remembrance. My heart felt so warm when one of the teachers bought us three cans of Revive, seeing us holding umbrellas and sweating all the time while painting.
After the ‘kelas tambahan’ for year 6 in the afternoon, we decided to polish up our Indian dance which we will be performing on Friday during ‘majlis perpisahan’. We managed to memorise every single step thanks to our patient and dedicated choreographer, Celina. It was a rainy evening and we sort of danced next to the rain. ‘There is always a rainbow after a pouring rain’, and there it was! A beautiful rainbow appeared right in front of our eyes. The sun was also setting at the same time, creating a picturesque view which captured our hearts. How I wished I could freeze the time at that moment!
There was no ‘kelas tambahan’ for the night. Instead, we had a joint birthday celebration for Mei Mei and a year 4 kid, Maglina. Their happy and innocent faces reminded me of my childhood and how I used to celebrate my birthdays with only a cake, as simple as that. It was party time when finger food was served. We also brought various snacks for the kids to enjoy.
While the kids were sleeping soundly under their blankets, we took turns to shower as usual. Britney, Wei Teen, Jacklyn and I washed our hair together on the grass while bending down. That posture was probably the main cause of my serious back pain for the past few days. However, tonight was extra special for me because I actually stayed outdoors after showering to gaze at the stars. There were thousands and millions of them in the night sky, flickering as if they were blinking at me. It was really breathtaking as this would not be visible in cities where we come from. What made my day was when I witnessed two shooting stars travelling across the sky. It was truly amazing and I felt really lucky and blessed as watching shooting stars had always been my dream. I was so stunned I even forgot to make a wish while they lasted.
Before bedtime, we drew farewell cards for our kids with a heavy heart. There were thousands of words to be written but somehow, the space on the paper seemed too small to fit.
As much as we wanted to stay here, reality is harsh and tomorrow will be our very last day of teaching. There is nothing much we can do other than appreciating every second more than ever. And here I am, waiting to fall asleep, to dream of the kids hopefully and to be greeted by the pleasant people and things in SK Temuno Teringai Darat when I open my eyes the next morning.