as told by Kong Yi Fen, SK Temuno Teringai volunteer
We left Kota Kinabalu for Sk Temuno Teringai in the morning. After popping in the motion sickness pills, we embarked on a 3 hours journey on the bumpy gravel road. Reaching Kampung Teringai Darat, a few kids playing by the road were waving to us from outside the window.
We arrived at Sk Temuno Teringai during their afternoon study session. The hostel kids were doing their homework at their pre-allocated tables. We joined the kids and talked to them to get to know them. I felt very welcomed as they were very warm and friendly towards us.
The security guard blew the whistle and they ran off to do their ‘gotong-royong’ immediately. While they were busy cleaning the toilets and picking up rubbish, we checked their daily hostel schedule on the notice board and realized how packed the schedule was.
The whistle was blown again and it was time for recreation. We played volleyball, football, police and thief and frisbee with the kids. They were very keen and excited when it came to sports.
Soon, the guard blew the whistle and off they ran again. This time, they grabbed their pails and ‘sarungs’ and brought them to the river which was a 5 minutes walk away. The river is their usual bathing place as there is no clean running water available in the area. It was an eye-opening experience watching the girls ‘mandi bersarung’ in the river.
Soon it was dinner time. Kakak Ani, who was responsible for our 5 meals a day, was a fantastic cook. She prepared simple but delicious food and she makes the best ‘sambal’.
The extra class at night was from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Wei Yi and I were responsible for the Standard 3’s, 4’s and 5’s while the other volunteers were in charge of the standard 6’s. I found the girls really obedient and fast in completing their work while Wei Yi found the boys really hard to control. In the meantime, the other volunteers who were guiding the standard 6’s with their mathematics were surprised by the drastic gap between the 2 different classes.
Before we went to bed, we had a meeting for reflection of the day and to plan for the next. We got to know the kids attitude and academic level and we were all very motivated to provide any support they needed for the following two weeks.