as told by TOH WEI TUNG, SK Temuno Teringai volunteer
It was an unusual start to the day as we had to wake up extra early at 6am to prepare for the senamrobik session. After loads of pre rehearsals, we were ready and off we went to the field. We took a group photo with the teachers first before beginning the session. Waka Waka was a crowd favourite! For each song, we had different volunteers being in front of the crowd while the rest of us mingle with the kids, putting in our best efforts to get the kids to shake their bodies, enabling them to be healthy and ready for lessons later in the day. The songs surely did put smiles in the children’s faces, and we were surprised too at how well the teachers could shake their bodies to the movement of the songs! Later, the teachers introduced us to their own senamrobik song as we did a short cool down session.
After all the sweat and smiles, the group split as I was assigned to the 6 Gemiilang class. My kids, Adre and Asswann were patiently waiting for me, as Adre pulled up a chair eagerly waiting for me to teach. One thing I love most about them is their eagerness and their hunger to learn. Despite the many extra classes in the afternoon and at night, they still do not get bored and they are curious to know about many things. I found out too that Asswann was having a fever and I asked him to rest. He insisted that he wanted to learn because we won’t be here long as volunteers and that really made my heart melt. We did adjectives and we came up with many funny scenarios relating to their lives as we laughed away. I was also really impressed by their capability to learn and capture everything. Imagine learning 36 new adjectives in a day, and their spelling too! I challenged them to learn difficult words like incredible, comfortable and developed, and they did it with joy. It really hurts my heart when there is so much talent and capability to learn, but yet they are slower due to the lack of resources and exposure.
After the extra class, I got Juinn and Kallpana who were both current medic students to help patch up Asswann’s wound. He had a really horrible cut due to a bad fall and I could even see the flesh on his skin. I was really concerned too because he did not have any proper medical treatment and he did not even have cream to apply on the wound, which could be one of the reasons why he was having the fever due to infection. While Juinn and Kallpana were patching him up, the other students who want to be doctors were observing closely which sparked up their curiosity.
Update: Asswann’s wound is almost recovered now! Really glad that there was no more further infection and it is almost healed up.
After that, we head off to the Standard 4 class, where we did simple nursery rhymes to teach them fundamental English. We introduced all the body parts by drawing a guy on the board and asking the students to point to each body part. Later, we sang head, shoulders, knees and toes and the kids enjoyed it so much! They sang with so much enthusiasm, which led the kids from the other classes to peep in and look at what we were doing.
We conducted extra classes in the afternoon for the Standard 6 students while at night, I was assigned to handle the Standard 3, 4 and 5 asrama kids. After hearing about the kids being wild and running around all the time, I mentally prepared myself before stepping into the asrama.
I have never been more tired before. Boys running around, girls pestering me about acting and the few quiet kids who didn’t want to mingle around. While Hui Shen and Abigail took care of the kids who had difficulty in homework and the quieter ones who were uncomfortable with acting, I kickstarted the night by getting the kids to perform the cup song, which they did in all in sync! They mastered everything in minutes, as I was left scrambling to come up with something for them to do. We also started practicing for our performance for the Majlis Perpisahan as I narrated the story ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ and taught the kids how to act out each scene. It wasn’t the best idea being the only one chasing after 8 wild sheep and 3 wolves around the area, stopping the kids from eating grass just because they could not grasp the concept of acting and shouting at the top of my lungs every time due to the noise level. However, it was worth it as we completed the play within that mere one hour! The kids knew what to do, when to act and what to speak but it was still in BM as they were not confident in English and there was so much havoc every time the wolves attacked the sheep.
After a long day, we gathered as we had our reflection session, recalling the events that unfolded during the day, before crashing to sleep. Thinking back, I’d gladly do it again even if it tires me out, just to see the smiles and the satisfaction in the children’s faces when they could successfully complete their work or even their acting within such a short period of time.