First day of our Sabah adventure! All the volunteers reached KKIA before 1.00pm as we were told beforehand to book our flights around the same time, albeit flying with different airlines. We were split into groups of three based on our flight schedule so that once the volunteers reached the airport, we stayed in our groups and travelled to Lucky 11 Hotel together. Most of the groups decided to take the Uber since it was convenient and cheaper. Initially, the Rotary Club was supposed to pick us up altogether, but due to a change of plans, we travelled in groups instead. The money used for transportation to the hotel was later reimbursed by UKECharisma. Therefore, there was no need of splitting the taxi or uber fare into three – I personally dislike dividing money into three because of the cents LOL.
A majority of the volunteers were strangers to each other upon first meeting, however by the end of the two weeks, we became the best of friends. One by one, each group arrived at the hotel. All the volunteers gathered at the hotel lobby and took the chance to mingle around and get to know each other. We then checked into our rooms and freshened up before going out. We had the whole afternoon to ourselves, so some went for late lunch at nearby kopitiams while others just went to explore the area. I went to Suria Sabah with my two new friends to get some last minute necessities. 7-Eleven, Guardian and Watson, they are all here! In fact, there is also a supermarket and a store where they sell sleeping bags and camping kits. So don’t worry in case you missed out on anything! Of course, being the most organised person in the world, I came prepared, I just had to get myself a few bottles of mineral water.
By 6.00pm, all of us were ready in our best suits and dresses. The Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu was kind enough to invite us to their annual grand dinner that night at Grand Hyatt Hotel and guess who was the guest of honour? Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir! Hence, we really did dress to impress. She was introduced to our team and we had a bit of a chit-chat session with her. We also had a group picture taken with Datin Paduka and the lucky ones among us managed to take selfies with her too.
After the dinner, the volunteers returned to Lucky 11 Hotel. All of us slept early due to the long day we had had and more importantly, we had to make sure we got enough rest for the journey to Teringai-Tumunda the next day.