DAY 1- 9th July 2017
(Please bear with this boring and short reflection post because day one was practically just a lot of napping and settling down to enjoy our last day of being in a civilised world… JOKING! I will try to make it as interesting as possible, I promise ☺ And also, apologies in advance because this post will NOT contain any graphics just because everyone was too shy to take selfie with each other)
It was the departure day (finally!). Most of us were taking the same flight towards KK Airport. It was about 7 in the morning. We gathered at one of the cafes in the airport, had some breakfast and chatted while waiting for the others to check in/ drop their baggage. I was super excited to finally see my two-day-old friends again (only because we all have met each other like maximum twice and two days before the departure, and no we are not two days old infants). Our flight to KK was on time and we departed from KLIA2 at 9 in the morning.
We touched down at KK Airport at approximately 12pm, looking refreshed after a 2-hour power nap on the plane. We went through immigration, picked our bags up, and UBER-ed our way to the hotel in the assigned groups of three. The weather was amazing (by that I mean no rain, but scotching hot), we checked into the hotel at 1400 and had lunch at some kopitiam nearby.
Li-Ann, Vinrea (the directors of this project) and YiFen gave all the volunteers some detailed briefings based on the schools we were assigned to. Shortly after some rest, the two teams split and had discussion and preparations on the planned activities. Our team invaded Sara’s room (because it was the most spacious one), practiced sketches for Drama and Creativity (although it was scrapped off from the schedule in the end, zzz, where we also realised who can be the real pembuli – the sketches were for anti-bully campaign if you ever wonder) and bonded.
We had dinner at a famous halal seafood restaurant (super scrumptious food 110% recommended) nearby, which took about 15 minutes by feet from the hotel. We ended the day with the final discussion and preparations for the next day, then headed back to our own rooms. #SweetDreams #LastNightWithBed&HotShower #MalayBootcampLeggo
Having joined this 2-week volunteering program was by far the best choice I have made to spend my summer. It was not an easy decision to forgo internship opportunities for a volunteering project. All in all, it was an amazing journey with 13 kindest souls, started off as strangers at a training program and became friends who are always there to support each other through this tough journey. I am so thankful for this opportunity to be able to serve the community and give back to the society, even if my presence and effort were insignificant. I was a Maths and English teacher to the kids, but the children, so pure and naïve, were teachers to me about life. Seeing how they were happy and genuinely laughing when they got to lumba lari with the volunteers, play bola sepak and volleyball, was the probably best thing I haven’t seen in years while living in a city. They have taught me how to appreciate my life, how lucky I am to be given proper educations, how to live a simple life without needing all sorts of branded stuff, and how to not take things given to me for granted. (My kids refused to use the erasers given out by us because they wanted to keep it until UPSR, that is how much better they know how to appreciate little things given in life compared to me). I also learnt that a teacher’s role is VERY hard. I have been demotivated when my kids did not manage to progress as much as the lessons I had planned for the day or when I had to repeat the same topic for 3 days, and yet they still did not understand a single thing; but what kept me strong was their determination and enthusiasm to learn. The most satisfying thing was when they understood what I was teaching, and that was the moment you felt you have achieved something great, of course not to mention my biggest accomplishment for the two weeks- my kids managed to memorise all the multiplication tables (YAS) from what is 2*3=tak tahu to 8*8=64, I am so proud of them :’) . The bonds formed with the kids in mere two weeks were unbelievably strong and goodbyes became the hardest thing with tears and sweet little notes on the last day.
Thank you for the great memories, Sabah! I wish the kids all the best in their exams and future endeavours.
So,.. if you need reasons to join this camp, (I could probably list you 100, but I am not going to because you probably won’t read them anyways):
- Great way to give back to the society, and you get to learn a lot more about education problems in Malaysia;
- You get to meet fantabulous people and live outside your comfort zone (mentally and physically)
- You gain invaluable and like-minded friends ☺
- It’s a great way to sharpen your Malay language (because it was practically a Malay boot camp for me)
Okay I lied, I have pictures 😀
Tumunda Terbaik! * Tepuk Terima Kasih*.
-Kakak Sifir/ Kakak SPM