TODAY WAS D-DAY, they called – It was 6 early in the morning when the first alarm rang. We either had a bread in our hands and never got the time to eat or had it munching in our mouths as all of us were busy checking the hotel rooms for one last time and moved our luggage to the lobby, making sure no one and nothing was left behind. After a group photo, we bid farewell to Teringai volunteers and embarked on journey to our schools respectively.
Everyone says “Life is like a roller coaster.” and I say the ride to our destination was the real deal. Thanks to the motion sickness pill, we all survived it. Sitting at the back of the van, waves of thoughts flooded my mind; from saying goodbye to a comfy bed and hot showers to the excitement from wondering what is going to happen in the coming 2 weeks. Little did we know this was just the beginning of a life changing and memorable trip we are about to experience.
Upon arrival at SK TUMUNDA SALIMANDUT– what came to sight was those cute little creatures already lined up in 2, waiting to welcome us any second. For the first time in our lives we were so welcomed by people we barely know, and the smiles on their faces just assured me even more that I, I mean we, have made the right choice of joining this project.
Introduction– Believe it or not, introduction of ourselves had never been this hard as we had to say it in Bahasa Malaysia, and of course in a very formal proper way. Since most of our BM was very rusty, it made complete sense how Wei Wen who is 20 this year stood up and started with:
“Name saya Wei Wen. Umur saya…err…DUA BELAS!”
Even typing this out had me laughing. Imagine at that moment of time, there was only silence for a second and what left afterwards was laughter. Therefore, she was called “KAKAK DUA BELAS” from this day onwards to the very last day of our project.
After all the warm welcoming speeches, we were brought to Shane’s (one of the teachers) house as the hostel this year was opened up to all the standard 6 students; therefore, there wasn’t enough beds to accommodate 14 of us. We girls were lucky to have 2 bedrooms shared among the 9 of us, and as of the boys they had to sleep in the living room nyehehehe but ok la the living room is super spacious. After settling down, we officially started our first activity of the project! YAY!! We played a series of ice breaking games so the kids could know our names better and the games got the kids hyped up in no time.
Also, the YDP got us coconut water freshly taken down from the trees and it literally made the super hot weather so much more bearable. Couldn’t be any more grateful for that!
When the clock hit 9pm, we ended our night class and ushered the kids to dewan makan for minum malam and the volunteers took turns to shower after such a long day. On a side note, 14 people sharing one toilet isn’t easy haha. We then had our first ever reflection session when everyone was done. Before the light dimmed, we bid each other goodnight and get ourselves ready for another long day ahead; went to bed hoping for more good days to come!