Day 2: Nicholas Yong

Day 2- “Reaffirmed purpose”

As told by Nicholas Yong, SK Temuno Teringai volunteer

It was our last day in town before our teams headed out to Sekolah Kebangsaaan Temuno Teringai Darat and Sekolah Kebangsaan Tumunda Salimandut respectively, having stayed at a hotel in Kota Kinabalu the night before to get supplies. So, we kind of rushed our breakfast after waking up around 7.00 a.m. as we had to get our stuff ready for loading into the trucks. We managed to squeeze in some time as well to take pictures with the Tumunda team and exchanged wishes of encouragement before heading our separate ways.DSCF1758

Among my teammates, I ‘got’ the short straw and accompanied the luggage while the rest traveled together by van to Kampung Teringai. However, I enjoyed the ride, even having a good conversation with the driver, who was a member of the Kota Kinabalu Rotary Club. During that time, I shared my reasons for joining the project and my past as a slow student and he was pretty surprised by them. However, he encouraged me to continue on and give it my all at the school. That in turn gave me a sense of affirmation and renewed strength in my purpose.

On the way however, we accidentally overshot the turning into Jalan Teringai, so we had to backtrack all the way from Sikuati and try finding it. With some help, we found the route, though we were an hour behind schedule when we reached the school. After unloading the luggage, a quick lunch on my part (the rest of the group ate while waiting for me) and saying goodbye to the driver, my team and I then started on painting the wall by the stage as part of our ‘keceriaan’ project. In the middle of it, we experienced our first rainpour for the project and were stuck at the stage for the most part. We had to wait for quite a while before the rain died down.

After the rain stopped, we checked the house and found that we had no electricity, at least for the time being. We then settled the sleeping arrangements, having the girls sleep at the main area of the house and the guys taking a side room, before unpacking our stuff. After that, some of us went to check the river, only to find it too dirty to bathe in, so we resorted to using the teachers’ toilets instead.

We then had dinner at the teacher’s canteen. The makcik managing it was very friendly and curious about us. The food there reminded me of all the good meals I had during my previous trips to Sabah facilitating youth camps. During the meal, the girls screamed whenever an insect appeared too close for their liking. Little did I realise I would have to endure such screams and stampedes for the remaining days of our stay there ☺.

After dinner, we went back to the house and sorted out our stuff until one of the teachers came to help reconnect our electrical supply. I can remember the relief we all felt when that was done. After all, even if there was no phone line, we still needed electricity to charge our handphones for other purposes, such as an alarm clock, right?

Finally, we discussed our plans for the week and went off to sleep, eager to start off the next day and prepare for the late nights to come. As I tried to sleep, I thought to myself of the day’s events, hoping to do my best and pass on my experience to the kids while learning in the process as well. Having experienced difficulty before in my studies as a kid, I hoped to give back once again to society in that regard, just as how some of my teachers have once helped me out.

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