Day 11: Tan Pheng Chew


The morning was nothing but our usual teaching of ‘sifir’, basic grammar, addition, etc. Though it was the second last day in SK Tumunda Salimandut, the morning made me feel as though I had only been here for 5 days. In my inner most thoughts, I yearned to be back in Butterworth, lying on my oh-so-lovely bed; indulging in the well-equipped toilet of my home. Nevertheless, our consuming volunteering passion constantly drive us to bring the best out of the kids. Hence, we soldiered on.


The gist of the day came at 3.30pm, together with massive, pouring rain. We had been preparing the  Standard 6 pupils for their ‘Persembahan’. This includes our ‘Beauty and the Beast drama’, choir, sort-of breakdancing, and Anne Kendrick’s cup song. The headmaster, and a village leader delivered their respective long, winding speeches, before Amir could show off his brilliant, charismatic ‘pidato’ skills, addressing the crowd in a straightforward yet motivating manner.

The ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Drama followed on. Bonnie (as the Beast) and the Jasnita (as the Beauty) pulled off a wonderful show. The budding young actors acted and sang in an elegant manner, before Aerickly (as the orang jahat) pulled out his sword to battle. A spontaneous shooting from afar added to Aerickly’s macho-ness, though insufficient to match the fighting capability of ‘Beast squad’ which included the candle, wardrobe, teapot, and cup. ‘Semangat Perpaduan’. Beauty married the Beast. A witty master of ceremonies humorously teased ‘Bonnie’s manliness- inilah satu-satunya peluang yang boleh kita lihat kelelakian Bonnie’. Mean, but…

Then came the breakdance. The dancers were talented, and extremely passionate. Initially we thought of cancelling the dancing session, but the hype of ‘Despacito’ put our negative efforts in vain. We take out hats off to the salutable passion of the kids. Their dance was followed by a boisterous applause. Yea, super-proud of them. Cup song followed suit. Seeing a group of kampong kids performing cup song was a very unique experience, very memorable.


Beatbox is a hidden talent of many kids in Salimandut. When 4 kids went up stage to perform beatbox, the audience was utterly amazed by their extraordinary talent. One of them was literally making 3 voices at one time. Totally incredible. Then our lovely choir took place in a very systematic way.

After having our feast with delicious local food to celebrate our last dinner there, a local teacher (semi-professional artist) sang on stage. Chaos occurred, as our UK-clubbing spirit hit us on the spot (Yi Fen, and Cendy leading the way of course).

It was an emotional, unforgettable night. When classes took place at 7pm, some students shed their tears as they knew that we were departing tomorrow. It was a very touching moment for most of us because we know deep in our hearts, that they truly appreciate our presence.


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