Everyone was pretty pumped for today because we would be heading to town, Kota Marudu, which meant only one thing to all of us: internet!!! We headed there on the back of an open air truck which personally, I thought was a lot of fun although I was gripping the sides of the truck the entire time because I felt like I was going to fall out. The bumpiness of the road is apparently amplified x100 (okay, exaggeration, but still) when you’re riding the back of a truck. Anyway, Kota Marudu was about an hour and a half away from the school and as soon as we reached the main road, everyone became anti-social because we finally had line again. Haha.
In town, the first thing that I did was to get some credit for my Celcom number because apparently, you can only get Celcom coverage in Teringai. You have to walk around for ages looking for line but it’s there…. sometimes. We met up with the volunteers from Tumunda for a bit before everyone split up to settle their own things: restocking on snacks (for ourselves and the kids), buying gifts and other necessities. Meriell, Diba and I went to get some photos printed for our kids at a small photo shop. It took us a while to find the place but we just asked around for directions. Printing the photos was pretty cheap, I can’t remember how much exactly but only a few ringgit! After printing the photos, we headed to One Stop Superstore which basically has everything you need aside for food. I even got myself a comfy pillow for the rest of the week! We also had enough time to grab a quick bite at one of the kedai mamak.
We made sure to get back to the school around lunchtime so we would have enough time to get ready for our second Inspiration Activity. The activity was set up in the form of different stations and each station had their own games handled by 2 volunteers. I was paired up with Sie Kei and our station was basically getting the kids to answer some general knowledge questions about Malaysia in order to fill up a bottle with as much water as possible. Some of the other stations involved building a table using straws, a three-legged balloon fight, untangling a human hand chain and a maths related station.
After we were done, some of us continued to work on the mural while I went to wash some clothes because I was running out. Once I was done, I bumped into Qi, Joe Yi and Lena who said Mr. James was taking them out to the kampung to show them around. I didn’t have any other plans so I decided to just go along. So glad I did! First, he took us to a small hall which the Rotary Club built for the village and he also showed us a nearby house where the past Charismen used to stay.
After that, Mr. James drove us through Kampung Teringai Laut. Kampung Teringai Laut begins a little past the school, the kampung before the school is called Kampung Teringai Darat. There were so many cute pigs!! Haha. I finally understood what the kids in my group meant by “babi jalan-jalan”. The four of us were pretty jakun as if we’ve never seen pigs before.
Mr. James then took us to a small resort by the beach so he could show us where some of the past Charismen had stayed during previous years. It was under renovation but I thought the buildings which were styled after the local Rungus houses looked beautiful.
On the way back to the school, we saw some coconuts on the ground outside someone’s house and Mr. James actually stopped to ask them if we could have them and he opened it right on the spot for us. Best fresh coconut ever! The locals were really kind and wanted to give it to us for free but we insisted on making a small payment. On the way back after that, we made another stop to buy some more coconuts for the rest who were still back at the school.
Overall, I thought today was a really great day. As much as I loved being in the school with the kids, it was nice to be able to get to know the local community a bit and take a look around the kampung. A big thanks to Mr. James for always being so eager and willing to do things for us ☺