Friday March 26, 2010
We all moved by college bus along with the rugby players heading towards Tambun, and arrived at about 6.30 p.m. Upon arrival, we performed the solah together in simple congregation to strengthen the bond with the current little residents. Then, at around 9.30 pm we started the brief ta’aruf or with the rugby players themselves in order for the kids to get to know all of them better. Most of us, Love Symphonians are actually recognized and known by the kids since our first visit. Then, we also managed to conduct a simple ‘Musical Chair’ game for the kids to enjoy before their sleep. The winner are rewarded for his/her participation and patience throughout the game, which is played quite fairly.
Saturday March 27, 2010
The day starts early with Subuh prayers, before dawn. The kids are usually early birds, typically energetic for a new day with us and couldn’t wait to enjoy the fun. So, we gathered the kids around 7.00 am for a morning jog and a few slots of warming-ups and physical exercises. They really enjoyed the fun, loosening the muscles and joints in their bodies. The one enjoying it the most are probably the younger ones, smiling widely with satisfaction beyond that hopeful look on their faces. The rugby players and their coach also conducted a short rugby clinic until 10.00 am with the kids at the nearby field. They thoroughly enjoyed the sports, giggling innocently as they tried their best to pass and catch the rugby balls flung between them in a manner of pure sportsmanship inculcated in them. Some of the Love Symphonians decided to revamp and re-establish the worn-down site used to be a nursery for the vegetative and other shrubs. We had a vision to clean, beautify and make a total makeover on the garden patch, with coal black, damp soil. We cleared the area from unwanted weeds, pests such a s the millipede, a few little rodents that inhabit the ground and cultivate the soil occasionally to allow good air transfer within the soil. It was sweltering but worth every drop of sweat, as we get rid of the excess grass, and reconstruct the garden patch with a barrier gate using sticks and raffia rope and we made a really nice archway on the entrance. We eliminate the excess weeds collected through controlled combustion, while maintaining the equilibrium of nature of that area. We were really proud with ourselves once the patch was finished for the burying of the seed ceremony the next day. About 75% of our plan is somehow finished and we shall continue it tomorrow as agreed.
Then, we organized a slot for the children to spread around their joy and happiness through implementation of arts and craft. The slot was aptly named, too as ‘Let the Drawing Talks’ The children are very cooperative and enjoyed the activity so much, as we helped around to pass the colours, pastels, crayons, plasticines, etc. it was so memorable when some of the little girls wrote that ‘To my sisters and brothers, thank you very much and may Allah bless Mara College Banting and all of us.” It was indeed very heart-warming when one of the boys wrote in Arabic ‘haza Bayyiti wa ana uhibbu’ which literally meant ‘this is my home, and I love it here.’ Then, some of them produced fantastic displays of childish masterpieces in different assortments of colours, shapes and geometry. I really love that they let loose and get in touch with their artistic side through and through. They visualized their own dreams and desires when they grew up, like owning a business, be successful leaders, and even inspire other orphans as a devoted teacher.
We also bought a few bookcases for them and brought along a few piles of educational books for them to be knowledgeable and increase self-awareness among themselves. By reading more, they can become more assertive and informative to prepare them for future ordeals, either bad or not. The mini library will be stationed within their classes for them to take a book and read, thus challenging their mental alertness of current issues. Another group of the Love Symphonians had been given the task to clean, arrange and decorate the children’s classes until perfection, in order for them to be in a conducive class for them to receive further education as preparation for their own future. Then, at about 11.00 am, we started the academic race which is aiming for the academic development of the children. They are divided into two groups of boys and two groups of girls. They need to solve quizzes, do role-play games, puzzles and at the same time running for the first prize. They can be a bit competitive and vying for the best in them, and some of the younger ones did cry a little due to extra heat while chasing for checkpoints. They performed to the par and I’m terribly impressed by their skills as leaders, followers and they practice proper communication between themselves. At some point, they did bicker over littlest things but that made them more stronger in bonds. They were very innocent, sometimes blaming each other hysterically if one of the tasks are done poorly but after that, they quickly forgive and forget. The race was really successful and they become aware of their own mental capabilities to become a better person, body, mind and soul. Then, a few of them who are taking major examinations are required to practice using ICT and Internet as a medium for them to study and learn more for the exams soon. We bought a few sets of educational softwares for them to fully utilize them as study kits via Internet, as the questions are answerable through the portal for every subject in challenging questions. They are becoming acceptive towards the usage of technology, as we funded for their own local router so they can browse the Web for the usage of the educational softwares called Score A program easily without much fuss.
Meanwhile, the others are gathered to practice and perform rehearsals for the Cultural Night. They have to perform their best as they will be given awards for their skills as actors or actresses. One or two are too shy, and even cried for not wanting the role given by us but some excelled wondrously. The plot is about Si Tenggang, the ungrateful son who disowned his mother after he became a successful businessman at the seas and finally, being cursed by his mother to be a stone statue for his ignorance. I have to say that I’m really astounded by their performances, even though it’s just a rehearsal but I’m proud of all of them. One of the younger girls volunteered herself to become a chubby tree, and made the costume all by herself which is really respectable. Then, their acting was highly commendable as they shed their own humiliation and shyness to become confident actors. They are being very cooperative and give all out as fullest support for the play. Then, some of the boys are taken by bus to a residential school nearby to watch a friendly rugby match between our college’s team and another college’s rugby team. In the end of the day, we practically won effortlessly and the children jumped and screamed with joy as support for our college’s team. They claimed that it was a really entertaining game to watch and very unforgettable.
At night, we prepared BBQ for the children and their caretakers and apparently, all of us. We made spicy marinated BBQ chickens, fried rice, mashed potato, hot dogs, burgers and orange juice. it was a splendid night after the children had already attempt to present a very hilarious yet meaningful play of Si Tenggang. We all enjoyed the food, share stories and laughed out loud together as we sat near the campfire closely. The night became lively as we sing and dance together just for fun of it, and release the tension for some. The sketch was magnificent as the spectators was really entertained by their ludicrous antics and catchy lines but all and all, it was really worthwhile to train them to act on the afternoon. They really put up to the standard and everyone enjoyed so much with full tummy.
Sunday, 28 March 2010
By 7.00 a.m we started the morning routine of exercise and jogging while the rest of the crew cleaned the class, and some further decorated the garden with white marble pieces as walkway into the garden. We worked really hard in order for the classroom, hostel and the surrounding are to be pristine clear and beautiful inside and out. The children are very optimistic and praised us highly for our effort and we replied that these are all genuinely done as an act of compassion, our sweats and tears are solely for their own benefits and to encourage them to be the best that they can be. We didn’t even ask for anything as long as they made ourselves proud and our efforts are worthwhile when they proved themselves changed and committed for their own success in future. Then, we played Jeju Island 2 as a way to inculcate awareness, time management, soft skills, teamwork, sensibility and so much more. They were fast learners and they can cope with the tasks given as efficient as they possibly can.
Then, they are introduced with a slot to dedicate them with the wonders of science and discovery through ‘Magical World of Science’ where the facilitators are acting as mad scientists to perform tricks like volcano eruption using sodium bicarbonate, the floating egg, and so much more dazzling experiments that the children was in absolute awe. They were really enticed and excited with the feat shown by the facilitators, giving a full round of applause, and thus triggering them to be inquisitors and asking for explanation. This is a successful slot as some of the children themselves have the knowledge to explain the process and experiments really well, even without guidance as their sense of observation was really honed up. Then, they were allowed to watch all the compilation of pictures taken throughout the stay and videos through the projector system, and we shared happy and sad memories together. They laughed at the funny moments, and wept a lot when we had to go back to the college, since that they really appreciate our presence there and they confessed that our presence really made an impact towards their life and they promise to set goals for them to achieve and improve themselves along ten way. It was a really momentous, and sentimental goodbye for all of us, particularly the children who grew so fond of us and been treating us like their own brothers and sisters. All I can conclude is that ten second visit was a really successful one as we left a lot more than just inspiration, but physically we left them with educational tools and so much more as aid for them to become better people.