I was privileged to be given two days and one night stay in a real-life kampung…for free. Well, me and 69 others in my batch.
Twas that time of the semester, the ritual every super senior batch has to plan and go through before reaching the end of it – The IMU Community Project. It’s pretty much a template of events all the time, organize a health screening and talk for the local kampung community, with half the organizational work done by a chosen kampung angkat (adopted village). We collaborated with Kampung Parit Othman and boy, oh boy, do these kampung people know how to make an event grand!!
We started early Saturday dawn, with flesh already bitten by campus notorious mosquitoes, packet of nasi lemak in one hand and t-shirt in the other, all of us were eager and ready to charge the day. Thankfully the kampung was not very far from the relative civilisation of Batu Pahat, we were there in no time. Everybody was briefed extensively the day before and each one knew their position and role in this big intricate plan. So long we fulfil our parts and help others, we’ll be okay. My part: Test the children’s vision and babysit them. Easy job. Not too difficult…and really simple it was indeed. With re-runs of "Open Season" playing on tv and candy in abundance to indulge in, time literally just ran by.
Bunch of boys who tested the playground slide’s durability
I got my own health screened too hehe. I certify myself healthy… objectively now.
Then it was time to meet our adopted families. Two other girls and I were assigned to this very friendly man, Encik Sabnu and his family. Now, this kampung’s completely made up of Javanese Malays and their accent was heavily. I couldn’t understand him half of the time! Was relying heavily on my malay friends’ proficiency in Malay and umm, even they were sometimes clueless.
This is actually our adopted father’s house, but we didn’t live there, instead stayed with his daughter who was just next door. Her house was made of bricks, unlike her father’s, which he built out of wood alone.
We practically met the whole family, even to his grandchildren.
Here’s three of them – Nazri, Adam and Umi.
The living room of the house we lived in. It looks so comfortable, doesn’t it? Doesn’t look like a house from a kampung…..
….until you see this. *drum roll* The toilets. Yes. Outside. Eeks. This was the one thing I worried about a few days prior to the visit… with all the horror stories, and this was it. Facing the challenge. The toilets.
They were actually clean(er than I expected). One door’s through to the squatty potty (which has NO flushing system!! ), and there’s no knob to the door, therefore it doesn’t shut completely … You can imagine how much I was struggling with it.
The door to the right’s for showering. It wasn’t that bad an experience as I had nightmared about. There’s no shower, no heater (of course), and water just streams out of a pipe above your head. No tiles, just plain cement on the inside (I forgot to take pics of the insides). Nevertheless I’m actually really glad I had the experience of it (ironically) but if you ask me whether I’d repeat it again, I’d politely decline.
Had typical Malay dinner and Malay heavy breakfast. Actually I think I ate much more than I worked this weekend. Eeks. I can almost envision the fats accumulating. Let’s see what other pictures I’ve got.
Tried snapping a photo of the road. This is from the back of our adopted father’s car on our way back to the school for our telematch activity….If you can see, that’s how wide the roads, or rather road (there’s only one) is. Able to only fit a car. Imagine driving with no street lights, with some kids on bicycles playing nearby, teenage boys riding recklessly on motorcycles.
The school canteen where we usually have our morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, late evening tea… and the snacks in between.
The bunch of us waiting for the drizzle to stop so we can go out and play….
…but the drizzle did not stop and we ended up playing indoors.
Here’s a picture of William and Mr. Nistelrooy trying to compete with the much agile rest in the three-legged race.
Got back Sunday afternoon after a tiring morning gotong-royonging (well, I didn’t do much), but it was very inspirational looking around and seeing all 70 of us doctors-to-be sweating it out scrapping the walls, sweeping the floors, cleaning the windows and planting banana trees. Good job everybody!! Will post more pictures up if I get my hands on them…