Yes, I finally went out with the kids of Darul Ihsan this morning.
I reached Darul Ihsan at 9.30 am and was greeted by the faces of eager beavers aka volunteers. I shook hands with those who were there and introduced myself.
We were then ushered to the canteen where we met and had an introductory session with the kids. We then chose and took charge of 2 kids each.
Mine was a 9 year old girl, Nurun Najwa and a 16 year old teenager, Roslina.
As I walked towards them .. my heart skipped a beat .. I was excited .. like really really excited for I do not know what to expect of these two girls.
And yah, I least expected the worse, my teenage charge wasnt responsive. She refused to look at me or even acknowledge me. Her mum and grandma were there and that might have triggered some sadness in her. I realised she was crying when I tried to talk to her. Once I saw that teared-up face, I lost it and soon I was tearing too. Najwa on the other hand owns an ultra bubbly personality. We clicked rather easily.
We then set out in a chartered bus and headed down to Shaw Prince to watch Ratatouille.
I was sitting alone on the bus while Najwa and Roslina sat together. At this point, I still do not know what Roslina was like. All I get when I tried asking question was a stoned face or head shake which literally means NO.
OK, I tried and I was still giving her and myself time. I was optimist that she'll open up.
So I spent my time talking to Najwa, trying to bond with her. (Oh yah, we had to walk abit coz there was a traffic jam becauce of some triathlon competition going on.) Najwa is a rather chatty girl, loves to talk and asks lots of questions.
At the movie, I sat next to my older charge, Roslina and she started talking to me "Kak nak tak?" as she offered me the popcorn she was holding. Oh my god!! .. only god knows how I felt at that time .. I was like "hey, she's started talking lah"
After movies, we walked to Arab Street (pic above taken by Najwa)
and we had lunch at Cafe Le Caire.
And I walked hand in hand with Najwa, answering her many many questions, letting her play with my camera and snapping pix of her fellow friend.
I was happy to see her happy! She saw the DHL balloon and mentioned her interest to ride on it. I havent been on one myself and so I thought to myself that one fine day I'll bring her together with my kids to take a ride on the DHL balloon.
While there at the restaurant, Najwa, being the chatty and friendly one, had other volunteers attending to her and so I sat next to Roslina instead. This point on the soft spoken lass started to make small conversations with me. (I was happy nak mampos ok). She asked questions like "Kak umur berapa", "Kak dah watch Love is Cinta", 'Kak kerja apa" "Kak you have friendster" "Kak you have MSN" and we had the most beautiful conversation even though questions or answers were abrupt or short or straight to the point! The fact here is Roslina had finally opened up to me! That was a big improvement from when we first met!
Lunch was definitely good. We were served salad, pita with hummus, rice, roast chicken and keema.
Free flow of soft drinks and dessert.
We also had mini cupcakes .. really pretty mini cupcakes which an anonymous contributed.
After lunch, we had a sharing session facilitated by one of the volunteers, Izati. The kids were given papers to share their details. What we actually wanted to know was their aspirations and their interests so that we can plan activities in the near future based on information that we've collected.
Then I took pictures of the kids ..
Shamim, 13 years old, Najwa's brother, a rather playful boy but very outspoken and articulate .. his ambition is to be a lawyer. I soooooooo love this picture very very much .. just look at them .. I could see sooo much love between them in this picture alone!
Roslina and another kid, 17 years of age (oops I cant remember her name)
Nazhirah in blue, only 13 and attending Katong Special School
Roslina, Najwa and me ..
We left the restaurant past 3 pm and headed back to Darul Ihsan. And this time around, on the bus, I didnt sit alone, Roslina wanted me to sit with her and Najwa and so the three of us shared two seats among us. We talked and talked all the way back to Darul Ihsan.
We then gathered at the canteen once again and gave out the goodie bags and more pictures were taken ..
Najwa feeling chef gitu ..
Last pic of me and Najwa taken by Roslina .. oh yah .. Roslina used to be in the photography club in school before!
Before we said our goodbyes, we took a tour around the home. Oh boy, it was difficult at least for me to part with them. I thought, just as I wanted to get to know my charges, esp Roslina, we had to say goodbye. You think it's easy? Go figure! Me being the crybaby, of course was teary eyed!
Oh well, mummy's insticts are in me I suppose .. suddenly I felt like they were like my own daughters .. :-)
For now, I will definitely remember Najwa's wish to go on the DHL balloon ride and Roslina's birthday and her wish for me to go visit her again.
PS: Roslina, good luck for your N level exams! Do well, and make all of us proud aite!
TRIVIA: Think Nurun Najwa and think this year's Anugerah. Does she resemble anyone?