August 6, 2012


Hello everyone. My name is Dima and i did my stint for K.I.D.S back in April. I believe it was the 28th & 29th. It was my first time there and I had no idea what to expect.

I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. Partly nervous, and partly because I was afraid I wouldn't be up in time for the 6.30am flight. Mazuin assured me I didn't need to prepare or bring anything specific for the trip. And so began the 3-hour journey from LCCT to Tawau airport.

Arwanto met us at the airport and drove us to Semporna. It was a pretty long drive, about an hour and a half. I noticed there weren't any street lights...I remember thinking it would be pretty scary driving through there at night. Anyways. We got to our chalet, dropped off our stuff, freshened up and headed to Kampung Bangau Bangau. Immediately, Mazuin called over some of the children there to get hold of Em.Gasuling, one of the committee members of the Kampung. The children brought over the K.I.D.S' teaching aids which were stored in En. Gasuling's house, and we began arranging the tables and chairs at the balai raya.

Apparently, Mazuin begin setting the classroom by sanitizing the tables with Dettol & Febreeze.
At this point I still didn;t know what we will be teaching and what my role will be. Then Mazuin began taking attendance as the students arrived at our first class. Mazuin started each session with hand sanitizer. We then  revised the alphabets A-L; first by asking them to write in their books, then by pointing out the correct flashcards, then by writing on the blackboard, and lastly by asking the children to form the letters with their friends by lying on the ground.

Its amazing how many children wanted to be in the class. I think we had 3 session that day, and some of the children tried to come in for a second round of class! Then even once we closed the doors and began class, people would be standing around and looking in from the surau next door....presumably trying to learn something. As mentioned earlier by others who've been to Kampung Bangau Bangau, not all the children were able to be signed up for our class. There's just too many of them!

When we finished that day, I was exhausted. I'm not used to dealing with so many children! Needless to say, I have newfound respect for kindergarten and primary school teachers. Mazuin and i had a nice seafood dinner, watched some tv and went to bed.

The next morning we checked out. Today we don't have Arwanto to help out so its just the 2 of us...or so we thought. Then we met Jojo. He was from the community, spoke the dialects and eager to volunteer! Apparently he's been wanting to do this a long time, but just hasn't quite found a proper channel.

The classes conducted today were pretty much the same except for the final session for the day. Mazuin tells me that this group of children are the 'Intermediate' group because they have mastered A-Z. And so, Mazuin decided to so a spelling test of just a few simple words. Those who passed were separated into a different group : Advanced....and i was to be their teacher. So for the final session, there were 2 separate classes : one with Mazuin teaching basic everyday words and the other with me & Jojo, teaching basic math. They were surprisingly good with their additions(+)! We did a few exercises, then proceeded with subtractions. And with that, we concluded the day....

We took a taxi to the airport, and later boarded our flight home. we arrived past midnight, I think. I was tired, that's for sure...I don't know how Mazuin was gonna find the energy to go to work the next morning. Hats off!

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