On a ginger adventure we shall go :)

14 03 2005

Originally uploaded by Kavangel.

Janda Baik ver 1.0 from kavs

Bright and early Sunday morning (two phrases which should never be put together!), racing past the KL Marathon runners – perfect beginning to an “adventure” innit?

Well, thanks to the runners, most of us were late and thus the dear ol rotarians ditched us. Nasib baik managed to catch up with em sumwhere at the petrol station (which acc to ganesh serves the best nasi lemak on the highway). And after the winding and rewinding (U-turn la cos wrong road), we reached the Rotary health camp where we were immediately put to work registering & translating.

not much i can say about registering, same ol writing of weirdly pronounced names… oh, but havta mention this funny one – li sun asking the pakcik if he is a “binti or anak lelaki” and us trying la to do calculations and figure out the people’s ages.

Think I also built some muscles by lifting all those heavy prize boxes, and yeah, there was the awesome orang asli dance they did that we joined in (how low can you go? apparently not as low as the makcik and pakciks!!) and guest lavinia entertained the kids with some “city” dance of erm, macarena.

all in all was a fun trip, though was really tired by time we left (packed with ginger and ubi kayu). Not bad for an adventure that started bright and early one Sunday morning 😉

Janda Baik ver 2 from Celes

I thought the Janda Baik trip was fun … especially since I wasn’t one of the drivers for the day : P

Got to enjoy the scenery. The journey there was great because the scenery AND greenery was a sight for sore KL city eyes! Janda Baik is situated on higher ground and can be quite cool in the early mornings.

Upon getting out of the car, we immediately felt a change in the temperature, it was cooler. Helping out with the doctors’ check up was an easy peasy job … all I had to do was usher and speak some Malay : )

I was pleasantly surprised to hear a few orang asli girls speaking fluent English! After all the check ups and dispensing of medicine were done, there was time for some fun when we joined the orang asli in dancing to the beat of their traditional “instruments”. First Lady Juanita was also there shaking her bon bons.

I had a good time at Janda Baik with the Rotaractors, our new found friends and guests, the Rotarians and their Anns. And oh, I bought 1 kg of very good quality ginger from the orang asli, at ONLY RM7 (the Janda Baik ginger are exported overseas for its medicinal value). Beats any ginger you get in town, those are imported from places like China, so I was told ; )

Janda Baik ver 3 from Sham
…apparently the tapioca was a good choice too and at RM4 for 2 kgs, although slightly on the expensive side, it was of the right texture, right colour and definitely the right taste…if there was a book called “Root Plants for Dummies’ I would be first in queue…

Anyway, I would agree the drive up to this Orang Asli settlement was not so much of a dream come true, but just the very best, next to nothing, sort of thing, anyone could get away to from the hazy KL! The fog-capped mountains and the morning dew from the green tropical trees was just a breath taking sight. Irregardless of the nauseating, giddy, sick-in-the-stomach winding narrow road drive up the mountains, it was a trip worth our deprived beauty sleep hours that Sunday morning.

The Mini Health Drive organized by the Rotary Club of Kuala Lumpur was another of their Health Drive campaigns which saw medical practitioners from the Club and the Rotary Club of Raffles City, Singapore patiently listening to the woes and cries of the residence of Janda Baik. They lent their ears, time and effort as well as expertise and attention – from checking of blood pressure to counseling on malnutrition, from advising on oral hygiene to treating burnt victims, from checking eye sight to general cleanliness – these doctors heartily kept the residence smiling and happy, while they themselves were entertained by the quick remarks and endless banter of the residence. The Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospial brought their mobile Eye Hospital and did eye tests for all as well.

We rotaractors had our time of fun too. Li Sun with her Malay translation, Ganesh as the Guard of Honour, Kavita and Crystal the strict queue mistresses and paper weights (the wind was so strong that most of the time was spent picking the registration forms from the ground!!!) and the rest as translators for the doctors.

Li Sun and I tried to contain our laughter and looks of amazement when the 10th or 11th kid came and claimed to be Encik Yap’s child! And wow…Encil Atut was not going to let competition get to him…and so children of Atut came in rows…

Some took the opportunity to venture further from the Camp and into the settlement and learnt that the houses do not have running water and electricity, and most of houses have just one open space with mats laid out and no rooms.

It was yet again another meaningful and successful project completed and apart from us having a wonderful time, we took the opportunity to mingle with the locals, participate in the local thigh-endurance-testing dance and buy lots of ginger and tapioca only. Sorry mum…we were told there would be fish…




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