Monday, March 23, 2009


Venue : Forest Reserves Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), Kepong
Date : 17 - 19 March 2009

I was indeed very grateful that I was invited to join the group in their 1st outdoor camping at FRIM. This may not be the first outdoor adventure for them but is their FIRST outdoor camping with minimal facilities.

Yes, for many of us, there may not be any challenge since we still stay in chalet and electricity is provided. But this is not the same for the youths with learning disabilites and physically challenged. This is not my first experience but I always look forward to such event as they truly taught me about life and being appreciative for what I have.

We departed from Taman Tun Dr Ismail at about 11.30am with 5 of the youths and another one joined us the next day. Arrived at FRIM before 12 noon. As we approached the camp site, we found our camp site was across the hanging bridge. Some were excited but we were worried for Choong Jien as his limbs are weak and may have difficulty to cross the hanging bridge. While most of us made our way to the chalet, Choong Jien stayed behind to take a short break. Later, assisted by Fendi (the Community Support Assistant for the OPTIONS program) he slowly made his way to cross the bridge.

Despite being physically challenge, Choong Jien is indeed a very determine young man. He crossed the bridge step by step with little help from Fendi. Bravo!

(Looking on from behind : Yin Chun, Choong Jien and William) Hey! Look what I found . . . FOOD! Heheheheee . . courtesy of Wendy - Chung Jien's mum. Its stewed chicken . . . . . . eeeeemmm yummy, yummy...

Trying to start the fire. We put in lots of dry leafs to create as much smoke hopefully will scare the mosquitoes (our no. 1 enemy at that time) away and later added in dry branches for a small campfire.

Oouch! What's going on? Walking round the fire? When the flame became bigger, suddenly Fendi hailed the stick and started walking in the circle followed by the rest . . . . . oohhhh he got a 'message' from the ancestor reminding him that he was from the tribes. So, we happily joined him to honour his ancestor. It was really fun!!! (Believe it or Not?)

Its dinner time. Each one must dirtied their hands and cooked (barbecued) their own meal or sleep with an empty stomach. The choice is yours! Thats the rule in the camp - order by the Camp Commandor (in red tee)

Photo for the album (taken by Mettilda John, Executive Director of Dignity & Services and Program Director/Founder for OPTIONS program) : left to right - Ken Han, Choong Jien, Yin Chun, Qi Han, Fendi and me

Breakfast time. Its bread with peanut butter. I guess we were protesting because our normal breakfast supposed to be soup noodles, nasi lemak, burger, half-boil eggs . . . . and you only gave us bread and jam? hehehehee . .. .got you! We were just wondering when the rain gonna stop otherwise we will be stucked here the rest of the day.

Early lunch at the cafeteria. Budget - RM5.00 per person. If you spent more, you have to pay the extra yourself or work for 2 hours at the cafeteria! Again the CHOICE is yours! Guess what happen . . . ???

Having fun at the waterfall. Peace to the World - thats the message from Ken Han

(Photo taken by Ken Han) Relaxing at the Malay Tea House. Given the opportunity, people with learning disabilities can live like any ordinary persons and are as capable too.
Qi Han! Put that ice cream away! We're supposed to have TEA!

(Photo taken just before departing the camp site)
Front: Ken Han, Qi Han and Yin Chun
Back: Choong Jien, Asha (a volunteer), Julie and me (Yes, we have 2 Julie's in the camp)

Stopping by at one of the mamak shop for a glass of teh tarik in Taman Desa, Kepong.

Yes, a happy ending camp. This is a great experience for the youths and all are looking forward to the next camp where we can have more activities. This camp taught the youths to be a survivor. Being independent, responsible and sensitive towards other people's needs. We definitely have lots of fun.

A big thank you to Dignity & Services for inviting me to the camp. Till then ..... see you all at the coming JW Gift of Dignity Relay on 19 April 2009!

Qi Han will be competing in the relay. So runners better be prepared for the challenge!

1 comment:

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