REACHING OUT !
My friends and I are members of the Charity Outreach Association, Kudat . We pay a monthly visit to out stations, to evangelise and to bring food to poorer folks. Sr. Matilda comes along with us as she likes to see her group
in action and together we could face the bumpy ride to country- side.
Here is the description of such a trip.
" Don't forget the bags of food, " said Sr. Matildah to the laughing
group. " No, we won't . " was our reply.
As if we would ! No amount of cheerful voices
, nice words could replace those two big plastic bags of food ; consisting of a bag of rice ( 10 kilo in weight ), two bags of sugar, a few tin food, a
whole roll of bee fun ( fine noodle ), a few bags of flour
, a few bottles of cooking oil and sometimes a dozen of maggy mee.
We were to visit 6 families this trip, carrying the
bags of food from the back of the land-cruiser, climbing up creaky stairs ; knock, knock !
" Hello, anyone at home ? "
Usually before we had a chance to play " visitors from outer space
" , the folk were already at the door, smiling, greeting us and helping us to
carry the loaded bags. Mind you, even children,
older women folk are stronger than us. The weight is
nothing to them, but quantity is.
We sighed a sigh of relief when the heavy bags were taken away.
Our attention was immediately caught by some bushes of
flowers. We searched for seeds old enough for planting, at the same time eyed
their maze corns crops across
the fields, wondering if they were sweet enough to pluck
. Folks at home love freshly plucked indian corns. For a few ringgit,
you can get a bag full.
We were then invited to climb the stairs and look round the
The sitting room ( on the left of the picture) is airy, and
we could see outside through the bamboo strips . No windows are neccessary. The kitchen is a few steps lower than the main house. A large stove for firewood cooking is
in the middle
of the kitchen. At the side is a small pile of firewood. There was a pot on top of the
grills and smouldering pieces of wood on
the cement floor of the stove.
The bed rooms are smaller and have no furniture apart from a few
mats and pillows or an old mattress rolled up. Yet the occupants sleep their
dreamless sleep till dawn.
This bamboo house belongs to a Rungus household, built some forty
years ago. Later on , the
government built long houses, where some ten over families stay
under the same roof.
A long house is made of planks with zinc roof. All modern facilities can be found there, such
as water supply, electricity supply, sockets and etc. Most families have their own TV, refrigerators, and modern fruniture.
We only give food supply to poor families here, regardless of race
and religions. That
is the aim of the Charity Outreach Association, Kudat.
When the bags of food are delivered, our land cruser made its
journey home carrying a happy singing group.
by Agatha Lai