Archive for August, 2011

Aug 11 2011

Posted by under General Issues,Trips

Kawan Awan 2011 – Part 3 (Final)

You may wish to read Part 1 and Part 2 before you proceed to read this blog entry.

 

Here’s a close shot of the goodie bags:

Apart from the goodie bag sponsored by LSG Sky Chefs, they also received duitraya/angpow from Capt Nik himself:

They gawked at their huge plane:

After which they happily walked towards the jumbo:

The pilots were all ready:

Though they had the boarding passes with allocated seat numbers, they actually were allowed free seating:

The Boeng 747 can carry 450 pax, hence it was so spacious for us:

Putting away the bags:

Ah, we needed to know more about the plane, didn’t we?

Getting to know the seats and gadgets around them:

In preparation for the possibility:

Here’s Capt Nik (such a simple and humble guy!) being interviewed by the media team:

We were attended to by a charming team of inflight crew, like this lady:

Once air borne, the non-Muslim got to sample some inflight refreshments:

While the Muslims were given the food and drinks to be taken home:

Some (or rather most of them!) started looking out of the window :)

It was a short 35 min ride. Before we knew it, we were ready to leave the plane :( :

Though impromptu, we managed a few group photos with the banner, like this one:

After over 24 hours of excitement (starting from the moment they left their homes the day before), they were finally going home:

Buses were already waiting for them:

 

That was it! Though short and simple, I am sure the outing will remain in their memories forever.

Personally, I would like to thank Capt Nik for inviting us to join in the event. Being an orphan myself (mum and dad passed away when I was 13 and 17 respectively), I could really feel for the kids. Many times, when I saw the orphans, I became overwhelmed with emotion and had to fight hard to stop the tears from flowing.

I just hope there’ll be more “Kawan Awan” events in the future. I also would like to be more actively involved. I could see myself handling some activities for them and going around looking for contributions for the gifts!!

 

 

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Aug 10 2011

Posted by under General Issues,Trips

Kawan Awan 2011 – Part 2

Please read here for the first part.

 

With the checking-out process done, we were ready to leave the hotel for the airport. Getting 6 buses there was not easy, especially when some of  the drivers were not familiar with the route. We were however fortunate because the State Police had agreed to provide us with 2 outriders.

Here is a group of the orphans having a quick photo shot with the traffic police:

 

The kids were very disciplined:

 

It was surely a busy day:

 

Here’s our videographer in action:

 

We only managed to see the Crystal Mosque from afar:

 

Soon the road was clear :

 

Suddenly all the buses stopped.

Apparently one bus was left out at the last traffic light while another made a lunch stop at McD (the bus that carried the non-Muslims).

Eventually we reached our destination:

 

And soon queuing up before we entered the airport building:

 

Very patient, but surely excited faces:

 

Obedient too:

We sure were lucky that this new airport had the arrival hall on a different level, otherwise can you imagine the crowd waiting for the pilgrims combined with ours?

Our flight was MH8632:

 

Eventually we were in the departure lounge:

Unfortunately the pilgrims were just about to come out, and the plane needed to be cleaned before we were allowed to enter. So, what better way to while the time away, than some photo sessions like this one :) :

and this:

 

While waiting for the plane to be ready for us to board, we had some presentations from the orphans:

from the girls too:

Finally we were given the green light to board the plane. Wait! They didn’t just walk away. There were goodie bags waiting for them:

 

To be continued..

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Aug 10 2011

Posted by under General Issues,Trips

Kawan Awan 2011 – Part 1

Kawan Awan – that means “the Cloud Friends” in Bahasa Malaysia. What is it about?

 

It all started when Captain Nik from AD Charters told a forum that he would have a chartered flight from Jeddah to Kuala Terengganu to send a group of umrah (small haj) pilgrims. The plane would then come back to KLIA empty. How he wished he could fill the empty plane with orphans, just to let them experience flying. The problem was he would need sponsorship for the buses to ferry the orphans to Kuala Terengganu (KT) and food and lodging for them in KT.

 

In less than 2 weeks later, enough money and sponsorship were collected!  LSG Sky Chefs even sponsored some goodie bags for the orphans.

We were lucky to be among those  invited by Captain Nik to join the group. He told us we had to pay for our food and lodging, though the rest were taken care of. That was a very good offer that I immediately said yes to, when DH mentioned to me!

So, last Sunday, 6 buses headed for Kuala Terengganu. The passengers were almost 200 orphans from 6 different orphanages, their guardians  and us.  We arrived at the (no less than) Primula Hotel at almost 4pm!

 

After checking in the kids were allowed some free time before they were asked to get ready for the breaking of fast. DH and Nafis managed to capture some interesting shots, like this one:

 

When asked, many of them said that they had never been to a beach before!

 

Some girls being interviewed:

 

Soon it was time for the breaking of fast:

 

Some of the dishes:

 

Patiently waiting for the time to eat:

 

Another group:

 

We were serenaded with some nice traditional songs. Before we knew it, our own Dato Jet went to the group, and started to sing  the song “Tak Seindah Wajah

 

He surely could sing! That song is not an easy song to sing but Dato rendered it very well.

 

Before we knew it, the other guests had left and we were the only ones left at the cafe:

 

That night we also have a ceremony where our VIP gave out the boarding passes:

 

An RTM reporter came along with us too, and here she is, interviewing one of the orphans that night:

 

Interviewing the smaller kids:

 

That night the team also managed to get the hotel to agree to open the kids’ pools (all pools are normally closed at 7pm) for the kids to have some fun. Some fun they surely had, as they were allowed to be in the pool from 8.30pm until almost 11pm! Here’s the view of the pool from our balcony:

 

I only noticed there was no more noise from the pool at 11pm. We woke up for sahur at 5am.

The following morning we were ready to check out. We then found out that the inbound flight from Jeddah was delayed, and hence ours too.

 

I think it was a blessing for the kids. They had more time to roam the beach. Some even managed some football game:

 

While others got ready to get their feet wet:

 

I spotted another group having their own group photo. Nafis managed to shoot this one (see how happy they were):

While the non-Muslim (hence not fasting) kids dipped into the pool again:

 

By noon, we were ready to check out. Hotel lobby:

 

I wonder what these boys were thinking of? Maybe wondering when they’ll ever get to come here again?

 

Here are the little people from one of the homes:

While many of the Muslims kids come from poor families of single parents, or who have poor relatives, I was told that most of the non-Muslim counterparts were REAL orphans, who were abandoned by their biological families. Just look at the kids again (pic above), how could their families abandon them??? They are so adorable, and most of the time cling to their guardian whom they called MAMA!

Next: Part 2

 

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Aug 04 2011

Posted by under Trips

The Unblogged Trip Down Under

Before my trip to Canada last June, I had a quick 5day4 night trip Down Under which I never got to blog about.

 

Nukman however managed to do so, so to save me from the task, I am going to put the links on his blog entries:

  1. Australia Revisited Part 1
  2. Australia Revisited Part 2
  3. Australia Revisited Part 3

 

DH only managed to blog about The Great Ocean Road here.

 

In summary it was a very brief trip.

13th May 2011 – We arrived at Tullamarine Airport (Melbourne), collected our car, and drove all the way to Mount Gambier, via The Great Ocean Road.

 

14th May 2011 – Drove from Mount Gambier to Ballarat

 

15th May 2011 – Ballarat to Bright

 

16th May 2011 – Bright to Mount Hotham then back to Tullamarine

 

17th May 2011 – took the morning flight back to Malaysia

 

I guess that’s all I can say about the trip. There are many pix but they are with DH and sons :( .

The only one I can find that I want to share with you is this one taken at Mount Gambier:

 

Oh, no! I just remembered that I haven’t really finish my blog on the earlier trip to Myanmar!!!

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