|The misty Sg. Lebir|
We woke up early the next day to freshen up at the nearby mosque. The morning was cold and misty. The mosque was empty only a handful of the locals attended the fajr prayers. The faith is not everything here , I guess, a practice for the olds and the others. As we walked through the kampong, the cold morning remained silent and quiet. I crossed my arms and squeezed my chest to escape the cold but the morning took me back to the time of my childhood. This would be the moment I prepared to go to school with my short pants and heavy bag; the cold morning gripped my legs and knees. I would sit shivering for a while until I got the heat back. The breeze of yesteryears blew again that morning making me realized that the only way to escape from those difficult times is to hang on to the hopes and dreams. And here in this kampong those two have been shattered to pieces or stolen away. We walked towards the river of Kg Lulut. As the river flowed quietly; people were going and coming ashore from God knows where. From the distance a couple of slow boats approaching the river bank; emerging from the misty river with full load of people. OMG! They are school children coming for the session today. I was stunned and disbelieved.
|all boats handled by the mothers...|
|scaling up the riverbank .......|
|can the boy compete fairly with the city kids?|
|yes this is my life...do you have problem with it?!|
After 58 years of independence we still have kids coming to school by a sampan. One by one the kids crawled up the riverbank with school bag and all. Today is the first day of school for the little one, the mother told us. They started the journey at 6.30 am and arrived here at 7.30 am just in time for the school bell. For a one-hour boat ride, I just could not imagine the discomfort that these kids had to endure. And we talk about a fair platform to measure performance; is this fair? I was raged and sad at the same time; but again what else can we do except for continued doa and prayers for their strength and success. Looking at those kids as they scale the riverbank up to the pathway leading to their school, I could not hold my tears back, so heartbreaking. This is their life; either, before the flood or after the flood. Like the river itself that flows continuously disregard of what has happened.
|Pupils of SK Kg Lulut@Kuala Sungai: the first day of school (1 Feb 2015)|
The school session started with an assembly of small attendees and a handful of fresh looking teachers. The school environment, I must say, still remains its integrity as an entity to provide education for the future generations. That school in Kg Lulut is no exception although the flood has left them with muddy walls and dirty floors.
We left Kg. Lulut later that morning with heavy hearts and swollen eyes. This is not my kampong but for the last two days it has become part of me and a big part of CAFP. We promised to come back and do a lot more for this kampong but the future always remain uncertain. Until then may the Almighty protect this place from further destructions and help us to rebuild the stolen hopes and shattered dreams.
So long, people!