Tuesday, July 21, 2009
he, the person i admired
he, the person i looked up to...
a towering figure of resilience
the epitome of a young poor boy from china
and despite all the odds that were against him,
became wealthy materially, yet corroded morally,
he, the person i despised
he, the person i grew to dislike...
disgust, contempt, shame - this what you made me feel
hurt, you don't know how much suffering you caused...
sorry, i wish you could have apologized them
love, a feeling i will never let go
sorrow, now that you're gone....
Friday, May 29, 2009
in a few days time, my flatmates are leaving for good. the people who supported me through my usmle, my break-ups, my crazy moments....they're going back to their homeland.
i feel sad, because i'll still be living in the flat for a month and everything in the flat, reminds me of them....
they are like my family here in glasgow, and i'm thankful to God to have placed us together in flat d.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 05, 2009
It has been the toughest 3 months of my life, i felt like I’ve just survived a tsunami that wiped away my soul – clean. There were so many moments that I felt like I was stretched to the limits, and like a rubberband that has reached its tensile limit, I felt like I was going to break…I was at my lowest point, a reminiscent of my eos3 zombie phase..times 10 because I was all alone in this journey….
But in the end, I did not give up….it was not because I was strong or that I was prepared…but because God is merciful and because God sent His angels…
Mummy, though you’re fast asleep beside me right now, I want to let you know that I love you so much…the 13 hours flight that you had to endure, and the 8 hours that you waited for me at the lobby….no one could have done what you have done for me ma’….for taking a 2 week leave from work just to come and take care of me…thank you, thank you, thank you….and the chocolate piece that I gave you, with the words “Best Mum”…that’s you ma’
Daddy, thank you for always calling me to check if I’m ok…for asking me not to be overly stressed out and that I can always retake the exam again…even if it meant that you have to pay for it…
Pei, for your quirky hallmark card and for having to listen me whine on the phone for endless hours…and for telling me that I’m going to regret it if I don’t take it…love ya, babe…our American dream dear….and pei, you know me inside out, my bff…
Fabian, for prayers every day and for listening to me cry on the phone :`( everwilling to sacrifice your precious time just to chat with me…for being ever so generous and for being such an angel in my life….
Jin, I love you…and thank you for calling me every morning at 5am to wake me up to study. For watching me study over the webcam and for always reassuring me that if I fail I can always be your housewife :@
Sarah, my dear….thank you for your prayers…I can’t wait to see you again and somehow, I always feel that you’re constantly near…love you my dear..
Melissa, thank you for calling me and for encouraging me despite your tight schedule….muaks..
To my friends, who wished me well, you know who you are..and I wanna say merci beaucoup…
And above all, thank you Lord Jesus Christ, for Your love has never failed. You are my rock and my fortress, my strength and my Rescuer…in times of trouble…
Praise the Lord, Amen.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Dreams Do Come True
The people close to me would have heard me rave about this man. They would have been bored stiff with the way I keep on telling and retelling his story like a broken record. I adore him and yes, I’m crazy about him…
Who is he?
He’s a Bengali.
Is he handsome?
He’s as old as my dad.
Is he wealthy?
He’s a banker to the poor.
Is he powerful?
He’s not into politics.
Prof Muhammad Yunus – Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2006
So, why do I like him so much?
He is an ordinary man, with a great vision and a burning passion to help the poor. He is the founder of the Grameen Bank, a bank that gives out high-risk loans to the poor without collaterals so that they can use the money as a capital to start a small-scale business to earn a living for themselves. As the business grows, they have to pay back the loan and once they have settled the loan, they can take out larger loans to expand the business.
Basically, it’s like a “tai yee long”…but the nicest, kindest, sweetest one you’ve ever met.
To illustrate, let’s say you’re really poor, hardcore poor…and you’re a woman with 3 kids and your husband’s a drunkard who beats you up, couldn’t care less for the family and gambles away his meager pay. You are good in making kuih but don’t have the money to buy the ingredients to make the kuih to sell.
So, what do you do?
You try to borrow money from commercial banks, like Maybank or CIMB, but you obviously won’t give you any money because you can’t offer any collateral and by giving you a loan, there’s a high possibility that you can’t pay back and when you can’t pay back, they don’t have anything valuable to take from you. And remember, you’re probably haggard after living such harsh life, so you won’t be able to seduce the bank manager to turn a blind eye.
Contemplating on borrowing from the average “tai yee long”?
Better not, they are like insurance salesman – when they need your business, they are all lovey-dovey, but when you don’t pay up in time – no mercy, man!
You can borrow from Grameen Bank. You get 4 friends to join with you and come up with a business proposal. The bank personnel would look through it, and give the loan (probably RM900) to you and just one other friend. The other two won’t be able to get their loans until you and your friend have paid up the loan installments. So, while you are able to start the business with the loan, the other two will help you with it and keep checking on you. The bank personnel would do a weekly assessment on your business. This gives you the
pressure motivation to work hard and allow business mistakes to be rectified quickly.
Business is going great. You can finally earn a bit of money from the kuih stall. Equipped with motherly instincts, the first thing you do is buy good nutritious food for your kids. As part of the contract, as a borrower, you will have to attend weekly classes, where the bank would send experts to educate you about nutrition, the importance of education, proper sanitation and housing. Not just that, you will have to pledge to save at least 10% of your earnings in the Grameen Bank savings account, pledge to give your kids nutritious food, pledge to send them to school, pledge to fix the leaky roof (this might sound like a joke, but nearly half the population of Bangladesh didn’t have proper roofs above their heads and this caused rain to enter the house, spreading sickness like pneumonia that is potentially fatal especially in young children and the elderly), pledge to fix proper sanitation.
As the business of the stall gets better, you want to open a second stall in a nearby kampung. So, you can take out a larger loan to get a small kancil car to drive from stall and stall and hire another mak cik to help you make kuih and sell at the second stall. The bank would arrange experts to help you make your business plan a success.
You are your own boss. The sense of achievement boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem. You gain your self-dignity and won’t allow that “sei lo yeh”-no good-of-a-husband of yours to trample all over you, setting a perfect girl-power example to your kids.
The more you earn, the more you have to put in the savings in the bank. The money recovered from the loans, plus the interest rates, would be loaned to other poor women in need.
Down the road in 15 years time, you would have saved enough money to send your eldest son to a community college. With his sky-rocketing IQ levels, he managed to secure a place in a local university. But, you don’t have enough money to send him to the prestigious university…so, the bank offers him a scholarship in hopes that he would be able utilize his talents in the bank and enrich the lives of the poor.
And everyone lives happily ever after.
By now, you’ll probably be wondering why a nerdy medical student like me would take so much interest in micro-financing…
I met an Indian patient in seremban hospital, middle-aged gentleman, who had an infection that did not heal well and required amputation of the leg. He kept coming in and out of the hospital so frequently. I realized that the hospital team provided him with the best medical care they possibly could but because he was so poor, he didn’t have proper running water in his house nor nutritious food to eat, this compromised the body’s ability to heal well.
That is just one example of the many patients that I meet during my clinical visits. Being poor mean not having access to proper education, health care, nutrition. Without education, without a healthy body, how can a person excel in life? And the vicious cycle of poverty repeats itself once again. Poverty robs someone of their very basic right, the right to live. Many African children die before the reach five years old due to malnutrition and AIDs. These are preventable diseases, if only the funds could reach them…
Poverty robs someone of their dignity, of respect from other human beings.
Poverty can be defeated, the question is whether you are willing to take up your sword and fight?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...
Time : 0200
*boom boom boom* loud knocks on the door…
drunk French guys were knocking on my door, “Comme aut…”
“No!!” I shrieked.
“Comme aut…itz snowinz…”
“Itz snowinz…Letzz go aut”
LJ, half asleep-half awake, joined in the camaraderie at the streets…
Trying my best to keep my heavy eye-lids up, I opened the bedroom window. The cold breeze gently caressing my cheeks, the fluffy bits of snow that looked like cotton candy floating in the air and instantly melting in my palms…ah! alas, winter is here!
Winters here are notoriously known to be lonely, dull and dead...but...
With me around...things are going to be very different...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
You know it's winter when the usual wool-knit jacket don't seem to be able to keep you warm anymore and when the department stores start to blare out the all-too-common-and-sometimes-too-irritating Jingle Bells tune through their PA system. Winter is finally here!! And Glasgow, being the "most" happening city in Scotland certainly has BIG plans to keep up to its title - WINTERFEST 2008!!
Yesterday, at -1 degrees, I
reluctantly went to the city centre with Steph, LJ, Marc and joker Antonio. The 20 minute walk was none the less entertaining! What started with a playful shove ended up with 3 men boys playing game of Tag, tagging you know where…(no, not there, lower..lower..just a bit lower…yea..there!) But nothing can top Antonio’s toilet story..
“My (points to groin) very pain…”
“Really? What happened?”
“In the toilet…(making a pee-ing pose) finish, then I pull de chain (pointing to his zip)…oouucchhhh..”
Bursts of laughter soon ensued…Poor Antonio…
We were greeted at Arygle Street by a colorful array of sweets…sweets that looked too good to resist, but overly priced!!
-(p/s: she bought once when we were at Nottingham & it was a GBP15 bag of candies!)
Many tiny stalls lined the streets, most of which were selling Christmassy stuff and the deliciously sinful lipid-laden food that would eventually clog up our poor arteries!
Gingerbread stall :)
Steph was kind enough to pose for me :)
i actually saw some kids wearing it!
warm felt feet warmers!
German Sausage Stall
part-time fireman, part-time coffee maker
Our next stop, George Square…
the festive lights that lit the periphery of the Square
George Square was transformed into a mini-theme park, with an ice-skating rink built right in the centre...
Ice skating around the statue of a famous
i wanted to slide, but after thoughtful consideration and taking into account the expanding size of my derriere, i decided against it! :(
like the one in Genting
till i blog again, bye!