February Monthly Meet: Construction for a Cause

It was early in the morning on an extended weekend, when city folks would sleep in and curl up like a cat in cozy covers. At the breaking of dawn, 21 people who had willingly signed up for our monthly meet waited patiently for everyone to arrive at Gombak LRT station. They were here for a noble cause – to volunteer in constructing a school and hostel for a philanthropist couple who needed help.

After a small briefing by the organizing team, the group entered their designated driver’s ride and set off for a two days one night venture.

We reached the destination after an hour drive from KL. Mr. Koh and Mr. Lau gave us an hearty welcome and briefed us on safety precautions at work site, including some do’s and don’ts and the purpose for the project. Psyched, we were all ready to go.

The afternoon air was humid and warm. When we reached project site, we saw the one-week project team working on the site, and we were at first staring at them without a clue. Mr. Lau and Mr. Koh then gave us instructions on the ongoing construction. We formed a human chain and passed buckets of cement up to a slightly higher path structure for cement flooring. Several worked on the mixing of cement, which is to me, a serious work of art- different portion produces different substance.

After so much hard work, our lunch of spaghetti and minced meat tomato sauce couldn’t have seemed more appetizing.

The fiery sun scorched our trail. This time around, the team was divided into two. Group 1 erected the pillars that would support a 15x5 utility room. It was the continuation of work by the one-week team. After mapping out the room structure, smoothing out the grounds and digging out soil, the team put in great effort to put the pillars into where they belong.

Group 2’s mission was to build a water dam. The dam would serve to retain water and rear fishes. This project was guided by experienced Raleigh team members. We selected polished granite rocks, removed them out from the soil and stream to create the wall of the water dam. A few of us also worked diligently on filling up sandbags. These sandbags were then passed to other members who sealed them with rafia strings for support.

Dinner was served buffet style. On the menu, we had ABC soup, omelette, vegetable mix, curry chicken and rice. After dinner, we had a debriefing session on our day’s activities. Many participants actively joined our discussion. It was a very eye-opening discussion for most of us.    

The next day everyone woke up in the early morning. After breakfast, we set off to project site for an early kick-start. The progress was amazingly fast-paced. The poles were casted and erected; we then started layering cements on the ground. On the other hand, the dam was half completed. We continued filling up the sandbags and sewing them with a huge needle.

After a day of rigorous work, we managed to tick two things off the list – setting up the utility room’s structure, and building a small pool along the stream. We had lunch and packed our bags, excited to leave for the waterfall.

We convoyed to the famous waterfall nearby and had a relaxing time there. It was a well deserved break after a day of hard work.

We hope that every one of you who joined us had a great time!

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