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A Relaxing Getaway at a Parit Buntar Village

On 25 April 2009, Eden Handicap Service Centre (EHSC) organized an exposure trip to a Parit Buntar village resort for 40 people with disabilities from the community and 20 helpers.

The excitement of the faces of the disabled lighted and brightened up the gloomy morning and punctuated the atmosphere with their noisy chatter.

As soon as the chartered tour bus arrived at 9.15am , the group impatiently 'jostled' to get up to the bus.

The journey took about 90 minutes. During the journey our disabled friends enjoyed the sights as the bus and vans weaved through various destinations and landmarks from the Penang Bridge to Parit Buntar town in Perak. Besides feasting their eyes on sightseeing, the group in the bus had a 'sing-a-long' session much to the amusement of the patient bus driver who had to 'tolerate' the noisy atmosphere.

We arrived at about 11.15am. As soon as we stepped out of the bus, we took in a good breath of fresh countryside air and with a gush of natural breeze caressing us. As we sauntered into the 'resort' site nestled among kampong houses and trees, we were overwhelmed by the freshness of the greenery surroundings away from the hectic city environment. With the sunny skies and the shady spots under leafy trees, the site comprises of a sauna bath, a karaoke section, an exercise area with some equipment, several hammocks, tables and chairs casually scattered over the site as well at the chalet-like structures and the barbeque area. Near these chalet-like structures we could see vast land of padi fields and ponds filled with fishes.

When our disabled friends saw the sauna bath rooms, they hurriedly gathered there and began to disrobe down to their swimming costumes under the supervision of their group leaders. It was such an experience for them as they marveled at the steam and vapour engulfing them thinking that it was smoke. Some hung on to each other as if they thought the room was on fire! They were calmed down from the assurances of the leaders. You could hear laughter in the steam as they chit chatted and trying to communicate with each other such wonders of this sensation from this facility. As one by one emerged from the rooms, they were seen fully soaked with sweat from head to toe as if they had taken a bath. Many felt so refreshed and revitalized after the sauna bath so much so that they went in for a second round of sauna.

For those who did not indulge in the sauna, they preferred to laze around either in the hammocks or chairs. Some were heard crooning at the karaoke outlet built above the padi field pond. There were a good display of singing talents as our disabled friends not only sang but swayed their bodies and danced as well.

At 12.30pm we had a buffet lunch specially prepared by the owner. The speciality was the tom yam soup and kerabu sambal which were so spicy that one bite would make one hit the roof. Besides these, we had cut fruits pieces, bubur cha cha, mixed fruits cordial and free flow of ginger tea. Many enjoyed the fresh coconut juice water and pink jambu fruits which were plucked from the home grown trees in the vicinity.

At about 2.30pm, an intense tantalizing aroma filled the air. It was the barbequing of crabs, prawns and fish which we had brought along from Penang. Our disabled friends salivated as they stared at the barbequed crabs served to them wondering how they would eat it. Thanks to the group leaders and helpers who assisted them to taste the crab's meat. They helped to peel the shells off the prawns and also separated the fish meat from the bones. Our disabled friends truly enjoyed themselves from the way they gobbled up the meat, licking their fingers, sucking their thumbs and the sight of their unwiped mouths and unwashed hands after the meal.

After tucking in so much of these delicacies, they stroked their bulged stomachs and with their eyelids already wavering, they were ready for dreamland. The peace and serenity with the quiet contentment of being filled was just a perfect setting for a slumber. Yes, some had dozed off in the hammocks, chairs and benches.

At 4.30pm we had to say goodbye to the village 'resort' as we embarked our journey back home to Penang. Our disabled friends had experienced such fascinating wonders of life and quality living. Heartful thanks to all sponsors and donors as well as care givers and helpers who had made possible this trip. You had truly made a difference in their lives of the disabled which they will remember for a long time of such kindness and love.

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If you wish to lend a hand in the work of the disabled, kindly contact Eden Handicap at edenhdc@yahoo.com or call Eden Handicap in Penang at 04 228 2758.

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