Friday, April 9, 2010

BISMI 2010: Langkawi

On the evening of 1st April 2010, ten of us made our way in a silver Waja and an orange Myvi towards our destination: Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS). Alhamdulillah, we were fortunate enough to get the chance to participate in a programme called Bakti Ikhlas Siswazah Malaysia-India (BISMI), which was a joint effort of student bodies of CUCMS and IMS Bangalore.

We had a long journey on the bus, stopping by a few R&R's for some rest. Praise be to Him, we reached Langkawi the next day, on a fine Friday morning. The program kicked off with a tour around Kilim Forest Park, where we get to learn about the mangroves, various fishes and sea creatures, as well as being able to explore a bat cave and the wondrous stalagtites and stalagmites. We've also learnt about the romantic story of the partnership between a particular species of eagles as well as hornbills - these creatures are partners for life!

That very evening, we took off to the most important place on the list: Kampung Kuala Teriang. Accommodation was allocated - some of us get to stay at the house of our project director's grandma, some at a rest house while others experienced home stay. That night we mingled around and managed to meet our medical students counterparts from CUCMS and IMS during the ice breaking session. We then proceed to break into a few groups according to the task given for the next day.

That Saturday was THE day. We had medical checkups, health education, colouring contest and telematch held at the local primary school. The mobile clinic team went to a nearby village to conduct medical checkups over there, as a part of the Juara Rakyat event on the same day. The villagers were checked for blood pressure, BMI, blood glucose and those with significant history and examination findings were referred to the consultants - CUCMS very own Dr. Abdul Latiff, Dr. Ikram and Dr Nasaruddin as well as House Officer, Dr Murni. There was a lot to learn on this session.

 In the evening, we sweat it out by playing badminton with the localites - they sure were a tough bunch to beat! The day ended on a high note with a seafood fiesta at the same school. The foods served were so scrumptious, they were practically gone in a second! That night also allowed the participants to interact with their foster family. Some even had the chance to sleep over their foster family's house. The villagers were very warm and friendly, and in an instant they felt like our own family.

On Sunday, some participants held a sex education session for students between the age of 11 to 12, educating them about their rights to protect their body and dignity. The participation from the school kids were overwhelmingly positive, to our delight. Of course, to be in Langkawi also meant to shop in Langkawi - participants didn't waste the chance to go on a spending spree on chocolates and various items in the duty-free island.

After days of wonderful experience, we left the unforgettable land on a Sunday afternoon, bringing with us beautiful memories of Langkawi and its people. Alhamdulillah for this wonderful opportunity - we certainly would love to join another program like this!

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