Hello Monique and Parsa,
We have our visit to Rocky Bay this coming Tuesday 23 rd October. It will be from 10:15 to 1pm. Please can you both be at Admin for 10:15 this Tuesday.
Dear Bethany Home Tour 2018 Students and Parents
You are invited to attend a debrief windup meeting on Wednesday 31 October in the Community Room at the Duncraig campus. Please arrive by 5.30pm where finger food & light refreshments will be provided. Our meeting is scheduled to finish by 6.30pm. We look forward to catching up with you all and our students sharing some of their life changing experiences.
Mrs Nicola Kirby, Mr Lance Own & Mr Mark Fielding
Hello Parsa and Monique
If you wish you may wear your Bethany tops for the remainder of this week.
Bethany Home Tour 2018 Reflections
The entire trip was amazing, but the thing that impacted me the most was watching the teachers interact with the kids. The level of dedication, compassion and patience that they exhibit is insane & I was consistently amazed. Their genuine love for the children is inspiring and I was really moved by their abilities to connect so strongly to each individual kid. I hope to be able to bring those kinds of attitudes and values into my life.
One thing that stands out to me the most from this trip was how the students continuously chose happiness. Everything they said or did was out of happiness and love. They were so grateful for everything they had and you see it on their faces. This taught me to choose happiness and to be grateful for everything and everyone I have because I am so lucky.
A memorable moment for me wasn’t really a moment but more of an everyday occurrence. Every morning I’d walk with a young girl who was very quiet and when you were walking she’d always go ‘shhh’ and put her finger over her mouth and I’d do the same, then she’d giggle. Just seeing her smile from the smallest thing really makes you appreciate the smallest things in life. This trip has definitely changed me and made me realise how thankful I am for the little things in life.
The most memorable moment for me would be the children’s progress and the commitment of the teachers. After spending several days with one of the girls in level 3, I think that she felt more comfortable with me and was more open & confident. The teachers’ behaviour dad to day towards the children was absolutely amazing. They were so patient towards the kids and you could tell that they loved them to bits. Knowing that they spend every day helping these children seems to me such an extraordinary task. They really do put their heart and soul into what they do.
Choosing one memorable moment during this trip is almost impossible ,but one thing I will take away are the infectious smiles and happiness of the children at Bethany. The children were always grateful for everything, even the little things. This has made me appreciate the small things in life now. What also touched me was the way the staff went out of their way to make the children be the best that they could be & make Bethany feel like a normal school. This tour has taught me to be grateful and appreciate everything, because it has made me realise how fortunate we really are. This tour has also encouraged me to venture further out into the world in the future to take part in more volunteer work similar to Bethany. The Bethany Tour has truly been an unforgettable and rewarding experience!
This experience has changed the way I think, speak and act. It has impacted me so greatly that I am hoping to go back one day and give back to them the great experience that they gave to me. I especially loved walking into the hall in the morning and just being greeted with genuine smiles. That is one of the qualities of Bethany Home; genuine smiles all round. This is such a once in a life time experience for me – it has changed me so much & I want to return one day. The kids at Bethany Home are so special and I will miss seeing their smiling faces each morning.
A memorable moment for me is how one of the students would be so excited about seeing the bus each morning. When you would respond to him or point out the bus he would be ecstatic. This has taught me to appreciate the small things in life. This particular student enabled me to be more confident when in a new environment with new people. This tour has helped me really appreciate my life and I wouldn’t change the experience for the world.
The most memorable experience I have had of this trip was working with the kids at Bethany Home and always seeing their smiling faces each morning. On the last day we were saying our goodbyes & the students were all standing and singing to us. We could sense the impact we’d had on the children. It is hard for me to put into words how this tour has changed me, however, it is an experience that I will never forget!!
The most memorable moment for me was watching the progress made by a female student in Physio who was learning to tell the time. It was amazing to see how one day she was really struggling to remember which order the minutes go in and then next, being able to recall them confidently. This has really shown me how the good things in life, as simple as they may be, can take time. It has also reminded me to stay patient and not to get frustrated when things don’t happen straight away.
After a hearty breakfast at the Melia Hotel we headed off on our City Tour. First photo stop was to the Petronas Twin Towers- a very impressive building. Then on to the Batu Caves next, up many steps encountering monkeys & pigeons before arriving at the Hindu temple within the huge cave. Back to the city and a scenic yet cloudy view of all Kuala Lumper from the top of the observation deck of the KL Tower. Next, the ‘Upside Down House’ was intriguing & unusual. Another photo stop to the Kings Palace before popping into the Cocoa Boutique to sample & purchase some delicious chocolate.
After our busy tour & an hour’s shop at the Time Square shopping mall we rested before our last night out in KL. At 7pm we had a brisk half hour walk to the Petronas Towers to have an enjoyable meal at Ben’s Restaurant. After this we watched the colourful light/water fountain display to music.
Tomorrow morning we leave the hotel at 10.30 am to head for the airport. We depart KL at 2.30pm on Silkair MI327, arriving at Singapore at 3.30pm. We’ll have chance to look round Singapore airport before catching the 6.45pm Singapore Airlines flight SQ 215 to Perth. This arrives at Terminal 1 at 11.55pm. Our students have had a wonderful time but are ready to come home now and connect with their families. I’m sure you have missed them and look forward to catching up the & hearing about all their experiences.
Mrs Nicola Kirby
Yesterday began as usual and ran smoothly. Everybody attended their classes and helped out wherever they could. The afternoon was consumed by the mural. All of us frantically trying to finish it while still making sure it looked great. A gigantic puddle of green paint mixed with rain water took over the ramp leading into the grass. We placed the finishing touches after dinner and can easily say that all of us were very proud of what we eventually accomplished. We all had henna on our hands or forearms before dinner and this was done by the lovely Philomena. She spent a great deal of time on the intricate detail on everyone’s designs.
We all joined some members of staff for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Everybody was pleased and a good game of Chinese whispers topped it all off. A walk to the watch tower consumed our evening. The tower was a small replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, lit up by a rainbow of colours. Our last full day came to an amazing conclusion and I can definitely say on behalf of everyone that our time at Bethany couldn’t have been better and we are so grateful for all the time that we were able to spend at the home.
Our last day has been very emotional, the devotional was done by Brooke and Jordan, then came the long goodbyes. Goodbye to the staff and the children by walking them around the tree for the last time. Goodbye to all the aerobic sessions, with Mr Owen helping demonstrate (to some extent) the aerobic moves on stage. After this all goodbyes were made by Mr Owen and Mrs Kirby gave their thanks to the staff, and Rev Eliezer gave us all gifts. Finally now with tears in all our eyes a pupil from each class came up and gave each of us a gift. It was with a heavy heart that we said farewell as the coach left Bethany.
On our arrival at KL, we spent sometime at the shopping centre, enjoying going on the rollercoaster. This evening we are spending our time in China Town.
In the morning Parsa opened with the devotion about determination and how it links in with our lives. We then did our daily walk and aerobics with the students. After this we all spilt off on our separate ways.
Monique went to the Physio in the morning where they played team games and coordinated balls into tins. Monique then went to the Lighthouse after morning tea where she then folded clothes and screwed bolts.
Parsa went to the café where she had the difficult task of figuring out how to create boxes, she then went to the Physio.
Mikayla also accompanied Monique to the Physio and acted as a techwiz helping the Physio room have some music.
Jordan went to the Special Needs Unit (SNU) in the morning and after morning tea went to the Lighthouse with Mr Owen where they tied a total of 771 brackets! Jordan then went to the Work Skills workshop where he helped a boy make keychains.
Stacey went to a Level 2 class where she had to walk without on gravel without any shoes to stimulate and wake up a sleepy student. She then went to the SNU where two students worked on hand eye coordination.
Brooke was at the Physio where she played team games with the students and then attended the Lighthouse. After lunch, Brooke then went to the Physio and threw balls with a boy.
Kiah was at the café with Parsa where they had to attempt to make boxes without a template. Kiah then escaped the café experience and went off to the Physio where she mopped the floor and was also the technical support person.
Alicia went to Level 5 and helped a boy to do basic addition and to tell the time. She then went to SNU and helped a boy with hand eye coordination. After lunch she attended the Physio where she helped a girl to make threaded bags.
Abbie went to level 6 in the morning where she helped a girl to tell the time and do basic addition. After lunch she went to the Work Skills workshop where the older boys are and helped them to bead beautiful keychains.
After school had finished, Mr Owen dropped yet another bucket of paint on the pavement. Kiah, Parsa, Alicia, Monique, Mikayla , Stacey and Brooke painted the mural. The mural has come a long way and is looking amazing, but we still have a lot to do to get it done in time for Thursday. Abbie, Stacey, Brooke and Jordan had henna designs painted on their hand by Philomena who is one of the Bethany teachers.
We all then attended the Taman Desa Bernam Baru (Boys Group Home) for dinner. We were so welcomed and we soon started playing a number of ball games with the children and everyone had a blast. Dinner was then served and it was a delightful home cooked Malaysian dinner. After this we went back to Bethany where we rehearsed and performed our routines for our aerobics tomorrow morning to Mr Owen and Mrs Kirby.
Lots of Love,
Abbie and Alicia
The girls this morning woke to a startle realising they had slept through all the alarms and then immediately saw Stacey’s face, with her buffed up eyes, it seems a mosquito had bitten here. Some cold press and anti-histamines eventually brought the swelling down. We all scrambled to get ready and met the rest of the group in headquarters for a filling breakfast of toast. This morning’s devotion was on ‘compassion’ which was led very well by Abbie with Alicia as her assistant.
Parsa and Kiah spent the morning in levels 3 and 4 placing balls in egg cartons and improving the student’s skills of the alphabet. Mikayla, Stacey, Abbie and Jordan spent the morning in the café painting plaques. They and Brooke went to Physio where they were throwing and catching balls with students. Abbie and Stacey were lucky enough to enter the sensory room where they relaxed. Mikayla and Brooke them helped the students in Work Skills make keychains with encouraging words on them. Alicia and Monique spent the morning working with the level 1 and 2’s where they took turns to race and place cups of water in buckets. Let’s just say they had more water on them than what was filled in the buckets. Afterwards, back in the classroom they helped the students practise their dancing for the upcoming Thanksgiving Service.
During the afternoon session, everyone participated in team games with some of the older students. We were all split into pairs and put with a group of Bethany students. The aim of the team games was that at each station depending on how successful the group was, they were given points and the team with the most points won. The team games consisted of a circuit which tested many skills such as; throwing rings onto a stake, firing a slingshot at tin cans and the ability to have a strong stomach against some very sour and bitter foods (including half a lime with full skin and seeds). After lunch, Jordan had the opportunity to work with a level one student in the hydrotherapy pool while Kiah and Parsa designed the cover of a reflections book which is going to be filled in by everyone over the next couple of days.
After the Bethany students had gone home for the day, it was time for the team to start painting on the ‘Wonderland’ mural. There were debates about colours but in the end, everyone agreed that we wanted to make it as bright and as happy looking as possible. By the end of the afternoon most of the mural was painted and a good proportion of the music playlist had been blasted through the speaker. Brooke, Alicia and Monique also spent the afternoon choregraphing another aerobics routine for Wednesday’s session. Everyone was very tired by this point and came together in headquarters to relax and chat.
Due to some wild weather tonight, we were unable to make it to the markets. Mr Owen was deemed the hero when he faced the weather to buy us all take away from the local café. We were all very thankful, he entered the welcoming room with a round of applause. The second night at Bethany this week ended with games such as spoons and mafia and a whole lot of laughs.
Lots of love,
Kiah and Monique xxx
Once again the day started with a delicious buffet breakfast at the Cinnamon Restaurant at Parkroyal hotel. This was followed by some last minute packing before an exhausting a 5-6 hour bus ride back to Bethany. We had a short stop at McDonalds for some lunch, where Jordan and Kiah tackled the Mega Mac, involving 4 meat patties. Voices of angles could be heard as everyone enjoyed singing along to some intense throwbacks and classic Disney numbers. Along with this, came a thrilling few rounds of the game, Mafia.
The arrival at Bethany was an interesting time, beginning with everyone being locked out of their rooms for the first 20 minutes. Suddenly a great storm came upon us, where an intense bolt of lightning struck a palm tree not far from us, catching it on fire. This created an immense crash that made Mrs Kirby jump out of her skin. This also resulted in all the power being cut.
We then began practicing our routines for the morning aerobics session on Wednesday, with each group of 3 picking a song and creating a simple yet enthusiastic routine. The Sunday afternoon service then began soon after this, with Mrs Kirby delivering a wonderful message on the promises of God. We finished the day with a last minute invitation to a teacher’s son’s 21st birthday celebrations and dinner.
We are all looking forward to start working the children again tomorrow morning.
Jordan and Brooke
P.S. That’s the tea
Where has that week gone? Time to rest and relax after a leisurely breakfast. Our Bethany Team enjoyed swimming in the resort pool, working out at the gym, coffee at Starbucks, playing Uno & generally chilling out at the resort. Some even did some school work! Their own Phys. Ed. Studies & Mrs Kirby ran an hours Human Biology Genetics tutorial.
Students were very happy to have their washing done at the local laundromat. All fresh & laundered for next week.
Tonight we had such a treat for dinner. Check out the photos later. We treated ourselves to a meal at the Ferringhi Garden Restaurant. Such beautiful tropical surroundings and exquisite food & service. A great way to celebrate our last night in Penang.
Mr Own used to have a Bass voice, but now he has lost his voice & singing Soprano! No Karaoke tonight then in the resort lounge!
Mrs Nicola Kirby