Day 11: 15 October 2019

Heya,

Today started off at 7 am with the light being switched on and our sleepy heads slowly coming to terms with the hennas that had transferred to our faces through the night.

The Bethany routine is second-nature to us now, as we went to devotion which was presented by Meetal and Bree speaking on sacrifices, followed by our daily walk with the students, then boogied our way through aerobics.

We split up into classrooms, with Jorja, Caitlin and Emily working in the Physio room, Sarah in Level 1 where she went to the snooze room and soft play room (so jealous!), and Izzy, Emma and Miss Prosser joined a class for PE, which included some stretching and races that involved stepping through hoops and matching coloured balls to bowls.

PE Games

Not getting lost, some of us (Izzy, Asher and Emma) headed to the Lighthouse after morning recess.

This afternoon, Jorja and Caitlin were kicking a ball around with some of the students from Work Skills, whilst Bree, Asher, Sarah, Emma and Miss Prosser were roped in to help with Boccia training. Boccia is the indoor version of the Bocce game we were introduced to last week. But this time, all players are physically handicapped, and so we had to remain seated in chairs the whole time. The young boy who was playing with us is training for a big competition, and is hoping to represent Malaysia in the future. His team – made up of Emma and Asher – won, of course!

After we left our classes for the last time we went to our mural to add the finishing touches to the wall. We almost have the whole thing done, so will just need a couple of minutes in the morning to put the final text and names.

When there’s a smile in your heart, there is no better time to start

This evening we were invited to Reverend Eliezer’s house for dinner, and of course, his entertaining young son, who was watching Mr Bean, telling us he was an “X-Boy” and doing cartwheels.

Following dinner we made our way onto the bus to drive to the town of Bagan Datuk for some sight-seeing and to watch the sun set over the ocean. We saw our lives flash before our eyes as the bus driver had a very different interpretation of the rule of staying a car’s length distance between himself and the vehicle in front of us (especially when he was driving at 100 km/hr).

Jeti Bagan Datuk

Now we are all tired and getting a little bit testy so we think it’s a good idea to head to bed now so our last day at Bethany home will be an unforgettable one, and a remarkable memory which will be engrained into our hearts forever.

From your 2 cute gals,

(Bree and Emily) on the Bethany tour 😉

BYEEEEEEE! xoxo

 

P.S. We have just received a surprise gift from Mr Roberts of a mug that has a photo of our mural on it as a keep-sake of the tour. We will need to make sure we pack these carefully for the flight home. So incredibly thoughtful!

Day 10: 14 October 2019

Hi all!

Today was our first full day back at Bethany after our relaxing and fun weekend in Penang. We started the day off with our usual walk with the students around the grass patch out the front, followed by aerobics led by Izzy, Meetal and Mr Roberts; which was followed by a celebration of one of the students birthdays with a cake.

Caitlin, Jorja, Meetal and Miss Prosser went to the Lighthouse where they made beautiful Thank You cards and got lost along the way (due to Mr T’s bad directions). Emma and Asher were in the physio room, Sarah was in the Level 4 room, Bree and Mr T next door in Level 3 and Emily and Izzy were with the joined class of Level 1 & 2 students.

Working on hand-eye coordination

Untying tiny knots

Working on some maths skills with money (Miss Prosser is thrilled)

Getting our craft on – Making Thank You cards at the Lighthouse

I came, I see’d, I saw’d.

After classes finished we all headed over to the mural to get as much done as we could, as we are starting to rush to finish it off. Jorja had finished drawing the Darling children, Caitlin managed to finish half of the quote and everyone else painted the city scape on the other wall before we left for dinner.  At around 4 o’clock we started to get our Henna done by Phillamina.

To finish off the day we went to one of the Bethany Group Homes for dinner. The Group Homes accommodate the students who are more mature and independent. We played a riveting game of musical chairs and pass the ball behind our heads (in two teams). They served us a delicious spread for dinner which included fried noodles, rice and mysterious jelly (that tasted like jasmine rice apparently).

Before dinner fun and games 🙂

A big crowd at dinner tonight!

Currently we are sitting in headquarters playing our favourite game, Empire, after a busy day. We are upset that we only have one more full day left here at Bethany and praying that we all have a good nights sleep.

Love from,

Sarah & Izzy

xoxo

Day 9: 13 October 2019

Hey y’all,

It’s ya gals and bocce champions, Emily and Asher. We have taken time out of our busy schedules to write this blog so… you’re welcome.

We started off our day with breakie at the buffet (we ate a very nutritious variety of food: chocolate pudding, cereal, donuts and pastries) and successfully ‘borrowed’ multiple cakes and donuts to take on our bus ride. Then, we hopped on the bus and in no more than 5 minutes in we were all napping – except for Caitlin who is afraid of having her photo taken while she’s sleeping (Caitlin if you’re reading this – we will get that photo).

After a few hours we stopped at everyone’s favourite calorie-packed restaurant – Maccas. We ate some nuggets + chips and got back on the bus.

We arrived back at Bethany in the afternoon and resumed painting our mural. We painted the last wall (the blending between colours to make an ombre effect was questionable but we’re working on it) and Jorja started drawing the outlines of Peter Pan and the children.

We then went to church which was hosted by Mr Roberts who talked about fathering (shout out to Brucey, love you)… we also sung a lovely rendition of the school song acapella style which the people at the church throughly enjoyed (I think). We then ate some dinner at the Bethany Cafe and were entertained by the Reverend’s son who we think is 5 years old, but he told us he was 15 (see photo below). He thought Emily was 100 (I mean, pretty close) and thought Emma was 1000 (don’t worry Emma, you don’t look a day over 999). He also told us a fascinating story about how alien sharks stole his brain but Jesus gave them back to him (Sharknado 7 movie idea?).

We then came back to HQ, hung out and now we are off to bed because we are all so exhausted from sitting in a bus for 5 hours (it’s hard work ok?).

Nighty night,

Asher & Emily.

Aggressively trying to blend the paint

Jorja being a bit ‘sketchy’ (*ba dum tish*)

Din dins

The gals at dinner

The Reverend’s entertaining son/child genius

This entry was posted on October 13, 2019. 1 Comment

Day 8: 12 October 2019

Hey all!

This morning we all had a little sleep in and decided to have breakfast a little later at 8.30am instead of 7am, which was refreshing!

Today was a relaxing day at the hotel where all we did was swim at the pool and beach, and had time to ourselves before having to return to Bethany Home tomorrow.

We ordered chips and wedges as well as mocktails to have by the pool. By the afternoon, us girls were very excited and nervous as Mr Roberts was planning a surprise for us at dinner time.

We all got ready together putting on our nicest clothes that we had. Our surprise was Mr Roberts treating us to a very delicious dinner at a fancy restaurant called Ferringhi Garden. But the surprises didn’t stop there! The very hospitable waiter, Simon, showed us a few impressive magic tricks which left us all in awe, especially at his shuffling techniques. Meetal received a surprise birthday dessert of ice cream and brownie to celebrate her birthday which happened at the start of the tour.

 

This three day break was a chance to refresh ourselves and prepare for returning to Bethany. We are all well rested and ready to reunite with the students and finish off the mural.

This first week has gone by so fast! We have all enjoyed it and can’t wait to get stuck into week two!

Love from,

Emma and Sarah

xoxo

Day 7: 11 October 2019

Hi All,

We started off this morning with a fantabulous buffet breakfast down at the hotel restaurant. Highlights of breakfast included pancakes, chocolate pudding and doughnuts. After breakfast we went on a bus tour of the island. We learnt that the island looks like a pregnant turtle and that Korean prisoners built a pretty important bridge.

We began with our trip to Penang Hill which involved photos with snakes, a cable car ride, many photo opportunities and some temples. After Penang Hill we went to Kek Lok Si, a temple, that required a supposed 500 stair climb (although we only counted 386, Miss Prosser?). The temple was worth the walk, despite the sweltering heat that we battled to get there. After the temple, we jumped on the air conditioned bus (which was very welcomed) and drove to the botanic gardens nearby. It was here that we watched, but did not made eye contact with, a barrel/troupe/carload/cartload of monkeys (to avoid an epic monkey fight scene). We ended the tour and went back to our hotel for kids menu lunch.

After lunch, we went for a swim in the pool and beach (yay for Bree). Also, there’s waterslides with no age limit so we really lived it up, yay! We even got Miss Prosser involved in the waterslide, Penanigans. After our swim we all relaxed (and some busted out their robes and slippers) and saw a bomb sunset.

We went to the food court again for dinner and then looked at the night markets and did some shopping. After dinner and the markets we all relaxed until bedtime.

That’s it folks, we’re off for a night swim,

Caitlin and Jorja xx

Day 6: 10 October 2019

Dear Ladies and Gents,

Today was business as usual at the Bethany Home. We started off by waking up (at a lovely, non-freezing temperature), ate our breakfast consisting of cereal and toast (unfortunately none of Bree’s milo), attended the devotion (hosted by Bree & Jorja based on Hope), went on our daily walk and participated in a highly intense aerobics routine (led by Mr Roberts) which was very tiring.

Double hand-holding is the best!

Already the best of friends

After aerobics was done, we headed back to the Headquarters to wait for our bus which would then take us to Penang. The bus arrived and after numerous power naps we arrived to the Park Royal Resort.

As we reached, we were all taken by surprise at the state of the resort! It was extremely elegant and “boujee” which were very happy about, and which we all found quite different in comparison to the Bethany Home. This made us feel grateful and appreciative. After going to our rooms, we came down to gather for lunch (as we skipped the half-way Maccas run, much to everyone’s disappointment). This was at around 3:00pm, hence we were all starved and starting to get “hangry”. As lunch arrived we all demolished our food and were getting ready to take a good swim in the pool.

Straight off the bus – This place is fancy!

We started off by going in the pool with slides (accompanied by many parents with their children) and enjoyed the rides. Soon we moved to the next pool to enjoy some leisurely swimming. After several rounds of ‘chameleon’ we chatted amongst ourselves and then got out to get ready for dinner. (But not before taking full advantage of the hot showers with incredible water pressure!)

Before dinner, we decided to go take pictures of the beautiful sunset. Then we walked towards the food court and were bombarded with ALL the choices of what type of dinner we could eat! The dinners that our group ate consisted of curries with naan and rice, chicken bread (sorry Sarah, cannot recall the spelling) and sizzlers.

What a stunning view!

So much food to choose from – We will be back tomorrow for sure!

We will be back tomorrow for more adventures and Penanigans (get it Penang + shenanigans?)

Now for our sign off:

We know after all the previous blogs, you are probably expecting a long, elaborate collection of adjectives to describe how great we are, but we don’t need to tell of our awesomeness (and also we want to go back to the pool and swim)

Meetal and Bree xox

This is where you can find us 🙂

 

Day 5: 9 October 2019

Hey ya’ll,

It’s been a pretty jam-packed and hectic day today… so lets just jump right into it.

First off, we woke up, ate some breakie and heard an inspiring devotion from Sarah and Caitlin talking about perseverance… it was truely sensational. We then we did our usual walk and then went to aerobics. To shake things up a bit (pun intended), Mr Roberts and his three professional back up dancers – Emma, Jorja and Meetal led the session; they put their heart and soul into it which was very evident…

Then, it was time for the first ever Bocce Championships, the day we had been dreaming about since day 1 of training (we couldn’t sleep, we couldn’t eat, we couldn’t drink). We got put into mixed teams of the Bethany gals, teachers and Bethany students. Some teams were unsuccessful but there was one team that brought home the win today- Emily’s team was victorious! Coming in second was Jorja and Miss Prosser’s team and coming in third was mine (Asher) and Bree’s team (*not biased* but we should have won… I (Asher) will be speaking with the umpires tomorrow).

After a strenuous morning of bocce, we ate lunch (rice, curry, fish and vegetables; oh and lets not forget the main component – soy sauce) and then some of us finished painting the banner (I think we are up to 5 hours of painting to complete that banner) and some of us went to classes. I (Asher) and Emma were in the physio room, mine (Emily) was in room 4, Caitlin, Bree and Meetal were in the work skills room. We then finished our game of Harry Potter Uno which had been running for around 3 hours over the duration of 2 days… Miss Prosser took the win. Exhausted from the stress of the Uno game and distraught from Miss Prosser’s win, we then worked on the mural – we painted the buildings and took the tape off the windows (personally, my favourite part of the day… so satisfying).

Then, the lovely Phillomina took us out for drinks (*non alcoholic beverages*… calm down!) at Old Town White Coffee Cafe. We then ate dinner at Rajesh’s house. She cooked us some very tasty noodles, fish, rice, fried chicken and vegetables. We played with her very cute (clean, vaccinated, with NO rabies -it’s ok parents, your children are fine) puppies. We then came back to HQ (or as we later found out is called ‘IQ’, which stands for International Quarters,  (what?! biggest plot twist)) and played some cards and just chilled out.

To close this blog post, we just wanted to highlight the hospitality the people at Bethany have shown us so far… although they don’t have a lot, they share with us what they have and this generosity has been very inspiring to all of us girls.

So, goodnight all, we are now going to bed after Bree tells us a bedtime story – tonight it’s ‘Revenge of the Mosquitos’ (a sequel to ‘Emily vs Mosquitos’) which we are all very excited about.

Love from your  favourite bocce champion and actual fav Bethany gals,

Emily and Asher xox

Go team!

 

Serious stuff!

Champions (Yay Emily!)

Back to work!

 

This entry was posted on October 10, 2019. 1 Comment

Day 4: 8 October 2019

Hi everybody!

We started off today with our morning walk:

Next we did aerobics with the students, we are getting a handle on the routines:

Emma, Asher and Izzy spent the majority of the day working in the physiotherapy room. We began by throwing balls to the students to work on their motor skills, participated in a very relaxing nap time, and ended the session by colouring in.

Jorja, Caitlin & Meetal spent the day in the special needs unit, where we enjoyed singing a variety of English nursery rhymes (with particular enthusiasm during our favourite; “The Apple Song”) , along with a variety of activities to improve coordination and motor skills.

Bree and Sarah went to the Lighthouse Learning Centre to make thank you cards.

Emily worked in level 1 with the younger students. They enjoyed spending time outside on the equipment.

Now STOP… banner time!

Jorja, Caitlin and Sarah were tasked with creating a banner for an upcoming Bethany dance performance. They worked tirelessly for 3 hours before being joined by the rest of the crew.

While they were working on the banner, the remaining girls began painting the mural. We have planned for a Peter Pan themed wall with a sunset and a city sky line. This is the progress we have made so far:

We are currently engaged in a marathon UNO event, spanning hours with a result still pending. Winner TBA, tune in tomorrow for the result.

Lots of love from the Infinitely Superior, Unwavering, All Conquering, Universally Loved And Admired Bethany Gals, WHO TAKE NO PRISONERS.. You Know Who We Are.

-XOXO Emma & Jorja

This entry was posted on October 8, 2019. 2 Comments

Day 3: 7 October 2019

Hey all,

Today was our first day working at Bethany Home. We were excited to meet all the students when they arrived this morning. The first thing we did was attend a Devotion led by Asher and Emma where we sang hymns and a Tamil song.

We then took the students for a walk out the front of the home, followed by aerobics. After this we split off into seperate classrooms where we helped out different students. Caitlin, Meetal and Emily helped out in a PE class; Sarah, Bree and Izzy helped out with the high needs class; Jorja helped out with motor skills and English in a Level 4 class; and Asher and Emma helped in a life skills class. After helping out, we all had lunch supplied by the Bethany staff which was delicious.

After lunch, Bree helped out in the hydro-pool and everyone else started stage one (the undercoat) of our mural. The Bethany staff then organised a bocce game where Bree, Meetal, Miss Prosser, and Mr Torquato (the yellow team) dominated. Sarah, Izzy, Jorja, and Caitlin shot photos for their album cover, coming soon (see photos below). We then relaxed in our rooms and played cards until we walked to the street markets to buy our dinner and the odd pair of happy-pants. For dinner, people had fried rice, noodles and chicken, corn on the cob and oranges (for Bree). We then played charades, cards and music to finish off the day.

Looking forward to tomorrow and seeing the students again.

Lots of love,

Your bestest Bethany gals (Sarah and Caitlin)

xoxo

Starting the day!

Morning Walk

Lunch.. mmmm!

Mural Stage 1

As only Bree can!

What’s going on? Mmmm!

Bocce!

This entry was posted on October 7, 2019. 1 Comment

Day 2: 6 October 2019

Dear All,

Today we woke up and had a buffet breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we packed up our suitcases and bags and relaxed in our hotel rooms until it was time to check out. While waiting for the bus to arrive to collect us we played a round of Cheat, which Bree won.

When the bus arrived, it was a lot larger than we all were expecting which we were very grateful for. On the way to Bethany we observed many interesting things including; palm trees, various forms of greenery, buildings, and many temples. We also noticed that the traffic rules are non-existent, which we were quite shocked by. And before we arrived we enjoyed several games of ‘Mafia’ and then went for a Maccas run.

When we arrived at Bethany Home we had a good look around whilst waiting for the Reverend. Then we got settled into our room & cranked up the air conditioning & bathed ourselves in mosquito repellent. We all gathered in the HQ and enjoyed a few round of various card games.

Then we went our for dinner and ate some yummy Chinese which was thoroughly enjoyed with Reverend Eleizer & his wife, Sarah.

From your ACTUAL favourite Bethany Girls,

Isobelle & Meetal

Waiting for the bus to Bethany

Arrived!

Cards before dinner

3 happy girls that tucked in!

Really tasty Chinese cuisine!