[The PV Series] The Children’s Day Funfair

Children’s Day has been pretty confusing of late for us parents. I always preferred the 1 October allotment over the current First Friday of October arrangement, simply because it was so much easier to remember. But I did see the point for the day to be moved right into a long weekend for the kids. And so it was that the school I volunteered in was planning a funfair for the kids just the day before they had their long weekend break.

funfair

Now, technically speaking, the annual Children’s Day Funfair is a Parent Support Group (PSG) event, and for the uninitiated (that means pretty much all of us young parents) there is a significant different between the PSG and parent volunteers (PV), namely that the PSG volunteers are parents whose kids are already in the school and PSG volunteers are self-managed, while the PVs volunteer in the hopes that their kids can eventually get in, and these volunteers are managed by the school.

Thus it makes sense that the PSG committee take the reins in planning annual events such as this, since it would take experience to run such things relatively smoothly. But then, how did The Blogfather get involved with the PSG as a PV then?

For one, I can draw (specifically, on Adobe Illustrator).

signs-group

When the signs were produced, the committee members were so enamoured with the artwork, they proudly included the signs in practically every single groupshot they took at the fairground.

signs-collage

And then, there was the fact that I knew some people who knew some people who could get me some things that some people I knew might find useful.

contri-hasbro

‘Nuff said.

I will add that I was with the funfair planning committee through the 3 months it took to get everything together. And boy, were these people resourceful. Most of the games equipment were sourced online from suppliers based in China, which were then delivered to a PSG member’s sister’s China office and flown over via a couple of trips worth of check-in luggage. The rest were either made or recycled from last year’s funfair. And by the day of the funfair, the committee managed to bring together about 100 volunteers over two shifts to take care of 17 game stalls and large waves of primary school children from every level.

The foremost thing on everyone’s mind, though, was making sure the kids had something to remember their life in school by. Unfortunately, The Blogfather isn’t quite able to comment on the proceedings of the day, but I did get The Wife to attend the funfair, partly to help me document the event in words and pictures, partly to get her to experience parent volunteering at a primary school for the first time.

How did it go for her rather pregnant self? All I can say for now is that my phone was buzzing non-stop at work that day from her excited up-to-the-minute WhatsApp updates. You need to keep an eye out for her post, coming soon on Mother of Xander.

ty-hasbro

In the meantime, on behalf of the schoolchildren, the school PSG and me, I’d like to give a thousand thanks to HASBRO SINGAPORE for their generous contribution of toys and other goodies as part of the funfair’s prizes and games equipment. Your generosity added even more brightness into the hearts of our funfair volunteers, and in the faces of a thousand happy children.

Hospitalised! – The Three Old Men

Probably the best story I have on my hospitalisation experience came from a sort-of fight that occurred in my ward, which I documented in 2 Facebook postings below:

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I felt this incident deserved a post on its own, not just because it was completely unexpected and downright hilarious at the time, but you sort of get the feeling that the people in the ward are under a lot more stress than they let out.

It was later on, when my bed neighbour, Old Man 3 (I’ve mentioned Mr Teo in a previous post) would share his reason for disliking Old Man 1 so much, that I came to empathise the possible social underpinnings that led to Old Man 1 being there in the first place.

Old Man 1 was suffering from gangrene on his right leg brought about by his severe diabetic condition. According to my bed neighbour, up until the fight occurred, he had already been warded – and bedridden – for 2 weeks, and he did not look like he was going to leave any time soon.

He would insist on being served by the nurses for just about everything, from opening his drawers to plugging in his mobile phone charger for him, even though we would witness him being completely capable of doing these menial tasks on his own. And he was stubborn; refusing to take his medication, have his dressing changed, and even sponge baths (from which the resultant smell led to the argument). He also seldom had visitors; I’ve only seen his wife come by once every 2 days or so, and when he received phone calls, it would be late at night (much to Mr Teo’s irritation). He even asks the nurses and patients for money whenever he has the opportunity, though none would oblige.

As I sat in my own bed looking at Old Man 1, trying to figure out the reason behind his attitude and actions, it started to look like Old Man 1 actually didn’t want to leave. Given he is likely a C-class patient as I was (they ran of beds in the C-class wards, so they bumped us up to B2-class beds instead), it could well be that he never gets the kind of attention and treatment at home that he is getting now from the doctors and nurses. It doesn’t matter that his hospital bill is running up by the day; it’s another concern for another day. He lives in the now, and now he’s literally got servants tending to him at the press of a button. Why would he want to leave, ever? Why would he want to go home and reintroduce himself to the misery and suffering of… poverty?

And then I thought, how many more of these patients are there in our society?