“100 Volunteers For 100 Years” Volunteer Exchange Programme Hosted By AFS Perlis Chapter

AFS Perlis were given the golden opportunity to host three AFS Volunteers,  Mr. Perviaz Ahmad from AFS India, Srinagar, Kashmir,  Mr. Abbas Saudek from Bina Antabudaya Samarinda Chapter, East Kalimantan, Indonesia and Mr. Elijah Daniel Batislaong Geanga from Luzon Island, AFS Philippines. They arrived in Perlis on the Sunday, 23rd November 2014 and will begin their journey to this small but enchanting state until 4th December 2014. They were hosted by Mr.Wan Shahidan Wan Senapi (Abbas), Mr.Hamlussalam Md.Dali (Perviaz) and Mdm Murshidah (Elijah) and immediate bonding were established with the respective family. It was raining heavily during the early visit and they observed the impending impact of flood in various low lying areas in Perlis. Few days later we were blessed with good weather and the anxiety of flood diminishes and we can continue to our planned programmed.

Our programme started as early as the daily Fajar prayer to various interesting mosques in Perlis such as the floating mosque in Kuala Perlis, Putra Mosque in Kangar , Masjid Al-Ariffin, Padang Katong and Masjid Behor Empiang.

A visit to  Buddhist temple at Padang Sera was also arranged. Breakfast  apart from that prepared by the host family also include eating out at the local friendly nasi lemak, roti canai and laksa stalls. On a serious note we arranged a visit to the two universities in Perlis , Universiti Teknologi MARA(UiTM) Perlis campus in Arau and Universiti Malaysia Perlis(UniMAP) in Pauh Putra. Discussions were held with universities officials and a tour of the campusses facilities especially the state of the art library facilities at UniMAP. They also appeared as guests appearing  live “on-air” on UniMAP.fm radio station.   We had daily lunch programmed sponsored by restaurants serving various local delicacies especially the “catfish” of Anjung Keli restaurant, traditional Malay cuisine of Restoran Sungai Bakong and seafood  steamboat delicacies from Aura Steamboat and Grill. They also had the opportunity to be invited to three Malay weddings and “berkhatan” or circumcision ceremony which were widely held during the school vacation season.

Edutainment and cultural tour were arranged to various interesting places in Perlis. A visit to the Royal Gallery in Arau saw the  volunteers having a first glimpse of the “Kiswah” of the Holy Mosque in Makkah presented by the Royal Saudi King to the Raja of Perlis. The Royal Gallery showcase the artifacts and decorations belonging to the Royalty of Perlis. A visit to Perlis Grape Farm, Perlis Herbal Park, relaxing at the Bukit Ayer Recreational Park and a must visit to the Perlis “Gua Kelam” and “Secret Garden”  explored the natural wonders and beauty of Perlis apart from its vast open landscape of paddy fields. They also had the opportunity to participate in events organized  and held in Perlis especially the “Karnival Keusahawan” or entrepreneurial carnival where products and services  available in Perlis were showcased. They also don’t miss the “Karnival Kucing” or cat carnival where various pets especially cats of various colour, shape, sizes and monetary values were displayed and contested. Our friend Perviaz were given the opportunity to overcome his “fear” towards this feline creature.

     

A day was spent on the Saturday 29th December 2014 in neighbouring Kedah including a visit to the Paddy Museum complex at Gunung Keriang near Alor Setar, exploring the town of Alor Setar, shopping at Pekan Rabu where traditional Malay dresses and food were sold and a visit to Masjid Zahir.  Coming back to Perlis they still had the energy and enthuthiasm to learn and play the game of “woodball”  which is a favourite pastime game in Perlis and coached by Mr.Hamlussalam, the Vice President of Perlis Woodball Association. We also arranged for a bicycle tour and experience the scenic beauty along the 11 kilometeres Sungai Perlis track. Our friend Abbas  had a slight fall along the trail and were given immediate medical attention with the “minyak gamat” potion which we brought along.

Langkawi! Langkawi ! here we come!. We perfected the programmed with a two day stay on the 1st and 2nd of December at the majestic Langkawi  Island.  They were fortunate to be given free transport and lodging courtesy of Mr Ahmad, a friend to our Chapter President, Kak Jah. What more to a leisurely time than to laze around at the beaches at Pantai Cenang , Tanjung Rhu and Pasir Hitam. Shopping at Pekan Kuah especially for the cheap chocolates,   duty free item and souvenirs to bring for the loved ones back home.

The highlight of this programme was when the volunteers were treated as guest of honour at the Universiti Teknologi MARA 81st convocation ceremony held at UiTM Arau campus on 3rd December 14. The Pro Cancellor, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Sallehuddin Mohammad  had a brief mentioned of them  during the ceremony and were treated to high tea session with the Pro-Cancellor and university officials after the convocation ceremony.

Prepared By:  Hamlussalam Md Dali, AFS Perlis Chapter




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