Friday, March 6, 2009
Hang Back & Chill Out @ 'Island Escapade'
yesterday close to 300 malaysians from all 7 emirates in the uae came together for an 'island escapade' to a private island off umm al-quwain. we first gathered at a palma-beach-resort somethin somethin to catch the boat that would take us to that island.
under the growing heat of the sun, we first registered, lined up towards the boat and went on in batches. there's ice-cream on sale just right next to the line of people. saje nak tempt us!
we were divided into 'rumah sukan' much like in our school days. yellow, red, blue and white house. we were put in yellow house, given ribbons to be tied on our wrist. even kahfi got one! "ey, ko rumah ape?" or "eh kita sama!" were heard under the tree where the registration took place.
when i was in methodist girls' school, we had different names for our sport houses - i was in nightingale, and there were cavell, victoria and crosby house. they're names of exceptional woman in history; humanitarians. meanwhile, the malay college adopted names of the founding fathers - the sultans - sulaiman, idris, ahmad and mohd shah. mr. khairul played for sulaiman house, and if i'm not mistaken, abah was in sulaiman house too. betul tak, abah?
on the boat, we had to sit on the floor as there were no more space. we brought the stroller along too and parked it right in the middle. mr. khairul held kahfi throughout the boat ride. sea water sprinkled onto khaleef's face and he's more than willing to be sprinkled more.
we arrived to be greeted by a sight of a small, bare island save for some long huts and a couple of colourful flags. it's not gorgeous, but still quite a view. i've never seen such a tiny island! wait, i have seen some, but never been on one.
as you can see from the picture, there were few long huts used to put our belongings, to hang back and chill out for the duration of the 'escapade'. once we got there, people started spreading their picnic mats and got comfortable.
cream colored t-shirts and white caps that bear the logo 'island escapade - myUAE-PRO uaq 060309' were given out to participants of this 'escapade'. i didn't wear mine - it's too big and unflattering...i have enough extra meat visible!
after setting up 'camp', change of clothing and putting names up for the different activities in store - let the games begin! mr. khairul put his name up for water polo (of course!), netball and golf. me? yeah, right! jangan buat lawak!
there were other fun games like tarik tali (tug-o-war), dodgeball for kids and beach bowling. naah. i just don't feel like it. maybe when kahfi is older? (yeah, riiiiiiight.)
the whole day was pretty much about playing these games for most; lepak, borak and watch for others (read: me), decorating the 'house flag', a break for lunch, then for friday prayers, and the games continued till prize-giving sessions.
khaleef had a time of his life! it's like putting him in the biggest sandbox ever. actually while mothers prepared the 'nest' and fathers mingled, the kids all got cozy with the sand - dig, pile, throw, pat, dig some more, pile some more. i think khaleef was hardly in the hut with me - it's sand-time all the time - stopping only to eat or drink.
one of the objectives of this kind of activity is the get-together part. meeting current aquaintances while fostering new friendship. exchanging phone numbers for the new and sharing stories for the friends we've known before.
i met kak intan (far left), the first malaysian i know living in ras al-khaymah, another emirate i haven't been to. a friendly lady, i remember her question, "you ni camne, melayu ke? malaysian?" because of my name! like i haven't heard that before!
another gem of a find is kak linda (white tudung), whom i got to know through my blog! a chatty, bubbly lady, we hit it off right there. i enjoyed her company while we chatted amidst the cheering noise of the games - jom lepak central perk bila-bila nanti? or come to dubai marina. bring your twins!
makan time saw a long line of hungry malaysians eagerly awaiting lunch. mutiara restaurant (the one that abah also went when he was here last time) provided the lunch - flavored rice, a choice of chicken or fish (macam dalam plane pulak) and vegetable. khaleef got the kids' meal which has some chicken nuggets and fries. yum yum. the place really got quiet once everyone started lunchin and munchin.
to be honest i didn't really like the food, but mr. khairul thought it was not bad. khaleef finished his nuggets but there were too many fries!
after a hefty lunch, the men prepared themselves for the friday prayers. while i was in melbourne, i remember a time where we stopped at a playground during a day out and prayed right there. it's quiet a sight to see a huge group started forming at the beach, awaiting the azan. then the congregation moved briskly to fill in the saf.
mr. khairul wore his kain pelikat. at a beach. lawak!
myUAE-PRO prez pakpayne and his team should be given a pat on the back for a job well done. the event was smooth-sailing, games were well-organized, activities were fun and enjoyable for all age, the people had lots of laughs and everything seemed to be going as planned.
mr. khairul said it showed great unity among malaysian living in the uae, irrespective of race. it also displayed friendship fostered in respect, regardless of any political affiliation - something we are yet to see in malaysia, looking at the current political madness. there were no umno, pkr or pas or party dua kupang - there were just yellow, red, white and blue house - and they're there to have fun!
oh, here's our 'little devil' - who was quite an angel, really throughout the event. we love you, sweetheart!
how about a 'desert escapade 2010', next?