Tuesday, 18 March 2014

When it rains, it pours - 18 Mar 2014

It's only mid March, and it feels like a long time in Malaysia. 

The weather was hot, extremely hot and dry, with hardly any rain for weeks. We took turns falling sick in the family. A drastic rise in dengue cases has raised the alarm, and everyone was very concerned about the disease. Then, without warning, two of our dams were contaminated by ammonia, forcing an immediate shut down and leaving thousands without a drop of water for weeks. That's during the Chinese New Year! We're one of those lucky ones in our residential area to be first hit by water disruption. Imagine how we've survived the water disruption - for 16 days and in such extreme heat! For most people, it's life as usual. 

Family 'gotong-royong' time. 
During this time, we've relooked at the ways we use water and come out with our survival skills and water rationing plan at home!!

He thinks it's play!

Day and night - every day...

A chance to meet and greet our neighbours!
We're so thankful for the daily water supply from the water tankers.

Soon, the prolonged dry spell forced the Selangor state to start water rationing in many areas, now affecting 3.6 million people. By then, we're more than ready, and the water ration was good news to us, cos we get 2 days supply of water and 2 days off. It's like a blessing to have our water back! 

 Prolonged dry spell causing trees to drop leaves. 

In the midst of the chaos, there're forest fire, bushfire and peat fire igniting everywhere, releasing billowing smoke into the air. Not forgetting to give credit to our firefighters who are working round the clock to fight the persistent fires in this hot and dry weather.

Our boys were cooped indoors most of the time due to the worsening haze. The Air Pollution Index (API) changes our lifestyle, where we go and what we do. 

Brandon's sketch - 'Pray for passengers, SAR teams'

But the most 'unprecedented' news, as we hear it over and over this past week, would be the disappearance of a Malaysian plane enroute to Beijing from our airspace in the middle of the night on 8 March. I've yet to take stock of everything that happened after that. Our nation and leaders are in spotlight over the missing plane. The international scrutiny and endless speculations and theories that flooded the news coverage everyday were just overwhelming. Todate, 26 countries are helping with the search. We also saw Malaysians from all walks of life join their hands in prayer and hope, as well as leaders from different nations put aside their differences to offer help with the search. Even our boys were glued to the tv news for the daily updates. There're just too many 'unprecedented' in this crisis. The world is still perplexed that even having the technology might not prevent these incidents. Whatever the outcome, it'll surely leave a mark in many lives.

Some of the things that happened this year, to us as well as our nation, took us out of our comfort zone abruptly. We like our routine, and when we have to live in uncertainty and unfamiliar grounds, we feel insecure. I did ask 'why us', when the whole nation has no problem with water supply, we're one of those affected by water disruption. So many people also asked how we'd survived. Not by positive thinking. But by taking one day at a time, doing what needs to be done for the day, stop worrying about the future and taking our concerns to God and learning to trust Him. 

This disruption from our routine has forced the boys to see things beyond themselves. We, as parents, love tending to their needs and whims all the time so they end up thinking the world revolves around them. This year they could see those things happening around them and in the nation, also affect them. And they realise that they're part of the bigger communities. We do not live for ourselves only. It's easier to explain these things to them now, when we're all not in the comfort zone.

The much awaited rain and strong winds came in the last few days bringing brief respite from the heat and haze. We've blue sky again and we can hear the birds chirping - it's such a precious sight though it's always there, we never realise how much we miss it. We can only hope and pray there'll be good news coming - especially on MH370.

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