RURAL KEDAH: SOLS Ayer Hitam

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As classes re-commenced at the start of a new school week (a sunday) my photographic agenda switched from rice paddies and market stalls to whiteboards and worksheets… feeling a little left wanting, having had only two days to explore a relatively small vicinity of this new part of the world, i was slightly averse to spending the next bulk of my trip back in school. However, right from the first day with the warm and relaxed welcome i received from all the students, including a brilliantly forward Question coming out of the introductory Q&A: “what type of women do you like?”, it proved to be a truly unique and wholesome experience. Both in and outside class the enthusiasm and kind, thoughtful nature of the students and their families had an inspiring affect. What made my stay all the more interesting was timing my visit during ‘Hari Raya’, a holiday celebrated after Ramadan. Aside from it’s religious significance, celebrations involved much socialising, open-houses, an abundance of traditional home-made dishes and boxes upon boxes of holiday cookies!

With no pressure to be anything but myself, and for doing very little i received much love (and food!) in return. Perhaps some of this generosity and warmth was due to simply being my brother’s bother. But that’s pretty special in itself, as it tells me what an great job Rich is doing out there with SOLS, and what a powerful and positive impact he has made on their lives.

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The Project: All this proved the perfect environment in which to challenge myself, experiment, and create something useful that effectively told the story of the SOLS 24/7 Community Education Center in Ayer Hitam… well, of my 12 days there at least.

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: YOUTH CLASS :

Kedah SOLS - 03

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Kedah SOLS - 22.

A bit of yard work: Teacher Rich often receives the help of his students in the up-keep of the centre. Including tasks such as painting, picking up litter, putting up posters and banners.

Kedah SOLS - 16

Kedah SOLS - 19

Kedah SOLS - 18

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A traditional game. Difficulty: Very Tricky!

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: ADULT CLASS :

Made up of an assortment personalities and varying english speaking levels they always had a laugh. A fun group!

Kedah SOLS - 07

Kedah SOLS - 24

Kedah SOLS - 45

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Advertising for a new ‘Day Camp for Children’ at the other Ayer Hitam SOLS Community Centre i.e. My temporary home.

Kedah SOLS - 40

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: HOUSEWIVES CLASS :

The perfect start to the day. Bringing refreshing positivity and sometimes snacks… a combination capable of kicking me out of my morning state. My Brother’s in good hands. A Memorable bunch!

Kedah SOLS - 30

Kedah SOLS - 31

Kedah SOLS - 12.

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A Grand and Familiar Sendoff: “Open Class” Raya celebrations on my last morning in Ayer Hitam, Kedah. Rich, Millie and the Housewives put together this impressive spread.

(Not Pictured: Me in traditional ‘baju melayu’ dress)

Kedah SOLS - 35

 Thanks to everyone for making me feel so at home.

Jumpa lagi.

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