First stop: Sunlove Home, the "head office", to deliver a big cheque. The chief there offers us water. We politely decline, but he delivers anyway. He thanks us several times.
|Rations belong to the hungry, kid belongs to a volunteer|
Second stop: Marsiling, one of the "branch offices". There are bags of dry rations, all nicely packed in colour-coded plastic bags by the food supplier. Cooking oil, sugar, noodles, canned food, 30 eggs … a month's supply of food. There's milk powder too. High calcium type for the elderly and milk for different children's age groups. Some beneficiaries come the the centre to collect their food. For others, it's home delivery.
We have a trolley and slips of paper with names and addresses. Some cheery people are waiting at the void deck of their apartments, but their unit numbers aren't on our list. Walking along narrow and fusty corridors, we knock on doors. People are waiting for us by the door, some in wheelchairs. Some are amputees. Most are elderly, they move with difficulty. Hands fumble with locks. We hand them the bags and they sign for it, then thank us softly.
One lady, on elbow crutches, tells us to go in. We hesitate, she tells us we don't have take off our cycling shoes. We place the food neatly where she tells us to. "Would you like me to untie the bags?" I ask. She says she can handle it. I'd earlier struggled to untie them to photograph the contents of some bags!
But some don't answer the door.
Back at the branch office, the pile of bags has shrunk. Some people aren't in, or haven't come to collect.
The homes are tiny. From the door, I see the bedroom, living room and kitchen. Some are dim, dank and cluttered. The home of the lady on crutches is bright and airy, neat and tidy. She's going out. She hangs a cloth bag on her crutch, since she can't clutch it.
To clear my head, I cycle to where I'd spent some tough months in my army days, to see my old camp being flattened by earthmoving machines.