The Lunch in the Dark was totally not expected for and we were also not told of the programme except to just be there. It was organised by my work dept as part of our learning. Well, if you work for the government ministry in the HQ yo, you will never miss out on such 'opportunities'..lol.
Anyway, the first session was held at the Enabling Village near to the Redhill MRT. I had been there before but it wasn't called that at first. It was where I had to take several tests as part of work certification thingey so I was quite familiar on how to get there. It really is very enlightening to know that the government has stepped in with generous grants to help physically disabled people to be able to work and earn a living despite their shortcomings through the use of specially designed equipments made for them. Hence, the name enabling village where they will come here and learn new skills and with these skills, they can join the society and not feel left out due to their disabilities.
For more info, you can check out the link here.
So this blog post is about my experience after my visit to the Enabling village which is having lunch in utter darkness, like complete dark dark..u don't even see any hint of shadows..dark. Hope you get what I mean.
I am not kidding when you first enter the room in a choo choo train where you hold on to the person's shoulders in front of you...for dear life. That will be the only source of support you have because once the light start to diminish, you will be in complete darkness. Worse still, you have to make your way to the chairs like basically gropping around to find a seat next to you to have your *gulp* lunch.
We were already briefed prior to entering where the positions of our cutlery were. But then when you are in the dark, basically you forget everything, well I did anyway, haha. The next scary thing was that I had to pour my own drink, literally like being blind folded while doing that. We would tell each other ok I passed the jug in front of you and then you have to feel for the jug and the glass and carefully fill up the glass yourself. I didn't even know the depth of the glass so I just basically poured like a bit to prevent spillage.
Interestingly, we were served by visually handicapped people and they would tell us when our food arrive each time like oh it's in front of you now. Coz you can't see whether the food there or not. Amazing too right how with their lack of vision, they make use of their other senses to make up for it so that they can live their lives just like the rest of us. It's a lot harder for them so this experience teaches able people like me to appreciate more what we have, rather than just to keep complaining about how hard life is because there are other people who go through this each day and life still goes on, you know.
Then as we were being served, my table of people loved to throw him questions out of curiosity and it's amazing how he and his wife brought up two children well, who both have perfect eyesight, until they are now studying in the local universities. They don't let their handicap hamper their children's education and future. Set me thinking as well, from the cases I handle at work, where there are students who simply give up on studying like completely lose interest as they are more interested in working and earning money.
But how long can you become a waiter or waitress. I mean I'm not looking down at their jobs but they are still very young and surely they have a vision on what they want to be, rather than just being in a job just to earn money where if they were to study, they will lose such 'golden' opportunity. I only hope that somewhere along the line when they have to make adult decisions and lead an adult lifestyle, they will understand that life is more than just work and play.
While it didn't start off too well for me (besides being scary af), example I had difficulty finding my mouth when I first wanted to sip the soup, it got on interestingly well like we all were laughing as we were trying to figure out the food we were eating. Despite the darkness, all around, people were chatty as if the darkness didn't bother them.
So when we finally get to leave the tables, we had to find the shoulders of the one in front of us as we stood up. Then as we slowly walked in the same manner we came in like a choo choo train, the light slowly crept up and it was blinding! Argh..and I was looking forward to it, haha.
Okay but the blinding light didn't last too long as our eyes started to get accustomed to it and I managed to find my specs back from the tray the staff was holding.
Overall, what did I think. No pun intended but it was an eye opener, an experience that I believe is enriching.
I don't have pictures from the experience..obviously but here's the link on where you can go book a visit to go with your colleagues or your students if you're a teacher. It's very enriching once you open your mind for the experience.
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Sunday, April 16, 2017
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