Kelantan DET – Day 1: April 24, 2009

Sultan Ismail Petra Airport
First view of Kota Bahru – Sultan Ismail Petra Airport and aerobridge.

The Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Negeri Kelantan (Kelantan State Department of Social Welfare) invited me to conduct Disability Equality Training (DET) to a group of about sixty participants from various districts in the state. They included a good mix of disabled people, community based rehabilitation (CBR) workers and social welfare officers. The one-day training was held at Hotel New Pacific in Kota Bahru last Saturday.

DET banner outside Hotel New Pacific
Entrance to the Hotel New Pacific.

Wuan and I landed at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Bahru at 3:10pm on Friday. Yoshie, who had been coordinating the training with me via emails and SMS for a couple of months, was there to pick us up with JKMN Kelantan staff Ismail. My first impressions of Kota Bahru were that it has very few tall buildings and the city is relatively clean. Most of the businesses were closed as Friday is a weekend holiday in Kelantan.

Ice breaker session
Ice breaker session the evening before DET.

The event started that evening with a briefing of the training by Tuan Wan Asrul followed by an ice breaking session for participants. Ice breakers are a good way to help the participants relax and get them to be acquainted with each other before the training begins. It was evident from their laughters and happy faces that they had fun at the session conducted by Yumiko, Michiko and Yoshie. The trio of pretty lasses are Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) staff currently working at JKMN Kelantan. As the evening’s event came to an end, I wondered how the training the next day would pan out.