The euphoria of Raptor Watch Weekend is gradually wearing off, and we now have the MNS Selangor Branch Open Day on June 5 to work towards. Only volunteers can so cheerfully work like Spartan soldiers in pursuit of nothing more than smiles and warm thank-yous.
The Monday after Raptor Watch, I brought Gypsy home from the SPCA, where I had boarded him with Kak Mazni. Gypsy has not been adopted yet but there is good news. My buddies VJ and Sara fell in love with Gypsy after I posted photos of him on Facebook, and will be adopting him next week. We will get him vaccinated and formalise the arrangement by paying the adoption fee and signing the papers. I am really thrilled and grateful that Gypsy will be going to such a good home, and I will still get to board him for my friends from time-to-time.
Gypsy cuddling up to me at the SPCA office. Self-portrait taken with my 'Berry.
It has been another regular weekend for me. I had gone to the SPCA on Saturday and had cleaned the parental home, bathed Amber and spring-cleaned the parents' fridge on Sunday.
A pleasant surprise awaited me on Saturday when I arrived at the SPCA. I had rendered a very minor favour for a fellow blogger, Emily, and had forgotten all about it. Obviously she didn't, because she had dropped by at the SPCA the week before when I was in Tanjung Tuan for Raptor Watch and had made some contributions to the shelter and left an angpow for me. It came as a surprise, and of course I was very grateful and a tad embarrassed because I had done hardly anything to deserve it. I decided to put some of the money to good use purchasing treats for the shelter animals that I bathe or administer medical treatment to, to make the task easier for me and more pleasant for the animals. This way, Emily's good deed gets paid forward.
There was a new volunteer at the SPCA by the name of Bella and she immediately offered to bathe the dogs with me when she saw me preparing the gloves, leashes, shampoo and Tacktik EC. We worked companionably together, bathing and tickwashing all the dogs in Kennels G and H and the Central Area. Some of the dogs had wounds and rashes, no doubt aggravated by the ridiculous heat and humidity that we've been enduring the past few weeks, and I used the medication in my Animal First Aid Kit to render treatment.
We were done by 1500h and I cleaned and disinfected the Cattery before I got ready to leave the SPCA early to take Nicole and the interns to the International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya.
I showered at the SPCA Bungalow and chatted with Shahrul and Jacinta about our next projects and campaigns before going down to the stalls for a quick meal with Nicole, Cunera and Shahrul.
For the record, I know that hot air balloons are a highly fuel-intensive mode of transportation and not energy efficient at all, but I figured that they weren't going to be a regular mode of transportation for anyone, and besides, the Hot Air Balloon Festival was going to be there at Putrajaya once a year whether we choose to support it or not. Carpooling in my compressed natural gas-powered Battletank to the venue made economic and environmental sense, and so off we went to gape at balloons like any youngster would.
We drove off in the Battletank in the maddening afternoon heat in the general direction of the Federal Territory of Putrajaya, as I was unsure of the way and relied on Nic to navigate. We knew we were in the right place when we faced a traffic jam so massive we thought a parking lot had materialised in the middle of a 4-lane highway. We parked along the side of the Putrajaya Bridge, as did many other drivers, and ran shouting and pointing at the hot air balloons that drifted lazily in the sun-scorched sky.
"They look like jellybeans in the sky!" exclaimed Nicole, and I liked her metaphor so much that I decided to use it for the rest of the day.
Jellybeans in the sky! Photos taken using my 'Berry.
A clockwork orange? No, this one is powered by hot air! Seems appropriate then that the balloon festival is held in Putrajaya -- there's no shortage of hot air from our legislators there! Photo taken using my 'Berry.
"Come with me to the Dark Side!", this Darth Vader balloon seemed to say, as it rose up from the ground as if by magic. Photo taken using my 'Berry.
Hey, the hot air balloon isn’t an enclosed structure! The hot air escapes from the top! How does the balloon fill up and lift off, then? My guess is that it takes a continuous stream of fuel to keep a balloon aloft! Photo taken using my 'Berry.
A pair of jeans, a bunch of balloons and the Darth Vader. This combination seems to have been issued by a Random Balloon Generator! Photo taken using my 'Berry.
Nic and I managed to meet up with our friends, Catarina (our SPCA intern from Portugal) and Rajib (a MAKNA intern from Bangladesh) and proceeded to run up the ramp to the Millennium Tower for better photo opportunities.
Water Zorbs and other carnival-style attractions at the event grounds in Precint 2, Putrajaya. Photo courtesy of M. Rajibul Hasan.
The Lion Soars Tonight! Photo courtesy of M. Rajibul Hasan.
Our talented young photographer, Rajib!
Catarina, Nicole and I waiting at the Millenium Tower for the Night Glow to begin. Photo courtesy of M. Rajibul Hasan.
Night Glow -- Can you think of a more enchanting sight? Photo courtesy of M. Rajibul Hasan.
Dandelions in the sky -- Let the pyrotechnics begin! Photo courtesy of M. Rajibul Hasan.
A group shot for posterity -- Rajib, me, Nicole and Catarina on the Putrajaya Bridge.
We went back to Ampang Jaya to have dinner at the stalls. Rajib and I saw Catarina and Nicole off at the SPCA Bungalow. I dropped Rajib off at his apartment after declining supper at Gandhi's on grounds of being too full but assured him that we would meet up sometime for good Indian food.
So ends another charmed weekend of volunteering and spending time with friends, made all the more magical by jellybeans in the sky.