By Terence Kek

“So this is ‘barbecue’! This is the first time we have barbecue and it is nice!” Nazimul, mumbles happily, in between mouthfuls of perfectly grilled food – which includes the fish they caught that same afternoon.

This is the fifth outing organized by TWC2 Discover Singapore. The day began with two hours of cycling and fishing. The 25 migrant workers in the group were divided into two subgroups, with thirteen choosing to spend the day cycling and twelve preferring to fish.

The riders sped off once the bicycles were issued to them; reappearing only when it was time to return the bikes.

The fishing group made their way to Bedok jetty armed with four simple homemade fishing rods — made with fishing lines tied to bamboo sticks. Initially the guys were a bit disheartened when they saw the more ‘powerful’ professional-looking fishing rods that other anglers had, but within an hour, they managed to catch two fish without any bait. Their fishing rods were hand-made by outing coordinator Nazimul, a migrant worker who suffered a back injury at the workplace on 17 August 2012; he has been on a Special Pass for the past year; not able to work and thus without any income since his injury.

As dusk fell, it was time to light a fire for the highlight of the day — the barbeque. This was the first time that these workers experienced a Singaporean-style barbeque at East Coast Park beach.

Five workers were appointed as the chefs for that evening: two of them made a spicey yet appetising salad while the other three ‘chefs’ and some volunteers barbequed chicken, beef, prawns, corn cobs and the two fish to perfection over the white hot charcoal.

The night ended with an impromptu performance: a joyful dance, amidst happy singing and much waving of sparklers. It was a moment that would be surely be imprinted into the fond memories of those present. Weng Keong, a volunteer participating in Discover Singapore outing for the first time was overheard saying, “this experience is totally different from what I have experienced before; it gives me a new dimension of the migrant workers”.

This fifth outing was made possible with a kind donation from a generous individual, Mr Johnson Lim.  If you would like to support a future excursion by TWC2 Discover Singapore for migrant workers, please contact [email protected]