Wednesday, June 29, 2005

You gotta see this

You gotta see this. I rarely tell people to visit funny sites, but this is the funniest I've seen yet. Courtesy of my discipler Samson.


Monday, June 27, 2005

I passed my lifesaving test

I passed my lifesaving test.

Didn't really go as expected. The 4 of us coursemates screwed up a bit here and there. Until the examiner became a bit expected, cuz we weren't used to his style of doing things.

But we passed.

We still passed.

I'm a bit surprised because the examiner was scolding us, telling us some story of some other examiner who passed a class and then the people in that class became lifeguards and weren't competent and the examiner ended up in jail.

Then after a half hour plus of chiding us and scolding us and telling us our mistakes (but hey, to his credit, he's really doing his job), he suddenly went,"ok, but I'll pass you anyway".

I have so many people to thank. Coursemates Andrew, Zu Quan, Ken, David for acting as my victim... most of all Uncle Patrick and Damien, my coaches, for teaching me how to really save a life. Even if the victim is your father or mother he or she will still grab you and struggle for air. He is desperate. Never take a victim from the front. Go behind him. Restrain him. If he struggles let go. Your life is more important, no use having 2 victims in the end. Stay calm.

And then there're the lessons they taught me about endurance. I'll remember Damien's continuous lap swims. 100m. Rest a few seconds. 100m. Rest a few seconds. 100m. Rest a few seconds... 5 times or more. Or the warm-ups. 16 laps in 4 strokes. Warm-up only. Aack. Then there's the time we were doing endurance training on NEW YEAR's EVE. Pretty inexperienced lifesaver back then. Indoor temperature was 25 degrees celscius from my house. It'd been raining the whole day. So the water was even colder. 20 degrees maybe? I still remember that particular scene (and feel cold when I do).

Drizzling. Water friggin cold. Uncle Patrick goes,"哎呀, 水不冷啦。水那么烧。哪里有下雨? 雨是假的啦!Go swim your laps." (Translation: "Aiyah, the water is not cold lah. It's so hot. Raining? The rain is fake) And so we swim and swim and swim. 水不冷. 雨是假的.水不冷. 雨是假的.水不冷. 雨是假的.

Not that these people read this blog, and though I've thanked them personally anyway, I still have to put it up here as well, cuz I know that it's not because of just myself that I am able to do what I can today. "No student is better than his teacher but when he has finished his course of instruction he will be like his teacher". I thank God especially for letting me have such fantastic coaches. I know that I'm not too good a swimmer, even after much improvement (I only picked up a reasonable freestle early this year).

(I got 2:43- which is just an OK timing for the item (time limit is 3:15) where we start fully dressed. Then we see a drowning victim, have to remove clothes, tell bystander to call for help and plunge in, sprint 50m then tow victim back 50m. ) Heh. I can't even plunge properly at that. (so I have to make up by trying to swim faster). But still, with all this learning and all these teaching I know I can save a drowning person.

Thank God.

I did have the option of going back to take higher awards, like AM (Award of Merit), Bronze Cross, Senior Resusc or even up to Instuctor or Teacher of Lifesaving. I've got something like the O'levels of Lifesaving, the BM (Bronze Medallion. NOT the swimming bronze award), (which technically is valid for 3 years, but I know the lessons I've learnt will stay with me for much longer than that, many thanks to my coach and heee my parents for paying the fees). But the thing is, I've set out to do what I wanted to do, admist a tight schedule and simultaneously taking Kayaking Star 1 and 2. I might continue another day, but not now.

Must go back to YPM already. Long time. 6 months? And it's study too for now. Priorities :God, Studies, ODAC and physical training.

Going back to YPM!! Sonic Edge thing right? Yay. Might be bringing a couple of non-Christian friends along.

Common tests start tomorrow. Pray for me, anyone who might be reading this blog. And oh yeah, if you're reading this, whoever you are, thanks for reading this blog. Often wonder who reads it, if anyone at all. (I know my bro reads this and so does Pam, but don't know about anyone else).

Friday, June 17, 2005



Spending 2 weeks to sit down and study. One BIG misconception about me as of late is that I've been spending lotsa time studying.

Not true.

The fact that I managed to pass my last Common Test, albeit with borderline grades is something that I thank God for. Sincerely couldn't have done it. Spent minimal time studying.

Sitting down to study.

Thursday, June 16, 2005



Spending 2 weeks to sit down and study. One BIG misconception about me as of late is that I've been spending lotsa time studying.

Not true.

The fact that I managed to pass my last Common Test, albeit with borderline grades is something that I thank God for. Sincerely couldn't have done it. Spent minimal time studying.

Sitting down to study.

Monday, June 13, 2005


Been kayaking 4 out of 7 days this week. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday. First 3 days was my Star 2 course. Sunday was kayaking as a safety vessel for a Charity Swim.

My expe leader-ing (if I may put it that way) on Thursday was much better than I expected. Miraculous, in fact. Learned a few lessons here and there, that being my first time as an expe leader in the first Sea Ex for my batch. But paddling on my part was much better than the previous day. Thank God. Credit goes to my bro too, for telling me how to use sweep strokes for a dancer.

****apology for technical kayaking lingo****

Kayaked around 30 klicks, I think, which actually isn't very much (I think) as compared to the pros out there. But quite an accomplishment for the boy who couldn't kayak straight.

Oh yeah, one funny incident. (Joke's on me)


Context: Practising of kayak-to-swimmer rescue. Kayaks on beach. Victims (simulated, of course) approx 50-100m out.

Tai Yong pushes kayak out to sea, and starts to paddle, to save victim.

20 seconds into kayaking, Tai Yong swerves to avoid person to starboard (it's actually his fault that he got so close anyway). Unfamiliar with new kayak. Capsizes.

Tai Yong starts towing kayak back to shore, while other kayaks begin to rescue their victims.

Tai Yong's victim: Help! Help! (in between gagging laughter) My rescuer is capsized!

All(I'm convicned) other rescuers begin to laugh. Some can't stop laughing even after 10 minutes after I've rescued my victim. Everyone's laughing. I'm laughing too.

And that partially explains why I was so surprised when I was made expe leader.

Been a busy 2 weeks. REALLY need to sit down and study. Lord, grant me the ability to do so.

Time to sleep.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

2 things

1. I've been chosen to be expedition leader for kayaking ex tomorrow. Gonna use dancers, a more manouverable but harder-to-control type of kayak. I was surprised to be chosen.

God help me.

Why the fuss?

Cuz: (excerpts from explanation on MSN to a friend)

"Cuz hor, it's the first ODAC sea expedition for our batch. Don't wanna screw up. I have no prior experience and I ain't too good on the new kayak. And it's 10 kliks and I've never gone 10 kliks before and I never gone through the route we're going before."

"Logically by human definitions I should be terrified."

"The last time I kayaked (on expedition) my ODAC teacher called me a terrorist, cuz I was swerving dangerously off course. Looked like I was going to bomb an oil refinery to the right."

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be afraid. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

-Joshua 1:9

2. Must give credit to Glenn Li for some quote I used for one of my posts. The one about constipation in the mouth, diarrhoea in the brain. And yes, I am heavily influenced by his blogging style, I think. One of the first few blogs I ever read.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

My past 7 days

Reporting on my past 7 days.


Went to AB camp at AJC (Alpha-Bravo camp; school's leadership camp. Collaboration between Council and ODAC). I thank God for every single one of my camp group members.

The first day was kinda boring. Lotsa physical exercise (which wasn't actually as tiring as it was meant to be, I guess. Probably because of all the rigours of NPCC in the past and lifesaving and ODAC now).

Just did lotsa regimentation stuff. In AB camp they try to make it UG style, so it's slightly reminiscient of NPCC, but then you can see that most instructors are acting; nice people trying to be strict. What made me really enjoy the camp was the people around me (my group members, and my instructors)

***hee. Am I making any sense here?***

Somewhere within the first day I made a prayer. Asked that God taught me how to enjoy myself in this camp, and to trust in Him. Small, seemingly insignificant moment which I believe influenced the rest of the week.


Went to Sentosa for "Island Training", which is actually a bit like an adventure race. Quite fun, I would say.

That was pretty much the entire day. Went back to school to do "reflections". The instructors blinfolded us all on the way back to school from Sentosa, then brought us back to school. Told us it was an "undisclosed location", then made us reflect blindfolded on the day's happenings and ourselves, before untying our blindfolds and making us write about it.

I knew it was school for 2 reasons. 1, I know that they'd never dare to bring us out of school, cuz it wasn't written on the consent form and they wouldn't take the risk. 2, I could see nicely beneath my blindfold.

Haha. Soo funny. Just went along with the thing and pretended like I didn't know.

Wrote reflections. Slept.


Had some activities in the morning. Then left around lunchtime to prepare for ODAC expedition.

Made a detour to Hougang Mall to buy some Repolyte (replenishes body salts when body starts to cramp up) and Calamine lotion for a friend, as well as my lunch and ICE CREAM.

Saw my old NP juniors.

Reported back to AJ around 7. Packed stuff. Got briefed, then left school at 11 with a approx 15 kg bagpack.

****** ******
If you've been patient enough to read till here, then read on,
here's the beautiful part.
******* *****

0100- Woke up from nap on coach after passing through customs. Went to buy a burger, a Red Bull and some biscuits at a stop.
0430- Reach the foot of Gunong Belumut, M'sia. Repack load and leave heavier stuff at Base Camp.
0450- Toilet break. I'll spare you the details
0509- Begin trek in darkness. Visibility at 20m sometimes. Used headlamps. Trek trek trek. Stop for breakfast. Go on. Trek trek trek. Along the way we spot a large flower, a beautiful spider web, and a HUMONGOUS millepede, around 12 inches long. Trek trek trek. Sometimes the gradient of the slopes are super steep. Sometimes we have to navigate places which have continuous steps 5 times the regular steps. So that's how we get along. Brisk walk at some places, step by step at others.
around 0940- Reach summit... Summit is breathtaking. God's works are spectacular. You stand on this rock at the top of the mountain and you're literally in the clouds. Clouds going past above you, below you and even right before your very eyes. It seems a lot faster moving now that it's just before you. Rolls by quickly. Each time a cloud passes you it feels a bit cooler. 1010m above sea level. Beautiful. Made me wonder that if some parts of earth are already so beautiful, how much more beautiful heaven must be. That day I sat at the summit watching the clouds roll by, chatting with ODAC friends who'd endured the trek... one day I'll sit in heaven with friends such as Caleb Lim, Joseph Tiew, Lowell, Samson Hu, Glenn, Jie Hau, Wan Lin, Pam.... (hundreds more) and enjoy an even more spectacular view while the glory of God fills our hearts.
And before I had time to take in enough of the clouds or the mountains beyond the clouds, it was time for the descent.
Erm 1000?- Going down is trickier then you'd think. Hafta apply all your bouldering skills (that's climbing a rock wall sideways, for newbies to my blog). Thank God that I was ok. 2 sprained ankles and one person feeling sick amongst the group.
approx 1420- Wash up and collect water at a mini waterfall... mountain water (processed by puritablets of course!) are much more refreshing than S'pore water. Taste like mineral water.
Around 1525- Reach Base Camp once again. Wouldn't call the trek exhausting, just continuous and tedious in that sense.
1600+- Move on to base of Sungai Yong waterfall on a lorry. Thank God for lorries. This one was real fun. I was standing. The driver was a bit crazy. A Malay (nothing against them, they're God's creation too) around 30 wearing a "No Fear" tee. Went through some dirt track. Along the way there were overhanging palm tree leaves, so those standing have to move their heads periodically sideways or duck to siam* the leaves as the lorry moves at a fast speed. Now that's what I call fun.
1700+- Reached an area near the base of Sungai Yong. Trek with that approx 15 kg bag for around 45 mins. Emphasis is on the 15 kg cuz I really wanna thank God for helping us find the lorry to cut short the journey by about 3 hours or so cuz I'm not sure whether I could have made it. ODAC teacher made me AIC to subst my friend who had a sprained ankle. Had to come up with last minute arrangements for campsite and dinner. Thank God again for helping me here. Everyone was a bit frustrated since we hadn't been expecting a problem with organisation at this stage.
1820- Dug a shit hole (oh fine, latrine, if you want to be all civilized about it, but it really was a shit hole). 30 cm deep. Kinda proud of myself. Had to break like around 3-4 roots with the shovel and keep a few bugs away while I dug. Quite an experience. (boohoo, no one used the shit hole at the end of the day to shit. But oh well.)
1900- Bathed at foot of Sungai Yong. Nice cool water. 15 degrees celscius I estimate. I know cuz there was once at lifesaving that the water was around 20 degrees and the water at Sungai Yong's colder than that.
2000- Debrief. Sleep. Talked with a fellow ODACian.
2200- Found myself crawling out of tent cuz it was real stuffy at this point. Crawled back in later.
0530- Wakey wakey. Very cold in the morning, even in the tent. Eat breakfast. Pack stuff again. Roll up tent.
0705- Trek up by the waterfall. Much riskier than I expected. Had to scale some almost vertical areas, with no safety equipment. If you slip down, you fall 2 storeys into the rocky waterfall area. But the view at the top seems worth it. Never seen a waterfall before in my life. Really grand and majestic, the cascading waters as they hit the rocks and continue to rush down. Swam in the waterfall on the way during the descent. Thank God for keeping me safe.
1000+- Set off again. Took the lorry then switched to a coach.
1205+- Lunch was at a Kota Tinggi restaurant. Drive back to school. Entertained ourselves with jokes and looking at each others' passport photos on the way.
1630- Reach school. Unpack, wash stuff. Go for AB camp dinner. Felt so happy and welcomed by my AB camp group despite my absence.
2000- Dinner's ended, went for Ice Cream with ODACians... back home.
Woke up around 9. Lazed around a bit. Then went to do Project Work. Didn't accomplish much, but had excellent conversation with group members. My PW group's so different from Montfort people (can't help with the comparisons lah). In PW group, they do a bit, then chat a bit, do a bit, then chat a bit. In Montfort, we are focused. Do a lot. Then focus on computer games after we somehow stumble through the project. I mean, what is the main reason of doing projects at friends' houses? Com games of course. I lurv those times back in Montfort where we used to play Xbox at a friend's house. Of course, being a less frequent player I'd get slaughtered most of the time, but it was really fun. Favourite game was Halo 1. (Halo 2 not out then. It came out only after my O's, or more specifically, during my O's).
p.s. Don't get me wrong. I really thank God for where I am now and for pulling me through a hard part of JC life. I want to appreciate every passing moment of this life God has given me.
Went to church in morning. Must admit I was ok for the Praise and Worship part, but could hardly keep myself awake during the msg.
Went lifesaving for night. Lifesaving's been getting tougher. Used to swim around 10 laps in the past, plus lotsa theory and skills. Now we do a 16 lap warm-up and perhaps another 14 laps (some towing another guy and not using your hands to paddle, mind you). Quite fun. Aack. My pardnerr almost drowned me this time. hehe. (Andrew, hope you're reading this blog)
Then went home, watched 45 min of a movie about these Japanese synch swimmers.
Sleep. Didn't do Econs homework. Gotta start soon.
Went for Econs make-up. Then went to see Star Wars 3. Fantastic, I'd say. Excellent cinematography and fight scenes. For once the Jedi die (hey, I relish a change to the normal routine). I knew the whole storyline anyway, cuz Star Wars is something I like, (wouldn't call myself a fanatic on that one). Thought the part with Anakin having 1 mechanical limb left and burning in volcanic larvae was a bit gory, as was the scene beforehand with Palpatine frying in his own force lightning.
Then I'm back home. Need to get down to QT. Meet up with my Lord individually.
That's all for now folks.
Actually not all.
Prayer request: That I do not overload myself. Was asked by ODAC friend to take part in an Adventure Race. Reluctantly gave that one a miss. Know I need to start studying. This week's gonna be quite packed too. Kayaking on 4 days out of 7, lifesaving on one and church on one left. I'm left with 2 half days (today's gone).
Ok. That's all. Really. Scooting off to do my QT.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Thank you Lord

Had a magnificent past 7 days. Thank the Lord so much for it. I think that the past 5-6 months were a period of adjustment for me. I wasn't really myself in AJ and ODAC. Just a faint shadow of my original self. Oh well. God is in the business of answering prayers. All things work together for the good of all who love God, who have been called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

Hopefully, I'll be able to find some time to put up my experience on this blog. Really was beautiful. Had a camp in school, went for an overseas expedition (scaled a 1010m mountain and trekked up a path next to a waterfall). Then came back to S'pore, did PW (Project Work), went church and then lifesaving this night.

Thank you Lord.

Let my life be all about you, Lord. For when I choose to put you first, not try to solve things myself and decide to enjoy myself where I am, simply because I know you're in charge, you give me immeasurably more than what I ask or hope for.

How awesome are the works you have done in the life of such a sinner as I, O Lord. Awesome.