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.

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