Thursday, December 06, 2007

RYLA 2007

Day 1

We were to meet at Kranji MRT station at 10am. Upon reaching there, there were a lot of people standing around. Later, I realized one thing…. They are all kids! There's one bunch from River Valley High School and another from ITE. Some from NJC and the only other Rotaractor was Liz, which was the first person I talked to. She's from Raffles City and she's 25! And the photographer, who is from Raffles City as well.
Anyway, we left Sg at 1030 and reached Tanjung Sutera Resort at about 1pm. The place is quite ulu, deep within the perkampungan of Kota Tinggi. However, the place is great! Facing the South China Sea, the breeze was ever lasting and there's a pool for us to use too!
We started off with Lunch, then registration aka opening ceremony. We were separated into 10 different groups. I'm in Group 5, and we called ourselves the Blue Bananas (cause we had a blue cloth as our identity), our slogan is "We are delicious" and we used the "banana cheer" as our cheer.

Our first activity was a team building game called "communications". Each group given packets of straws and are divided into 2 sub groups. Each subgroup is to build one half of a bridge and by the end of the session, we will combine the 2 bridges together. We are not allowed to communicate among each other as to how our bridge will look like. However for every 5 minute interval, we can send one representative from each group to try to discuss what we are going to build and tried to come with a design. It wasn't easy cause while we are discussing, the other facilitators will be disturbing and making a lot of noise. So, in the end.. there were lots of different designs.. But there's a lesson learnt from all these, that while each representatives were discussing with one another.. both will be talking at the same time and nobody will be listening.

Lights out at 11pm

Day 2

The day started off with a morning exercise under the lead of our qigong master, edwin's dad! All the moves were so funny and slow… Some of us almost couldn't take it. Imagine, we were to have our knees bent and our hands straight out while positioning our fingers as if holding a ball for 20 minutes~!
It wasn't easy. Then, we had our breakfast and the itinerary of the day commences; TALKS for the entire day@!!! It's all classroom lectures from morning till night. Actually, it ain't that bad… Some are quite interesting… But I just wish that we could go out and have some activities together instead of just sitting down.

Unfortunately, halfway through the session at about 3pm, the electricity went dead. Literally dead. The entire kampung's electricity was cut off. Apparently, there was a problem with the transformer or something. So, we tried to have talks without the help of the microphone and projector. It wasn't too bad, actually. We still went to the beach to clean it up, some games, etc.

Cleaning the beach

But once the night hits in…. We had 'candlelight' dinner. Or more like, 'torchlight' dinner. We learned how to eat in the dark. And as it was pitch black, there weren't even any streetlights, all of us played in the dark. So, it was lepaking and bonding time for us. We played cards with the help of torch lights, planned our sketch for tomorrow night's talentime and laid down to see the stars! I haven't seen such nice carpet of sky anywhere before. Because the surrounding was pitched black, the shimmering of the stars was more evident; while lying down, gazing upon the moon and the stars, blown by the breeze from the sea and the sound of the waves… It was almost perfect. Too bad, I didn't spot any shooting stars. We couldn't even bathe! The showers were all pumped up by an electronic pump and there's no hot water.. So… I guess almost everyone ended their day with an unwashed body

Day 3

Electricity resumed at about 4 in the morning. The morning started off with another round of morning exercise led by a few Rotaractors who reached the previous night during the blackout. There were 4 of them from Rotaract E-club district 3310. Anyway, the programmes from last night were pushed to this morning and again, there were lots of talks again on the 3rd day. There was a movie screening of "Secret" (not the Jay Chou one). By this time, most of us were quite bonded.. For my group, we started playing those 'lame games' that I used to play for NTU's MSA FOC. It was quite funny to see them guess and be dumb-strucked by it.

I guess, the highlight for the day is "Talent Night" and our "BBQ Buffet Dinner". Our dinner was sumptuous with crabs, prawns, fishes, lambs, chicken, etc. All BBQ-ed for us. It was very filling for me… in fact because I took a lot of food, I had to become the 'dustbin' for gobbled up all the leftovers. And talent night was funny. We're supposed to make a sketch/skid on what we've learned throughout the camp. Some did a very great job and had sketches on anger management, crime prevention and a topic on love. After the sketch, we have this Mr. RYLA competition where a male from each group is to compete against each other. They were told to strip off their shirt and to pose for us so that we can decide who the winner is. The thing that they didn't know is that we're to choose the winner based on the amount of armpit hair a contestant have! It was so funny and some really posed like some macho man. Only that, he doesn't have any armpit hair… hahah

Everyone refused to sleep that night. We even played in the pool after everything ended. The night actually started at 1230 am. We had the friendship dance in the pool, played some games which includes polar bear (a variation to the Mafia game). I was hanging around and chatting with the younger generations. I spent a couple of hours talking to three 12 year olds. It was so funny. There's this girl who has a special ability. She can fart anytime she wants, at her own free will! And it became a hobby for her. The night ended for me at 4am. Now that I come to think of it, I should have stayed up till the max, i.e. 630am.

Day 4

The final day of our camp. As per request, we had Qi Gong for our morning exercise again since everyone "liked" it so much until they could re-act on it again during last night's talent night. Then, we had our breakfast followed by vocational talks. Last item was sharing of experiences and feedback from us, or in short "reflection time". We commented on the good and the bad throughout the camp. Then, it was certificate giving time, souvenirs giving, our final friendship dance and photo sessions. It wasn't easy to say goodbye since we shared so much for the past 3 days. On the bright side, we still kept in touch in msn and they started their own blog on RYLA 2007.

Blue Bananas!

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