Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Think Outside the Woods (28~30 May)

Posted by Silas

I greatly anticipated the Kiwanis Builders' Camp at Benum Hill Resort, Pahang. I love facing the challenges, alone in the woods and doing different things with new friends. I noticed that this time more than half the participants came from sheltered homes  (ie homes for the abused, neglected or abandoned children). I like them because they were very open in one to one conversations, independent, but very shy in groups. It took a lot of effort to get them to speak out in group discussions, although they had brilliant ideas. But as we spent more time together, we grew comfortable and started to be more confident. 

People think camp is a time to have fun, to learn, to get along with each other, and come out a better person. That's just pretty much it. But to me, those are not the main reasons.

Thinking hard without thinking caps...

Besides fun, I realized that these games were trying to train us to look at things from different angles; think further outside of the box.

 Humpty-Dumpties dropped from the sky,
We watched as we bid them goodbye.
Can the Egg-catchers save the eggs?
Or will they fail, and watch them break their legs?

Games are supposed to make you smile, not frustrated. I know that pond rafting is hard. But just take a look at the surrounding; we're in a lotus pond! It's hard to be frustrated in the midst of a peaceful environment. So just change the way we look, and find peace.

 Let's take Mr Potato as an example. Trying to stab him with a straw sounds absurd, right?  He would probably die of laughter before you even try to stab him. But the guy below just made the other potatoes felt nervous.

Look! If he can do it, is it counted as impossible? Just put in lots of concentration, along with some strength, believe in yourself, and Follow Through!

I noticed that in this camp, nobody jeered even though we performed badly. Instead, they were very supportive. The CAs had always encouraged us to speak out, or volunteer, since Day 1. So I realized that camps are a place to learn, where people are more patient with us, because it is never too near our comfort zone, nor too far out of the discomfort zone.

A happy morning before the end of camp...

"The story of my past, present, and future-The Vision Collage"

So I realized that although we came from different backgrounds, we must get to know one another and work together. That is, I think, the purpose of a camp, besides having fun.

Monday, 6 June 2016

A sense of achievement at UPM Edu-Park - 28 May 2016

I took up a challenge to do something I'd never imagined doing before - a 6km group cycling event. I don't even consider myself a cyclist, though I know how to ride a bicycle from point A to B on concrete roads :) From the beginning, my goal was merely to finish the event in one piece. 

The inaugural cycling carnival was organised by Universiti Putra Malaysia to create an awareness of their education park to the public. The cycling event was held within the scenic park of their campus. The park is very much under-utilised, as it's meant for their students and a private property. So, it's a good opportunity for family outing and it's non-competitive, ie we could do it leisurely. Every team has 4 members, so I estimated there're over a hundred participants.

Entrance to the scenic Edu-park. Note this cycling was challenging cos it's mostly on "cow dung" dirt roads. I really hope it's already over...and I was celebrating my success at this point.

Somehow the lotus pond brought some calming effect to our souls.

I hope I didn't end up in the water! That would be disaster.

The boys were having lotsa fun, though I could hardly see them cos they're so far in front.

In between cycling, we have 4 pit stops to play some games and puzzle and feed the deers. The best was to open up a frozen t-shirt with only a small cup of water.

Yea, even the young ones have to push sometimes. 

Lost in the scenic beauty of nature!

Entering the secret garden of the Lord of the Rings!!

This is my favourite moo-picturesque landscape! Like those you can take in New Zealand. What a beautiful blue sky with white fluffy clouds. 

Do you believe this is the One Tree Hill in New Zealand???

A busy carnival with the farm animals.

A hive of activity everywhere and a favourite spot for wedding photography too.

A perfect weather for a mud-filled blast.

I must say it's a well-organised event with friendly UPM volunteers and students giving a hand to make it an awesome day for all of us. The organiser even prepared mountain bikes for some participants, in exchange for recyclable plastic bottles or tin cans. Very well-planned and affordable for families. At the end of the event, the students set up some stalls to add to the carnival-like atmosphere. Well done UPM! And YES, I finished with a great sense of achievement, and still in one piece. Will I do it again? Definitely yes -- on the tour buggy.

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