Thursday, July 25, 2002

Today's gonna be a LONG one people, so get ur popcorn and sodas, coz i'm taking u for a ride. :)

Yep, back from OBS(FINALLY)... missed my bed SO MUCH, my pillow, my smelly bolster, my Gaucho, and most of all my air-con.... ahhhh..... well, OBS turned out ok, not too bad i guess, tho paying S$300 for it isn't my idea of fun haha :|

Day 1:
Got to skool, met only 4 other people i knew from AC, one being Ewan my klassmate tho she was in a different group, my ex-air-rifle girls captain Noelle, and Daphne and another girl i suddenly forgot her name, both of which i knew from Pre-U Seminar.... ALL of whom were in different groups :( so yep, stuck in a group where i knew NO one at all... at first was quite worried coz i was like the ONLY guy among 6 or 7 girls when we were lining up, then later one other guy popped up, quite quiet, so i didn't get to tok to him, and he disappeared when boarding the bus, got the facilitator VERY jumpy, then later popped up from nowhere with another guy that was supposed to be with our group too.....hmmmm.... and guess wat? the 2 of them happened to be AC people too, 2 years my senior of coz since i don have the "benefit" of NS :p no offense, but ha, SO typical of AC people.... they disappeared coz they were too "clickish" and stuck to their old pals, refusing to know more people, and didn't want to join the group... one of them, Alex, carried a fairly aloof stance most of the time, which i was quite used to, but then sometimes all of a sudden he would turn around and become like the nicest guy on earth(tho rarely), so haha, i suppose he IS an ok person i guess.... the other guy Rayner, also an AC guy, now THAT is an AC guy, 101% nice guy, typical AC laid-back attitude, pretty "on" about activities, yet at the same time a little shy when his services are called upon :) the girls are all fine, a nice mix if i might say so, some quiet, some proactive, but i might also add that none of them were particularly chio :( haha.... :p the last guy of the group, Adriel, boy, he's a good contender for blurrest sotong in the universe haha.... sheesh.... i've NEVER seen anyone more lost in the fog than him.... and if that's not bad enuf, he disappears quite often claiming he needed to go to the toilet, so earned himself the nick "toilet-man" from us, the more observant of us, or the people who hung around him more eg me, found out much earlier that most of his toilet trips were actually smoking breaks, so the poor fella got REALLY shitty when he couldn't get his regular dose of nicotine at times which i will touch on later haha, yes, later, so i've got PLENTY more to say :p
ice-breakers were fairly interesting... we were supposed to write our names on masking tape, and stick it on our shoulders. then we were supposed to pair up with one person, and tell each other about ourselves, then we were supposed to pair up with the person directly on our other side( so if i was paired up with my person to my left, then now i'd be paired up with the person on my right :> ), then we were supposed to switch name tags with the person we JUST tokked to, and pretend that we were them, and tell our new partner about "ourselves". after one more round, when name tags were at least 2 people away from the correct person, we would take turns to introduce "ourselves" to everyone haha..... that was pretty messy considering information that was propagated tended to leak away from person to person haha... :p lunch was silly too, coz our instructor asked us to for our first mouth, to feed the person to our right haha.... REALLY, all the other tables were looking at us and like holding back their laughter, coz even tho it was a REALLY stupid idea, but they perhaps felt it was a good way to build team spirit haha.... i guess... :p the food was err,no comment :p just our luck that be4 the group actually bonded, we straightaway had the expedition, so that was a nightmare..... i lost count, but i think we had 4-5 hours of rafting, half of it with the current against us.... getting on the raft was already hard enuf coz it was not easy to pull urself out of the water into the raft that was like already higher than ur head.... i got a few scratches on the way in, and was BLEEDING all over and i didn't even realise it, must've been the salt water, numbed me i guess.... until someone realised, "wah lao, u're bleeding!!!" did i realise my whole right leg was like red..... then later someone realised my oar handle was red too coz my thumb was bleeding when a small bit of skin tore off while i climbed into the raft haha..... 13 people in a raft with 8 rowers, it was INSANELY hard to co-ordinate our pedalling coz everyone was of different physical ability, and there was no particular leader, so we zig-zagged our way around the north western part of the island to our destination.... personally, the rafting wasn't exactly tiring, no it wasn't, i felt it was pretty easy actually, it was more mentally tiring coz it was so hard to co-ordinate, and the frustration sometimes that although everyone was pedalling, we were not moving even if there wasn't any predominant current, and most of all, coz we weren't exactly a team yet, so there wasn't much communication, so it got quite boring.... Adriel was the worst off i guess, coz no "toilet-break" for him for like 4-5 hours straight haha.... so every row for him was like a trip to hell and back, and he was evidently the most shack one quarter thru the trip.... he looked quite like Sadako by the time we reached our destination, hair all over the place, eyes a little bloodshot with the withdrawal effects starting to kick in haha.... poor fella.... he shouldn't have started smoking in the first place :p no bathing either coz the camp site was open air, just a clearing in the forest where we built our makeshift tents and cooked food over fire.... so our "bathing" was basically a dip in the freshwater quarry nearby.... now THAT was SHIOK after the LONG salty trip over the straits, and we didn't have to worry about how deep the quarry was coz we were all wearing life jackets, so sinking was not a consideration, tho swimming in it was quite restrictive :p the water SO cool, so refreshing, and the quarry dive where we jumped off into the water was like SO fun too :) after that, was cooking.... shit man.... that sucked...... the food was maggee mee, everyone had 2 packets, some shared coz they couldn't finish it, but the fact was that cooking TWO damn packets in a mass tin, tho conserving fuel, the mass tin was just not big enuf to contain enuf water to properly cook the mee, so we ended up eating instant noodles that was mostly aginamoto.... BLEEDIN salty man..... could've sworn it killed like a quarter of my taste buds that night.... after that, played a mind game called polar bear, interesting idea, tho very hard to play under dim light, so we couldn't see any guilt from those dark faces, and ended up guessing the wrong murderer half the time.... and since there were only 4 guys, we were sexually marginalized coz we were always the first to be eliminated.... ;( no fair, i want to complain! :p we decided to sleep in the open coz under the tent it was too humid... BIG mistake.... i was wearing shorts and short sleeves, so i was an immobile flashing neon sign saying "BITE ME!" at 3am, woke up SHIVERING, teeth chattering and all, groped around in the moonlight looking for a poncho i could use as a blanket, but everyone had taken theirs to use as pillows, and the girls were lucky enuf to have remembered to bring along half their wardrobe along, so they had a good supply of track pants to wear for the night... poor me, i had to even share my "blanket" with Alex, luckily both of us weren't big movers when sleeping, so we got along fine....

Day 2:
Woke up to find Sandfly bites ALL over me.... almost as if every hair follicle on my leg had a red bite to couple up with it....had a trek back to OBS, that one was ok i guess, didn't feel tired at all, even with the HEAVY bag packs, tho my shoulder hurt like hell coz the bag strap was too small for me and so i couldn't use the waist strap to keep the pressure off my shoulders.... got lost a few times, and that one was hilarious coz it really showed that the damn map was so damn unreliable considering it was 15 years old haha...... and Adriel? Not too bad lah, we realised he had this *ahem* charm, coz when we trekked past this temple, the temple actually had a refrigerator of drinks, and Adriel walked up to the monk there and asked if there was coke, and the monk said "Yes, $1.50" and Adriel said he didn't have any money which was true coz our wallets and phones were confiscated from the start of camp, but i'm not sure the monk knew that, so he actually GAVE a bottle to him for FREE.... haha.... our instructor obviously wasn't too happy haha.... later in the afternoon we had climbing, and THAT one was FUN..... everyone enjoyed it, coz at the beginning most of the girls looked at the daunting four storey vertical obsticle course, and said "ok, i'd be VERY happy to reach the end of the cargo net part"(which was like a fifth up the course), but in the end, everyone made it up to the TOP of at least one of the courses coz there were 2 for us to choose from.... so there was GREAT satisfaction in that aspect, not to mention ALOT of complains from the belayers haha.... belayers are the people at the bottom manning the safety ropes in case any of u are wondering.... so the belayers had to be hooked on to support u from the start till the end, so our instructor later brought up the fact that belayers were the backbones, coz they had to see u thru till the end, even if it took u all year to get to the top...i was "lucky" enuf to belay Rayner who took pretty long to get up to the top, but the worst was i had to belay for Adriel, who was SO freakin TALL that he only needed to take ONE DAMN STEP up and i had to work overtime to pull back the slack so that his safety rope would remain taut..... sheesh....*roll eyes and sticks out tongue* but as i said, everyone was VERY satisfied with this, and i think most of us put this as the most memorable activity later in our evaluation.... bathing was HEAVENLY coz we could take our OWN sweet time since there were only 4 guys HAHAHAHAHAHA..... the girls could be heard screaming at each other to hurry up heehee..... :p after dinner was the STANDARD "concert" at night, where in conjunction with studying in a business oriented skool, we were supposed to design a clothing line and come up with a plan to market it.... again, sexism came in and the girls overulled us by voting Rayner to be the model of the team.... we marketed a retro clothes line, so Rayner had to wear this silly looking top which the girls felt was very nice, and we made for him bell bottoms to match the theme, AND we made him do the a-gogo while i was narrating :) it was from this time onwards that something a little more than frenship started to blossom between Raynor and this girl from our group named MeiLing.... an ok looking girl from AJ, she and Raynor were partners for both vertical obsticle courses, and it started off as Meiling "saboh'ing" Rayner to be the model, then Meiling casually made Rayner look as absurd as possible with a pair of insanely ridiculous looking bell bottoms, then for the rest of the camp the 2 of them were always disturbing and teasing each other, tho it seemed as if that fun-fair ended with the last lunch of the camp.... everyone slept pretty early that night coz we had to wake up at 5 the next day :(

Day 3:
Some of the girls woke up complaining that we shouldn't have slept so early coz it was the last night after all haha.... oh well..... our sleep this time was SO nice that very few of us wanted to wake up at all.... even tho the bunk in OBS was by far inferior to our own rooms, it would do compared to sleeping in the open with rocks poking ur back... first activity was "find ur tree", so back to the forest, and we were given 2 trees a fair distance apart, and we were supposed to navigate our way from tree to tree, blindfolded.... it was hard enuf considering we had problems finding the tree WITHOUT the blindfold... but yeah, we somehow managed to find it on the second attempt after wandering all the way downhill into some VERY strange foliage on our first attempt ;| .... then was the raft escape, and that was another memorable one since this time we gave our best after a good tokking session after the finding the tree activity, raft escape was this game where everyone stood on 4 planks and 8 bricks arranged as a raft, and we were supposed to use it to move the whole group to another point given to us purely with the planks and bricks, without anyone touching the floor at any time, and none of the planks and bricks completely severed from the rest of us, meaning everyting(equipment and people) had to be connected at all times....i felt this was the best activity, coz the best was brought out in everyone, everyone communicated effectively, listening when necessary, giving ideas when needed, and everyone co-ordinated very very well, helping each other out all the time since everyone needed to hold onto each other to maintain balance on a dinky little plank and brick.... then the last event of the day was the mass jigsaw puzzle where ALL the goups would be involved... every group was given a jigsaw puzzle, and was suposed to complete it in the shortest possible time, but when everyone poured out the pieces, the catch was that most of the pieces weren't for ur puzzle, so u had to run around to other groups to salvage ur pieces, and complete ur puzzle as quickly as possible.... since it was a competition, it turned ugly, and our group was victim to the ugly side, and we were 3rd from last, coz there were some groups that hoarded pieces, others actually hiding pieces they didn't need.... so the instructors brought up its relevance to real life, in the corporate world and all... next we did the whole thing again, this time having the slow to set the pace, meaning this time we did it as SMU, not as a group, and the time we complete the puzzle is the time the last group completes their puzzle, and THIS one was good... everyone helped each other, everything was fairly organized, pieces were transfered to groups efficiently, groups that finished helped other groups without any qualms and everyone completed their puzzles in 5.25 mins, which would command 2nd place in the first competition where all the groups fought among each other...... a pretty memorable experience in all, and i'm happy to say that most of my group members would eventually be my klassmates.... and the good thing was that this was only the beginning, the only bittersweet part was that we had to say goodbye to our gracious instructor Wee Ling. All in all, i look forward to life in SMU. And if that's not good enuf, i think SMU's been pretty smart in doing things so far, and i think this camp has largely achieved its aim since its a "freshmen team-building camp", and the way it was held not only built spirit as a group, but as a whole too, and i think some of us would have no qualms in dying for the skool if need be....
I learnt and remembered quite a few quotes while i was at OBS and i think they are worth remembering and sharing :
"The worst thing about going thru an experience is not learning from it"
"Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?"
"If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem."
"Winners see a green among sand traps, Losers see sand traps in a green."
"A team that triumphs endless challenges are hailed as heroes,
But a team that triumphs the Test of Time are hailed as legends."

Dr@n|xX at 11:43 PM