Everyone was stunned with what I said and looked at me. A minute later, WeiLoong spoke and allowed me to exchange duty with HooiChia. He did a run-down on the field trip which will be started at 5.30 in the morning before dismiss us.
I was still upset by the time the meeting over. I had to call Sat for ‘mental support’ before sleeping.
At 5 o’clock, when the bell ran, I woke up too and I could tell that the participants were a little shock and clueless on what was going on when they were told to only brush their teeth and went down to the activity hall immediately with only jacket (if they’re cold) and water bottle. The air-conds in the activity hall were blasted to the maximum speed to ensure that the participants felt cold and went up to grab their jackets/sweaters.
By 5.45am, the participants were asked to follow the committee to the busses outside the temple. 10 minutes later, I was up in the dormitory hall, curled inside my comfy sleeping bag, only waking at 10.30 in the morning.
Knowing that the participants’ only coming back at noon, I took my own sweet time showering; had breakfast with Michael, Febri and Claydist! (she paid us a visit in the morning of 3rd day); wrapped up the fruit baskets nicely with Febri and did work. What a fruitful morning I had!
At noon, Xiao Thoong’s dad arrived with lunch and we went out to help taking out the food from his car. About 20 minutes later, the participants arrived and lunch started not long soon.
After lunch, I continued doing my work while the participants were split into two groups. When first group attended the group sharing with Sis Lee Yen in the dormitory, the second group had their Light-n-Easy session. 30 minutes later they swapped activity.
Then it was time for the Whisper from the Heart session. While participants got their questions answered, I got my curiosity answered on the visit to Rumah Sinar Harapan from WeiLoong, ChoonSin, HungJen and Jack.
I can still remember very well what they’ve said.
Entering the building with grills all high up, windows are grilled; cells for the violent/naughty residence; pungent urine and vomit smell upon entering; wet floor and long drains at the side – my mind was imagining what they saw in the morning as they described the place.
My heart sank when ChoonSin said how cold their hands were when she touched their hands. I couldn’t imagine how a hand can be so cold, it’s as tho they’re soulless.
They spoke of a residence who wanted so much attention from them that he sort of ‘harassed’ them. No wonder when I spoke to Kirks in the noon about the trip, he told me about a guy punching him. It must be the same guy, and when I inquired the rest on that, they nodded.
One of the teary moments shared was when WeiLoong pushed a guy on wheelchair aside because he couldn’t move and he was making distress sound. Trying to help the poor soul, he pushed him aside. At the same time, his phone rang and automatically he stepped out to answer his call. The wheelchair bounded guy made even louder noise and even waved after he was pushed aside. ChoonSin who was happened to be around there, was curiously on what was happening and when she realised that he was actually calling for WeiLoong as he wanted to thank him for his help. Seeing that WeiLoong was still on call with his back facing them, she raised her hand in acknowledgement and the guy became quiet.
The saddest part is of course the part where WeiLoong didn’t aware of the whole thing at all and when ChoonSin told him, he looked around but the guy wasn’t there anymore. The worst thing is he didn’t know who the guy is as he didn’t see his face at all…
When I heard that, my heart sank again. In life, people, including me are so preoccupied with stuffs till they often missed these significance moments… and when they realised it, they’re already gone.
Apart from the sadness, there are actually happy stories that can curve a smile on your face. Like how those who are able to walk would push those wheelchair bounded around, like how they would help each other when they’re in need.
Like the stories of a painter, a singer and a class monitor.
There’s a guy who’s not bodily perfect, paints his way to 3 digits salary (in USD) monthly using his toes! With that, he bought all the accessories in his room with his hard-earned money. He owns a plasma TV (and some Apple products too), now beat that!
I can’t really remember the story of singer. All I remembered was he can sing very well and often ‘hired’ to sing.
The class monitor is a very friendly person from the stories I heard from them. The chirpy side of her, made her the class monitor as she could remember each and every residence’s name and also their behaviors…
Speaking of which, I remember the story about a pencil lover. This pencil lover guy loves pencils so much that he would steal pencils from people. Wherever he went, he would have one or two pencils placed at his upper ears.
I would love to hear more stories from them but due to limited time as we need to start preparing for tonight’s event, the sharing was cut short and we were dismissed.
We went on doing preparation for that night’s event and each and everyone was seen doing something. We were that busy (phew!), until we didn’t know that it was already the time for dinner. Some couldn’t even step aside for dinner, and needed to be tapao-ed in for them, lol.
Luckily for me, I managed to finish my work justttt in time for dinner. Had dinner at the stairs with the crazeeee people where we discussed on this stupid statement: to have your favourite food in the plate first or last?
Believe me, when I said it was stupid cause there are soooo many weird answers, like “see mood loh” or “what if there are none of my favourite food in my plate?” or “I mix all and eat equally one wor”, when the answer supposed to be “first” or “last”, lol.
Funny enough, we even debated on which food on our plate was the best: the fried popiah or the netted popiah. We can really talk I tell you. Lol.
Then it was time to start the event. The participants were asked to observe silent in dark at the dining hall, while the committees went around checking out the props; making sure that they’re in place.
By 8.30pm, we started our IXP. My first IXP being a committee and I tell you, I damn tension sialllll! Not gonna say much on how the IXP works tho each and every IXP is unique, but I can assure you that the participants would definitely feel different after undergoing IXP.
After IXP ended, it was time for closing ceremony. Not to say that we were going to leave the camp the next morning, but it was more appropriate to do a closing ceremony at night, especially when the emotion was running high after IXP.
We had the thank-you-gifts-giving ceremony; we had the groups cheering out loud, we had Thai participants entertained us with dances and singing… and the best of all, we did our all-time-favourite cheers, the tepuk lenglui, tepuk lengchai, tepuk eo-a-eo.
The moment they did the tepuk thingy, a sense of familiarity swept me and telling me “This is the camp where I came from”.
Why the claps?
Because all the claps, cheers and songs made me lost my voice when I was a participant back then. Don’t know why I was so semangat in doing so until I lost my voice but it’s totally unintentional. I think my voice is very fragile.
Don’t pray pray wei, I was called the husky-voiced girl back then, k! Rofl.
And I hated IXP back then cz the moment I opened my mouth, everyone knew who am I d. -.-“””
XiaoThoong did a great job with MC-ing. It was so freaking hilarious, and we couldn’t stopped laughing with/at/along her. Few memorable moments that should be highlighted here are the time when she gave people new names (I weren’t the only victim, lol) and the time she called out the names whose birthdates fall in month of December and January.
After the closing ceremony ended, it was time for unstoppable, countless photography sessions.