Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Journey 3

Every day's routine seemed to slip like beads on a string... uniform, and yet different in colour, flavour, texture.

Everyday, my dorm mates moaned as I woke them up relentlessly at 5:45a.m. *grin*. A warning call would come at 6a.m. when reluctantly, the lie-a-beds would shiveringly unzip our cosy cocooon sleeping bags and wriggle off the beds.

Then would come a quick dash to the bathroom (girls being girls, we ALL shared the bathroom together-gether) and a speedy change of clothes, teeth chattering from the chill all the while.

By 6:45a.m., we MUST be in the dining room, for the Discipline Mistress (DM) aka Shufen would punish those who were late with washing-plates duty and carrying-water-for-DM duty!

Then we would have morning exercise by the Group incharge of Fun for the day - hup, two, three, four! Depending on which Group was leading, it could be strenuous or lax and lazy!

Usually we'd still have a few moments before breakfast, so next on the agenda would be a feedback session for the Youth In-Charge the day before. Hadi invariably gave the same feedback, "Flawless!" until we banned him from using the word!

Then a formal handover ceremony would take place between the Youth In-Charge from the day before and the Youth In-Charge for the day, with a photo-taking session as the Team Journal was solemnly handed over, complete with handshakes and cheesy photo-taking smiles.

Yummy breakfasts would follow next, and Tank especially seemed to be competing for World's Biggest Eater of Roti every meal. He couldn't beat slight Hadi though... for all his slim build, Hadi could comfortably pack 10 rotis into his skeletal frame.

Then the Team in charge of cleaning would start hassling everyone to pleeeeaassseeee finish eating so that they could finish the plate-washing in time. The rest of the group would disappear to individual dorms and toilets...

8a.m. sharp, we'd descend to the 'starting point' of our long trek. The Youth In-Charge would hustle us like so many unruly chicks into line, always starting with those who needed to set the pace first.

Then Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, off we'd go! Down... down... down the mountain we'd trip... stumbling over rocks and hidden crevices... sliding down steep sandy slopes... losing and regaining our footing... ambling over the easy places... cursing the tough spots... scratches, bruises and an occassional stubbed toe!

But worse of all was the ... uhm... vast amounts of flatulence experienced by all the Expedition Agape members due to the vegetarian diet... Thus necessitating occassional breaks of gas. O... M... G!!!! The smell!!! Invariably somebody would have a sudden, painful urge to 'release wind' and sweetly apologise to all and sundry behind him or her. The mountains never stank so bad!

In between farts, the Team still found the energy to exchange lame jokes. Giggles would permeate the air as the youths and adult leaders competed with their best and exchanged barbs. Phi Fern had brought along a Book of Jokes on the Expedition, and every morning she would chirp, "I've got a new one!". The lame-ness of the joke could be gauged by how loud were the groans and howls of protest!

Along the way, there would often be one of the little kids passing us on the way to school. The kids would greet us with bright smiles, slap high-fives with the Team and then jump, hop and skip down the mountain, leaving the rest of us still panting on our trek and looking on in envy!

A tough 1.5 hours hike later, we would slide down the last steep slope and Kolbung School would appear in front of us.

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