Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More than a Friend

(Sorry for the super delay!)

19 - 21 March 2009:

My handphone alarm rang in the form of the Final Fantasy victory fanfare. I crept out of my bed lazily, reminding myself that it was the day of the Koperasi camp. I had a little headache the day before, but nothing was gonna stop me. I was excited and nervous at the same time, heaving my bag into the school ground. I caught the sight of a registration table a several familiar faces. Immediately, "camp committee" mode was turned on and I started getting down to business.

45 campers and 15 committee members. I was already running around before my first program started. As everyone cheered while Datin turned her heels and left, it was time for us to do whatever we want. To go with all the fun stuff. (minus the Angkasa Talk coming up in a day) It started out with a swift ice-breaking game, and then a recycled grouping game from TDC. Hey, it's fun seeing participants blinded and barking for their lives, literally. The games went by really quickly, so we followed up with my most-looked-forward-to-event, Guardian Angel. Really. Those whom I bothered telling the full story of my GA experiences will know that getting a good GA means a lot to me. D: We started decorating our mailboxes, which were envelopes. I loved personalising stuff, so I spent lots of time on it. I also learnt that masking tape was LOADS OF FUN.

Feel teh LOVE!

I skipped happily towards Kar Yee and Siew Yen as they called my name. I was going to pick out my mortal's - more affectionally called "cucu" - name. I got Kar Yee, then threw it aside as she wasn't playing the game. Next, I drew out Hsiu Jiuan. Aaah! Committee cucu! I had a committee as a cucu for TDC10. From the security department, to boot. Deja vu! I'm gonna have some fun. Immediately, I started scribbling letters to my GA. Quote: "Take good care of me or I shall FIRAH you!". I got someone else to write my letters to Hsiu Jiuan.

Except for the one time I wrote with my left hand

Then, there was all the groupie things were you get group cheers, pick your leaders and all. Then there's dorm arrangement, and tea break too. My very nice GA have returned my letter, saying that they weren't scared of me "firah-ing" them. o_O I went on worrying about the flow of programs, occasionally nagging at random committees, complaining about why things aren't done yet. I was acting at the camerawoman too, although it was fortunate that Azlyn had an awesome camera, and Biiancaa decided to waste time hang out with us.

It was time for Tug-of-War. I started to feel a little weary at my throat. I pushed on, laughing as I watch the groups attempt a three storey pyramid. After the Tug-of-War, the participants went to bath as the poor committees prepare the next program - my rendition of Night Hunt, a spin-off from the board game, Cluedo. I was really proud about how I came up with the whole idea. Yet, it was a slight bummer realizing that only a pinch of the campers ever played Cluedo. Still, it was fun, shutting the lights off and explaining the murder case. Still really proud of myself.

After Night Hunt was the Talent Night briefing, then feedback session. Then it was lights out. But of course, there's always exceptions for the committees! Just so we can further plan programs for our dear participants.

Although I never expected the Maggee Cup. Big plus point.

I was in a naggy mood at night. I was losing my voice. My throat hurts. I was sleep-deprived. I had lots more to worry about. And I was busy giggling with Anthea.

Next morning, I felt sick as ever. My eyelids wanted to stay down. Still rather naggy, I changed to my green uniform, nagging about being one of the two committees who were pushed into the Angkasa Talk. But I have to say that it is loads of fun being around the other Koperasians and Koperasian-hopefuls. They were all really awesome people, makes me feel like I can't let go any of these probates. I was listening to the Talk, honestly! I was just multi-tasking by writing a few letters, having a few laughs and snapping a few shots. It was funny how when the speaker started with her greeting, that the electricity was cut. Some hoped she would stop speaking that. Tough luck, the Talk went on.

Even after lunch, and after the Talk, the electricity was still out. I changed out of my uniform and handed most of the next session to the other committees as my throat was still killing me. I sounded like a bass. No electricty made me extra moody. No electricity = no fan which was still okay. But no electricity + batteries dead = charger not working = moody me. On top of that, the laptop I asked my mum to bring over for the singing session had only 50% battery and no electricity = no adapter = 40 minutes of laptop = epic fail. Ew.

We went on with our Halangan Komando as dark clouds started to form. It was fun running about and snapping pictures with Azlyn's awesome camera. I felt so Venice and Daniel. o_o I needed enough pictures and enough memories so that I could make a video. I was really good and addicted at it.

It was shower time, and the electricity was still off. My voice wasn't doing any better, my whole self wasn't either. Then I heard it. The situation. Datin and Pn. Yee have suggested that if the electricity doesn't return by night, we should send the campers home. Of course, the first thing you would yell is a loud and clear "NO". After all, would you stop your camp you've been working on for so long for some blackout? We decided to inform the campers about it, and requested them to inform their parents about the situation if they wanted to stay in a possibly dark school with torch lights and committees accompanying them to wherever. It was unanimous that everyone wanted to stay. I plan to keep the camp going for the sake of everyone.

Night started to fall and the electricity was still out. Anthea called TnB to request for a generator. We continued our camp with simpler games, thanks to the help of the other committees, as I sat on a chair, sweaty and tired, and not in a good shape for talking either. A little while later, it started turning dark. It was hard to tell the person without shining the torchlight on them. Then she came. Pn. Chong. She delivered a news none of us wanted to hear. She requested that we all returned home that night itself, and return tomorrow for 4 hours to finish up the camp. Why? Because of the power outage. As we protested and said that a power genarator was on its way, she continued to drop the bomb by saying that En. Hamidi wasn't around to take care of the camp. According to school rules, there must be 2 teachers - at least a male - in charge at night for a camp to run. I wanted to yell, even if it would kill my throat. I wanted to protest, even if it'd make my next year horrible. This was absurd. As we threw more protests, we were silenced by a statement saying that we set a horrible example as Pemimpin Muda and we should learn to respect the teachers more. It was then I knew it was a fight we could never win. I cried.

I watched the camp participants calling their parents to pick them home. Some would be fine to be sleeping on their beds, some would have a good scolding, some have to sleepover at their friend's home... I watched my seniors munching on McD. They came to watch a show, but everything was just dark now. I would've nicked their fries if I didn't have my sore throat(honestly, I would anyway) or was feeling better. I cried more. There was so much of the camp's programs which was cancelled because of many various reasons. Because of the teacher's exam on the first day, Angkasa Talk, the power outage and the waaaay insufficient time given to us on the third day. Talent Night was over. Everything I planned was screwed up. I cried even more.

After a while, almost all of the participants have left. They were to come back tomorrow. They couldn't even take their luggage back home. Just their important belongings. The seniors sat around, giving words of encouragement. Disappointment could clearly be seen on the other committees. Just then, the lights came back. The guys started yelling and cursing. I shot up from my chair and yelled at them to shut them off. It killed my throat even more, but really - if the teachers would have heard us, the impression we were trying to keep would have been crushed anyway.

There was nothing else I could do. I packed up most of my luggage as I headed straight home. It was great to finally take a bath at home after 24 hours sweat. It was easier to tend to my sore throat too. Honestly, I really needed a good sleep, and my mattress does just that. However, I know I won't be resting long. I woke up at 5 am and started bashing the laptop. Even after I got to school at 8am, I continued to work on the video, listening to "I'm Yours" over and over again.

As I work, the participants started flooding in. Heck, even before I came, there were a few of them there already! I was amazed that they actually came back just for that last 4 hours of camp. Out of 45, 40 came. I was really glad that we had made an impact, and that this means something to all of them. I continue to stare at my laptop for the next few hours as they clean up the area, rehearse for their now turned "Talent Day", and the performances itself.

It was then the session I was looking forward to the most. The Guadian Angel Revealing. It would be my first official one where my GA is revealed, as the others didn't really worked out. I took these sort of touchy sessions in camps really seriously. When I showed my bottle of Vitamin C to Hsiu Jiuan during the revealing, immediately she laughed. It was great to see her surprised reaction. We laughed and recalled our letter-sending-sweet-passing-face-hiding activities for the pass few days. I waited for my GA to look for me. I sorta knew who it was already since Day 2. As my GA grabbed an orange envelope, exclusive only to the committees, I confirmed my doubts. Dylan Lim gave me my envelope along with a pink balloon. "I KNEW IT!" I yelled. Although it was no more surprise, it was still unbelievable when I connected my unknown GA to the noitorious Dylan. I never expected Dylan to actually return my letters in the manner he did. It's kinda funny what camps make a person, hehe.

We went for our last meal, McD! Me and the gang said our last "Itadakimasu!" for the camp. I munched up soggy fries and a chicken burger drowned in 7 packets of tomato sauce(not my peak). They don't call me tomato for nothing! I can't believe the camp was ending. I wanted it to go on. But I was certain it will still live on in our participants. Without them, this camp wouldn't have it's meaning, it wouldn't have been a blast.

At the ending of the camp, we had a reflection. It didn't have the effect I hoped for, but it was good enough. Here I present to them, the hours of deprived sleep.



Thank you, for being More Than a Friend.

Quote of the Day: "Friends are like diamonds, when you scratch'em, you'll know if they are real."

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