Thursday, December 14, 2006

Welcome back myself, welcome back laptop!

We love you OC, we do; we love you OC, we do; we love you OC, we do; Oh OC we love you. How much? THIS MUCH!"

OC plus the others at post-NLDS dinner. Clockwise from left: David the OCP, Daniel the German, Lun Kai the rice-turned-potato, Khai Jia from Malaysia, Cecilia the year 3, Imran the NUS LCP (local committee president), Pamela the Marketing Vice-pres, Laura (hidden), Won Jang the Korean, Siew Yik the pseudo-DHL mailman, me, Cheryl the dot-dash-dot.

Be gone all the depressing posts that I have posted. I am back. Refreshed. Renewed. Though I can fall asleep at any moment now, sitting, standing, listening, chatting, but my spirit is high.

I am just back from National Leadership Development Seminar, a nation-wide seminar organised by Singapore AIESEC. AIESEC, is an international platform for youth to discover and develop their potential. Ok enough introduction.

And now I am speechless. There's just so much to say. It's one of my most enriching experience in life. Ok, let's start from Day -1, two days before NLDC. I went to pick up 2 Japanese delegates (we call AIESEC members as delegates) at Changi Airport. It's the first time for me to pick up people without knowing their faces first. So I wrote their names on a piece of A4 paper, and started standing at the arrival door. Just like some of the others. But very unlike many others. They landed at 0020. At 1am, they were still not out. I started panicking. How if I have missed them?

Luckily, they were out soon. Two young and good-looking Japanese. So I took them to backpackers' hotel at Little India. And yes it is the first time I visit a backpackers'! At 2am, I started taking a cab back to NTU. West to East then East to West again. It's the first time I travelled like this and it's the first time for me to take that many cabs. And oops I have moved on to Day 0 - the pre-camp day.

At 9am, I sprang up from my bed to register subjects for next sem. Only to realise that my reg time was actually 1130am. So I went to deep sleep again.

After that I sent my laptop for repair, as it would be a time when I don't need to use my laptop so no missing feel for it. It was raining. I took a cab again. After sending it, David the OCP (Organising Committee President) called rushing me. So I took yet another cab to SMU the place where NLDS was held. There marked off a whole blast of 4+1+1 day of fun, craze and SK (Sai Kang which means tough labour). We had to carry 30 tables from School of Business up to the 10th floor of Admin Building, walking through the busy city streets. Wonder why SMU have to have such heavy tables, and why was there no table in the admin building! But it's ok. The guys did the transportation. The girls only transport it up to the 10th level, which MIND YOU wasn't an easy task as well. So SK jobs went on and on till night. In between, I went to meet a Columbian and a South African AIESECer to get keys which they wanted to return to another AIESECer who provided their homestay. After that I went off to the airport again to receive yet another Japanese delegate. Japanese looks never fail my expectation~ Then rushed back for meeting again. The night ended at 4+am. We slept at SMU hostel. It's actually not opened yet but they made an exception for us. We were the first batch of inhabitants!

The very heavy tables the guys (Nicholas the teddy bear and Lun Kai the Uncle Wong)carried under the hot sun through the busy (which didn't appear so in this pic) city streets.

SMU hostel. It's an apartment style hostel. Good idea, tinu rooms. This is a picture of a single-bedroom. Take note how small it is. I was taking it from the other side of the wall.

Day 1 -the official day of NLDS!
Woke up at 630 when my hair was still WET from pre-sleep bath. After breakfast, we started a series of registration for the delegates. I was an usher at the lobby to direct the delegates to the correct destination. I thought NLDS was only for local delegates. Apparently I was wrong. There were people from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Nigeria, Pakistanis, Malaysia..! And even within the OC and the facilitators, our background is diversed. We had Malaysians truly asians~, Singaporeans, Vietnamese, Filipino, PRCs, Indonesians, Germans, Luxemburgians (the NLDS chairperson), Poles (are Poland people called as such? I dunno.), Russian, British, Canadian, and Egyptian! This was Developing Leaders Day. Big managers such as Microsoft regional director came down to give talks. It was really interesting. Sadly I could only attend 30 min of the seminar which lasted the entire day as I had to do SK jobs. After lunch we started preparing the goodie bag and registration process. After that was a grand gala dinner where we had to dress up nicely and enjoy nicey meals. The night ended at 3am.

Random picture with a hat I have always wanted to wear.

Day 2.
Woke up at 630am again. OC were the alarm clock for all the delegates. So we went apartment to apartment, room to room to wake the delegates up. After that it's more SK but we started to have more interactions among the OC. We just officially met each other on Day 0. But everyone was really fun-loving. We renamed OC as SK III, a name suggested by UncleWong aka Ah Beng Wong. And we have 3 uncles in SK III! Due to their deceiving looks. Namely the Uncle Ah Beng Wong, Uncle Thong the OCP and Uncle Chia. Our interactions went so well that some of us sneaked out together to have a little escape from the stale air of SMU. Then it was the NLDS night. We brought the delegates out for food hunt, and the stupid me brought them to the wrong destination! But we got great food from there anyway.

One thing is AIESECers were really fun-loving people. While waiting for roti prata at the stall, I dare my Pakistanis delegate to bring his beer and say cheers to the cashier. There goes the conversation:
Nabeel: Hey lady!
Blur cashier: Yes?
Nabeel: C-H-E-E-R-S!
Cashier: Err.. cheers..
Wahahaha.. it's oh-so-fun! This marked off the night of Day2.

Day 3 - a tinge of sadness.
Half of NLDS was gone within what seemed like seconds! But I told myself to stop mourning and continue to treasure every second. But people were nastier to be woken up. Some of them would actually get angry with you, or simply refused to wake up. But OC had invented ways to conserve energy using technology! Everybody had a walkie-talkie, and I just played my very loud doraemon ringtone from my phone and transmit to everyone else who on their walkie talkie at maximum volume. Hiakhiakhiak.

OC started getting siao in the evening. We took so many idiotic videos that managed to self-entertained ourselves to the maximum! Hoho. Uncle Chia talking to the tree and bringing it out for a walk. Video of us mimicking the crazy orders by facilitators. Should upload our PRC game video here if possible.

Random picture of Uncle Thong.

The headlines were just right for this photo shoot! Take note of the headline of the right. Marcus the Uncle Chia in action.

The highlight for the day was Global Village, where everybody from their country brings something from their countries for showcase. We got some from the embassies. too. Where on earth can you see so many precious displays of countries' jewels in a little place? The sights were overwhelming. People were dressed in their most authentic costumes. People were dancing. We were eating, collecting brochures, trying out costumes, listening to introduction. It's the night when you see beauty of the world. It's the night which allowed me to reaslise that differences between cultured are to be appreciated, not to be viewed as point of conflict. So peace, no war, please.

Me with Yasmine the Egyptian. Mummy returns.

Me and Wang Fang the PRC and Won Jang the Korean who can dance really well!

Me and Laura in OC shirts with the Japanese delegates! and erm Shin the pseudo-Japanese who's actually a Malaysian.

After that was beer drinking competition. We had 40 litres of beer kindly sponsored by AIESEC alumni! But sadly, we couldn't make too much noise as there were still people living around the hostel. The OC went out for supper that night, and I was so reluctant to sleep, since it's already the last night of NLDS. So after supper, me and Siew Yik the pseudo-DHL man stayed back and played with the delegates, till 5am when they were exhausted. Then I stayed on with a Malaysian senior and Nabeel to chat under the bright moon sky.

Friends connected under the bright moonlight.

Day 4 - Nice wrap up.
A lot a lot of SK work were done. We had to transport back all the heavy tables back to Sch of Business, again, by the guys. Poor thing. A lot of cleaning work too. It was the day that I started feeling sick. I still couldn't take alcohol. I had terrible horrible rashes. They were itchy, red, and hot! Yet on the surface I was feeling cold. OC weren't very kind though, they laughed me for drinking when I can't. Hmmph.. But I guessed it's the return of karma. For jacking at them continuously. Hoho.. It was painful, but still a lot of SK to do.

Our ability to doze off anytime anywhere. This was at SMU underpass where many public walks pass.

OC at work in a messy messy place. Level 10. The place with great sights, great stress, great fun and thus great memory!

Mei-Xi who found comfort eating in front of my slippers! Of among my slippers!

After the closing plenary, when a lot of people were getting emotional and wet in tears, the OC actually got crazy and started screaming together 'IT'S OVER! IT'S OVER! IT'S OVER!' That won us a lot of stares. No one can truly understand how much SK we undergone over the days. No doubt the delegates were thankful to us, but being OC was really a lot of work to do! Everyone must be an OC once, but once is MORE THAN ENOUGH! Haha. But ok la, we were a bit emo too.. I was so sad to part with Yasmine the Egyptian mummy. She's the next crazy girl I can find on earth! After the entire check out procedure, we had our OC reflection. That was the time when we started replaying the precious flashbacks of the entire NLDS. From siandiao and lost to fun and excitement. From energetic to able to fall asleep at anywhere. Yes within the 7 days I clocked only 21 hours of sleep!

It was an eye-opening experience. I finally understood what does the tagline of AIESEC means. There were literally endless opportunities available in AIESEC waiting for me to discover. There were tonnes of people from all over the globe for me to shake hands with. There were so many things I could do to mature myself. I am lured by the opportunities, yet a bit apprehensive. I don't know if I can manage it. I wonder if I have the capability like the uncles and the other VPs. But I will try. At least for next year, I am going for Hong Kong conference! Hoho!

And today, I received 51 mails in my inbox. Not that I didn't check the email during the seminar. I am excited to read them now.

My inflamed thigh due to rashes.. *sobs*

I love you OC I do; I love you OC I do; I love you OC I do; I love you OC I do; Oh OC I love you. How much? THIS MUCH!



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