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Mi's Malaysia Adventure

03 June 2016

Last week, Year 6 had a residential trip to Malaysia and stayed at a Nomad Adventure camp in Gopeng to experience life without technology and go through challenging games together with AP1 students. Mr James, Ms Kirstine, Ms Duyen, Ms Hong An and Mr Chau from TX and Mr Chris and Ms Esther from AP1 went with us of course to keep us in line because who knows what Dream could do without adult supervision ?! Here’s how it went for most people :

Day 1 - 23.05.2016 :

Buzzing with excitement, everyone arrived at school wearing their signature purple t - shirt with their own choice of pants. After a long period of registering, we finally could board the bus to set off to the airport. Arriving at the crowded airport after about 45 minutes of driving, everybody went inside, but the sad part is, we all have to wait again to get into  the boarding room ! Awww ! Next, we got inside, through the baggage check and into the boarding room which we met up with AP1 and played card games or ate our own snacks. Eventually we went on the plane and arrived at Kuala Lumpur airport soon after the short flight. Sadly, AP1 and TX had to part to get on our separate buses to head towards camp. The teachers let us get settled into our multiple cabins (also known as dorms) and set out things to our liking and also to chose a bunk bed. After a while, everybody was pleased with the different cabin arrangements, we went to the cafeteria where we will mostly have our breakfasts, lunches and dinners there. Since everyone had breakfast at home and lunch on the plane already, we now start to have dinner and a short briefing together with the introductions of our guides for our stay in Malaysia. There is Mr Roy, Mr Tom and Mr Ami. They are the activity leaders. There are more introductions to come. All the cabin members sit in the same table so it is easier to identify the who is in which cabin. Afterwards, the girl’s cabin 2 had to clean up the tables and plates because a few members of the cabin annoyed Mr James on the bus by asking him the “Are we there yet ?” question. Here is a few things you do that would end up with your cabin cleaning up or even worst :

  1. Annoy the teachers = Cleaning up after a meal

  2. Make a lot of noises after curfew =  Cleaning up after a meal

  3. Forget to bring stuff that people told you to bring = Skip the activity of the day

  4. If everyone is good = Follow the table rotation

Meanwhile the girls are cleaning up, everyone else went back to their cabin to get ready for bed. Although quite a few people struggled to fall asleep because of the hard bed and many mosquitoes that somehow got to go into their mosquito nets, we all fell into a dreamless sleep.

Day 2 :

After a short amount of rest, many awaken at a really early time, however, they didn’t wake others up so that is a positive note ! After getting all ready and set everybody ate a delicious breakfast and got on two open air trucks or as people at our camp call it, two ‘limousines’. Our rides took us to a cave called Gua Tempurung where we all had a short briefing with safety checks because safety is our number one priority ! Following that shortly is us entering the cave and following the steps leading throughout the entire cave. However, we take a quick twist and we take a shortcut which involves us crawling through freezing groundwaters and sitting in blinding darkness and silence for 10 minutes. At the end of the day, it went really well because we got to experience a new challenge which helps everyone use their senses more and get to know how much use their senses could grant. We then went on our ‘limousines’ back to what we now get to call ‘home’ !  Eventually, we had a great tummy - filling dinner and everyone came back to our cabins to scratch our mosquito bites wishing we had better mosquito repellents in addition to getting ready for bed like changing into pyjamas. At around 9:00 pm we go back to the cafeteria to get our daily dose of Milo milk. This routine happens everyday to come. Eventhough the milk tastes like scorching hot water, it is always better with friends ! At 10:00 pm everybody was settled in and had our teeth brushed. We all wished each other goodnight, off the lights go and our eyes shut.

Day 3 :

Oh the blissful mornings arrives ! Mornings with no sunlight because we woke up too soon and had basically 4 hours of sleep all because of the bugs and our hard bed. But we are happy because we are with our friends ! It is assuring to know that other people face the torturing experience too ! Haha ! Once the whole dorm is up, we all get ready for the morning and change into our pair of clothes for the day and also to pack our day pack. This had become a usually routine because we always need our daypack and we bring it to the cafeteria too to save time. Our day pack always include our water bottle, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and lastly, our headtorch (some people have a hand torch so they bring that too). There is excitement that is radiating in the air and do you know why ? We are going to the river school today ! Nobody knows what they are going to teach us today and we can’t wait to find out ! After breakfast, everybody immediately went to the equipment shed to get the correct tools for the day except for the cabin that is washing up. Yup we are still sticking with that. After the washing team finishes the last plates and cups, we board on our super luxurious ‘limousines’ to get to the river school. There, we learned how to do defensive swimming, which is letting the water take you somewhere without harming yourself, aggressive swimming which could get tiring, that means you have a goal to reach somewhere, and throw bagging, which is the most simple technique of saving someone in white or flat water. That is the in the morning. After those interesting challenges, we had our lunch which is served at the river school.  Later on, we finished our lunches and got on with other activities which then includes shallow river crossing, it’s basically is what it sounds like, another thing is raft flipping, it means that you learn how to flip a raft and how to flip it back. You also learn how to get your friends up onto the raft. And now, the most eventful challenge that everyone is waiting for… RAFTING ! We had a race with the rafts and rafted all over the place, that means that we even rafted past our camp ! With the help of their guide, team Patience won *hint* My team *hint*. After the race, everybody hurried to get back to our ‘limousines’ because we are all tired and want to go back ‘home’.  Soon, we had a quick break and dinner and the usual routine. Considering we all were good today and yesterday, we just followed the table rotation and it was Girls Dorm 1’s turn to clean ! Oh goodie. It was a quick clean so we get back to our dorms quick enough to change and put more mosquito repellent on. Yes we wear mosquito repellent to go to sleep too. Then at 9:30 pm everybody went to have Milo and after washing the cups again, TX and AP1 got into our beds after cleaning our teeth, said goodnight and lights go out.  Of course we had trouble falling asleep and there were actually two fireflies in Girls Dorm 1 !

Day 4 :

The night went by in a whizz and surprisingly, everyone had a goodnight’s sleep. Some think that it maybe because yesterday, we used most of our energy and others think that since everybody woke up very early for the other days, our body needs more energy ! Despite all that, we got the best rest we could’ve had for the whole week. Early risers  wait for others to wake up. If the whole dorm is up, we start getting ready just like the other days, brush our teeth, wear our clothes, check our daypack and off we go to the cafeteria ! With everyone still amazed by the fireflies and itchy by the mosquito bites, breakfast was filled with different emotions in the air. Today, we are going to mountain school, which means we could go zip - lining and rock climbing and even more thrilling tasks ! After breakfast, it was time to get our equipment, however, we didn’t go to the equipment shed. This time, we went to the lounge area of the coaches which kept all the mountain equipments, special helmets and stuff. As we all climb on our ‘limousines’ and off we go to spend the most of our time that day at mountain school. In the morning, we went to the rock climbing station where all of us got into our harnesses and started climbing a natural mountain ! It was really hard because we actually have to hang on to natural materials such as rocks and tree roots. A while after, we moved onto the low rope station and there, we learned how to use more of our trust on our friends to guide us along tricky roads and instead of relying on our own senses. It went great ! Next, our giant group went to an entrance of a cave that is called The Silent Cave because it is actually the home of some humongous bats ! All of us had to walk on these ropes in only darkness and if we fall, we will fall into bat feces ! So some of us think that this is what the low ropes were preparing us for. When all of us got out of the cave, we went back to the base of mountain school so we could eat lunch there. Finishing our lunches, we started the evening with learning how to zipline like professionals ! How to unlock the auto - lock cables, how to properly go up to the zipline, how to load onto the  line we learn it all ! But the scary part is when you are getting ready to do the actual zipline, everyone get really nervous but we always end up wanting to do it again ! Next is the giant swing. To complete this challenge, you will need two people on ladder team to get the ladder away from the person being pulled up, furthermore, you also need a pulling team to pull the person that is having a go at the swing. We have a guide that pulls a string that lets us go and before we know it, we’re experiencing the giant swing ! When everyone had a go with the swing, we moved on again to the final activity, the leap of faith. It was a challenge for everyone. It is a challenge for people who are confident with height because their goal is to reach and touch the ball that would be hanging in front of them, or for people who are not confident with height to have a go at jumping. After we finished with all our activities, we go ‘home’ and do our usual dinner routine. However, there was a slight twist because today for  dinner, we were going to have a barbecue ! All sorts of goodies were out on the buffet trays and finally, the best surprise we could have all week, ice creams ! It was unbelievable how fast we could all run to line up for the ice cream. But all good things have to end and we all know that it is time to sleep. This time, everyone went to bed and fell asleep earlier because tomorrow is the last day ! Yay ! Now you maybe thinking, why would we want to go back to Vietnam ? Well, after spending a few days with the mosquitoes here, even the most positive person will become frustrated with everything and everyone.

Day 5 :

Everybody woke up at around 6:30 thanks to some people but soon , we realised that we overslept and had only around 15 - 30 minutes to get ready and pack ! Oh no ! In a hurry, everyone ran all over the place to get ready. Some minutes later, a few people from the next cabin went over to our cabin to tell us to be quiet because there were a lot of people in their cabin still asleep. Little did they know how much time they have to get ready. We explain the situation and watch as their eyes grow to the size of saucers. The group of ‘lecturers’, as we call them, dashed back into their cabins and started waking everyone in there up ! Haha ! Throwing on their last piece of clothing and putting their stuff into their luggages and bags, the last of the cabin members stood just in time for our morning dorm inspection. Whew ! As the teachers walked around, checking for some weak spots in our cabin, we were all still excited for the final challenge, coming home ! That would be easy !  In the end, our cabin was good and the only thing we need to await for is… the scores. Oh we  all hope our cabin wins but who knows ? With a relaxed sign, the cabin members grabbed their luggages and bags to bring them to the cafeteria and have breakfast. As the last person finished their final meal at the wonderful Nomad Adventure camp, we all thanked the cook for the most amazing meals here at camp and off we go, all carrying our belongings and everybody realised, we’ll miss this place ! Even the mosquitoes, taking one last look at the camp and the guides, thanking them for the remarkable stay, we turned our backs and head into the busses which would take us to Kuala Lumpur Airport. There’s no going back to camp now. We all went through the airport security and had Starbucks for lunch. Once the teachers all checked to see if we have enough people in the different travel groups that we were all in just to make sure we don’t get lost, we start heading off to get to the boarding room. It was a fast walk and we get there in no time ! Without having time to rest, we already start boarding the plane ! Some people rested, some played card games, others listen to music and some watch shows and movies. A lot of things to do on the airplane as listed above but before we know it, we are in our actual home, Vietnam. Many had tearful goodbyes and many knows that we will be seeing each other again soon. But one thing that we can’t let go of is our memory of our trip to Malaysia. With that thought, we catch a ride and go home with our parents.

Life brings tears, smiles and memories. The tears dry, the smiles fade, but the memories last forever. Our trip to Malaysia was unforgettable and eventhough we seem to hate our stay when everyone was there, we all leave with sadness because we don’t want to go. Our guides had helped us conquer our fears and face the challenges we thought were impossible. They make us stronger and more ambitious. When we were afraid of doing something, our guides would encourage us to do it, knowing that we were afraid. Through ups and downs we all know that inside, we’ve all enjoyed it. Leaving Malaysia was hard but we had made memories that were harder to forget.

By : Mi Nguyen