Friday, August 22, 2008

Nothing Can Explain the Grief in My Heart

After 5 days of jungle and away from civillization, I'm glad to say that I have came back from OBS in one piece. Alright maybe not one piece but still alive. I guess that OBS is a place where I will bring back loads of fond memories despite living in harsh conditions with a devil wearing sneakers. Yes, the devil's name is called Bernard. Said he was a Lieutenant in the Army before. He is very strict, but he's a great guy who knows how to handle a bunch of low-morale people with little motivation.

I shall not do what I did the last time where I have to do an ultra long post. Instead, I would just briefly summarise the highlights of the camp. I'm sure most of you are tired of reading my posts which is long enough to stretch from the start to beyond the tagboard.

One thing I've learnt in OBS was to challenge myself. I realized that my limit is way beyond what I think it is. For example, we had to do a more than 8km Land Expedition which covers one end of Pulau Ubin to the other with bags weighing at least 15-20kg. We walked from 9am-5:40pm and were the last group to reach the campsite. I'll elaborate on that point later. My shoulders were aching, and both my backside and my inner thigh areas has serious abrasions. It hurts so much that I couldn't even walk like a normal person. I had to crab-walk for that night and I was covered with mosquito bites, sandfly bites, ant bites, and some other insect bites all over my leg and arms. Thank goodness that the campsite was near the beach and it was windy and comfortable at night.

Sea Expedition was next on our list. We had to kayak from our campsite to Chek Jawa, go around it to opposite Johor and finally back to our base camp. It was the most gruelling expedition ever. Kayaking in the sea was a very difficult thing as you are strained mentally when you think that you covered a great distance until you see another great stretch of water. We had to kayak through 2 storms. It was at that point of time that I started singing to take my mind of physical pain and to lift my morale. It actually worked and I felt so dang energized that I told Daniel who is the front man to stop rowing and I started rowing the two-man kayak by myself. Exciting stuff. We managed to reach the camp in just 5 hours and we saw a rainbow after the storm. It was really beautiful.

Besides that, we got a chance to stay up a hill near Camp 1, which is the nicest OBS base camp ever with the most high-class facilities. The Inverse Tower, which is the high elements activity. I must mention here that I have a fear of heights. So when I first cleared the rock wall my legs were shaking with fear because everyone looked so small there. I had to wait for my friend afterwards as we were supposed to go up together. I waited there for more than 10 minutes and gotten used to the altitude. Later I had to climb up the tyres up to the rope ladder. The ropes strained every inch of my muscles but my friend was still below. I told my belayer to let me down so that I can teach him how to climb up the tyres which was really shaky. Well, he couldn't complete the challenge and I went up alone. It was uber fun.

I want to thank Bernard our instructor for teaching us many things a being there as a friend and mentor for us. This post is titled with your favourite quote which you always say whenever you see us. Although we have endured hell from you for the first 3 days, you moulded us into a team that was stronger and more efficient than everyone else.

I also want to thank our team members which includes (Not in any order):

Yohanes Lim
Tim Tan
Zhi Hao
Yohanes Augustine
Dao Han
Zi Ran

Thanks for making this camp interesting and funny. It is because of us that Columbus is unique.

I came to OBS wanting to leave, and left OBS with something that will stay with me forever.

To Serve, To Strive and Not To Yield!

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