A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: AllegraMiller21

Sports Report

Day 4

Our group and the other girls' group battling for first place

The sky was grey, and the occasional rumble of thunder sounded in the distance. It was raining lightly. Would the rafting be called off? They’d already had to delay it for five minutes or so because of the incoming storm. The teams were rafting from our houseboat to the other side of the somewhat wide river, and they would be exposed to the elements. The goal of the race was to finish first and hand over two rocks from the other side as proof.

Our team, Purple Disney Ducks - China, Ori, Miyo, Nanami, Yuina, Thea Osborn, Yu, Ms. Docherty, Protik and I - gathered, talking about our rafting strategies (I didn’t take part, but I still wanted to be somewhat involved). The other three teams did the same.

We discussed how to sit on the rafts as we watched a man ready the four rafts, rowing among them - as he did so, he seemed to be sitting on his own as if he was riding a horse. This seemed to be a stable way to sit, although everyone else seemed to be planning to sit on them cross-legged (in the end, we went with the latter).

After a while, the teachers called for the first groups (our first group was, Miyo, Nanami, Yuina and Yu) to get ready. They put on their life jackets and we wished them luck, quickly calling strategies as they climbed onto their raft.

When the groups were ready, one of the instructors blew an airhorn and they set off. Our group was in the lead at the start. A drone followed the rafters, videotaping them as they rowed furiously.

When they were about halfway to the end, the other girls’ group - Elana, Maeve, Kiara, Jodi and Meg - caught our team up and it looked like they were going to tie. As they progressed, the other team seemed to be drawing ahead. Oh no! As they got nearer to the other side, the boys’ team - Max, A.J, Mateo, Brandon and Tiger - started to reach the other two groups.

When our team reached the end, they grabbed a rock and set off to the other side. When they got back to the houseboat and the second team - China, Ori, Thea, Ms. Docherty and Protik - set off. However, we soon realised that Yuina had lost her rock! We panicked for a while, wondering where it had gone. Miyo had definitely given it to Yuina, so she must have dropped it on the way back.

Pushing that aside, realising there was nothing that could be done, we turned our attention to the teams battling for first place. The other girls’ group were way ahead, already at the other side of the river, and the Purple Disney Ducks and the boys’ team seemed to be tied; the team with both boys and girls was a little further behind.

When our group finally got to the other side of the river, the girls’ team were nearly at the houseboat. It looked like the Purple Disney Ducks would come second. When they were close to the end, however, Thea fell off the raft! They still managed to come in before the boys’ team and the remaining team though. Luckily, they’d picked up two rocks instead of one, so we still came in second place!

The teams that came in first, second and third won food, and celebrated, full of exhilaration.

Posted by AllegraMiller21 04:19 Comments (0)

Sports Report

Day 4

Our first group and the other girls' group battling for first place

Our first group and the other girls' group battling for first place

The sky was grey, and the occasional rumble of thunder sounded in the distance. It was raining lightly. Would the rafting be called off? They’d already had to delay it for five minutes or so because of the incoming storm. The teams were rafting from our houseboat to the other side of the somewhat wide river, and they would be exposed to the elements. The goal of the race was to finish first and hand over two rocks from the other side as proof.

Our team, Purple Disney Ducks - China, Ori, Miyo, Nanami, Yuina, Thea Osborn, Yu, Ms. Docherty, Protik and I - gathered, talking about our rafting strategies (I didn’t take part, but I still wanted to be somewhat involved). The other three teams did the same.

We discussed how to sit on the rafts as we watched a man ready the four rafts, rowing among them - as he did so, he seemed to be sitting on his own as if he was riding a horse. This seemed to be a stable way to sit, although everyone else seemed to be planning to sit on them cross-legged (in the end, we went with the latter).

After a while, the teachers called for the first groups (our first group was, Miyo, Nanami, Yuina and Yu) to get ready. They put on their life jackets and we wished them luck, quickly calling strategies as they climbed onto their raft.

When the groups were ready, one of the instructors blew an airhorn and they set off. Our group was in the lead at the start. A drone followed the rafters, videotaping them as they rowed furiously.

When they were about halfway to the end, the other girls’ group - Elana, Maeve, Kiara, Jodi and Meg - caught our team up and it looked like they were going to tie. As they progressed, the other team seemed to be drawing ahead. Oh no! As they got nearer to the other side, the boys’ team - Max, A.J, Mateo, Brandon and Tiger - started to reach the other two groups.

When our team reached the end, they grabbed a rock and set off to the other side. When they got back to the houseboat and the second team - China, Ori, Thea, Ms. Docherty and Protik - set off. However, we soon realised that Yuina had lost her rock! We panicked for a while, wondering where it had gone. Miyo had definitely given it to Yuina, so she must have dropped it on the way back.

Pushing that aside, realising there was nothing that could be done, we turned our attention to the teams battling for first place. The other girls’ group were way ahead, already at the other side of the river, and the Purple Disney Ducks and the boys’ team seemed to be tied; the team with both boys and girls was a little further behind.

When our group finally got to the other side of the river, the girls’ team were nearly at the houseboat. It looked like the Purple Disney Ducks would come second. When they were close to the end, however, Thea fell off the raft! They still managed to come in before the boys’ team and the remaining team though. Luckily, they’d picked up two rocks instead of one, so we still came in second place!

The teams that came first, second and third won food, and celebrated, full of exhilaration.

Posted by AllegraMiller21 04:15 Comments (0)

Great Adventure/Child's Perspective

Day 3

I walked out of my room and was about to walk downstairs for breakfast when I was stopped by Ms. Docherty. “Are you okay?” she asked, pointing at my ear. My ear, part of my face and collarbone were covered in plasters. “I have these weird blister-spot-things on my face..I’m not sure what they are,” I answered.

She took me downstairs to ask Mrs. Dore about it, and it turned out that she already knew because my mum had told her about my ‘rash’ before CEW. After asking me to take off the plasters so she could look at the weird blisters, she called the instructors over to take a look as well. Eventually, Mrs. Dore decided that I should probably go to the doctors’, which was on land a long way away - “We need to know if it needs antibiotics,” she explained.

I didn’t know what to think about this. I didn’t want to go on the extremely long trek that we were scheduled to do in the morning, but going on a long trip to the doctors’? It would take ages - an hour at least. Anyway, she picked up the huge, clunky satellite phone to call my mum. I stared at it in awe as she talked. The phone was grey, rectangular, had big, square buttons and looked a bit like a walkie-talkie. After a while, it was decided that we would leave right after breakfast.

I had to eat breakfast this time, even though I had no appetite - I knew I would be hungry later, and anyway, one of the instructors was watching me. I picked up a sandwich and sat down with my friends. It had ketchup and mayo in it, which I thought was a weird combination. But since I’d never had a burger or anything before (I’m a vegetarian and I hate McDonald’s with a vengeance), I wouldn’t know anyway.

After a while, we set off. Everyone crowded around, asking where we were going. I cringed, hating it, and tried to explain, but since I didn’t know what the blisters were, it was hard.

The boat ride was amazing. The morning sun was warm on my skin, the air was cool and the water glittered and shone, but in a different way than the day before. It wasn’t so bright, but it felt as if the lake was a mirror and we were looking in. I had planned to read, but in the end, I just looked all around me at the wonderful view.

When we reached dry land, we got in a car and set off to the government hospital. This time, we had reception, so we could call my mum on Mrs Dore’s phone.

The car pulled up at the hospital, and we got out. After talking to a receptionist, showing her my ear and passport, we got kicked out. “At least we know it isn’t an emergency.” Mrs. Dore said, half-jokingly.

We had to drive again, this time to a private doctors’. There were posters on the wall, all in Bahasa Melayu, about giving massages and storing food so that you didn’t get food poisoning. They seemed pretty random; surely there would be posters about washing your hands and detecting fevers? Maybe Malaysia had more of a food poisoning problem than Singapore.

When I was called in at long last, the doctor there looked at my blisters for a while, checked my pulse - which was weird, because the infection was around my face - before diagnosing me with an allergic reaction. This was extremely odd; I have no allergies apart from possibly one to tartrazine, a chemical in some foods. Anyway, I thought that allergic reactions probably didn’t spread all over my face. After looking on the Internet, we realised it looked more like Impetigo, a bacterial infection. Mrs. Dore seemed confused by the doctor’s diagnosis, especially since I had no history of allergies. She texted my mum, who was just as sceptical.

We needed to call a Singaporean doctor for a second opinion, and he agreed and said it was Impetigo. When we collected my medicine, Mrs. Dore asked the receptionist for special cream that the Singaporean doctor recommended, and she instantly gave it to us without asking why. For some reason, she had also added in this weird medicine that would make me sleepy, which the Singaporean doctor said I shouldn’t take.

The way back was just as long, and the boat ride even hotter, because it was midday by now. I ate crackers that I’d bought in a supermarket near the doctors’ - we thought we wouldn’t get back in time for lunch.

When the houseboat came into view, I saw that everyone had finished eating lunch, like we thought. The chefs gave me a weird rice porridge thing, which tasted okay. I felt a bit strange, though, because everyone else was basically sitting around playing cards and talking while I was eating lunch. They seemed to think that I had a food allergy, and I wanted to speak out - but I also didn’t want to seem like I thought I knew better than the doctor. After I ate I had to take my new tablets, and I had to try at least three times before I could swallow the pill.

Posted by AllegraMiller21 04:14 Comments (0)

Poetic Description

Day 2

Our boat skimmed across the water, light and weightless. The water glittered as the sun hit it; the sky was a brilliant, infinite blue. As the roaring sound of the boat filled the air, we shouted over it, trying to be heard. The world was bright and saturated with colour once again, and I felt exhilarated.

We twisted and turned, our boat taking a path down a narrower part of the river. Pieces of wood, dark and broken, protruded from the water, and I watched them seem to fly past. Eventually, we came out into a more open stretch, and we could see waves on the water. I braced myself, and the boat started to judder and bounce as we shot over them. Everyone screamed with delight, and I found myself almost enjoying it despite my misgivings.

We saw another boat and called excitedly to them. They seemed to be enjoying the ride too. “Hello! Hello!” We shouted, waving frantically. They waved back. Pulling ahead, we left them behind as we sped on.

Slowing down a bit, we came into another open stretch filled with pieces of wood, and we dodged around them. Still the water glittered. Soon trees came into view, and I saw more boats docked at a makeshift platform. People were getting out and gathering around the teachers and instructors, and I realised we were about to go on our first trek.

We slowed to a stop, and I felt disappointment as I realised the ride was over. Taking off my life jacket and leaving it in the bottom of the boat, I climbed out to join the rest of my year on dry land. Sandy, but dry.

Posted by AllegraMiller21 04:13 Comments (0)

Fable

Day 2

I walked to the long table spread with food. I was technically not supposed to get food from here - I’m a vegetarian - but there was sometimes food like rice or egg that I could eat. I spotted fried eggs piled up on a tray, and thought to myself, Ah, something familiar! as I selected one and put it on my plate. Seeing as there wasn’t much else I particularly wanted to eat, and I don’t eat much anyway, I walked over to the circle (well, more like a weird oval) of chairs where some of the other girls in my year were eating their breakfast and sat down.

Listening to their conversation - I don’t talk much either - I cut myself a small bit of egg with my fork, as they didn’t have knives, and began to eat. Mmm, delicious! It was actually pretty good. I was about to cut myself another piece when I looked down and gasped with horror. There was a bug in my egg! Gross! Its small black body, tiny legs spreadeagled on the plate, seemed to stare up at me. I stared back, horrified.

I frantically pulled the egg apart, looking for a piece that had no bugs, but quickly found that it was useless. There seemed to be pieces of bug in every bit of egg, even if it was only one body part. For the rest of the meal, I picked at my egg, waiting for someone to say, “Time to get ready!” so that I could just say that I was a slow eater if anyone asked why I had so much food left on my plate. Finally, the moment came, and I scraped the remains of my meal into the bin before going upstairs to get ready.

Later, after we visited the Orang Asli tribe and went on a short boat ride, we went on a short ‘practise’ trek. We walked in more-or-less single file, and I was at the back with China, Rucha, and some others. We were worried about leeches, until Mrs. Dore told us, “The people at the front will get bitten first,” and then added, “don’t tell everyone!” as some people started to dash to the front to tell their friends.

To get past the open part and into the rainforest, we had to cross a log over a small stream. It looked quite precarious, and since I had only eaten a quarter of an egg for breakfast, I was already shaking with hunger and feeling faint and was scared I would slip. Although I wobbled a little on the slippery surface, I didn’t, and made it over safely enough.

As we continued on, splashing through streams, climbing up steep slopes and walking over logs, the feeling worsened, until I felt like I just wanted to be whisked away. I felt so weak and tired that by the time we made it to the waterfall, I just sat down on a rock until it was time to go back. I was a little worried that I would faint, even though I’d never done that before. The instructors and teachers would probably be horrified to discover that I’d barely eaten anything.

If the way there had felt like an hour, the way back only felt like half of that, and soon enough we were boarding the speedboats to go back to the houseboat for lunch. I’ll always remember this experience, and next time I’ll make sure I eat more for breakfast!

Posted by AllegraMiller21 04:13 Comments (0)

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