Saturday, April 29, 2006

i aim to finish this blog entry by 11:30pm. but u noe.. i think i will fail miserably.

first about today. reached home at 3:30, slept at 4am. woke up at 11:30am feeling energetic enuf to go cut hair and buy and eat lunch, even in the torrential rain. surprisingly the same hairdresser who cut my hair at funan IT mall a month ago cut my hair again today at clementi. lolol. quite cool to see the same hairdresser twice at EC outlets. and he cut my hair real nice this time ^^ came back and took a nap at 3:15pm.

woke up at 7pm and here i am. lololol. still feeling terribly groggy but im surprised im not sick. yet. cos after every overseas trip i tend to fall sick. but not yet this time.

NOW. here goes. honestly i think acs pple shud be more organised and keep logs when we go on trips. i wanted to. but then again cudnt be bothered and had no time. so all u guys out there who went to li jiang with me.. better help me so that we can have a complete entrY!! haha.

Day 0 friday 21 april.
sch was how slack larh. the WHOLE DAY was a free period. went home and packed some more, and aft tt went to church for the last lesson of a bible class series and went home, and then to airport at 12+am. oh new day already.

Day 1 saturday 22 april
aft eating a bit at bk we went to assemble and take attendance. went in and waited. and waited. everyone was still so energetic at 3am lor!! haha but not us .15 pple. compare these 2 pics. the kunming pple are still wide awake and playing bridge.. but us lijiang pple are like half asleep liao.

the plane took off at 3:40am.. and i hardly got any sleep. i cant sleep on moving vehicles. let alone a moving plane. i have no idea wad time we reached kunming.. but by the time we got to li jiang it was arnd 1pm+ liao.

first glimpses of lijiang from the airport. first impressions are that it is indeed a really beautiful place. it is quite secluded.. u dun even need to stamp ur passport or scan ur luggage at lijiang airport. the airport was like.. one small building with one luggage collection belt lah haha.

we step out into the sun and its a bit chilly with some wind. but veri beautiful nonetheless. the mountains look so unreal.. as if u cud just reach out and touch them. our bus.. ha thank God our bus was veri comfy cos we were sitting in it for more than half the trip. we drive to our hotel and we continue to marvel at the scenery while our guide who is dressed in traditional nashi outfit talks about lijiang. it is 2400m above sea level and therefore dry, yet easy to get sunburn cos its nearer to the sun, as some of us wud realise too late later on.

we reach our hotel and have lunch and check into our rooms. was rooming with timmy the whole trip. and the whole trip i can safely say that our room was as messy as a warzone lolol.

in the afternoon we went to shu he old town. its basically a tourist attraction.

we took a 5 yuan horse carriage ride into the town. a bit bumpy (and smelly) but fun nonetheless.

first bit of shopping.. bought a cowboy hat there for 20 yuan. lolol.

aft dinner we had to prepare for the cas on monday.. so we broke up into groups to discuss stuff. was preparing to do lots of guitar stuff for the concert on the first cas day.

Day 2 sunday 23 april

i dun really have much recollection of day 2.. we went to lijiang old town to do more shopping. but b4 that we went to 2 bookshops. along the way we stopped at a statue of mao zhe dong and started taking some funny pics.

bought a motoring magazine in chinese at the first bookshop.. haha in the end just decided to look at the pics onli. at the second book shop we found like a heck lot of cheap cds.. i bought ye hui mei and some other stuff. 4 cds for S$20. how cool is that lol. then there was more shopping at the old town. goods were mainly windchimes, chinese traditional instruments like the hu lu si and ba hu, more cowboy leather stuff (bought a pair of shoes for 100 yuan), food, silver articles.. and a lot of other weird stuff. saw a shop where this guy painted caricatures (how u spell it?) of pple.. even one of jay chou with big nose haha.

dinner, and then more cas planning and packing in preparation for the village the nxt day.

day 2 of writing, sunday 30 april. lol.

Day 3 Monday 24 april

and its off to the village we go!! but not before clearing our bowels of any excess *ahem* cos we wun be using the toilet for 2 days. the bus ride there was quite long.. 3+ hours, partly cos there was a traffic jam. fortunately there was a toilet stop along the way at some petrol kiosk named sinopec. the village was quite far into the mountains.. had to descend down and down b4 we got there.

upon arrival we were greeted by the teachers there, then led to our bunks. a bit about the sch.. the students stay in dorms in the sch itself, and go home onli during the wkend. mind you, they stay like.. a mountain or two away.. takes some of them up to 4 hours to get home. our dorm was a bit run down.. no windows.. just bed frames with a few wooden boards which i didnt dare to sleep on. chose the floor with sleeping bag instead. heres my sleeping area.

and the view of the school from our bunk.

and the front view of the school. with zeke in the foreground. we were then led to their sch library.. which isnt much of a library.. more like a bookshelf. got some books there donated by acsi from the last trip a few years ago.. including a 2002 sch mag where i managed to find myself in the guit ensemble page with shin high socks. lolol.

right. so now we get to another exciting part of the story. how bout the toilets baby. the descriptions we heard of it were kinda accurate.. its just a few holes in the ground which lead to who knows where, with useless waist high walls dividing the holes into units. how bout that. and did i mention no flush?!? and oh the smell. but ah well u wudnt noe until the correspondence theory set in.. u must go there and smell it urself b4 u noe wad its like. u can smell it from a mile away. nan on the right and nu on the left. phew.

after experiencing the toilet for the first time.. i find that the taps are like.. on the other side of the sch. no wonder bird flu spread so fast. lol. aft tt had lunch.. was quite good actually. especially their tomato omellete and fried potato with onions. avoided the fibre cos.. err u guess.

that afternoon had some icebreakers with them. the students are realy really realllly on. we thought that the village was really ulu and stuff.. but during the m&m's game.. ya noe the one u talk abt urself one.. we find out that they know jay chou!! like woohoo. got them to play wacko and mandir taught them some weird banghra dance. lolol. also had some crazy dog and bone and also some crazy but sadly failed human knot untangling. aft tt they had telematch while me and timmy prepared for the concert that nite.

aft dinner was the concert we organised for them. first item was.. guitar!! first a aragonaise duet with me and timms, then an anyhow solo by me.. then the terrible feng i sang with brendan. haha i can perform solo anytime.. but singing...... i wud finish shaking and shivering cos of the sheer nervousness. ali and kenneth khing did an excellent job storytelling and so did yoong wei and mandir with some awkward humour, and also ali's harmonica solo following that we were trying to teach them songs.. then while were singing tonghua guess what.. blackout!!! haha so tonghua went siao in the dark. while we stalled for time (with more jay chou ;) they made a fire.. then they taught us how to do a simple but complicated 8 step nashi dance around the fire with the village harmonica-ist. simple cos its onli 8 steps.. complicated cos i took like 2h to catch it. and what mep teaches about folk music is so true.. its so repetitive and it gets faster as it goes along.. and.. dancing and listening to it over and over.. just makes you go high. the dance lasted really long.. u just kept following the villagers and going round and round the fire. if onli there was a picture.. its just so.. indescribable. hypnotic.. yet bonding.

went back to bunk.. laid out sleeping stuff and went to bed.

Day 4 Tuesday 25 april

woke up at 1:40am and it was freezing cold. grabbed my jacket on, gloves, and woolen socks and cap (that totally screwed my hair for the time in the village). with all that 'armour' on i was still shivering right until almost 7am. super chilly. wonder how the others managed to survive man. the floor was coooolllddd. and did i mention our only source of light was er.. none?! we had to use torches and handphones and what not cos the lonely lightbulb in our bunk wasnt working.

had a mega man tou for breakfast. its like some uber big dry plain kinda bland piece of steamed dough. wish i brought peanut butter or something. haha. but warm food in the morning rocks.

that morning we had learning activities with the kids. first up was conversational english.. where we split the kids into groups and started teaching them stuff. the problem was that it was entirely improvisational.. and the kids standard of english was like.. not veri powderful. so me weihan and yiping just taught our group some basic sentences.. but they cudnt really form veri long ones, let alone produce english translations of chinese words. so quite a failure too. but the cultural lesson on singapore culture later on was better. i think we were totally racist but never mind. lol. always remember to take time to le pak!! relac one corner. lol.

our two groups rotated classes and we repeated the sg culture lesson.. then i did some origami with them. taught them the unit jewel fold or watchmacallit. the one that u can lock into other pieces to form stuff. they were super intrigued by it and they could fold it faster than our own pple lah. haha acs pple were lagging! but the poor students didnt really have the privilege of even owning coloured origami paper and they almost started tearing up their textbooks to fold!! but we (or rather i) distributed all our origami paper among that class.. 6 pieces per person. hope even 1 person can remember how to fold it.. after all they've only had one go.

aft lunch we followed one of our guides to a secluded part of a stream quite far down from the village school. we stayed there and skipped stones for quite a while. a really nice place.

then was some more activities like charades and then there was a soccer match between acsi and the village school teachers. haha. mountain pple have a lot of stamina according to our team. we kept on subbing pple in and out and still we were totally exhausted. aft the match the same 5 teachers still looked quite ok. but in the end the teachers let us win 5-4. well done guys haha. and the pple there.. if the ball goes out.. which it often did.. the person closest to it wud just chiong for it.. go into drain or what also. amazing spirit. no wonder they're so strong.

dinner again, then was their concert for us. they really do give everybody a chance.. everybody appears in at least one item. and every group deserves ago.. who cares if the sound system screws up.. just wait for half an hour lah. there were like.. dunno how many dances, some song items, including acapella ones, a skit that we cudnt understand a word of and later a mime that we were so thankful for cos we cud actually understand something. then towards the end.. after one of the acapella performances, someone gave a special someone a special something. if u want to know what happened.. u will find out soon enough. im sure the someone wun mind me blogging abt this ;)

concert ended late.. like 1030.. lasted for a grand total of 3h. last of all kenneth khing topped it up with a smooth dance. it was getting cold out there. lol. back to bed again.

Day 5 Wednesday 26 april

this night was more sleepless than the previous nite. or maybe about the same. woke up at 4am and cudnt get back to sleep so just got up at 6am to walk around. was as cold as the previous day. had mantou once again for breakfast and some crazy pple like paul and seah went to wash their hair in the freezing water.

some of the students stopped us to ask us to write our addresses for them in case they should want to write to us. i think if i were to receive any letter i wud make sure i wud reply.. the last group didnt and they were really sad.

some last pics of our bunk and the sch.

aft tt we were quite horrified to realise that we were going to have to go to Tiger Leaping Gorge first then back to the hotel.. cos that wud mean.. erm.. holding our bowels longer. lolol. but before that heres some reflection on the village experience. we really really realllly are veri privileged pple, for starters. aft this, i think most of us wud think twice before grumbling again. and their lifestyle is so simple. so secluded. we have what.. social politics and all.. but their life and relationships are so simple. so simple. if onli urban society was like that. during the activities the kids were really realllly on. so enthusiastic. even the girls joined in the rowdy captain's ball and dog and bone games. and. the toilets so prepared me for whatever that comes. after the village toilets.. anythings better including the bush. which david, kevin and khing wud have some interesting adventure story to tell u all. lol.

also another reflection.. altho i was not able to connect as well to the students as *ahem* some people, i really hope that they remember the little craftwork stuff i taught them and my guitar playing. haha.

now to tiger leaping gorge. after a tearful farewell o.O from some of the students from the village, we proceded there.

3rd day of updating, labour day 1 may.

i think tiger leaping gorge is just quite a nice scenic place to take pics. other than that there were more signs with terrible translation mistakes and many jokes about how their warnings over the loudhailers could cause landslides themselves. anyway, i will just let the pics do the talking. after all, a picture speaks a thousand words. if onli it were that way for EE, tok...

GAH. BLOGGER CANT TAKE ANYMORE PICS FROM ME. i shall start a new post and continue HMPH.


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