Sunday, December 09, 2012

雲華村 2012

Sending us off at the airport

I wrote 40 pages of reflections in my NYAA Report Book (the SMSS exercise book lol) and I am very sure nobody would want to read every single word in there, so I shall just sum up the trip in a few words (lol I wish)

Highlights

Day 1:
  At the Chiang Rai airport, we got held up by the customs officers as they suspected us of importing goods to sell without paying taxes. The boxes of faulty shirts (from Microsoft) were meant for the villagers but well humans tend to think the worst of people, don't they? Anyway, we paid about 1500 bahts to pacify the officers and quickly got out of the airport.

  We traveled to a shopping center by lorry to go for dinner and grocery shop for the basic necessities we would need when on in the village. I opted to sit at the back of the lorry and enjoyed the strong winds blowing against my face and hearing the explosion of firecrackers in a distance. We also saw some lanterns being lighted up and set free up in the dark night sky - it was beautiful.

  Our total expenditure in the supermarket came to about 5600 bahts ha ha the store manager must love us.

Day 2:
  We had duck noodles for breakfast and it was delicious. After breakfast, we stopped by a market to buy vegetables for our meals when in the village. The huge bags of broccoli, cauliflower, kai lan, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, et cetera was a sight to behold. We would be living like vegetarians when we were on the mountains!

  A three hour drive up windy roads saw us finally in Yun Hua village, where we were warmly welcomed by the local pastor. We were putting up in his "house", which was more like a compound with a church beside it. The females shared one room while the males shared the other block of the "house".

OK YOU KNOW WHAT I'M REALLY TIRED OF DOING THIS HAHA I doubt anyone would read it anyway.

To conclude this entire mission trip, I would say that it was a very fulfilling and enjoyable one. Honestly, I never expected myself to have fun during the trip but I was proven very very very very (you get what I mean) wrong. I don't know if it is the mix of people or the villagers or whatever factor that made this trip so successful. In fact, according to Elder Ong and P. V., this year's trip was "the best team"! Out of the sixteen of us, four are youths with lots of energy and another four have experience in the mission field. Along with the great chemistry between us, I have grown to enjoy being in the company of the group and not feel awkward and out-of-place just because I am a young person.

Seeing the students being able to live harmoniously with each other as well as have a positive outlook towards life makes me reflect about my own life in Singapore, where I am heavily sheltered and live a comfortable life. Perhaps it is also because of this difference in living conditions that is why the amount of stress Singaporean kids have is way more than that of the village kids. Then again, that is not exactly a very fair comparison. Whilst we worry about academia, the kids in the village have to worry about being able to survive, whether there will be food on the table at all. I suppose it must be quite fun to live in the village as a kid but not so if you are an adult. One of the students was unable to attend lessons because he had to help with the farming. If that doesn't send across a message, then I don't know what will.

I'm really glad I had the opportunity to go for this trip to Yun Hua village. Not only did I benefit the kids, I also benefited a lot as well. I got to bond with Genevieve, Denise and Hui Shun (G4God!) as we sang together, ate together, laughed together, cried together, ranted together, washed clothes together, and did practically everything together for ten days! It's nice having friends who have the same ~values~ (?) or rather, mindset, as you. Not only was I blessed with this new-found fellowship, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and playing with the village kids. We played games such as soccer, Captain's Ball, chapteh and leaf-throwing (and many many more!!!) which allowed us to get to know one another better. The friendships forged were hard to forget as there was totally no digital influence and all these high-technology thingamajigs to aid/disrupt our interactions. I can honestly say that I have had more fun with these kids than with many of my friends here in Singapore.

Most importantly, I felt myself growing spiritually. I felt God calling me to do His work and to really touch the lives of the kids there so that they will get to know Him and receive salvation. I felt myself having more things to pray about, having more comfortable conversations with Him and yeah, I'm just really glad that it was in God's plan to have me on this mission trip.

I really want to go again next year!


Transit at Bangkok's domestic airport!


Arrived in Chiang Rai!


Celebrated PV's birthday on the second (?) day


Setting off for the village!



Buying groceries for our 8 days up in the village!



Pile of vegetables we brought with us up to the village


The toilet!



The hot tub we'd be relaxingly soaking in for the next eight days.


The local village church



I climbed a tree!
(Easy peasy for all the village kids though)



See, even friction-less poles are nothing to them! I tried climbing it and failed hopelessly.



My kids at the Chinese school at night! (which we taught on Saturday morning haha)




Played a round of soccer/Captain's Ball with my kids before the mini service for the village kids in the evening! :-)


G4God in action!



Cast of the mini skit hehe









Last day with my kids from the night Chinese school :(




The students are really good at art! Was so touched when they drew us on the chalkboard hehe











My kids from the Thai morning school!





Hiking up some trail















Yummy food the women villagers cooked for us each meal :)



Church service for adults




Cooking a huge pot of fooOOoOOOOoOooOod for the celebratory feast!




...and for the hopeless cooks, serving food it is!




SMSS girls!!!





Mission groupies!!!





G4God :-)




长老 with the elder from the village church!




Final sing-a-long before we left the village!






They skipped school to see us off :'( I miss the warm and bubbly chatter/general vibe from them!!!





Check out our matchy-matchy alibaba pants hehe



Relaxing in Chiang Mai, before flying back to Singapore!


P.s. Hui Shun's sister, Hui Qi, just tagged me in a couple of photos taken by the group who went to Yun Hua village 2 years ago and I recognize a few of the kids! They do grow a lot in 2 years.......................


Photos: I II

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