I want to share too!
From the 14th - 18th December 2006, I was in Malaysia for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). It was held in Johor's Tanjong Sutera resort, a private resort which belonged to one of the Rotarians in the organizing team. There were more than 100 participants from Singapore as well as Malaysia.
During the few days there, our time was spent on mostly on lessons/lectures by various invited guests. There were talks about Rotary, Rotary Scholarships, Environment, Harmful effects of smoking, leadership skills, communication skills, diving etc.
This little boy is only 11 years old, but he spoke eloquently and humourously for a full 15 minutes about loving the environment and protecting it. It was a impromptu speech and everyone was caught by surprise. "We have the thinking but we don't have the feelings for the environment" was one of the sentences he said that I clearly remembered, other than his curt "NO." when asked if he is a vegetarian since he emphasized a lot on his love for animals throughout the whole speech.
We also attended this lecture by 2 musicians who make music using their gambus, a traditional instrument. They are coming to Singapore sometime in 2007 to promote their CD.They not only performed for us, but also talked to us about being musicians and answered any questions that we had.
And yes, we also tried diving. I don't have any photos because I was having too much fun in the pool:) Although it was in the pool (because we are not allowed to go out to see unless we have a license), we still experienced diving. It was in this pool that I nearly drowned because I somehow got to the 7 feet part of the pool.
My 2 juniors were holding on to me at first, but I was sinking very quickly and dragging them now. So in the end, I let go and tried to come out of the water by myself, but I failed *Sheepish Grin* I was looking up (no goggles!) and yes, sunlight, water, bubbles, like in TV dramas. It was exactly like it. I drank a lot of water, but wasn't scared because I knew someone would save me. My entire mind was filled with thoughts about how much it was like a TV drama. haha...
This is a photo of my ex-classmate, my teacher's son and me! It was during one of our freetime slots and we were just walking around, enjoying the wind. It was really windy all the time and guess what, we saw a total of 3 tornadoes on the 2nd day and one tornado during the diving session! It was uber cool :)
This is a flower outside my resort room. We stayed in little "huts" like the one in the background, but the one I stayed in looked better (haha)... There are many many such bright yellow little flowers lining the pathways.
This is the view downwards from the resort. The resort faces the South China Sea, thats why we saw tornadoes and it was so windy.
What we see from the resort. We come to this "balcony" outside the main hall every night to see the stars, which are really pretty and bright because it becomes pitch dark at night. Every night, some of us (the owls) go to the main hall to play games, listen to our in-house guitarist sing, or just walk around to enjoy the wind.
The view from the "balcony". It's really beautiful!
After a talk on environment, we walked along the stones, rocks etc below the resort (see picture above) to get to the beach for our tug-of-war game. The walk there was wonderful, I love walking on such rocks:) Along the way, we helped one another. The view was breathtaking too.
What we walked on when we're lucky- huge firm rocks. At other times, the rocks were very jagged and uneven. But we completed the walk eventually and got to the beach for the tug-of-war! My side won:)
Group Picture of all of us!
At the end of the few days, I knew I would miss all my friends there. There were more than 100 people and though I didn't know each and everyone there very well, I can safely say that I've at least said 1 sentence to each of them, haha... I've gained valuable experience as well as some extra pounds (we had 6 meals everyday, bbq for the first night and second night supper).