Today’s post will be mainly about OCIP, but before that, as the title suggests, I’d like to be creepy and say a huge thank you to all the people who’ve been in my life one way or another reading this right now – this past year, the past 17 years, those who have come and gone (but yet still around reading this) or even those whom I’ve never properly interacted with… Thank you :)
Thank you to my loved ones for dealing with me and my nonsense and showering me with your love unconditionally (you know who you are), thank you to amazing friends who have made life happier and more meaningful and thank you to YOU for reading this (high chance theres an overlap of thanks there, haha) and taking time off to read the ramblings of a crazy girl.
There are just so many things to be thankful about – being born happy and healthy, having great people and food around, living in a clean and green city (lol) and having the means to publish my nonsense up on my blog.
I don’t know, but being thankful for things and people around you just makes sure you’ll be nice to them and treat them right. We can’t be perfect and amazing all the time, especially when a loved one pisses you off (e.g. sister locking her door on you when you try to enter her room to give her a hug) but if I love you, you know I got your back.
Have all these feels because I received a really sweet text message from a friend yesterday and it just made me feel all warm and wiggly. And I just wanted to pass that feeling on. You know the feeling when someone treats you nicely/compliments you/shows you they care? It’s an amazing one.
I don’t know why some people need to intend to be especially mean to people they dislike – nobody should demand every single person to love them and treat them nicely, and we aren’t obliged to give everyone the same amount of love and attention, but there’s really no need to go out of your way to be completely mean and terrible to other people :(
Anyway!!!! Stupid thoughts aside, before I go into an in-depth recount of OCIP, here are just a few people/things who/which made me feel very grateful and happy.
These are two of the many pictures of the flowers my Ahma painstakingly grew and snapped photos of, using her iPhone 3!
You should have seen her expressions when she told me all about the different kinds of flowers there are, and how eager she was to send me the photos of flowers I thought were really pretty.
I love my Ahma a lot a lot, and I think I really need to spend more time with her.
(Btw my Ahma is a cooking genius – she cooks amazing curry fish head and stew meat)
Picture I uploaded to Twitter on Thursday – one day before OCIP!
We had a pizza party within the OCIP team and we had mystery case – two extra pizza slices when there shouldn’t be any at all.
We also went to Manhattan Fish Market – bought logistics and caught Penguins.
By the way, even though Big Hero was amazing, Penguins was terrible.
Only watch it when you:
(1) have kids under the age of 7 with you
(2) have nothing better to do
(3) are crazy
I mean it was cute but the story was erps. The erpsiness of the storyline > cuteness of penguins (which were obviously less cute when they grew up – they were only baby penguins for like what, 5 minutes)
Also had these little angels pop by on Friday and it was a pretty terrible baking experience, but company was amazing so all is fine.
SL was having a mega bad sunburn on her face which was quite amusing.
Behind the scenes
Stepping it up (literally stepped on a chair to get this picture)
They very very cute.
SL in her habitat – gross and dirty but always laughing
Baked cookies as well but they turned out pretty damn soft and chewy. I think got too much egg inside HAHA
I think 80% made by SL????? But it’s not the worst la it’s okay at some points HAHHAHAHAHA
Love you two a lot a lot please always be happy!!!!! Thank you for being so warm and genuine :’) #yucks
A bit random but check out the amazing Ngee Ann City christmas tree HAHAHA
And from here on will be pictures of nice food I’ve gotten the chance to eat over the past few days #appreciative
I’m really into U-Mian (but not so into the school’s one, even though Aunty getting increasingly generous and tolerant of ikanbilis-spammers)
Jack’s Place chocolate ice-cream which has chocolate chips in every bite YUM
Yami Yogurt that is very yummy – I know I said that in my previous post, give me a break
KFC breakfast today with people I love yum yum yum
Ok this photo a bit strange and appears to come from nowhere but the background story is, every single time in this restaurant, my mum will order “Liang Wei” which means fried and steamed/stewed/dont-know-what frog legs. But that day mum ordered purely fried with salt and pepper and other goodness and it was great :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
What made me really upset was this though:
Production error for my favourite type of wang wang?
I mean almost half of the sugary goodness is gone???????
What is this?!?!!?
But ok la at least I still got the other half #grateful
Okay even though that section ended on a bad note, I’m finally going to begin narrating to you my OCIP experience.
I bet you’re quite excited, because that’s probably why you’re here, and without further ado, here I go! (very excited to type also)
There’s a ton of pictures so it may be pretty laggy or slow la but please be patient with me.
(I received feedback that my blog takes very long to load on some of your computers – I’m genuinely sorry but I don’t know how to fix it except post no pictures and that’ll be upset both you and me so let’s stick to the current type of posts)
I think there’ll be quite a lot on my meals because thats the only time I got to snap pictures but Joey and Lovell just uploaded some photos onto Facebook!!
Please go check it out if you’d like :)
To be completely honest, I felt that I really could have enjoyed the whole process more because I guess every second, I was kinda worrying about what was going to happen next and whether everything will go according to plan (a lot didn’t, and I mean that) so that disrupted the entire experience a little. But you have no idea how glad I am to have been able to attend this with 20 other lovely individuals who are so dayum hardworking and efficient :’) (ok la this a bit mushy)
When I first told people I was going to Johor for OCIP, most were like “HAHAHAHAHA” or “wow……………………. hahahahaha” because I guess this isn’t the kind of place you would go for a typical overseas community involvement programme. Places that should pop into your mind include Nepal, Cambodia, Philippines, Batam, etc.
Even though I haven’t attended any other OCIP trips, I guess you can’t judge how meaningful the entire experience will be just based on the location.
Quote Joey: I feel like I did more here than I did in Nepal for OCIP
(those weren’t her exact words la but MEANING SAME SAME LA)
But please do not take this the wrong way, I am not saying OCIP at all the places listed above are of no value at all ok!!!! I’m just trying to say that you cannot simply judge an OCIP trip based on its location.
Basically while we were in Johor, we served at a home for the mentally and physically disabled – people that none of us in HCInteract had the opportunity to serve thus far within CCA. It was really like a brand new experience and to say that I wasn’t afraid at the beginning would be a complete lie. This is something that you don’t always see, especially so for you and me, so I really had no clue how I should go about interacting with them and making the first move.
But as someone mentioned during debrief one night – we shouldn’t see them as a collective group of people, but individuals with their own stories to tell. Who are you to judge based on what you see?
This trip was really eye-opening (admittedly I have lied about other trips being eye-opening when they were so-so) and I really, really, really feel that I’ve learnt a lot – about others, about myself and about the society/world as a whole. Why aren’t people treasuring what they have -being born healthy and with loving families for many-, myself included? It’s always easier to see how the grass is greener on the other side, but sometimes people don’t ever look down to appreciate the flowers blooming right beneath their noses. Gah. That was a terrible way of putting it but you get my idea la. If you’re reading this, I hope you can feel my sincerity oozing from this post and learn to take a look at the ones around you and how much they deserved to be cherished. There are so many things that can happen and nobody really knows what lies ahead.
Okay going to stop being annoyingly naggy and move on from here! Will go according to days la huh.
This is Joey and me on the bus.
HAHAHAHAHAHAH you really have no idea how grateful I am for you friend :) Thanks for being one of the sweetest and nicest people ever and being so passionate!!!!!! (even though sometimes you’re pretty gross and annoying)
These were the people I had to deal with for 3 nights.
HAHAHA kidding – they’re all really pretty dayum amazing and genuinely lovely :)
(we were in a room for four!)
After getting paint with some of ‘em lovely people with Mrs Leong and her husband, we ate at this Taiwan Food Court opposite the shop.
Had this Claypot E-mian and it really wasn’t too bad – kinda tasted like maggie mee. And it was SGD $2.
I was under Painting the first day, and I had completely NO experience dealing with painting walls and rollers and scrappers and yada yada, but really thankful for those who knew and taught the rest of us. (ya la, common sense la, but there are some tips and tricks ok HAHAHAHA)
Alicia and I on our way to filling the first tray with paint HAHA
Us painting the walls (ok la you can’t see) but being naturally clumsy and gross I kinda had paint everywhere. Bade goodbye to my FBT pants on the first day because the state was pretty appalling!!
I just cannot work with art-related stuff la ok even though we’re really just painting a solid colour on walls here.
Picture I sent my mum, but I show you also la.
Me looking pretty damn creepy but this was after first day of work!!
(We were split into education and construction just for some background context)
The people at the Home arranged transport to send us to the nearby shopping centre because it was raining/pretty long walking journey! Super sweet :’)
Meal on Day 1 – Pizza Hut.
HAHAH all meals are settled purely by ourselves, in case you were wondering!
They had Hawaiian Chicken pizza – basically replacing my fabulous ham with chicken bits, which wasn’t too bad!
Also went to the mart to stock up for breakfast (cereal and milo) BUT LITTLE DID WE KNOW they were pretty much useless because we didn’t really need them the next few days HAHA. But 1.5l of water was pretty useful. We got mini magnums and shared it among us – I think it was about SGD $1 per stick.
First night! Crashed Nadia/SherSia/FangNing/Joyce’s room and had a mini party. HAHA nah we did some work before that.
Shu Hui being a sexy mama. HAHAHAHAHAHA kidding love u aminah
And I think that rounds it up for Day 1.
Was insanely tired but couldn’t sleep properly the first night – because my demanding roommates left the light above my head switched on. HAHAHAHA but honestly speaking it wasn’t the fault of the light!!
Started off the morning at the Home with some playground time!
Day 2 lunch! KFC HAHA we ended our fast food feast after that meal by the way
With Zhi Qin!!
We also celebrated Shuhui’s birthday! :)
(We tried to pretend we all forgot the night before because sudden change of plans and I really felt pretty bad)
We sang to the elderly as well!
With a cute uncle who kept laughing at my laughter (?!?!)
This Uncle is mega talented and very good in drawing – his works are displayed around the activity room!
Art and Craft session – playing our favourite childhood game (shuhui folded it and wrote creepy stuff in it, including stuff like “say you love me”)
Thought our expressions were quite funny here haha
Dinner at food court that day – creepy photo of me but woohoo!
This Laksa was really, really spicy. HAHA.
With Rebecca and Zhi Qin!!
Ended the day with pretty damn amazing ice-cream from the shopping centre!
Didn’t have painting duties that day so all my clothes remained clean and sparkly (though pretty stinky)
With Miss Koh!
We decided to have breakfast together at the coffee shop nearby that morning :)
Picture of my half-boiled egg and hot milo haha
With the team!
It was raining that morning and the hotel boss fetched us to the Home (it would be a pretty long walk of 1km+ otherwise)! Super lovely and sweet – selfie with him!
Halfway through I think Joey (??) suggested a selfie with the boss and he replied “I’m driving.” very seriously.
He was really nice to us throughout our stay and was very hospitable!
I don’t really have photos from work session that day so I’ll skip to meals :)
Porridge for lunch!
Who transformed us into ^ using her phone hahaha
With lovely kids
Managed to snap a photo with this uncle!! Visited him every single day throughout the trip to talk to him – he was very easy to talk to and shared many of his stories.
Certificate presentation on Day 3, and here is the vice-president of the Home as well as Mr Joe (?) who really helped us a lot, a lot throughout.
(I had painting that day hence the mess)
With the teachers and team :) :) :)
Dinner with the team :)
Ate my whole dinner in fear that day because there was a cat strutting around and we all know how much I fear animals so yes… Touched its fur accidentally and was feeling a tad too traumatised.
Last night at the hotel :’(
Spent our night playing away and sleeping at 2am! (was being a spoilsport because really too dayum tired with constant sleep deprivation and manual labour)
We managed to complete painting by Day 3 (4 rooms+++ worth of walls) :)
Creepy photo taken by Lovell but we are in love
HAHAHAHA this is honestly a bit creepy but yes
This was during our last morning walk to the Home D:
Morning playground time with Ah Mei!!!
She liked the swing :)
#7C photo HAHA
He really loves taking photos :)
Art and Craft session – we placed beads into water bottles and made a musical instrument (maracas)
This is a photo of Julie who is a cutie-pie :) Don’t have a photo with her though but she was very adorable with her constant hugs and holding of hands!
Our performance – cup song HAHA
Performed “I Got my Mind Set on You” – look at Joey being lag
Munaeru Valibaa dance item hehe.
Sang Top of the World with actions as well!
Doing our 3 cheers for them before we leave :(
Lovell looks really passionate HAHA
We performed a few items to the elderly as well :)
Hope they enjoyed our company and performance!!
Afterwards we went to visit our last group of beneficiary – mainly children with cerebral palsy. No photography allowed so yes! Throughout the 45 minutes I spent time with a little girl named Hanna who was only two. Could spend the whole afternoon just watching her and stroking her hair but we had to leave too soon. :(
I hope everyone at the beneficiary will remain happy and healthy for the many many many years to come because they truly deserve it.
I love it when they smile and when they show signs of affection, not only to us, but one another as well.
Even though sometimes it got really challenging, everything was truly worth it in the end, seeing their smiles.
We left with a heavy heart, especially with one particular lady who couldn’t bear for Joey/Keefe/SherSia/Nadia to leave and she was crying. It was really heartbreaking :(
Even though the likelihood of us returning as a group is not exactly high, maybe someday we will return to the home in the future, separately or together, I don’t know!!
Hopefully Interact will decide to work with this beneficiary again next year for OCIP!
For our last lunch, we went back to the place where we had our first lunch and this time I ate Wanton Mee.
Girls group selfie in the hotel before we check out!
Cannot really see Sher Li though :(
Reached Singapore earlier than expected and here are the last few photos taken:
With Aminah!! I hope you’re feeling much better now D: Please take care ok!!
With IG3 kids and I look pretty terrifying but okay
Thank you guys for making me laugh and being funny and lovely and genuine all in one :)
With Nadia and Sher Sia and sadly according to height T.T #14S7C
And last but not least this amazing girl who was all sunshine and love!!!
I guess that rounds it up for my trip – even though it was RATHER short, the insights gained and friendships forged will be tucked safely somewhere in my heart.
Thank you guys for making this trip so dayum enjoyable and fulfilling – see you all soon!
Last but not least, thank YOU for reading.
I hope you enjoyed the post and feel a little bit nicer and kinder :)
You’re really truly a nice person so don’t let anything change that!!! Okay? (Okay.)
Speaking of which I have yet to watch The Fault in Our Stars… possibly never will as well.
See you guys soon and bye-bye!