Wednesday, July 25, 2007

BLOG REVIVAL: Singapore, Avalanche, Athletics Zone Finals, UMAT, Inter-trainline champs!

I've finally found some time to conjure up this lengthy but "HIGHLY-INTERESTING", much-anticipated blog-revival post. I haven't blogged in the last month or so mainly because i've been EXTREMELY busy. Thus, i should have a lot to blog about. You probably wouldn't read my 1000+ word essay, so i'll divide it into different sub-sections:
- Trip back to Singapore
- Avalanche Camp!
- Inter-trainline comp!
- Formal

- Athletics Zone Finals

*Photos and Videos are at the bottom!


I caught a flight back to Singapore 4 weeks ago with Jun Siang and Jeremy with the sole purpose of completing my medical and my fitness test (compulsory pre-requisites for enlistment to the army). I don't know why (please don't be disappointed Joce) but throughout my 8 day stay in Singapore, i didn't feel like Singapore was my home anymore. It feel quite strange to be there. In my previous trips back, i used to feel so comfortable walking along the streets that i would sing "VINCERO!" at the top of my lungs right in the middle of the city. Surprisingly, it's starting to get more foreign. The friends that i had 5 years ago have changed A LOT somewhat, many have gone on to make many other better friends and pick up other past times. Yea, i just.. feel out of place when i'm there.

How did my fitness test go? My dad was kind enough to accompany me down to Toa Payoh sports stadium at 7.30AM in the morning for my fitness test. Basically, there are 6 tests that ahve to be conducted and a maximum of 5 points can be awarded for each test; adding up to a possible maximum overall score of 30. For me, it was:

Chin-ups : 10 ( 6 required for 5 points)
Sit-ups within 1min: 50 (42 required for 5 points)
Sit and Reach: 51 (47 required for 5 points)
Standing Broad Jump: 269 (242 required for 5 points)
Shuttle Run: 8.9 secs (9.6 required for 5 points)
2.4km Run: 11.01 mins (10.30 mins required for 5 points)

Yea, that's a total of 29 points. I was quite happy although i didn't meet my intended target of 30 :( But i was hit with an array of different feelings when MINDEF (Ministry of Defence) rung my dad up right after my test to inform him that i would be granted a DEFERMENT from NS!!! Booyah! This meant that i could finish my 4-year university course before doing my National Service. That's a HUGE plus, but i was all prepared to come back to Singapore at the end of the year for a 2 year stay. I was looking forward to entering the army while i'm fit! And to tie up the loose ends of my friendships in Singapore. Yea.. guess i'll have to prepare myself for the next 4 years of tertiary education, God-willing.

I got to know Tab a whole lot better too! We had a few good chats and a nice dinner at Hong Kong Cafe down at Cine-leisure. I've never had a dinner with her before, i'm blessed to have such a good cousin. Tab, Lyd, Gav and i made a crazy decision to go for a night cycling expedition from East Coast Park to Pasir Ris! LOL! That was insane! We rented two single mountain bikes and a tendon bike for a LONG and WEARY 5 hour ride! We started at 8pm and got to Tab's house at 1AM haha! We were all tired but i'm sure we had tonnes of fun making stops along the way to watch some dude catch crabs, take random photos lying on the road, and grabbing some food to eat. An experience i'll NEVER forget.

It was terrible because i had to go for my medical at 6am the next morning -.-"" I managed a 3-ish hour sleep before Uncle John (tab's dad) woke me up. I was in a complete daze throughout my medical. The army's so strict and impersonal. This dude at the first station was like "grab a bottle and a stick. Instructions are on the door." So i did what he told not knowing what the items were for. I saw a long line of guys in the queue for the water cooler. Took me a while to realise that it was a URINE TEST. It was pretty funny listening to the dudes swear as they pissed on their hands. Oh, i got to make the officer feel uneasy by waving the stick, which i had dipped into my urine, in front of his face. haha! He was like "Put that in the bin!" haha!

I was and still am HORRIFIED of needles, so it took a lot of guts for me to test still as they did two blood tests: one on the finger and on through that massive vein on my arm. Yea.. there was this one FAGGY officer that kept touching my back while i was doing a chest X-ray -.-"""" He had a WEIRD AS accent, shrieked like a camel getting raped, and looked very much like that masked dude from SAW 3. haha!

moving on...

The Dare To Be camp two years ago was SENSATIONAL. I think i've told many of you about it, but this camp was UNPARALLELED. I had a personal encounter with God, something that i had been so desperately longing for.. that loving touch from the Saviour of my soul. It happened on the 2nd night of the camp during the night worship session. We had multiple prayer sessions throughout the camp, before EVERY worship session, in the morning, you name it.. there was ALWAYS a prayer meeting for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. See, i didn't feel comfortable praying in these prayer meetings cuz there would be about 20-40 pple there and i was shy and i didn't know what to prayer for and what to say. I was getting really annoyed with myself for being ashamed to prayer. That was ridiculous.. something that i would have laughed about. But when it came down to actually praying, hardly anything came outta my lips.

I was worshipping like i normally did, just giving God praise for all he's done. I wasn't expecting him to touch me at all! Suddenly, all these worrying thoughts flooded my mind. The trouble i had with prayer passionately, this secret sin that i couldn't get rid off no matter how hard i tried for the past 3-4 years, some really foolish things that i've done recently and all the pressure from my school started mounting upon my frail mind. It was then that i felt that i needed to kneel and surrender all these things to God. i did.

The previous song ended and the next song began. It was "Rain Down on me" and the first 2 lines go "i am falling to my knees". At that moment, i was already on my knees and i felt like God had something to tell me. I submitted myself, all my worries, troubles and sin, i humbled myself completely toward God. I could feel a strong presence RIGHT IN FRONT of my face while i was singing. My hands were raised and my eyes were closed but i could feel that STRONG presence. I'm convinced it was God, but i didn't open eyes because my heart was filled with such great peace that i didn't feel like doing ANYTHING! Then i felt something flow into my stomach, this weird sensation. I could feel this sensation in my tummy that bubbled and need to come out. So i started laughing involuntarily! With each laugh, my peace was turned into JOY. Joy which is INDESCRIBABLE! I felt as though i was in heaven! All my problems and troubles seemed so INSIGNIFICANT and i was laughing because of the JOY of the Lord. God told me that HE was my STRENGTH and there was NOTHING that i couldn't do without him.

I'll never forget that experience. I used to doubt the authenticity of the bible when some of my friends at school posed some tough questions, but how can i doubt God now that i've felt Him? God IS REAL. HE SHOWED ME THAT! He told me that he wanted me to show others that He's real too. And he gave me a vision of a friend at school, Steve. I haven't spoken to him much about God yet, but i will. God even showed me that there's nothing i can do to save a person's life because it's the HOLY SPIRIT that does it all.

On the last night, i was walking around looking for someone to pray for when i met Victor Ma. He told me that he didn't know how to pray and i asked him if he believed in God and if he was a Christian. He said that he believed that God was real but he was "still deciding". Initially, i said "alright" and i left him alone. I took two steps away from him before God put such a strong feeling in my heart to go talk to Victor, so i did. I asked him if he wanted to say the sinners' prayer. Guess what? We did! He did! Praise the Lord! I didn't even have to do anything! God prepared Victor's heart! The joy and encouragement that filled me then was inexplicable! It reminded me of the time when Eugene was saved. God sure works in AMAZING ways! :)

There was a special sausauge sizzle barbeque held on Tuesday to "commemorate the inter-trainline competition". LOL! I couldn't believe it when that annoucement rang out throughout the school. As a result, the hockey pavillion was FULLY PACKED OUT just to watch the inter-trainline grand final between Tommy's formidable Epping/Hurstbridge line versus the extreme-underdogs Glen Waverley, led by our inspirational captain Welson Charng! Anyway, the match was pretty entertaining with a few close shaves here and there. Tommy hit the post once and both Dazza and Nazza spurned a few good chances. Albeit, our defence consisting of Harish, Phan, Eugene and myself stood strong as Marcus, Tat, Welson and Kev battled it out in mid-field to hold them to a 0-0 scoreline.

PENALTIES! haha! I dreaded penalties because i had scuffed my last two opportunities. I was the first to take it. Hundreds of people gathered around the goal and Jase was taunting me from the goals. I felt unexpectedly calm as i took two steps and sent a thunderbolt into the top left-hand corner. Then Tat stepped up and had his shot well palmed away. Harish nailed a semi-decent bottom-left hand corner drive which was equalled by an outstanding dive by Jase. Then Marcus sent a scorching MARGINALLY wide and it hit Macca who was standing beside the goals. The score was 1-1 then. I scored for Glennie and Narayan scored for Hursty. Tommy Wu (the Wu-boy) made an ABSOLUTE howler on the spot as he sent it high and well-wide! :PPPPP Don't bash me tmr! Well, Big Kev stepped up for the decider and smashed it into the top right hand corner; Jase had NO CHANCE! So that how Glennie won the first Inter-trainline competition in Melbourne High School history!!! BOOYAH! We're history-makers! lol! Glennie rules! :P

I sat for the UMAT yesterday. Jun Siang and i got there at 7am but the exam only started at 9 -.-" Well, it was harder than expected, but i'm not too flustered. I spent SOOO much time preparing for it and i have been neglecting all my other subjects to the extent that a few teachers have gotten rather annoyed at me. Oh well, i'll catch up after the Formal on Friday.

After the UMAT, i SHOULD have gone straight home to catch up on some work, but i couldn't resist the urge to head down to Albert Park for a game of Futsal with my mates. haha! I had some time to kill, so i wandered through the DFO at Spencer Street and bought a Converse top. Yea, Futsal was good. Tommy's team LOST YET AGAIN! :P And Timmy Albinston scored 8 goals! Whoa! I scored the final goal in a match that ended 10-6! :)))

Speaking of the Formal. It's tomorrow. I'm rather nervous now to be honest. I don't really know what we're going to do there. Marcus and Rebekah, Jimmy and Alyssa, Andrew and (girl x, sorry! I'll get to know you by tmr), and Emmeline and i will be taking a limo down to the Grand Hyatt tmr for the formal. Yea, what else can i say about the Formal? Hmm.. apart from the fact that i spent a LOT of money... nothing YET.

I just got back from Aths and i'm feeling completely wrecked. I got to school at 8.30am this morning and it took about slightly more than an HOUR to get to the track somewhere in Epping. OH my goodness!!! Ahhh!!! Anyway, the trip was worth it. Melbourne High dominated all our relays - the U-18, U-17 (my race) and the U-16 relays all got through to the STATE FINALS with ease!! Booyah!

Matthias couldn't run today because of a "toe-injury", so Nedika took over. I was pretty unsure whether we'd make it through because Matt's our fastest runner and we desperately needed him. Well, Mr. Bisetto wanted Nedika to start (my usual position), Tim to be 2nd runner, and he assigned me to take Matthias's spot on the second bend, Dillan ran 4th. I was EXTREMELY nervous because it was my first time running in the 3rd leg and the transistions had to be PERFECT. Well, thank God nothing bad happened and we won the race by a solid 3 seconds! Booyah! The videos will explain for themselves! :)