OCTOBER 2010 www.spprimers.




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A publication of

all fears
Detailed write up on RIOcamp 10

Read more on Page 4

SP.PRIMERS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 10/11 President’s Office Ng Wen Sze (President) Maggie Chua (Vice President) Chong Si Man (Treasurer) Administrations & NYAA Sia Rui Ying (Admin) Eric Leung Tsz Ho(NYAA) Logistics & AV Javier Tan Kheng Yong Publicity Joeson Kho Deng Fu Lim Teck Yi Shawn Hong Guo Lun

OCTOBER 2010 Issue 17
Back Cover >> Games Day in Sri Lanka

3 The Editor Writes >> A Sri Lanka experience

4 RIOcamp: Fearless Edition >> Overcoming your Fears

OHANA! is a publication of SP.PRIMERS, published by the Publicity Department of SP.PRIMERS EXCO. While every effort has been made to ensure that any representation, statement, opinion expressed or implied, in this publication is accurate, it is presented in good faith but on the basis that SP.PRIMERS is not liable to any person for any damage or loss whatsoever which has or may occur.. All rights reserved. Subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1986, no part of this publication may in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording or otherwise) be reproduced or transmitted without prior written permission from SP.PRIMERS. Articles of interest are invited from readers who may send them to spprimers@gmail. com. SP.PRIMERS accepts no responsibility for the return of all manuscripts or artwork submitted.

6 Overseas Learning Trip 2010 >> A journey for 20 trippers.

10 Shans Says >> Hear what Shan has to say about OSLT 10



his issue of Ohana! is a special issue dedicated to the participants of the October 2010 Overseas Service Learning Trip (OSLT). Continuing reading on and you will find out more about what we did in the village of Thirukkovil! In the midst of all our coverage on OSLT, you will also find some interesting stories too! In this issue of OHANA! We will also bring in depth happenings on RIOcamp 10 As one of the “trippers” who went to Sri Lanka to help out those affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami; some of you may ask if my trip was worth the money and time. My response to that is a resounding YES! I discovered that what we have in Singapore is a blessing, and we should learn to appreciate it. To some of us, having an expensive LV bag or the latest iphone means the world to us. But to those in Sri Lanka, simple items such as a balloon, would make their day so much more special.



Little items that we take for granted in Singapore can make a great difference in the lives of others. Aren’t our lives much more blessed when compared to them? I hope that afte reading through this issue of OHANA!, you will begin to cherish the things you have now.


RIOcamp: Fearless Edition

Story by Teck Yi


hen it comes to going for a camp, what comes to your mind first? If your impression of a camp is a scene of fun games and activities in the day and a comfortable spot to sleep in at night, then RIOcamp is one camp you definitely have to attend. RIOcamp definitely stretches your imagination on what a camp can be like.

What is RIOcamp?

Pulau Ubin, away from mainland Singapore. It gives campers a chance to experience rural lifestyles beyond their comfort zone. On top of that, campers are required to cook their own food for consumption. Because of its rural setting, RIOcamp is made compulsory for people going for Overseas Service Learning Trip (OSLT). It gives them time for bonding while at the same time serves as a test for them to see their adaptability in such conditions. Jasmine Chung, a Banking and Finance Year One student says she had never experienced any camp like this before. “All the previous camps which I had been to are all leadership camps, orientation camps etc. Their The living conditions were better, and more of a usual type.” she revealed.

RIOcamp is an abbreviation for Rough It Out Camp. As the name suggests, campers are to rough it out during the camp. Inevitably, towards the end of the camp one should feel drained out but take my word for it, completing RIOcamp always gives the campers a sense of achievement. Once again, RIOcamp was held in

Why is RIOcamp so special?

She finds it interesting to be able to shop “Before I started each game, I had to gather for their own ingredients before the camp my courage. It wasn’t easy but in the end I still and come together as a managed to succeed”, group to cook them. In shared Year One Busiother words, they have a ness Admin student. As choice on what they want for Zheng Hao, he had his to eat for their meals. first night walk during RIOcamp and was afraid he would lose his way while RIOcamp: Fear Factor walking alone. “I told myFor this year’s RIOcamp, self to be brave and that an element of ‘conquersomehow I would reach ing your fear’ was introduced. The activities were carefully planned to allow campers to the destination” he recalled. It was definiteunderstand their fears better and subsequent- ly an achievement for him as he used to be ly overcome them. Fear of heights, fear of pain very scared of the dark when he was young. and fear of darkness are just some of the fears that the campers came face to face with in A Kampong experience RIOcamp 2010. This challenged the campers Besides learning to overcome their individual both physically and mentally. Campers were fears, there were also other things campers are encouraged to share their fears out and help able to take back from this camp. “This camp is each other overcome them. “This is the first a fun and also an educational one as I learned time we’ve ac- what it’s like tually played living in a a round of k a m p o n g . ” i c e b re a ke rs e x c l a i m e d saying out Zheng Hao. our fears.” Re- “I didn’t get called Jasmine. used to it at She found that first when I revealing what reached the they fear was campsite, especially the toilet.” But evenalmost equiva- tually, he got used to the living conditions. lent to revealing their weakness to others. This “Overall, I think that this camp is a very memnot only was able to help overcome fear but orable one and definitely a good first experihelped to build up mutual trust between mem- ence living in kampong conditions.” he combers of the group. Yi Jing enjoyed the fear fac- mented. His sentiments sum up what all the tor activity that was targeted at helping camp- RIOcamp participants felt - RIOcamp 2010 ers to face their fears using various games. was truly a unique and enjoyable experience. “Although it was just a short 3 days, I experienced a lot, as a GL. And I feel that I’ve learnt a lot, and grown up a lot.” Maggie, GL/Admin RIOcamp

Story Overseas Learning Trip Service Learning Trip 2010 by Shawn Hong

Story by Shawn Hong


th October was a significant day to 18 primers as they embarked on a journey across the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka (Thirukkovil), to help those whose life were affected by the Tsunami in 2004.

Welcome to Sri Lanka

The moment we arrived in Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, we were ushered the People’s Church, where we stayed for a night, before we con- When night fell, we finally arrived at the campsite and were greeted by the halftinue to travel by a bus to Thirukkovil. completed community centre which Thirukkovil is located in Ampara diswould be ready by the end of October. trict, travelling there required a 12hour bus ride, including a journey up and down the mountains. Along the Reason of the trip way, we passed by a waterfall. The waOne of our objectives of the trip terfall was one of the tallest waterfalls was to plant 50 trees around this in Sri Lanka and a beautiful one too. community centre so that the trees will be able to provide shade for The bus journey was a rough one. We encoun- the villagers. “The task seem arduous as

tered bumpy roads, curvy bends and unfriendly drivers. In order to survive this 12hour long bus ordeal, the trippers tried many ways. While most of the trippers fell asleep, some of them played monopoly deal and some just read their books on the way. Halfway on the journey, the trippers started vomiting in the bus, many suffered from aches and pains on the legs because of the limited leg room on the bus.

we thought that the trees are as tall as us , hence the digging work will be very extensive. But we later found out that the depth of the holes required to hold the sapling is about 1 and a half foot deep.” Shawn Hong, one of the trippers recall. It only took the trippers 1 day to finish digging 33 holes and the 2nd day to finish digging the remaining holes. Not only do the trippers need to dig holes, some of them had to go around the relief camp to collect cow dung. However, the planting cannot begin because the saplings have yet to arrive and soil was not moist enough due to lack of rain.

rainwater from the monsoon will be able to flow out of the relief camp and not cause flooding in there; next, it will prevent mosquitoes from breeding and reduce the possibility of dengue fever in the relief camp, as this may result in heavy medical bills should the residents be infected. “The drains in the relief camp were unique; some were deep and narrow, while others were shallow and spacious. These physical features of the drains made it harder for us to clear the drains. Some drains even had loose concrete tiles underneath, so when we use the tools to clear off the rubbish and sand, we ended up removing the concrete tiles along with it. Some drains had a small walkway build over it so there were a lot of rubbish and objects under the walkway, we had a hard time trying to remove the items with the tools we had.” Keh, one of the trippers explained.

Our new job

It was only on day 4 did we managed to complete our main objective. Our team leaders, Hui Bringing joy to the children Shan and Yao Han found anothThere were other objectives for the er task for us; one that we can trip, which includes conducting a games learn something from and that day for the children of the relief camp can benefit the villag- and some educational lessons for the children. ers of the relief camp. The games day Our new task was was conducted on to unclog the drains the Sunday. Not around the relief camp. only did the chilBefore we started to dren enjoy the clear the drain, we games, the adults need to check out what in the relief camp is the condition of the had plenty of fun drain. It is an irony that too! “The games we conduct here, most in Singapore, we have foreign workers to help Singaporeans would probably find them us clean our drains; over here in Sri Lanka; we boring and childish. However for residents became the foreigner cleaning their drains! here, they treated it as a games carnival! As one of the GLs, I can really feel the joy in The benefits of cleaning the drain for them: first , them as they were playing the games and


Local school visit On Day 9 of the trip, we went for a local school cultural exchange. Eric Leung recalled back, “We were treated like rock stars when we arrived at the school.” As guests of the school, we started off the cultural exchange with a dance, Captain Planet. As the trippers performed the dance, the student of the local school looked on at us, and after Lesson Time!! that they also There were also some educational lessons learned the dance conducted for the kids. There were 2 parts to from us after we performed. The local students this, one is a computer lesson and the other involved in the cultural exchange have an age was a class that teach about values. of 17-18 years and are actually taking A ‘Levels’ this year. Given a chance to talk to them, we The computer lesson actually found out more about Sri Lanka’s eduwas conducted for the cation system. children coming for computer classes in a local Not only did we manage to interact with the tutorial class. We taught students, we also went to visit the beach that them basic Microsoft Ofwas affected by fice. “When we entered the Tsunami in the classroom, it was kind 2004. Looking at of surprising to see the the damage done smiles on all the children’s there, we were faces. You wont see something like that in able to tell how Singapore, where the kids are so enthusiatic high the waves about learning.” Jonathan Chew recalled back. were. Thankfully, there were lots of humanitarian aid to help the We went to the preschool and taught he kids citizens rebuild their lives. We saw groups like 3 values which are care,share and respect. EU (European Union) and UN (United Nations) We also taught them how to spell one to ten, helping to improve the villager’s life. while teaching, we recap numbers 1 to 10 for some of the older kids who’ve learned it Last day of Work before. A test was Day 9 also givento them after marks the we finished teach- last day of ing, and we helped our work. By them to mark the clearing the papers. They are all main drains very smart and can of the reeasily remember the things we teach them. lief camp, when I won 1 sweet for each of them, they jumped with joy and I was proud and happy with myself as I am able to bring them joy which they will remember for a lifetime.” Anselm recalled. The games that were organized were bowling, soccer and mambo, these games that can’t be found in Sri Lanka.

we are able to educate the villagers about the importanceimportance of maintaining the drain, and how will it impact their lives. Together as a team, we cleared the last drain in an hour.

the competitions to be able to participate in competitions of the national level,” as Shawn recalled back. Goodbye Thirrkuvoi On the day we were leaving the relief camp, the farewell was a tearful one. Many could not bear with our departure. We wanted to keep in contact with them, we took some photos with them and hope to be able to mail it back to them, for them to remember us.

Beach Day

On Day 10, which was our last day in Thirrkuvoi, we went to a beach at Pottuvil, it was a 1-hour bus ride from the relief camp. The moment we reached there, we were impressed by the blue sea, with the bright and clear sky. Keh also commented “The seaview here is so beautiful! I really love to come back here for holiday.” At the beach, we played some team building games, Capture the Flag and Captain Ball. Playing together at group level, we discovered how we work as a team.

It was another long journey back to Colombo. We witness some neardeath experience when another bus came very very close to our minibus. In Sri Lanka, drivers give way to each other when others want to overtake and it is the culture there Upon reaching to give way, unlike Sinback to the relief gapore. On this return camp, the boys journey, we stopped by a played soccer with hot spring, went through a safari and visited a the local boys (age 15 and above) and the girls church. played cricket with the local girls. Interacting with locals was not easy especially during Rest & Relax the first half of the match, as the locals have Our last day in Sri Lanka was spent in Colombo. been passing the ball to their own players; It was R & R (Rest & Relax) time for us. In the this made the trippers unhappy about it. Afmorning, we ter some communications with the locals, they went sightstarted passing seeing and visthe ball to the ited some of trippers. A chat the historical with a local goalbuildings of Sri keeper, “They Lanka, which do not have includes the a local soccer President of Sri team, they played soccer for fun, Cricket Lanka’s house. We also visited a beach that facis what they play mainly and they have a es the Indian Ocean and experience the strong cricket team which participants in local town breeze strong sea breeze. We took time to shop competitions, and they do wish to win in OHANA! OCTOBER 2010 | 9

for our souveniors for our generous spon- An experience... sors. Most of us purchased tea, be- This was a experience felt by the 20 tripperscause it is very cheap and very ‘local’.” OSLT ‘10 was a experience of chancing our lifes, seeing things that we can’t see in Singapore and making us a person that was better Home Sweet Home! As we took the plane coming back, sense of than what we are before the trip. home was felt, everyone was excited about meeting their loves one.

Huishan led a team of 19 primers to Sri Lanka

OHANA!: How many times have you been to Thirukkovil? What are the difficulties you faced this time as team leader? Shans: This is my 3rd time back there. For the past trips, I was only a team facilitator, and all I had to do was to run the programs planned by the team leader. This time round, as a team leader, I had to communicate with the locals and plan ahead of time.
Shans is the team leader for this year’s OSLT. She describes herself as a jovial and happy person. - Ohana!

OHANA!: What were some of the difficulties you faced in this trip? Shans: Our original plan underwent a lot of changes along the way. But the entire team rose up to the challenge and strided to succeed. OHANA!: What were the things you enjoyed for this trip? Shans: I enjoyed the time I spent with the OSLT 10 trippers. They were a fun bunch of people that brought lots of joy and laughter to this trip and they too were able to learn many things from this trip. OHANA!: Was the trip a success? Shans: The 2010 Overseas Service Learning Trip was a success. We did more than what we originally planned. Our main objective was to plant 50 trees, but by the second day of work, 50 holes were already dug. I went to ask the locals if they needed any extra help. We discovered that their drains were clogged and had to be cleared before the monsoon season, or risk flooding the relief camp.

OHANA! OCTOBER 2010 | 10

The Season of Giving is back! Every year, SP.PRIMERS contributes to BBSG@SP by collecting food donations and fulfilling wishes for the less fortunate. Last year, we collected 665 food hampers which provided 1-month food supplies for more than 330 needy families! This year, SP.PRIMERS aims to collect 750 food hampers. Mark down on the following dates on the calender. 18th November: Opening Ceremony for BBSG@SP 18th-26th November: Booth for BBSG@SP 20th November: Collection for BBSG@SP


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