Photobucket Photobucket Sparkles of Life: December 2007

Sparkles of Life

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Baptism and 'Shop' opening

Merry Christmas to all!

this year's christmas had a special meaning to me. cos on this very special day i finally got baptised. Praise the Lord. it's truly a great great blessing and honour from Him that my parents actually allowed me to do so.

Anyway on another happy note, my online shop with Liz is up!!! people of the world!!! VISIT:

oh and i am flat broke like really. haha. decided to bless my friends with gifts. but playing santa is really no joke *sniff... haha

but i received alot from friends too. and ppl seem to like giving me self help books. haha ok lah not many. just 2. but yeah it's like a trend. perhaps i am really into it. :) haha

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

adventures of thailand

forgot to mention in my previous post haha. there's tonnes of adventures happening in thailand.

We landed at the airport, took a coach to the coach stand at khao san, only to find no one there to pick us up. After much debate, we decided to try to navigate our way to villa cha cha with our gigantic luggage in tow. Walk walk walk... thinking what to do if it's a scam... then the volunteers appeared. they were late. haha

Took a exhilarating tuk tuk ride to the grand palace. laughed all the way there, cos it's really amusing how the tuk tuk bashes its way through the traffic at high speed. haha.

Went to shop till we drop at platinum.

Day 2
Conference: Gawad Kerlinga, Street children in Mongolia

visited MBK and siam street

Day 3
Conference: Street Kids in M'sia, Poverty in Myanmar

Dinner at Central mall. shopping at suan loom night market

Day 4
Conference: Sustainable project for poverty stricken nations, child exploitation

Dinner at the River Bar (extremely good ambience!!), shopping at patpong. Patpong was really an eye-opening experience. An apt illustration of the situation on prostitution presented at the conference the morning. million times more notorious than geylang.

Day 5
Conference: Volunteerism, stateless children and women.

Dinner at restaurant near khao san road, shopping along khao san. AND i ATE A WORM (goodness gracious me!). I actually gave in to my curiosity. chilling out at a bar with delegates.

Day 6
Shopping at chatuchat market. Head to air port and had a super adventurous night man.

Day 7
Home sweet home. Despite some hiccups, we are finally home :)

Asia Humanitarian Affairs Conference

4 days, 75 delegates, all over Asia, all gathered in Bangkok with one dream. We are people of different nations, speaking different languages, of different skin colour, but we all share the same dream. The dream that the world could be a better place. We can not change the world but we can make a difference.

Making a difference in the lives of others, no matter how small an impact it may be, had always been my dream. Don't see this as something noble. In fact, I feel that all of us who are borned here in a very much affluent country desire for this. We all have this sense of emptiness in us. Why? Cos we have so much but so little joy. Because joy lies in sharing with others what little we have. In bringing that smile to the face of others, our hearts too will glow with joy and warmth. So really to friends out there, who felt that it was a 'noble' thing to do, to go all the way to bangkok, to have that desire to make a difference, it really isn't. In fact, i would say that i am even more in need than those in the 3rd world country. My heart is empty and i am glad to find something to fill it with once again. I am glad to find my little sense of worth, self-esteem and purpose in life during this 6 days in Bangkok.

The confernce is nothing like what i had thought it to be. I had pictured it to be 4 days of sitting in the conference hall, listening to endless 'lectures' by different speakers, struggling to stay awake and being overwhelmed with information, and not daring to speak up because I think I will make a bimbotic remark instead, and no interaction with the other delegates. It's just conference in the morning and sleep at night. but hell NO! The confernce totally blew my mind as well as all the other delegates. There was so much interaction and everyone felt so attached to each other that leaving was such a bitch.

Everyday we were presented with 2 papers on certain issues or rather consequence of poverty and after lunch break, we would all break into our smaller groups to discuss on the 2 papers and think of solutions to it. After which, we would present our case and solution to the rest of the other delegates from other groups as well as the guests (speakers) and organisers. And yes we are creative people. Apart from the brain dead day 1, we barely use the powerpoint at all. Instead, we had tonnes of fun doing skit, songs, videos, and campaign posters. It was heart-ware boosting and LOADS of fun everyday.

Admist all the fun, the message is clearly put across. We have to find ways to reduce poverty. Poverty is not a lack of resources but an unequal sharing of resources and our failure to be our brother's keeper. I am truly glad to be a part of this conference and every single cent spent is really well-spent. Indeed, in the words of Mr Lam (the organiser), i have made a smart choice by going. The sharings by the speakers not just exposed me to the plight of the poor mainly the children, but also changed my perspective of them. As shared by Mr GK (my fave speaker of all, he's just so charismatic and all inspiring), helping the poor should not be just dumping all your cash to them. it's not just sharing of your wealth. It is the restoration of the dignity of the poor. Often, we share cos we feel sympathy for these people, sub-consciously there's this condescending feeling about this whole act. That their lives is incomplete or something. But it's not true. They have alot more than we do in the heart. And helping them is not just a moral duty, it goes beyond this. It is actually helping to develop our society. If society wants to progress, we can never neglect the poor. they are apart of our society. Helping them is social development. It's about loving God and loving our neighbour. It's about being our brother's keeper. So it really goes beyond helping them cos we feel obligated or we pity their 'incomplete' life. it's about the heart and love for our fellow men, who deserve the same rights and dignity we all have. And like another inspiring speaker Dr. Robert says, it's a calling.

Apart from this change in perspective, there's also a fair bit of sense of helplessness. there is so much to be done. The street kids in Mongolia run away from their homes because conditions at home is so bad that wandering in the streets is better. Being poor has so much social effects. The pressure faced by the parents to maintain the household unimaginable. Kids gets so desperate they escape their homes and when winter come, they have to live in man-holes to hide from the brutal cold. And under in these man-holes are pipes which send steams to home, but these old pipes crack and burst every now and then, boiling these kids alive. Out on the streets, these kids are easy prey to drug addiction and syndicates. And there's also little kids being sold into prostitution by their desperate parents. NGOs are doing something to help them. The Government, some corrupt, some taking measures. These problems will persist. It's such a bleak picture. But let's not get disheartened. Even a small step counts. And on the last night, during quiet time, God adressed my heavy heart. Reminding me that I am His Child.

All in all, these are my take home lessons. That helping the poor goes beyond a duty. There's so much to be done, but even small steps counts. And it should start from us. If each of us can light candle, we can have enough light to illuminate the whole earth. OKay cheesy i know haha. But i am truly moved by the sharings, by the people i met in the conference.

And these people are smart. Okay i admit, i used to have this impression about high flyers in life, that they lack heart-ware. that they don't care. That they only have the dollar sign in their mind. And social workers, people from NGOs are those who lack chances in lives to do other stuff and have nothing better to do. haha. But hell wrong. The people i meet at this conference are all Professors, if not master holders/students, and even those undergrads are all scholarship holders. my my. haha. yes I am the most stupid one in worldly eyes. So i guess i am really fortunate to be granted a seat in the conference. People there are so hell smart, they make you feel inferior even. But ok lah, we all bonded well. No airs about these people. And there is no problem in speaking up. All the delegates are so comfortable with each other that we have no problem speaking up. And i don't have to fear being a bimbo.

Oh forgot to mention. Every day after the conference was another GALLONS of fun. haha. the thai delegates are really really hospitable and they would bring the bunch of us to eat good food and explore thailand. fun fun. Every night all of us would just hang out together.

So yes, next year's conference will be in Myanmar. Hope i can make it in. Maybe tougher, cos they are inviting alot more smart asses to the conference (people frm ivy league haha). And next year's schedule would include a night stay with slum dwellers or street kids. so who's up for it? haha :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Conference in tuk tuk thailand

Vroom vroom!!
Vrooom vrooom!!!

6 exhilarating days in thailand just sped past. It still seem to me that the short but adrenaline pumping tuk tuk ride to the grand palace just occurred yesterday. ahhhhh missing thailand so much. my first trip to thailand had been unforgetable and stuffed to the brim with tonnes of lovely fond memories.

Nope, the shopping queen didnt skip her classes to go thailand to be a bird ( shopping in bangkok, 'chip chip'). she headed to tuk tuk thailand for a great cause. haha. The Asia Humanitarian Affairs Conference.

Though excited about the conference, I had some doubts initially too. a small part of me was wondering if it's really worth that much money to go all the way to bangkok just to attend a conference. And by sitting in the air con room for 4 days doesnt seem to do the poor any good too. But fortunately i decided to go. and truly i felt in many instances that this was in some ways God led. Just the night before i was tellin my frenz about my desire to help others in 3rd world countries, the next day i stumbled upon this opportunity. And at the last night of the conference, I was really quite confused and overwhelmed with my emotions, and God spoke once again in my quiet time. In my daily devotional book, for that day, God reminded me that I am His daughter. Nothing is difficult as long as I continue to walk in His path. How great is the Lord.

Ok so back to the conference itself. it is totally mind-blowing and heart changing i would say. It has given me so much more than i had expected or looked for. It is really so much more. And in these 4 days, I also got to make friends with people from all nations in Asia. goodness. haha. and of cos loads of fun hanging out with my new found friends very night after the conference.

okie, more about the conference tmr night! sleepy needs to sleep :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

magical night

After looking that the lighted christmas tree for MONTHS ( or rather yrs) haha since i first saw it lighted up one christmas like maybe 2 years back, i finally got to go up to mount faber aat night to view it.

oh my, my dear christmas tree. It took me so long sia to finally take a look at you. not from downhill but up where you are. cant believe it. something that's so near my house, i only get to visit it after i view something like the effiel tower which is far away in Paris. watever.

and YESSS JEWEL BOX is really pretty. chilled out at altivo bar. though the food sucks. the brownie mediocre, the wings pathetic. the view is really really awesome. ok lah made up for the lack lustre food. the champgne cocktail is good too. the poor boy had to drink fruit punch tho. heh. no drink driving man.

Anyway, thank you!! I was really so happy last night to see the tree. fake tree some more. oh my i dun understand myself. haha

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

morrocan night

Busy day. The past week and this is like really insane and crazy. wish i can just drop dead and die. haha but no. haha really glad to have people helping me out man for the project. the slides sprucing and stuff. damn idiotic experience sia. stayed up late for many many nights liaoz. alamak. must b i damn bloody inefficient. and i havent been studying since last week!! ARGHH help! btu yes no time really no time. GEEZ.

Anyway wanna thank Shamir (e mentor advisor), Elizabeth (e faithful helper), Wei Shan (e gentle and tolerant helper), Clement (e moral supporter) and Jia Jun (the techie advisor and designer)!! yes. saturday it will be all done :)

and so after the busy busy sleep deprived morning came the fun-filled night at Merrakesh. yay! yummy morocan food again. for e belated birthday celebration for Marilyn and Joyce. :) Just the four of us. Yu ning, joyce, marilyn and i. a night filled with great food, awesome companion and laughters of joy.

and i am happy too that my plans went well. I wasnt late. managed to book a table and plant the cake there way before their arrivals. And them shocked em after the meals w the waiter popping up with the cakes and the 2 shooters :) YAY

Saturday, December 1, 2007

stardust and fireworks

watched star dust today! nice nice really awesome movie. so glad i caught it before it is gone. really awesome. the guy realy look like orlando bloom lah. eye candy haha. and the star ( the girl) is so gorgeous. so sweet lah the whole movie. and i really take my hat off the writer's imagination! it's just splendid.

didnt do anything today. haha. just movie, short meeting with the works peeps, then walk around the malls. looking for nice old school feel canvas pumps. those with lil shoe lace. if you get what i mean haha.

and just feeling lots of sian-ness and restless energy in me today. oh and so coincidentally, on my bus ride home, i had a very very clear view of the fireworks over at the sea by sentosa. whoah. gosh. truly God's lil surprises for me in life. so thankful for it. it made my day.