Huning had a dream about me last night. She dreamt that we were doing a Maths test but she couldn't finish it and I didn't do it at all. I then told her that I was pregnant with 4 babies and that I was going to marry myself. And that my mum was really excited about the wedding.
This morning I go for Community Impact in an elementary school. What do I get as a "souvenier"? Maths homework.
I desperately hope Huning isn't completely psychic.
For CI Wrapup Brianne and Natsuko had devised some sort of a relay race, involving running with slippers and pulling down letters and all sorts of random stuff. Shimpei and I had to run down a corridor, changing slippers a few times, and when I reached the end I slipped and fell on my side. I think I'm ok, no broken bones or anything, but my left leg and my right shoulder hurt. I might has made my vertabrae out of alignment too (tm Nina). Itai. Hopefully it gets better.
And here I go with the questions
! I might develop these questions into a future project, so please keep sending them in.
:t's been the absolute best moment of your Worldsmart experience?
Gee, I can't really choose one best moment; there's just too many. Reactions on faces, the Murou audience immediately responding to Rhythm Of The World, Nina talking to me when I most needed her, people loving my short stories for them, so many things. It just keeps getting better and better.What would you say has been the most important life lesson you've learnt through/thanks to Worldsmart?
Again, this is not something I can choose just one. Right now the experience is so mindblowing and allconsuming that I think I'll only figure out the real life lessons when all of this is over.
One thing I definitely learnt is that people can really surprise you, and that doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing. Be ok with being vunerable.What has been the easiest way for you to keep in contact with family and friends, while travelling?
Email! Mainly because I'm on a computer almost 24/7 - I miss my laptop! Timezones and costs haven't really made phonecalls all that feasible but email's a good bet. This journal has helped a lot too. Also, sending out postcards along my journey has definitely made people smile.What do you most look forward to doing after Worldsmart ends?
I would definitely want to devote more time to Up With People. It's an organization that fits exactly what I'm looking for and what I'm interested in, and I can definitely offer them things that they need. Other than that, I'd like to do something similar - travel, out-of-the-box, educational, creative, fun.Has Worldsmart changed you radically as a person?
That's rather relative; I suppose people who knew me before WorldSmart would say I'm a very different person now. It's hard to gauge change when you are in the middle of it. I have definitely changed in some ways though.If yes, how and in what ways?
I've become a lot more independent and I know how to cope with far mor varied situations. I also now have an idea of how to deal with all sorts of people - even types of people I couldn't run into back home.Where in your upcoming Worldsmart destinations do you look forward to going to next?
Melissa and Tom keep going on about the food in Belgium - HOT CHOCOLATE! WAFFLES! FRENCH FRIES! - and now I'm really hungry. Europe as a whole would be interesting because I've not been to any of the places in the tour before and I really do not know what to expect.What do you miss the most about Malaysia?
The food (that's such a typical Malaysian answer) and the Manglish/Singlish. I'm so glad Reuben is here because just the way he speaks brings that back. Manglish rocks.What don't you miss about Malaysia/feel happy to be away from?
Everything else. I don't actually miss Malaysia all that much. I'm quite the nomad; I can't be tied into one place. So I'm glad that I have this opportunity to move around and actually experience things from all over the world. Even for a place as diverse as Malaysia, there's still racial issues and major underrepresentation from places like South America - lack of awareness.What would you feel is your most character building experience so far, on the Worldsmart adventure?
The whole experience is character-building! Every single aspect of it, even things that aren't necessarily on the schedule. As I said before, it's so intense and all consuming and varied - everything's a test, everything's a challenge, everything's a puzzle. To come out of this experience without having learnt something is an exercise in futility.
OK, now some questions from Elaine
:How do we apply for scholarships?
While applying for the program proper, there will be an option to fill out an application for scholarships - take that option. Also, communicate with the office staff and see if they can get you some resources for fundraising activities in your area. They could even get you in touch with alumni in your area to help you out.What are we expected to do there, eg talk? make friends? do art?
Tough question. What you will
be doing there involves loads of things - community service (a whole varied pile of things in and of itself), learning about communities and cultures, living in host families, interact with all sorts of people, perform...so on and so forth. "Talk", "make friends", and "do art" don't even cover a fraction of it.
of you is basic - respect. There are guidelines and rules you have to follow; breaking them too many times can get you dismissed (it's happened in our group and we're apparently one of the more "good" ones). These rules are basic common sense, and they all fall on one main principle: respect others no matter who they are.
Give your all and respect other's efforts, and you'll be fine.Anyone there who doesn't speak English?
You do need to understand and speak some English because the whole program is conducted in English. However, there are quite a number of people (from Japan especially) for whom English is a second language, and there are plenty of people who are willing to help out. For instance, Reuben and Brianne have set up this initiative for a language exchange, and it's been really helpful.Send me your questions!