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A Report on the Leo Leadership Camp

The Leo Club of Petaling Jaya Integrity organized a Leo Leadership Camp in which 10 Assuntarians participated . The aim of this camp was to develop leadership skills, team work and values such as believing and trusting in one another to name a few. This camp was held from the 3rd to 8th of December 2011 (6 days and 5 nights). 3rd December 2011 We gathered at A&W at around 8am and boarded the bus. Before continuing on with the journey, we stopped by at SMK Damansara Jaya to pick up the Leos1 from Damansara Jaya and Taman Sea. Upon arriving at Kem Bina Semangat, Kuala Kubu Bharu, we had the opening ceremony. It was then followed by a briefing and an ice breaking session . We were grouped into our respective team with a team mentor who was there to guide us throughout our stay. In the afternoon, we had our first activity which was called trust fall and high rope. For the trust fall, participants had to fall on their back and had to be supported by other participants who are their friends and thus learn the value of trust. The high rope was our next activity where participants had to walk on beams and ropes high above ground level with safety harnesses. 2 hooks were hooked to a safety line while we had to learn to control our fear of heights and stay as calm as possible. In the evening, we created our group names which were Patrick, Fireball and T.M.N.T, our team cheers as well as paint our own team flags to give us the team spirit that we will need throughout the camp. 4th December 2011 After breakfast, we had a short briefing on the safety measures for jungle trekking. Throughout our journey , we gained knowledge on different skills; to build a I day house with nature, identifying the variety of plants which are edible, an insight into the forest flora and to test if a particular plant is poisonous. In the midst of our trekking, we had river crossing. We also enjoyed our time in the waterfall. It was very cooling and rejuvenating after a hot and sticky morning. In the evening, Leo Nicholas Chew conducted a dessert survival activity. The dessert survival quiz really made us squeeze the juice out of our brains, but we still manage to do it. 5th December 2011 We had rappelling where participants have to rappel down from high above ground level while being belayed and hooked to a safety line. The aim was of course to gain confidence and boost ones self esteem. After having some tidbits to munch on, the plug the hole activity was being carried out where participants had to apply their physics knowledge. A barrel with numerous holes was assigned to each group and a piece of rope and newspaper was distributed as well. The holes were to be covered and the barrel to be filled with water from the river. The winner would be the group who could fill the barrel with the most water and of course teamwork was important here. In the afternoon, we had rafting. Firstly, we had to untangle two ropes which were tangled. Upon untangling it, items were then given to us such as barrels, ropes and planks to build the raft. This was the most challenging part, building it wasnt easy and just imagine that we had to rebuild it again after being advised by Abang Zack. After building it, we rafted to the other end of the river bank to get our team flag. Here not only was teamwork important but using relevant skills was important to win. United we stand, divided we fall We were really exhausted and hungry but we cant deny that we had a marvelous time. In the evening, we did cobweb. Even though we were tired after rafting, we were indeed excited and ever

ready to face the next challenge. The target was to get everyone onto the other side through the web without touching it within the given time. Though we exceeded the time set, we were still proud of ourselves that everyone showed teamwork and supported each other throughout the course. 6th December 2011 We started the morning with exercise and a jog. After that, we had to do 12 feet wall where participants had to support each other to go over the 12 feet wall. Then, we had flying fox which everyone really enjoyed. Later, we had the obstacle course where 16 obstacles had to be overcome . We did face many punishments, but we really did have a great time facing them. At night, we campedby the jungle and had a campfire. We sang songs and played games organized by the committee. 7th December 2011 Day 5, the mine field course was carried out. Participants had to cross a designated route on the ground with only small checkpoints clear from mines using planks and a piece of rope as bridges. We then went for kayaking under the scorching sun which burnt our skin. In the afternoon, the certificate and award presentation as well as evaluation and sharing session took place. During the farewell night, we played cards until 6 am the next morning as it was our last day together. 8th December 2011 On the last day, everyone was really sad and gloomy as it was time to leave. We enjoyed ourselves very much and had gained valuable knowledge, a life time experience and exposure. We also bonded really well and hope to meet up again soon. We left the place with heavy hearts realizing that no man is an island. Prepared by, Leo Hemalaxmi Nanthakumar

A Report on Trip to Pusat Sains Negara

On the 15 th of March 2012, the Leo Club of Assunta had organized a trip to Pusat Sains Negara .Ten of the Leo members participate in this trip .It was started from 9.00 a.m. to 11.30a.m. First we went to the Aquarium. There was a big overhead fresh water aquarium with varieties of fishes. Then we moved on to the Water Spark. Three elements were highlighted in this area that included water, light and air. We tried several hands on activities including water balance, sound cannon and plasma ball. It was really amazing because we have never tried before. Next, we went to the Pathways to Science .There was full with information and knowledge about Science like cell model, light reflection, constellation and many other interesting exhibits. Moving on, we saw Foam Factory, 'Peneroka Comel', Fossil, and Origami station too. On Level 2 there were two exhibit halls that including Flight, Thinking machine and Energy World. Hands-on activities were provided too. We even read information about the development of Pusat Sains Negara. At about 11.15am we took a group photo at the main entrance before we left Pusat Sains Negara. It was an unforgettable day for everyone although we were tired but we enjoyed the trip. Reported by, Leo Kaartiga

I had always dreamed of going for a tour around the Peninsula since I was studying in secondary school. The dream finally turned into a reality one day on an invitation from a friend. After buying a map and travel books from a book store and marking down the cities that we were going to stop over, we packed our bags and started the journey the next day. We decided to exclude Johor in our trip since all the four of us were from southern Malaysia. We started the 19-day trip from Johor, then we went to Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Penang, Perlis, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. We skipped Malacca since we were already very familiar with it. Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan Nourishing softshell turtle noodle In addition to paying a visit to local attractions and experiencing local customs and cultures, giving a try on local food was also a must do for travellers. We usually thought of Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and other big cities when mentioning about travelling. I had always ignored a town near the Negeri Sembilan border called Kuala Pilah, when I drove on the North-South Expressway. We made Kuala Pilah as the first stop of our trip because of its famous "softshell turtle noodle". Many Chinese believed that herbal softshell turtle soup was nutritious and thus, it had set off a hit in China a few years ago. The food stall was hidden in a humble corner of a food court that seemed to have been abandoned by the times. We though at first that the price of RM7 per bowl was not cheap. However, we found it quite reasonable after tasted it. It would be nice to have it on a cold rainy day. Unfortunately, the weather was so hot the day we tasted it. In addition to tasting the softshell turtle noodle, we also paid a visit to the Sri Menanti Palace, which had been turned into a museum. Without a specular architectural pattern nor magnificent decoration, people always wondered whether it was truly a palace in the past. However, you would be surprised that the palace was actually completed by two well-known carpenters in 1908, with no nail and iron being used. It took six years to complete and the solid structure enabled it to survive for over a century. Gunung Jerai, Kedah Challenging steep slope After passing through bustling tourist hotspots like Ipoh, Taiping and Penang, we continued our journey to the northern Peninsula. We started to realised that we had really travelled far from home as we could see green paddy fields along the away. We decided to explore the Gunung Jerai when we reached Kedah on the sixth day.

We reached the foot of the mountain in noon and since some said that the road to the peak was tortuous, we decided to hire a driver. After getting a driver's contact number from a grocery store owner, we ate our lunch and set off. With 90-degree bends and steep slopes, the road was really a great challenge to drivers. It rained heavily when we reached the hillside recreation area. It was really enjoyable to zip at a cup of hot coffee while admiring the misty landscape. We could even see vast paddy fields and rivers. Gunung Jerai, or Kedah Peak, was the highest mountain in the northern Peninsula and thus, it was called "the star of direction" by ancient voyagers. The hillside had been developed into a tourist area with cabins available for accommodation. It would sure be enjoyable to have a vacation here with friends or family. Zahir Mosque, Kedah used to have buried soldiers sacrificed in the Siamese Conquest of Kedah Alor Star, the hometown of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was officially upgraded to a city in 2003. There were some attractions here, including the famous Zahir Mosque, State Museum and Nobat Gallery. We felt good with the wide city roads and the large square in front of the State Museum. We bumped into a small hotel located opposite the Zahir Mosque and it was relaxing to take a walk in the city centre. We were particularly attracted by the Zahir Mosque built in 1912 and we took photos of it from different angles, trying to capture its most charming side. Built in the tradition of the Moorish architecture, the Zahir Mosque occupied a site of 124,412 square feet with a prayer hall surrounded by verandahs. The five rounded roofs symbolised the five principles of Islam and it was one of the most luxurious ancient mosque of the city. The side was previously a cemetery for soldiers sacrificed during the Siamese Conquest of Kedah in 1821. In addition to the Zahir Mosque, we were also amazed by the Kedah Rice Museum located at a distance of about 15 minutes from downtown. With a golden appearance, the rice museum costing RM2.5 million reminded passers-by of harvested paddies. The building consisted three main levels and the main attraction would be the revolving platform which allowed visitors to admire the 103 panoramic murals without moving an inch. The massive panoramic murals were an idea of Dr Mahathir and were completed by 60 artists from North Korea in six months. We heard that the East-West Highway was scenic but dangerous. Therefore, we decided to find an accommodation near the entrance of the Highway so that we could take a good rest before continuing our journey.

Some people might be familiar with Baling, an important town in the 1950s when the Malaysian Communist Party was active. It looked calm and peaceful today and it was hard to imagine the tension and chilly atmosphere at that time. When we were having our breakfast in an old coffee shop, we asked an old man about the primary school where the Baling Peace Talk was held. He answered our question with only a hollow laugh. Later, when we talked to the coffee shop owner, he told us about how reports from around the world had flocked to the town at that time. It might be the most brilliant days of Baling and today, like an old woman who had lost her grace, the small town was left in a quiet corner and gradually being forgotten. We then went to visit the primary school and to our surprise, the place where the historical talk was held was in fact a simple cottage. It could hardly be imagined how the leaders felt at that time. Please click HERE for Part 2. Pasar Siti Khadijah, Kelantan Shorts attract attention We continued our journey to Kota Bharu after leaving Baling. Kota Bahru was the capital of Kelantan. It covered a vast territory with most of its population Muslims. On the day we arrived, all of us were wearing shorts and we had actually drew attention of the locals of the conservative city. Therefore, it would be better to put on long pants before you step your foot onto Kelantan. The Pasar Siti Khadijah was a place that should never be missed. The three-storey building were filled with various stalls selling vegetables, fruits, fish and even turtle eggs. It was interesting to find that all stall owners were women. When we walked along the beach, my friend Mei Shan was attracted by the colourful kites. She then bought one from a stall and when we talked to stall owner Kalimi, he told us that he was actually a traditional kite maker and we was lucky as he agreed to let us visit his studio. The next day, we found the studio in one of the crisscrossing alleys and saw Kalimi in front of a door, waiting for us. It was my first time to observe a wau so closely. The complex and beautiful patterns seemed similar but not the case in fact. Kalimi made a clear explanation of different kinds of wau, including Wau Bulan, Wau Kuching and Wau Lady. He also showed us his collections displayed in a glass cabinet. He told us that his income was mainly from selling kites and traditional wau was only a hobby as not many people could actually afford it as averagely, a traditional wau cost RM500.

Many people had actually asked us the same question:"Don't you girls afraid of danger to go travel without a man?" To be honest, we did, but we were too excited to give up the plan. We started our journey without making any accommodation reservations and thus, we had to look for an affordable hotel every time we reached a city or town. Accommodation was not a problem until we were in Baling since there were not much options and the prices were quite expensive. We chose an old but clean hotel which required RM40 per person a night. However, when we returned to the hotel at night, a few half-naked men staying at the third floor approached us. We were so scared and hurried back to our room. After locking the door, we dared not to go out to the shared bathroom outside to take our bath. Luckily, there was a small basin in the room and thus, we did a simple washing before going to bed. We had been warned of public order problems in Kota Bahru before we reached there but we did not pay particular attention to it. When we were wandering around the downtown, we thought they had put the issue on when we saw a snatch thief warning. That night, we went to a bustling restaurant for dinner with an aunty living there and we were sat at a table near the entrance. When we were chatting, a huge man suddenly appoached and snatched our aunty's bag placed on her lap. We were shocked and it was too late when we were able to respond and chase after him a second or two later, as he was gone with an accomplice waiting outside on a motorcycle. We were shocked and angry and the incident had taught us a lesson. Kuala Besut, Terengganu Run for our lives When we returned from the beautiful Pulau Perhentian, we decided to stay one night in Kuala Besut. It gave the atmosphere of the 1960s and we chose a very rustic Warung for breakfast. Shortly after we sat down, an old man in a ragged shirt sat at a table behind us. We talked and laughed and suddenly, the old man shook the table with his mouth mumbling. He then scolded us and we fled. Unexpectedly, he chased after us with a stick in his hand! It really scared us and all we could think of was to run for our lives! Since we had already made our order, we returned to pay the bill after we had got rid of the old man. Trip Report: School Trip to Basori nursery school 18 December 2010, 22:31

Sorry this is so long overdue; this is what happened the day we visited a nursery school at Basori: Weve visited a school in The Gambia in previous years, but this year we took a teenager with us and wanted him to see more than just the tourist trips, so we contacted Sandy from GOAL for The Gambia and arranged a day out to Basori nursery school. A few weeks before we travelled, Sandy emailed us details of the school and the charity, which we forwarded on to the Thomas Cook team (I can give you their email address) who arranged a very generous extra luggage allowance for us. We presented the paperwork at check-in and had no problems checking in our charity baggage (separately from our main bags). On the day of our visit we were met at our hotel by Sandy, Lamin Boy, Fansou and Bless It's obvious from the moment you meet them that they really care about the work theyre doing, but they also want you to enjoy your day out in the country. The drive to the school was fun and very interesting; to me it was a trip into the real Gambia, out of the tourist resorts, to see people in the towns and villages. We were greeted at the school by what I can only describe as a welcoming committee, a group of loud lively ladies singing (through a megaphone) and dancing for us. Any ideas of a formal school visit were very quickly forgotten, this was going to be one big happy family day out. Going into the classrooms was a bit of a shock at first, if you compare them to a school in the UK they have so little but they try so hard. The thing that struck me was that these children really want to be at the school, it might be basic, hard wooden benches and a blackboard, but there was no messing about. The kids are here to learn and they really want to. The younger ones read the alphabet for us; while older ones read sentences about themselves (my name is I live in my eyes are brown etc.). I remember thinking that children back at home wouldnt be reading so well at this age. After class we sat in the school yard, surrounded by hundreds of pupils, They loved having a photo taken then seeing it on the camera screen! and everybody seems to want to meet you. (I think Kath fell in love with many of these kids, and her own son might have been worried that he was getting several more brothers and sisters before we came home). The head teacher made a speech welcoming us, and thanking us for taking an interest in the school, and Sandy told us the plans for the future. They really need proper toilets (which I think they have just started building) and a fence round the school would help to keep the children safe. Before we left we gave them the paper and pencils and pens that wed brought from home, and they gave us Gambian names (whch are now on our FaceBook pages). We had planned to go straight back to our hotel, but instead we sampled local hospitality at someones home and Im really glad we did. We met the family, saw the ladies cooking over an open fire, drank endless glasses of ataya, and enjoyed a superb meal of domoda eaten from two huge bowls. We felt like part of the family.

That evening, (washing her feet) Kath commented how dirty we were, yet the school uniforms were so clean, how do you keep a collar so white in all that dust? Laundry day must be a nightmare! I would recommend everyone to have a day like this, weve got some terrific memories (and photos) and our teenager suddenly realises how lucky he is :-)

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