[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

[Non-stop volunteerism]
Last night I went back for my weekly MPS session. I have been missing in action because of a hectic school schedule and exams.

Kelvin asked me, after my usual case writing business, why I stopped blogging. Truth is, I have hilarious stories to tell but I can't do it here else I may get killed by PM (it's actually something funny about PM not being finance minister anymore). And unless you guys want it, I shall refrain from reproducing it here.

So here I am blogging again after an erratic schedule.

After putting aside all the books after my last paper last Friday, I started a slew of volunteer activities the next (okay, not a slew really).

I woke up early on a Saturday morning to bring the elderly for an outing at Sentosa. It was my first time trying to wheel someone on a wheelchair. Learnt quite a few new tricks there.

We brought them to VivoCity's Food Republic for a light lunch and then to Underwater World.

I have no photos of the Underwater World because I was involved in the operations outside. It involved controlling the buses in and out of the driveway and I decided not to go inside because I last visited the place in April. How much could it have changed anyway?

Jesslyn, my YEC member, and I then headed to watch a complementary show at the Pink Dolphin Lagoon after sending the elderly up their buses. She was so excited about the dolphins and it was still early therefore we decided to hop over. The sun was scorching and we took the opportunity to suntan.

By the time it all ended it was close to evening. I headed back to school for five minutes to check on one of my exam papers and headed back home immediately for some shut eye.

Managed only an hour of sleep and some net surfing (entertainment, MSN, yadda yadda) and was back out of the house at 10pm to prepare for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. Rushed over to Padang at midnight, changed into my spiffy attire sponsored by adidas (polo tee and shorts included). You only get the best when you work for the best I must reiterate. At 1am in the morning, I assembled my 26-strong crew and prepared them for a gruelling 13 hours of work.

As a drink station volunteer leader, my role was to manage my crew to run one drink station. After my deployment at 2am, I realised that I have another eight crew under me bringing it to a total of 34 including a TP lecturer. Most of them are students from the local polytechnic (SP, NP, TP) while the rest are working adults and kids.

I didn't manage any sleep that morning. Some slouched on the boxes of Ice Mountain and others lay down on the canvas on the grass. But that was okay since I could get a good view of the sunrise.

So here goes. Drinks Station 19. I met some friends along the way as well.

My station had two segments and it was located at the 29.5 kilometre mark. Those who do the half marathon would not have passed me.

Here's the 100 Plus segment. Notice that the tables are very very straight. There are strict standards to be followed unlike your usual run.

The other is the Ice Mountain segment. My Ice Mountain segment was run mostly by Malays. They are experienced and I learnt quite a bit by observing them. Afterall, leadership is not only about directing people but learning something from them as well. Others beg to differ and like to use the gift of the gab but I look at it from a different perspective.

One thing I realised is that you have to be very alert while on the job. You need to monitor the external situation (the runners) and internally (the stock of cups, drinks, crew and on and on). Considering the number of hours, it is another challenge to stay alert. I managed to pull it off without a hitch. Until 2008.


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