Hello everyone! IT’S ME!!!!! The tarsier who managed to disguise as a human. Since I’m a tarsier I have really bad grammar so please don’t mark me down for that.

I previously wrote a draft but deleted it and shifted it to my own blog because… Well, it got more and more personal so I guess this was perhaps not the best place to write. BUT! By popular demand (okay fine, only 2 people), I decided to write here once again my very own thoughts of this trip.

Like what many BES kids has assumed me to be, I HATED OUTDOORS, THE SUN, THE GERMS, THE MUD, THE DIRT, THE EXERCISE…etc. I hated the whole idea of this trip right from the start. I find it a waste of my time, my money, my life. I was struggling whether I should go for this trip or not because after all, I have a rare condition and I can just chao-geng (something like find excuse) to my doctor who will just write as I say since I doubt he knows that condition well anyway.

But I made up my mind to go after knowing that I will probably be given some internship work as an alternative module and at that time I already got my internship, one which used to be my childhood dream job. So at that time, AT ALL COST, I just did not want this module to mess up my plans for summer and increase my hatred for this module.

Even though the opportunity to take this module did not come as easy like it is for the most of you, I hated this opportunity given to me. I complained about the intro days which messed up my originally messed up body clock. I complained about how much stuff I need to get for this trip. I complained about how much money we need to spend on this trip. I complained how troublesome it is to pack for this trip. I complained about people complaining about me complaining about this trip. I hated this whole freaking module. I cannot understand why most of my peers are so excited for this trip. I felt like the odd one out (with a couple of others though). Whatever it was, I had no choice and I packed and left for a trip with much hatred.

As I mentioned in my field diary, during the first few days into the trip, I was so desperate to come back to Singapore. My OCD was literally killing me mentally. It was so dirty everywhere. Into the sea we go, filled with all kinds of microbes, bacteria, virus.. what not. With that cushion seat we have on the bus that absorbs all these germs. Sleeping on a bed with some (ahem) stain by someone I don’t know. I faced a mental breakdown. I imagined a world with time machine to bring me back. I slept early because every night passed will be another day closer to home. I thought of all kinds of excuses that could bring me home.

But, I had fun in MPA, rolling in the sea with Zhang Xin. I had fun looking at the caves. I had fun counting random fishes I don’t know. I had fun losing my image with all that attire for the sea. I just had fun despite all my complains about the jellyfishes and panicking over them.

I reached my tipping point after the forest survey at MMF. That hatred for this whole trip has reached its maximum. First, I witnessed how Ben was stung by swam of presumably wasps with my very own eyes. Then, I faced the fear of losing my friends. I knew how steep the terrain was. I knew how sharp and hard the rocks were. I knew the sky was getting dark. I knew my friends were not within shouting distance. I knew I may lose my friends. I knew this whole trip shouldn’t have existed.

But, my friends came back safely. While I was panicking and worrying over my friends, I believe Dr Coleman was worried too. Like what Dr Coleman always say,” All’s good.”

Then BBC was probably the turning point where I tipped towards the direction where most others were. I started to like this trip. Yeah baby, marching into forests are actually pretty fun, especially when it’s a friendly forest like the one at BBC. Although I may complain, I started enjoying what I was ‘forced’ to do – bird survey. I found the fun in guessing what bird is calling and mimicking their callings. In short, I found the fun most people found long ago.

Then I had my best experience for the whole trip – staying over at Habitat Bohol. I joked about how Habitat Bohol is really “bo ho” (for the benefit of non-hokkien speakers, bo means not and ho means good. So bo ho means not good). So dear Habitat Bohol was a place I felt spooked out, literally. Aside from being faced with the possibility of staying at a hut from the Incredible Tales, we also had to kill pests ourselves… although I contributed nothing to killing them aside from shouting for help. Having pests may sound like a bad thing but hey, IT WAS THE BEST BONDING ACTIVITY!!!! Everyone faced the same fear (not Joey though) and through that, we got closer. Even though we had to wake up at 5am the next morning, we chatted and slept at 2am.

Trekking at RSPL wasn’t that bad. I had a great sense of achievement from not falling down at all. Sorry friends, no falling down jokes for you guys to laugh at. I had fun looking at the rocks while most others were looking at the wildlings. I admired how the locals can just trek in flip-flops.

The time in Bohol started to pass really quickly during and after BBC because I stopped counting down to home and I was enjoying my time there. I developed interests in fields I never expected myself to be interested in – birds.

I came back Singapore, kissed the floor because oh-how-I-missed-my-motherland. I left for this trip with 11kg of baggage and back with the same weight even though I dropped hatred off at Bohol because I brought back fun.I allowed my OCD to devour me by disinfecting every single object I brought back. Speaking of my OCD, I guess it was cured momentarily during the trip there. I accepted the fate that there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY of being clean in terms of my standard during the trip. That was also perhaps the reason why I started enjoying the trip because I spent my brain cells enjoying and learning about new things and not on how germs are climbing all over me and my belongings.

After my OCD session ended, I experienced a silence I never knew it existed. I had a lonely shower, dinner, bedtime, singing session…etc. I became one of those who experienced Bohol Withdrawal Symptoms. I missed my days there, something I never expect to happen to me. I probably lose myself somewhere during the trip. I felt as if I came back being someone I am not. Where was that Hazel who hated this whole trip? Where was that Hazel who hated the sea? Where was that Hazel who hated the forests? Where was that Hazel who hated field works? What on earth happened to this Hazel who came back looking at a myna outside BES room? What on earth happened to this Hazel who came back SHARING THE FUN SHE HAD DURING THE TRIP? What on earth happened to this Hazel who came back asking why was such opportunity did not come sooner? What on earth happened to this Hazel who came back singing praises about the trip and all the activities?

Sadly, the OCD Hazel did not get lost in Bohol like the rest did. The rest as in the hate-sea-hazel, hate-forest-hazel and hate-field-works-hazel. Nonetheless, I guess my OCD has been cured a little bit. Whenever my brain decided to waste some cells on thinking about how germs and bacteria are climbing all over me, my heart will go ,”what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

Lastly, the biggest takeaway I had from this trip wasn’t all that knowledge I gained. It was all the friendships I formed with friends I have never had a proper conversation with for the past 3 years. To all the new friends I made, I <3 you guys! To all the friends who feel proud of me, <3.


– post from the very student who once had much hatred for this module