For those who are considering to take part this year, please be mentally, physically and emotionally prepared. Countless meetings, preparations, trainings and evaluation forms await you right from the day you are being selected. There will be programmes and activities lined up for you everyday on the ship as well. This also means very little personal time left for ourselves. Even more sadly, these limited free time were usually taken up by MORE other acivities. One final important thing to bear in mind is that you're require to serve a 3-year Post Programme Activity after your return from the ship.
Of course there were things I've enjoyed along the way which include jogging on the deck of Fuji Maru (the name of our ship!) in the chilling weather, under the STAR-FILLED night sky! It was really amazing...... If you're lucky, you may get to see shooting stars~~~* or dolphins/ whales leaping in the ocean too! Other things I'm missing now include our regular noodle/ snacks parties and queueing up for ice cream in the dining hall at every lunch time (hint: don't ever bother to watch your weight while you're on this trip). Undeniably, the most valuable things I've gained through SSEAYP is (of course not the extra inches around my waist) knowing many wonderful friends. Another highlight of this programme is the opportunity to live in the houses of volunteered families in 6 different countries - Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam (depending on which countries you'll be visiting for that year) for 2 days. Through the homestay programme, we get to experience the daily lifestyles and living conditions of these countries. Now when I visit these countries again, I know I'll have a family waiting there for me. :)
If you ask me, I wouldn't want to do this all over again but I also did not regret taking part last year. I can't tell you exactly how I feel, you have to do it to understand what SSEAYP is all about. All I can say is, it was indeed a very special episode for me, a once in a lifetime adventure.
Here are some snippets of our journey................................................................................
Packing and sealing work to do a few days before our departure.
Distributing of attires and namecards.
Back at home was total madness. Packing and packing... I'm seriously well trained in packing and unpacking my luggages after this trip.. Packing for departure, unpacking when we arrived, packing again for homestays, unpacking again back at the ship, and packing again for another homestay. It went on and on......................
This boy clearly wanted to go with me.
Homestay gifts for my host familes! What could be more meaningful than giving them my own creation? :)
After a mere half an hour, our room was in total chaos. Valid excuse: Not easy to search for something when you have TWO big luggages and TWO handcarry bags.
All changed and ready to go for our first night walk on TOKYO street! Sadly most of the shops close pretty early in Japan so there weren't much places we could explore that night.