Friday, December 31, 2010

37th SSEAYP 2010 - Lectures by Administrator & Captain

Day 12 - 5 November 2010

We had our first morning exercise session today!

Morning call was at 7am. At 7.10am, the Singapore Contingent gathered at the lobby of the 5th deck and marched into the Sports Deck.

The Solidarity Group (SG) on duty that day would conduct the morning call and night call, as well as the morning exercise. And the SG on duty this day was SG-C.

In our Sports Attire, doing our own warm-up

For morning exercise, we had the basic stretching exercises, followed by the "Do you like your neighbour?" game that was played at the SG level. The game is similar to "Blow Wind Blow", in that one person would stand within the circle and call out a certain trait (for instance: I like those who are wearing glasses!) and those who shared the trait would have to run and find an alternate spot.

To sum up the morning exercise, the song "Bad Romance" was played and everyone started dancing.

We had a Lecture by the Administrator, Ms Kaori Shiojima, a staff of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan. The Administrator, Deputy Administrator and the Administrative Staff were appointed by the Director General of the General Promotion of Policy on Youth Affairs and Childrearing. The Administrator represents the Government of Japan, manages and coordinates the overall programme. The Administrative Staff includes the Postmaster, Nurses and Travel Agents.

Prior to her current job in the Cabinet Office, Ms Shiojima served in the Ministry of Justice and dealt with juvenile delinquents. 

Lecture at the Pacific Hall

In her lecture, Ms Shiojima shared that not many youths had the chance to participate in this programme. She urged us to share our experiences with other youths after SSEAYP and accept our true self. As youth leaders, we would be the ones to determine what the world would be in 50 years time. Ending her speech, she said that she would be our Okasan (Mother) throughout this meaningful journey.

To energise myself for the next lecture, I took some rest out at the deck.

This would be my favourite hangout spot:

Next, we attended the Lecture by Captain Makoto. He shared with us that Fuji Maru is now 22 years old and that he is the 3rd Captain of the ship, having accumulated 25 years of experience on carrier.  

He also described the make of the ship, as well as a brief explanation on the measurements (1 nautical mile = 40000km/360 degrees).

Captain Makoto also talked about how the various countries influence each other in terms of language and culture. Since potato was imported from Jakarta to Japan in the past, potato in Japanese is Jagaimo (Jakarta Potato). And since pumpkin was imported from Cambodia, pumpkin in Japanese is kabocha.

And the noticeboards are up! On one side of the wall leading from the lobby to the Pacific Hall were the contingent noticeboards, and on the other side were the SG noticeboards.

The Singapore Contingent noticeboard adopted a "green" concept, using plastic bottles cut-out as our mailbox. The signages "You got mail" are held up by straws. The "green" concept goes well with the theme for next year's SSEAYP International General Assembly (SIGA) which would be held in Singapore.

Singapore Contingent

After lunch, we had our first SG meeting on board the ship. SG-A was lucky to have our meeting venue located at the Sky Lounge (8th floor), which provided a spectacular view.

During the meeting, we elected our representatives who would sit in the SG Sub-Committee as well as representatives who would sit in the Club Activity Sub-Committee. Nom (Japan) and Jack (Lao) would represent us in the SG Sub-Committee while Ethel (Singapore) and Touy (Lao).

Our Japan counterparts also gave each of us a surprise gift - our SG T-shirt! 


After SG Meeting, I went for the Discussion Programme Steering Committee meeting which lasted till 5pm. The Singapore Contingent then had our gangway cheer practice.

At night, we had voluntary activity, which meant free time for us. Was thrilled after receiving a response from my Mortal, so I quickly wrote another message and dropped into her mailbox together along with a gift. 

Jogged about 10 laps and had a long chat with Rheea who, like me, misses home very much. It was therapeutic watching the waves crash onto the ship as it sailed on. Too bad, it was not a starry night!

Nom brought me to experience Grand Bath. It was a novel experience. Couldn't forget how some of them started playing with water sprays. Anyway, that would be my first exposure to this Japanese traditional bath and the last time I set foot in...

37th SSEAYP 2010 - Send-off Ceremony in Japan

Day 11 - 4 November 2010

People who do business in Japan or know Japan well enough would know that they emphasise a lot on punctuality. Hence, the Singapore Contingent adopted a practice of meeting up 10-15 minutes before the actual timing.

So for our first flag hoisting ceremony, hosted by Japan, we met at 7am in our Attire A1. The ceremony was started at 7.30am.

♥ Final rehearsal for the Flag Hoisting Ceremony 

At the Sun Deck

During any flag hoisting ceremony, after the Master of Ceremony declared its commencement, commands would be given for the flag bearers to take position. The flag of the country which is hosting the ceremony would be raised first as its national anthem plays on. The other state flags would then be raised.

PYs at the Sports Deck

The Singapore flag flies high!

After breakfast, we had our Morning Assembly. It is compulsory for everyone to attend and attendance is taken. This is to ensure that everyone is still safe and sound on board. During Morning Assemblies, Participating Youths also had the chance to publicise their activities and national presentation details to everyone.

The first activity after that was the Lifeboat Drill.

Introduction of the Captain, Chief Engineer & Chief Purser

"Pinching Fingers"

After the Lifeboat Drill, the Youth Leaders had their Group Leaders Meeting while the Discussion Programme Steering Committee had ours. As I head the Discussion Committee for the Singapore Contingent, I was appointed to represent the Contingent in the Steering Committee. I'm glad that I was joined by SPYs Dayanaa and Sijie who were representing their Discussion Group in the Committee.

During our first meeting, we formed the Organising Committee for the Discussion Programme (Introductory Programme), with Andy (Lao P.D.R.) as Chairperson. I volunteered myself to be the Stage Manager, together with Hour (Cambodia).

Ice-cream is served daily during Lunch!

After lunch, we put on our Attire A1 again for the Open Ship and Send-off Ceremony. That was when the Japan Participating Youths meet their family members and bring them on a tour around the ship.

At our usual meeting place

Myanmar Youth Leader delivered the response speech to the Guest-of-Honour.

We were given ribbons for us to throw during the send-off ceremony. This is a tradition for SSEAYP, where the Participating Youths hold on to one end of the ribbon and the families/host families would hold on to the other end. As the ship sails away from the port, the ribbon would break.

I was with Japan National Leader, Waku-T, when he pointed out to Mt. Fuji in a distance. He said we're lucky to have a clear sky to be able to see it from Fuji Maru. I was appreciating its beauty so much so that I was late for Contingent meeting!

Mt. Fuji on the right

All the contingents had their meeting at 5pm.


The contingent Discussion Committee took some time before dinner to put up our contingent logo poster on the noticeboard. With that, the Singapore contingent was the first to put up something at the noticeboard. That would be a pleasant surprise to everyone during morning assembly the next day. We also submitted the Contingent Presentation for the Discussion Programme (Introductory Programme).

Some of us began the jogging regime on board. The distance of one lap around the deck is 330 metres. Thanks to the cooling breeze, the body doesn't get heated up that fast and therefore more laps achieved.

 At night, we gathered at the bow (front) of the ship and gazed at the beautiful starry night. I'd never seen so many stars on the sky before.

And I'll never forget wearing just tshirt and shorts, under the chilling temperature with the strong cooling wind.

Cuddling helps to keep our body warm

Had a long conversation with cabin-mates. Inspired by Ade who so diligently keeps a journal that prompted me to also start recording my memories.

And this marked the beginning of an Angel-and-Mortal game!