Under No Roof

Okay this is like a few days ago…

But anyway, on Saturday, it was Under No Roof, organised by Habitat For Humanity. Tanjong Pajar MRT was quasi transformed into an “illegal” gathering of VJC people and other schools, so much so that the female toilet had a queue of people changing to the UNR tees, while the station control personnel had to announce to request people to keep off the fare gates.

Well, my friends who participated with me (actually I think I was the one who persuaded them to join initially), detested the selling of the wrist bands a lot (I think it’s a clever strategy to make people sell bands and raise funds though I don’t quite like doing it, almost like begging for money), and we were like…we won’t want to win the competition as we won’t want to go Sri Lanka and build houses (that’s the first prize btw…)

The first part of the event of the day was an Amazing Race of sorts. We were confiscated of all our belongings before we proceed. Our first station was to find a park wiith a clue from a jigsaw of some picture, then we are supposed to go Kreta Ayer and collect as many newspapers as we can. smart eh? incorporate CIP into this. The moral of the story is, many people in less developed countries go through day-by-day working very hard, but in the end they got very little out of it, just like how we spent so much time collecting newspapers but only got a little. (some people managed to get a lot tho…) after that we had to spend some time threading beads, 3 strands in fact, in which vic actually managed to do it faster than the girls did! lol

2nd station was some Govt-related clue which we thought was at parliament house. but we decided to call the helpline and the clue given was Speakers’ Corner. So we walked there, the furthest station of all, and it’s the stoning station! We are supposed to be blindfold ourselves and knee/squat (cannot sit, cannot do japanese-style kneeing) for a solid 30 minutes! And so I kneeled and treated it like a prayer/worship session, which I talked to God and sang some songs in my head, kneeing on the grass patch under the hot scrotching afternoon sun. The moral of the story is people in other countries spend hours toiling under the sun just to work and worry about the next meal.

After that was lunch back at bestway building, which was plain bread (2 pieces), plain biscuits, bananas, and a loaf of delifrance bread to share (I’m surprised that they actually got delifrance).

After lunch, we went to our last station, at Duxton Plain Park, in which we are supposed to find (read: dig) for green beans in a patch of grass. it was difficult as the green camouflaged with the grass, but I managed to find one. In return, we were given cardboard coupons so that we can collect at the “ministry of housing” for our house building later. The moral of the story is that some people in developing countries e.g. The Smokey Mountain in Philippines look through garage to find “treasure” which is very difficult and tedious.

We were one of the few teams which finished the race earlier and hence we started building our “house” with cardboards, masking tape, newspapers and lots of sticks and branches collected along the way. We discussed and decided to build 4 pillars, which were initally quite unstable, and put cardboard as our roof. I then realised that my design won’t work, the cardboard would fall. Then we decided to build a cross framework of sorts to hold the cardboard as the roof, while the rest went to find more branches to build the framework. At the end, we manage to put 2 pieces of cardboard as our roof, with support pillar in the centre and lots of extra sticks to support the pillars, as well as standing cardboards as “walls”. In the end, it turned out not bad, and everyone could go inside and sit. The house was pretty stable considering that the pillars or cardboards didn’t topple. Our facilitators Lynnette and Nadia said we did a pretty good job. Lynnette even bended a “table” out of a cardboard box and said it’s for “alfresco dining”…The judges were quite pleased too, though there were some better houses which were quite cool, including my classmates’ group.

At the end, all of us had a good experience, we actually built a house! During the prize giving, the 2nd and 3rd got some token prizes, while the 1st prize, when the emcee announced thirty——, we were all shocked and some of us hoped it isn’t our group, lol (since when in competitions that you really wish you won’t want to win?), and it’s not our team number. another team gets return tickets to Sri Lanka sponsored by Cathay Pacific. Actually, I think the team going will have a wonderful experience, as much as they want or don’t want to go.

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