I just had the first trip ever to the province without my parents. Yes! Finally! My parents trusted me!
It was a strategic planning event or the so-called, “The AYC Retreat.” I’m having it with a group of 25 members from the U.S Ambassador’s Youth Council. I missed it last year so I decided to not miss it again and I gotta say it was the best decision I ever made so far as an adult.
During this trip, I had so many firsts: first time on an independent trip, first time kayaking, first time playing the secret angel, first time making effort first bonfire, first time actually playing a ukelele, first time on a boat trip, first time planting mangrove, first time getting closed to those who I didn’t initially like so much, first time tasting soju, first time sleeping for less than 3 hours or so thanks to the boat sounds and people partying haha, …
I learnt and discovered many new things. So much memories and so much experiences, the trip started off with me being the second latest person to arrive. I didn’t prepare well the night before. I found myself sitting near Mr. President. It got quite awkward somehow lol until I remembered to ask him to teach me about the composition of digital camera because I was suppose to be the event’s photographer only to found out a few minutes later that the memory’s space was full. We then stopped at a kiosk to have breakfast and came up to sit with a mixing batch pattern. We got to know our seat mate and picked out names of our “secret victim” that we have to take care of secretly through out the entire trip. The idea itself sounded fun although I didn’t get to fulfill much of my role in taking care off because first of all I’m very introverted and second of all my secret victim is a boy lol. We immediately ate when we arrive, as well as doing many other things. After we ate, my pants unzipped. One of the dude, Vathana, whisper to a girl to come tell me about it. I felt so embarrassed yet I think I started to doubt whether he’s my secret angel. I then learn a bit more about photography with Senghong. Swimming time arrived, adn I couldn’t wait to jump into water until I realized my pants were too short. I don’t really want to wear them in front of so many people so I decided to walked out of my room only to find, Vathana, again. This time he asked me whether I swim or not if I didn’t remember wrong. I then asked if he has a boxer I can borrow. He said he has 2 and lent me one of them. I was uncertain at first if it was right for me to wear other people’s pants but I ended up wearing it anyway. Despite one downside which is the muddy and rough ground, I really enjoyed swimming especially kayaking. It was so relaxing. I wondered why I never actually did this before. It gives the best feeling in the world. All my stress is just gone.
After swimming and eating comes the bonfire and sharing session. We all sit in circle and shared our stories, doubts, thoughts, and true feeling. It was probably the most meaningful part of the trip for me because i can actually open up and let people know the real me. It felt like I lifted a burden off my shoulders. It was easier to be myself afterward and I also got to know these people more. ❤ They also did a surprise bd for my and my secret victim since our bd are closed. I was so thankful. They creatively made a cake out of sands and the other with piles of pudding cake.
That night, I went to bed earlier than everyone else at 12:30 maybe to find my self struggling to fall asleep because of the music from speaker, the talk, the footsteps from people dancing partying outside. I couldn’t fall asleep for 2 hours so i decided to go to the toilet to find myself being forced to give soju a small sip. I gave it a try and dang, I hate it. I don’t get why people drink because no it doesn’t taste good at all. I asked B Raingsey if I could sleep in her room since it’s further from the noise. I went to room 8 as she told only to found out in the morning that it was actually room 6 and I went to sleep in room 5 lol. Haha big mistake. I got up 5 in the morning to the sounds of boat engine coming closer then further then closer again. I got up in the morning to meet my secret victim and felt guilty because I haven’t done anything for him lol.
I also find myself holding and playing the ukelele once in a while. I actually learn them with another dude, San. He discovered the chord to One Last Time purely through guessing. Pretty dope. He thought I was his secret angel.
During the boat trip, I was too rushed and forgot my hat so I decided to just sleep and ignored the burning sun only to find someone putting a hat on my head. I immediately asked whose it was to find out it was the president, my high-chance-of-being-my-secret-angel candidate to be the one who passed the hat way from the front to the me at the back. I tried giving it back because I was guilty and I knew he only did that for the game but people told me to just wear it. Though I gave it back to him when we arrived. Game or not, I was so touched though how he observe and see what I needed.
As we went to the beach, my secret victim got cut so I knew it’s time I do sth for him so I ran around finding first aid and put on the bandage for him. He knew it from that time and kept asking me if I was his secret angel afterward.
On the way back, when we revealed the secret angel I got him a drink because I was thankful he was being nice to me even during his hard times, while other’ secret angel didn’t do much for them. Despite how many times, I refused, my secret victim guessed me as his secret angel due to the bandage incident. Half way, I noticed the driver was very sleepy so I called out the president to go sit next to him to find out later that his eyes were like that.
I arrived home safe and sound to find my butt hurts from sitting too long on wood planks near the water but the amazingness of the trip compensates it all. It was again another best trip ever! I will cherish the memory forever. ❤ Thank you, AYC.
P.S. If I were take out something I’ve learnt about myself from this trip would be the fact that getting my weakness out there actually puts the burden off my shoulder and that I can finally be myself, and second of all, from the secret angel game, I notice I’m a person who doesn’t know how to take care of people but I should learn to do it more because it feels good ❤