A hectic three days!
Jez provides a great summary of the last three days (4 to 6 January):
I’ve just … realised that I haven’t posted anything in the last few days. I’ve got a few minutes so I thought I’d just fill you in on what happened since 2 January. Again, I’ll try and avoid things that other people have posted.
3 January was split into two halves. In the morning we participated in the 'Crossroads of Culture' activities where we selected one of several categories of activity. The choices included - ‘the art of language’, ‘traditional sports’, ‘cuisine’, ‘handicraft’, ‘performing arts’, ‘music’ and I ended up with ‘religion’ as I was in the toilet when they started handing out the selection cards.
It wasn’t that bad as I got to learn about Korean ‘Wan Buddhism’ which is the same as regular Buddhism except their holy ‘object’ is a circle rather than a Buddha. I also visited the Indonesian religions stall and the Jewish stall (where I got all the answers on the question sheet right :-)). There was even time left over to have a look at some of the other activities involving music and handicraft etc. I wandered around with Kieran for a while and we got the chance to brand some wooden pegs at the Irish stall as well as paint dress masks at the Italian fashion stall!
The afternoon was our 'Face the Waves' session. Again, we were given the chance to take part in several different activities - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Activities this time included rafting, snorkelling, rowing, traditional boating, windsurfing and sailing. The whole of Surrey 1 did rafting in the first session and managed to destroy 3 rafts. It wasn’t difficult to do, seeing as it was a few bamboo poles lashed to a few rubber rings. All the rafting involved was rowing (and punting) off shore slightly, before diving off and trying to take over the other people’s boats. Well that’s the game Surrey I made up anyway as we didn’t have a guide and had no idea what was going on!!
Second session I took part in windsurfing. If England wasn’t so cold and I had time to spare I would definitely take it up! We spent a couple of hours on the boards - initially trying to stand up at all and eventually moving around and almost colliding with speed boats, stationary ones. It turned out that I was the only person to be able to turn the board. I fell off immediately after doing so, however it was still quite an achievement for me as not normally very good at that kind of thing!
Once we returned from the beach (where ‘Face the Waves” was obviously being held), we all had quick showers before having the rest of the evening off until dinner. Dinner was a special one, as Sabir and co. were to leave on 4 January due to difficult flight schedules. We decided (after Steve decided) that we would have them over for dinner. The occasion was such a special one that we asked for and received two extra dinner tables (this doubled our number of dinner tables), had set places at the tables and even ate by candle light!
It was my patrols turn to cook (the Cupids with Steve B) so it was bit of a juggling act between cooking dinner, welcoming our guests (of which there were 4) and then serving dinner. It was a really enjoyable evening as we had a real chance to talk with Sabir, his leader Girgis, his friend “Koo Koo” and Dr Atif. The conversation was a lot more relaxed without the cameras present (although we must have taken close to 100 photos between us that night!).
4 January was our day off. We all had a bit of a lie in and a slow start to the day (as can be expected). Most of us spent the day swapping badges and ‘neckers’.
However, Dan and I had a slightly different experience. A press conference had been arranged for us! We only finalised the arrangements of this 15 minutes before we had to leave for it! We went to the Press Centre with Chris Ellis and Anne Barnes where we met up again with Sabir and co. The conference was based on Operation Sattahip, however the majority of the conference was spent focusing on Project Sabir! There was a very nice power point presentation shown about the project, followed by a few words from some special guests (including Dr Atif). The whole conference was held in English and Thai and was attended by many members of the press, both internally and externally of the Jamboree. After the conference I carried on swapping!!
I won’t go into too much detail about 5 January as Dan covered this in his email, but in brief we helped build a children’s playground for a school about an hour away from the Jamboree site (I forget the name) and came’ away with a great deal of satisfaction having helped the community. We experienced some local cuisine as they gave us lunch and cooked a traditional rice dish in bamboo over burning coconuts! An enjoyable but very tiring day!
Once we got back to the site we had showers and then carried on swapping as time is short and supplies of badges etc. are still quite high!.
Today (6 January) was split into two again. In the morning we took part in ‘City of Science’ activities and in the standard way chose from a long list of activities. I ended up with building a radio transmitter in the first session which was quite good and in a film making workshop in the second session which was basically a chance to have a muck around with Adobe Premier!
In the afternoon we had our 'Tournament’ activities. We chose two activities out of ‘Challenge Valley’, ‘Fun and Games’, ‘Outdoor Skills’ and another activity that involved rock climbing. I took part in ‘Fun and Games’ where we played bobbing buckets which I won’t explain (but l have pictures), chariot racing, giant football (8 foot footballs) and ballooning (making a paper hot air balloon). We couldn’t fly ours as we were told it was a fire hazard!
Since the ‘Tournament’ activities I’ve been relaxing and writing this posting. I’m going for dinner soon so I shall have to leave it here.
Love to all,