Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Book Reflections: Pants

After I read this book I learnt nothing as its a "funny" teen kind of book, not those inspirational ones, but I still have to write my afterthoughts so yeah.
I think that this book is quite funny as the main character was accused of being a stripper because of a very ridiculous turn of events. It was also quite pitiful for the main character as his crush was taken away by his brother and his mother turned out to be a real stripper. Overall, I think this book is quite a ridiculous yet comical book at the same time.

Book Reflections: How Stella Saved The Farm

  After reading this book, I have learnt more about innovation and how to make a business successful. In this book, Windsor Farm is a farm run only by animals. Many years ago, Windsor Farm was at the top of the farming industry, but now they are facing a big problem: humankind has managed to overtake them by inventing and making use of machines like tractors to aid in their cultivation of crops.
 The animals decided to experiment on another business: making high quality alpaca wool. The idea was created by young Stella the sheep. This has taught me that innovation and entrepreneurship can appear at any moment and thought of by anyone of any age. A few weeks later, the alpaca arrived at the farm. At first, the sheep and alpaca were at loggerheads with each other and frequently quarrelled. Mav, the head of the alpaca wool business, also had a hard time dealing with Rambo, head of the sheep wool business as times were tough and they had not enough money to purchase another machine for the alpaca wool so they had to share the machines. Many of the farm animals thought investing on alpaca wool would cost money and would have not much positive cash flow, but after many hardships and difficult times, the alpaca wool business finally pulled through and became a success. I have learnt from this that business and new investments are not always very successful at first, but if you persevere until the end, it will surely show its benefits to your businesses.

Sincerely, Xavier.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

GCP Trip: Kalasin Reflections

  I went to an overseas service learning trip from 28 October-1st November to teach English(For my group we had to teach them directions) to Thai students from a primary school. I was delighted to receive the news after the EOYs. I was looking forward to it for very long but the day finally came.

  28 Oct (1st Day)
  I had to wake up at 5am to get ready and head off to Changi Airport Terminal 1. Thank God that my Mom was there to send me there. After we met and made sure everyone was there, we got our tickets, checked in our luggage, took a group photo and headed off for departure. We had to transit at Bangkok before we flew to Kalasin. We had lunch first, then went to the hotel to check in.We then arrived at the school we were working with to teach the Thai students. We were very warmly welcomed by Kamalasai School with a speech by the director and a delicious dinner before going back to the hotel to wash up and go to sleep.
My roommate was very nice and we enjoyed sharing the same room and staying up to eat chips. (We brought a lot of snacks!)

29 Oct (2nd Day)
  I woke up at 5am local time to wash up and went down to the lobby to play cards with my friend. (Don't tell!) We then headed to eat breakfast in our own groups. After that, we went to Kamalasai School for assembly and introduced ourselves before going for a dry run with the Thai students from Kalamasai School. We had lunch and headed to a Cultural Centre to learn more about Thai agriculture and how they used innovativeness to create natural products with lots of advantages like coal from bamboo and natural oil. I am grateful that we could learn so much.

30 Oct (3rd Day)
   We went for the joint assembly with Kamalasai School again and one of us gave a speech to the school. We then went to teach the primary students with the help of the students of Kamalasai. We were very happy and energetic when teaching the first batch, but when the second batch came into the room we were exhausted, but still carried on teaching. I think we should give our all for everything we do, or it will not be fair to the students in the second batch. After a day of teaching we made new friends and after that we went to the temple to visit and look at the paintings there. We also headed for the Ancient Tree which is about a thousand years old! It was so big that they had to chop it into pieces to fit it into the tent. I have learnt a lot on the third day and I hope to learn more on the next day (And I did).

31 Oct (4th Day)
  I was looking forward for this day as it was the day I could visit a dinosaur museum. We first went to teach two more batches of students and I think we did a much better job today as we were expecting the second batch to come. We engaged them well and I think that our group did well to help the primary students learn about directions. Overall I am glad we did a good deed to come here and teach the Thai students English. After that we went for lunch at a restaurant and then headed for Sirindhorn
Dinosaur Museum. It was the largest museum in Thailand and I was very amazed by the amazing fossils in their collection. I used to love dinosaurs when I was young and could still recognise
the fossils. After the guided tour around the museum, we went to the excavation site where they found the most complete dinosaur fossil in the entire South-East Asia. After we took our photos, we went back to the hotel to put down our bags and went back to Kamalasai School for the farewell party. We were to perform an item and we chose to sing "Hall Of Fame" by The Script ft. will.iam. We went to eat our dinner and greet the Thai students before going up the stage to sing. We got lots of presents from the Thai students even though we were not their buddies and it was very touching. After exchanging Facebooks and taking photos, we said our goodbyes to them and some of us even teared.

I think we learnt a lot from this trip and all of us going for this trip have matured. I am very thankful for being able to have the chance to do service learning to other people. I  hope I will get nominated for the student leader role for our Level 3 GCP next year.

Sincerely, Xavier