Saturday, December 8, 2012

Exams are finally over!

After months of preparation and hard work, the time has come for us to bring our plans to fruition in Vietnam!

Today was our last session before departing for Vietnam.
Each cell briefed the team on the final plan, and we managed to tie up all the loose ends, gather our logistics together and finalise everything before our trip.

We were also assigned a 'mortal' each for the 'angel and mortal' game we would be playing in Vietnam, after which we proceeded on to learn the steps for the mass dances and our performance.

It was certainly a light-hearted and fun time for all of us as the dancers in certain members were unleashed, revealing a side of them we never knew. :D It was definitely encouraging to see the amount of enthusiasm, showmanship and high levels of energy we had.

To add on to the great day, we had the 'Christmas special' dinner together as a team. Though the food did not taste spectacular, I felt that it was a heartwarming activity and we were blessed and fortunate to be able to enjoy one another's company with such good food.

After a very tiring day of much dancing, laughing and sorting all the logistics, we were all set to go to Vietnam!

Even though we do not know what to expect there, we're all very excited about going there to learn, to serve and to inspire. And no matter what comes our way, we'd overcome it as a team and learn together!

So.... let's go to Vietnam!!!!!!! :D

practising our performance

dinner together! (:

mass dance practice

sorting the logistics

cell discussion

cell briefing

Friday, November 9, 2012

8 Nov Facilitation Session

8 NOV 2012

Facilitation started out with briefing on our final itinerary and packing list. The briefing brought upon all of us a new form of excitement as we became more aware that the day for departure was drawing nearer.
Following the briefing, we had our last Vietnamese lesson before breaking into our tutorial groups for our Vietnamese test. Breaking into groups made the exercise more meaningful and fun as there was a higher level of interaction by helping each other to learn.
Coming to the highlight of the final facilitation, we were surprised by a feast prepared by the admin team, Wai Hong, Edna and Joel. There were Vietnamese delicacies, snacks, drinks, cupcakes and pie. Much to the amazement of the team, we managed to finish everything on the table. While feasting, we buddied up and shared with our partners our purpose for joining NVVN, personal goals and what we wanted to achieve for the trip. Subsequently we wrote all these endeavours onto a piece of paper to be folded creatively and submitted to Edna.
After personal reflections, we got into circle and did team reflections. We reviewed our goals set at the beginning of facilitation and realised we have achieved most of them. The reflections brought us closer as a team as we reflected on fond memories shared together through day camp, local cip and facilitation.
The day ended with us breaking into our teams to finalise all our individual plans. Interaction and discussion became more fun and less awkward compared to when we first started our journey together perhaps due to the growth in our friendships together. 
After the hearty supper and fruitful night of reflections, we went our separate ways home, looking forward to the day we would come back together and piece all our plans and packing together.  (:

Fooling around during sharing session :D

Reflecting on our mission and vision

Cell discussion

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

1 Nov Facilitation Session

Each cell gave updates on their progress and gathered feedback from the rest of the team, after which we participated in the surprise activity planned for us by the leaders. Full of suspense and apprehension, we were split into two groups and then briefed on the situation and what we were supposed to do.

One group was tasked to assume the role of government officials, concerned parents of the children in Vietnam, as well as the NGOs. The other group was tasked with planning an education camp and pitching the idea to the other group. This allowed both groups the opportunity to see things from a different perspective.

Through this fun-filled role-play activity, one group was able to better understand the concerns the Vietnamese side might have, while the other was able to better experience and understand the difficulties in planning a Service Learning Trip.

This also opened our minds to the challenges we might face upon reaching Vietnam and reminded us of the importance of cultural sensitivity and to be conscious of our actions and behaviour in a different culture.
As simple and light-hearted the activity was, it drove home the point that we have to be mindful of cultural differences and act responsibly.

Monday, November 5, 2012

25 Oct Facilitation Session

Concluded the local phase and shared our insights and reflections thus far.
We were then informed of the exciting itinerary awaiting us in Vietnam and were paired up for accountability and safety in Vietnam.
We then broke up into various cells to proceed with discussions on the overseas phase.

Design team

Education camp team

Hard at work till 22:12

Local CIP

The NVVN'12 team went down to Holy Innocents' Primary on 13 Oct to introduce the Vietnamese culture to the children through fun and games. Through this activity, we also incorporated the element of currency, to let the children experience the concept of scarcity and choice. 
After every game, each group would be awarded points, and these points were their currency. They then had to use whatever currency they had at the end, to decide which of the following they would purchase: rent, food, clothing or education. 
One or two groups were 'rich' enough not to have to make the decision, while the majority were left pondering which of the above they could afford and should purchase.  

The children were also introduced to Vietnamese snacks, Vietnamese folk music and the Vietnamese language. 

The event ended off with letter writing and quilt decorating. Children at Holy Innocents' Primary penned their well wishes in letters which would be brought over to the vietnamese children by the NVVN'12 team, and expressed their creativity by decorating patches of quilt that would be sewn together into a patchwork, also to be delivered to the vietnamese children by the NVVN'12 team. 

At the end of the day, we believe the children left with a seed of thought implanted into them, while we on the other hand, gained a deeper insight on how to interact with children. 

Doing preparatory work before the event commences

Giving the children a talk on community service

encouraging responses from the children on community service

Fruit salad- teaching the children Vietnamese terms of fruit 

Teaching the children 1-10 in vietnamese

Children then compete to match the numbers to the vietnamese phrases

Children playing musical chairs to Vietnamese folk music

Facilitators guiding the children in ranking the importance of food, shelter, clothing and education 

Reflection time!

decorating the quilt

Letter writing