Operation Orion 2014 Went to China
We are back in Singapore! It’s been a month since our overseas expedition. We hope you’re curious to find out what happened and what we did during the trip! So, let’s turn the time back to 9 Dec 2014: The beginning of A December to Remember.
Operation Orion heads out of Singapore to embark on our journey before the sun rises.
And here we are! Touring Man Le Village in Capital Kun Ming, Yun Nan Province, China.
Everyone was randomly split into houses of 7 and attached to a family each. At the halfway mark of the trip, we were then re-shuffled into different houses to get the chance to interact with other Orioners and villagers.
This is where the different houses gathered for meals. Food is fuel.
Each day, we have different Food I/Cs travel down to the market to get breakfast and ingredients to cook for lunch and dinner. After helping the villagers with cooking and feeding the hungry Orioners, they get the dishes washed too.
This is Orion’s very own MasterChef, Munsyi! Singapore talent that brought us the opportunity to let the villagers get a taste of some of Singapore’s spices, with his specialty: Fried Chicken with tumeric powder and garlic.
Now, it’s time to get down to serious business. First, we excavate trenches at where the old toilet stood to build a stable foundation for the new toilet, which was designed with a proper piping, storage and disposal system for waste products.
Look at the very hospitable villagers who are always checking on us, rushing to us with arm sleeves and aprons if they spotted us without one on, reducing loads from our baskets and adjusting the position of the beams from our shoulders to our backs so that our shoulders would not get tired.
After the trenches were dug, we mixed the cement with sand, gravel, water and adhesive to be transported in buckets via human chain and poured into the trenches to lay and even out the foundation for the construction of the toilet.
“Great leaders don’t tell you what to do, they show you how it’s done.” Catch our great leaders hard at work!
Not forgetting our silent, watchful guardians during every Ops Session – our Safety I/Cs and First Aiders.
Besides working with the villagers to construct the new toilet, we also liaised with external vendors to install solar-powered street lamps to light up the pitch-black village after the sun sets. That explains the name of our project: Project Guang.
7 appropriate and strategic lamp locations were marked and holes were dug to fit the battery and the base of the street lamps.
This was the most challenging location as water constantly flowed into the hole that was being dug. Eventually, we managed to block the water from entering, using planks and rocks.
And finally, the lamps lit up the evening skies. Now, there’s no need to use torch lights to move around the village at night.
Before we end each day, we gather at a rooftop and sit in a circle for daily reflections for the day and suggestions to improve for the subsequent days.
Then, we would switch all the lights off. Still seated in the same circle, selected members the day before will then begin to share a personal story of something or someone that changed their lives in one way or another. Getting up-close and personal with Orioners in the dark.
Some of us will then stay back to write letters of appreciation or fun mail to each other, before we dispersed into our respective houses for freezing 1a.m. showers and heart-to-heart talks.
Stay tuned to find out more on what else we did during our expedition!