This journey is incredibly humbling for me.

From being wounded and not knowing which way is up and wondering whether or not i could be ALIVE or not and at the same time, finding new MEANING in my new life in this FOREIGN place.....It's been an AMAZING journey

I am a daughter, sister, dog-owner and friend.

Currently, i am learning to train my mind and body. I want to hold my body, challenge my physical ability to a level i could never imagine.

I definitely have learn to stop letting these people who do so little for me in my life but control so much of my mind, feeling and emotions.

Learning to let them go from my life is definitely one of the best achievement i ever done to myself.

Goodbye my friends.... Hope when we meet again, we are once strangers again.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Birthday, my friend.

"Take what you need, take what you can, and forgive the rest."

For my whole life, although i am close with my mom, dad and bro, but i am more attach to friends. According to my psychologist, she said it must due to the childhood trauma i experienced when i was young, when i was looking up to my elder sister, elder cousin brother and elder cousin sister but i was outcast from their clique due to different religion faith. Therefore, i wandered away and looked for friends as my support rather than family members. And somehow some of the friends that i am close with are much older than i am. 

Little did i know, i was resilient. I survived this difficult stage, turned a bit rebellious and different from them and lived on my own. Thus i thought i turned quite well. Independent, capable and happy-go lucky. Little did i know that there is this 'little one' in me that i buried long long long time ago, is scare, fragile and insecure. And for all my life, i a never aware of this 'little one' inside me. 

But for one thing i know, i have this friend, that has been with me since high school through college and work till my depression. 

Who knows this newly transferred girl back when i was form four, will be the same girl that walks through thick and thin with me in my adulthood. 

Thanks to her, i believe there is friendship that can lasts forever. 

Thanks to her i survive my adolescent well and fulfilling. 

Thanks to her, i also learn to shift our friendship to a new perspective after my depression. 

Somehow after depression hits me, i am no longer the same girl i was. I learnt to discover the 'little one' in me and become more reserve. I left home to a foreign place. I left the familiar place, familiar faces and familiar feeling to a complete different foreign place. In fact, i communicate lesser with many people in my life, but communicate more with myself and little one. 

Somehow i feel the need to take this step, staying away from everybody that i am familiar with and discovering the new self in me. But at the same time, i found it hard to move on for months even till now. I thought about my old friendships with a great sense of loss, i spent a lot of time googling about friendship and talking to my psychologist about it. I could not just forget about all we shared for the decades before, could i? My mind and hear was clouded with anxiety in me because my mind tells me to move on but my heart tells me i cannot just leave everything behind. 

There are many friends i left behind during my one year of self-escape that i feel confident that i can return to them when i come back. I believe these people are or will waiting for me. But somehow, for this particular friend, i feel like i will be losing her forever because i take the step for leaving everything behind including her and our friendship and that makes me feel uncomfortable. 

I waited it out for awhile. "Maybe it's just me," i thought. I needed to try harder, call more often, and be more available.

But i cannot do anything now because i am tired to feel the obligation to hold on to this friendship. I am tired to be the one who constantly make sure this friendship runs. I am tired to be the one who initiate all the conversations and activities for gathering. I am tired to feel that as though i am the only one who want to keep this friendship. Another reason i feel insecure for this friendship is the depth of friendship between us. Practically, we survived college, break-ups, family problems and happiness together. Our bond was unbreakable. And i also believe she is feeling the same as i do about our friendship now. And she is probably feeling insecure about it and feels as though our friendship is about to break anytime. But the person i know in her, she believes the lesser she does, the harm will be lesser too. Little she did not know, the lesser she does, the further apart we will be.

Today is her birthday.

If by chance she reads this message. I hope she reads this note i left for her.

' Dear friend,

For some reason, i never believe in best friend, but somehow after this incident and experience the degree of losing a friend, somehow i realize i do have a best friend in you.

I am sorry i left you behind even though i always know you need someone with you even though you never talk about it or act about it.

I am sorry to stop initiating all the connecting or communicating jobs as i always does.

I am sorry i never reply your whatsapp or email ASAP as i always do.

I know you also does the best as how you feel to make sure our friendship keeps going on. Somehow i think i am being greedy and expect more than just few words in the messages or i do not want to be the one that initiate the conversation.

I hope both of us can bring our friendship to a new perspective. Let's take what each of us can offer and forgive the rest. Let's give each other what we can.  And keep our memories close to each other. 

Happy Birthday to you, my friend. 

Thanks for being there. And thank you if you are still waiting. 

Xiao xiao (^o^)'

Friday, December 12, 2014

Nepal Medical Mission 2014 Day 1 Part 2 - Take a leap and the net will appear

31 October 2014, Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu 

None of us know this place well as we know our home. None of us know the monks that fetched and helped us with the luggages. Some of us know that we are here to do good deeds. But some of us doubt what we can contribute to this place. How many hearts can we touch by just be here for 10 days? How many things can we contribute from us? Will we make a difference in this people life? But somehow all of us know we just need to take a leap and we believe the net will appear. Maybe this 10 days we will create miracle in ourselves instead of other people. 

The wonder of Himalaya
The pilot announced that we will touch down soon but before that, we shall enjoy the view of the Himalayas which was just on my right. Although I did not get the window seat, but the gentleman next to me kindly opened the window shield and allowed this over-enthusiastic lady to take another awkward picture of the Himalayas. 

We arrived Kathmandu safely and we got the first taste of Nepalese welcome gesture. Waiting line for visa payment and then another waiting line for visa processing and another waiting line for security check. 

There are too many people come to Nepal to see the wonders of Himalaya

After we are done with the visa application, we followed the crowd and walked to our baggages collection area. The area is small and there were many baggages and boxes lie around the conveyor belt with no owner claims. And several local people approached us to offer to help to send the luggages out of the airport at minimal fee. 

Once we are done with the luggages and everyone gathered outside the airport. Some team members feels the need to reconnect with the world, immediately they bought local SIM cards. While some of us were waiting for our transport, awkwardly we introduced ourselves to each other, finally the ice is breaking slowly. One monk came and approached us and asked are we Sister Kathy's friends, we said yes. There is a huge van parked right next to us. Some of us thought we will go into the van, actually, we are not. 

Helpful monks that help us to carry heavy luggages.

While all of our luggages squeeze into this van, all of us will squeeze into this school bus. 

The yellow school bus that brings many memories of our childhoods.
Each of us has a taste of reviving old memories in the school bus and at the same time, we have our first taste on Kathmandu's driver skills in Kathmandu traffic. Once we hit the road, immediately I know the quality of your or motorcycle or car honk is a must to check when you buy a new car in Kathmandu. Practically, everybody is honking each other, whether to greet, to warn or to scold. The journey is accompanied with orchestra of honks along the way, while we 'wow' with how close these cars, buses, lorries and motorcycles ride closely with each other. We practically can greet 'Tashi delek'  and even shake hands with our neighbors at the traffic light stop. Along the way, the group starts to warm up with each other. Brother Bryan and brother James start making jokes about them still going school at this age because they keep flunking in the exam. 
Susan D is definitely a magnet. She can grasps people heart and attention with just simple gestures. Amazing...
We arrive in Kopan Monastery. We are amazed with the scenery, the architecture of the temples, the freshness of cold crispy air and the warmth welcome by the monks who at the same time helped us with our heavy  luggages again. We gathered with our roommates in our room. Out of nowhere four of us brought out the food supplies we brought for the trip. All of us are amazed with the amount of food we thought we need during this trip. I not sure whether we are underestimating or overestimating our tummy capability. Is also amazing to know that 12 hours ago, we were strangers from different backgrounds and different continents, that meet together for the same cause, can create common understandings with each other at this point. 

Once we settle with our rooms and luggages, we tour around the temples. The amazing stupas architecture and view from Kopan Monastery because it situated on the hill, really give me a sense of serenity and calm. 

Dinner time is early. And is the time to have the first taste of Kopan Monastery's food. I read a lot about it and now the curiosity is lurking in. 

Picture courtesy of Roddy Teoh - our Dinner of the first day - Vegetables soup with Nepalese bread and salads. 
Once we done with dinner and cleaning up ourselves. Finally we met up with everybody, have our ice breaking session, have our roles explained in this mission and also what we will expect throughout this mission. 

I cannot believe I am bashed up for tonight. Thanks to the flight, traveling, time difference from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia and now to Nepal.

But I am grateful because we arrived safely, meeting the monks, stay in this beautiful monastery and also able to create a wonderful memories with this people in this mission. 

And now I called it a night for my first leg of my trip

Friday, December 5, 2014

Nepal Medical Mission 2014 Day 1 part 1 - Awkward yet comfortable

31 October 2014, KLIA
    Day 1, 9.30am

Have you ever feel like you are a stranger in a circle of people that you never know yet they seemed so familiar to you?

But for some reason, you are feeling comfortable with them at the same time. 

Sitting at one corner, I see how each of them greeted each other. Some of them greeted each other politely as though they never meet. For some, they greeted each other like two best friends never meet each other for very very long time. And for some, they greeted each other as though they know each other for very long time but actually in reality, they have never meet before. I guess this is what we called same brain wave of craziness. And a small group of them already gather with each other as though they found a common topic, language or even gesture within each other.

And then, came this lady who greeted everybody with smiles, the same lady that gathered and connected us via whatsapp for months. We are indeed familiar with each other's whatsapping skills, however this is the first time, we see each other face to face. At least, for me it was the first time, but for some they may have met each other due to previous gathering prior the trip. I wonder how things will turn if all the team members describe themselves in whatsapp before the meeting. I shall describe myself as 'sleepy-looking lady with overpacked luggage and backpack, and half-asleep on the table.'

Prior to this gathering, there were a lot of paper works and arrangements going on, in term of finding sponsors, donations, networking, legal paperworks, accommodation arrangements, logistics arrangements and etc....... I am not the organizer, but I indeed understand how the lengthy behind-the-scene process prior to this meeting. 

Many questions pop up in my mind.

 'Did I under pack or over pack my luggages?'

 'Will I be able to get along with these people?'

'What can I do there?'

'What if I got Acute Mountain Sickness and needs emergency medical evacuation' 

'What happen if my helicopter crashes?'

Well, after all the awkward greeting session and mind-glob bing self- destruction thoughts for me, we took an awkward group photo too with our Jalur Gemilang. 

Picture courtesy of our yoga laughter therapist, Ms Susan Dustin - The 'must' pre mission picture with Sister Kathy
Well, that's not end, we had another meet-and-greet in the departure lounge with other group members who transited from all over places. That meet-up was even extravagance and noisier than the first. 

It was indeed an awkward yet comfortable meet-and-greet session for me.