I was the first to wake up as I needed to shower. Too bad the shower wasn’t working so I had to do it in the toilet, ugh! And the toilets at this new site were really nasty, the ones at the previous campsite were a million times better. But the nice thing about this new site was that we got to sleep indoors (sort of) and it was exactly by the beach so the view was lovely.
We were supposed to solat Subuh together but since nobody woke up on time, we performed solat on our own. Then we gathered for kuliah Subuh, during which the ustaz talked about the relationship between work and ibadah. Then we had nasi lemak for breakfast and off we go to do the most exciting activity - abseiling/rapelling and flying fox.
Before we started, the instructors gave demos on how those were done. They did them in several styles which were really cool. I was pretty excited as I never done any of the activities before. But due to time constraint they would only let each person do each activity once. I was the first in line to do flying fox. It was so cool! Too bad I didn’t hear the instructor telling me to keep my feet L-shaped while in the air (perhaps because I was too excited), so I ended up stopping way before I my feet could touch the ground and they had to stack two tables together just to bring me down. So embarrassing!
Then came abseiling/rapelling. It was tiring having to climb 5 storey up once again to reach the start point. I was a bit nervous doing this one as I knew I was the one who had to control the braking and the speed of my own fall. But in the end it turned out to be really easy. I safely reached the ground before I knew it. In fact I thought the experience was too short to be able to enjoy it (and many of us felt the same way), but we weren’t allowed to do it again in the interest of time.
After the adrenaline rush, we had fried koay tiow for morning meal. Then we rode a 3 ton army truck to the seaside to do boating. Each group got into one boat, each person was given one paddle and one life jacket. We had to paddle ala dragon boat race towards a huge rock in the middle of the sea, go around it and head to Petronas jetty. Sounded easy, but trust me, it was the most painful workout I ever did. My arms hurt from paddling, my face burnt by the midday sun, my butt ached from sitting on the boat’s side for so long, my hands blistered from holding the heavy paddle with wooden stick. Safe to say, I would rather swim from Sungai Udang all the way to Sumatra than do this all over again.
The upside of the experience was that my group finished first! We started way behind others as it took us so long to get a hang of how to handle the boat. We went round and round in front of the shore while others were already heading to the middle of the sea. The chief instructor came to us in his kayak to give a major scolding of how bad we were doing. A group of instructors also came over in a speedboat, shouting at us what we should do to control the boat. It was so tiring and frustrating. But once we got the idea how it was done, we picked up quite fast. We quickly paddled around the huge rock and headed to the Petronas jetty in the middle of the sea. We were then instructed to jump off the boat and lie on the open sea while holding each other’s hands in one big circle, leaving the life jacket to keep us afloat. I felt my face burnt like grilled fish at Perkampungan Ikan Bakar Terapung. Then we had to climb back into the boat and paddle to the shore. We did quite well and we were very proud to reach the shore first despite starting last.
We then returned to our base to clean up, pack up our things and get prepared for the graduation ceremony. Each of us were given a commando t-shirt to wear for the graduation. Pegawai Pemerintah Kem Sungai Udang (the head of the camp) handed out our certificates. After a good meal and a group photo, we boarded our bus to go home.
My last meal at the camp. There was a lot more food than this but I was in no mood to eat. The chicken curry and omelet were really nice though.
In our commando t-shirts, all ready to graduate (and go home!).
This is Capt. Abu, giving us his last words before the bus took us home.
The surau where we listened to kuliah Subuh this morning while enjoying the sea breeze.
Our instructors waving us good bye. Too bad I didn’t take a close-up picture of Mr. Cute Commando (are you insane?).
Green beret and commando knife, the symbol of commando’s status.
Gerakhas - their nickname (meaning Special Force). Cepat dan Cergas - that’s what they are (meaning Fast and Agile).
Good bye Kem Sungai Udang! Thank you Rejimen 21 Komando - Gerup Gerak Khas, it was really fun being with you guys!