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By DIANNE LEONG MAE LYNN
brats@thestar.com.my

Thinking that I would spend most of my time in the ever famous six star resort, Casabrina, doing nothing but writing articles in an air conditioned suite all day long, I decided to join this 4 day 3 night journalism camp. I was also excited to learn new things about writing, of course.

The first day upon arrival, we were told to interview our respective partners that were assigned to us just within a matter of minutes. It was truly a memorable experience and it was only the first day!

However, I was proven wrong when I was shoved into a lorry together with the other participants on the second day to interview the Orang Asli in the Sungai Dalam village. On the way there, besides holding on to dear life so that we would not fall off the truck and suffer a horrible and immediate death, many of my new friends and I suffered the same fate; that was, getting smacked by leaves.

Mother Nature was taking revenge on us, so we presumed.

Upon reaching the village and looking at the simple life that the inhabitants live, it made me ponder about all the simple things that we city people take for granted, and how they can live a calm yet happy and stress-free life, with few to zero modern electronics. We, on the other hand, can barely survive a minute away from our mobile phones!

We did not go there empty handed. Instead, we gave the children of the Sungai Dalam village many tidbits for them to enjoy! After spending a few hours there, we jumped back on the truck and headed back to the safe and temporary home (our hotel). We then went to our own self proclaimed group ‘territory’ to complete our assignments, articles and videos.

Ian, Kenneth and May Lee were all there to support us and they were our saviors as they helped us with all the tiring work that they have to go through everyday. (Shout out to Clarissa and Kenneth! #TeamKenneth lol)

The very next day, after a night in the most comfortable bed ever and after having one of the most rejuvenating morning baths (I’m not kidding), we made our way to the National Elephant Conservation Centre. You would think that we went there to watch and pet the elephants? No! You guessed wrong!

Well, we did, after interviewing the zookeepers and workers. Again, after another long day of interviewing, editing videos, writing, transcribing an hour long of audios and photo-shooting, we called it a day by having a barbecue after an intensive session of doing all the work. We all had tons of fun sitting under the starry night around the campfire, trying our best to eat our grilled meats cooked by the housekeepers of Casabrina without looking like hungry cannibals and playing ‘Aiyo Ping Pong Piang’ The losing team got ice thrown at them (I hope my mum isn’t reading this).

But honestly speaking and from the bottom of my sincere heart, joining this camp is definitely ONE OF THE MOST UNFORGETTABLE, JAW-DROPPING AND MIND-BLOWING EXPERIENCES THAT I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE THAT REQUIRES AN EXCESSIVE USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS TO DESCRIBE.

With that, I would like to thank the person taking 5 minutes of their time to read this review of the camp from a lunatic, rather sarcastic but friendly and let us all not forget, funny (I’m not self-praising or anything) young BRAT with the unique name of Dianne Leong Mae Lynn; who at the tender age of 16 has been traumatized for life after being in such close proximity with a spider as large as an average palm at the container hotel. Just kidding. I’m not traumatized. I was simply at ‘awe’ at the size of the spider.

But if I were to be given another chance to join this camp, I would not hesitate to do so. As they always say, “Once a BRAT, always a BRAT.”

Cheers!

Click here to enjoy more amazing videos from our BRATs Raub camp.

For more info on BRATs, Malaysia’s awesomest, most successful young journalist programme since 1993, click here.

And if you wanna join the programme and attend one of our epic BRATs Camps, click here.

About

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