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Soon Chen Ying (Max), Griffin House Captain 2014

My experience as Griffin captain can be likened to a roller coaster ride – exhilarating yet knocks the breath out of you at times. It started out with very high aspirations not only to win, but to create a sense of belonging within each Griffin member, a bond between them. Every time I see a team come together and give their best, it brings great encouragement to me as a captain. Yet there are times where frustration throws you into a slow descend, like when people don’t cooperate during trainings, or when even sports reps don’t take initiative. I guess that’s what a team is like, not everyone has the same passion and you’ll just have to find a way to work around it. All in all it was a good experience. I learned a lot and have a lot of people in the team to thank for their continuous support. It was definitely a privilege to work with and for Griffin.griffin2 griffin3 griffin4

I learned a lot and have a lot of people in the team to thank for their continuous support. It was definitely a privilege to work with and for Griffin. griffin5

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Jimmy Khalaff, Pegasus House Captain 2014

From the day I took up the position as captain of this house, I had no regrets. The success of what this sport house has achieved is due to the effort that everyone has put in for the past 8 months (since the committee was formed) leading to the events.

Of course, none of the achievements would have been accomplished without a dedicated and committed bunch that I am grateful to have. My vice captains, Yin Hoong Goh and Min Yen Lim – these two were probably Pegasus’s MVPs for the past two years. Our treasurer and cheerleading captain, Jowynna Yeo who did a wonderful job in building a cheer team that put on a great show during the event, not to mention the fundraisings she organized. Our secretery, Jonathan Francis, Pegasus’s very own ladies’ man J and very artistic and creative intelligence (have you seen our committee board? Yeap, those were his ideas) and our public relations officer, Kang Wan Jing who promoted Pegasus and was ever present in the sporting events.

It is good and encouraging that the nature of IMU Cup is becoming more and more competitive which signifies everyone’s enthusiasm in the sports. Certain events such as basketball,volleyball and cheerleading had a large crowd turnout, which was very motivating for the participants.

It is not everyday in IMU, that you have the opportunity to play sports at a competitive level with your colleagues, that is why everyone is and should be pumped up for this huge sporting event.

Pegasus has done an amazing job in this year’s IMU CUP securing a second place finish. Yes of course, we were left disappointed and slightly heartbroken that we did not claim the first spot, and we found it hard to lose by such a small point margin. However, we have to move on and accept what has been given and tell ourselves we have done our best, put in all the efforts we could, and be proud of our achievements.

What was more important was that we enjoyed ourselves, had a great bonding time with friends (which we don’t do very often in normal days in IMU), made new ones from other batches and courses, tried out in new things in life, and make ourselves healthy by playing the sports (which again IMU students don’t do very often!).

I would like to thank the whole Pegasus team for their big contribution for this year’s competition.

It is not everyday in IMU, that you have the opportunity to play sports at a competitive level with your colleagues, that is why everyone is and should be pumped up for this huge sporting event.

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Ng Yen Wing, Draco House Captain 2014

We started off with great hopes and expectations that the ‘Dragon’ would certainly be champions of 2014. We had a great Draco team and a dedicated committee to lead the charge to victory. Our goal was simple: to ensure a united Draco family and prepare them to be champions as we anticipate one of IMU’s biggest annual event. We knew it was a long and arduous road but we did our best to learn from the lessons of the previous year and made the appropriate planning and preparation.

As IMU Cup 2014 approached, so too were many unexpected challenges and conflicts that threaten to disintegrate and derail our plans. Schedule conflicts, injuries and other unforeseen circumstances made matters worse. Nonetheless, we learnt to be flexible and adapt to changes. Not everything was smooth-sailing, but together we managed to make the best out of everything. Everyone gave their best, and the energy and enthusiasm with each event was incredible! We learnt to put aside our differences and work towards a common goal, leaving no room for regret. Overall, we finished the year in 5th place. A humble finish, but not without much dedication and sacrifice from all our athletes! Our family is big, our potential limitless and we will only grow stronger! As we settle back into our university lives, let’s continue to savour success and learn from defeats; to welcome new friendships and to cherish memories that will last a lifetime. I believe these are the ultimate goals and ideals of Draco, IMU Cup and sport itself!

Not everything was smooth-sailing, but together we managed to make the best out of everything. Everyone gave their best, and the energy and enthusiasm with each event was incredible!

On a personal note, being a house captain is most certainly a formidable task. The challenges faced were more daunting and complex than anticipated, especially during the peak of IMU Cup itself. All the hardships and obstacles served to underline one’s flaws as well as the strength and mindset to correct them. At times, I did wrong and disappointed many, and I humbly apologise for all my mistakes and flaws. Nonetheless, I will forever be grateful to work with such an awesome Draco committee and to meet many dedicated athletes from all houses! Additionally, I am honoured to work together with other fellow house captains, as we come to respect and learn from each other. Last but not least are the dedicated organizers of IMU Cup 2014 who did a great job and ensured things ran as smooth as possible. Thank you all for such an awesome event and amazing experience! Until next time, cheers! GO DRACO!!!

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Charnice Chan, Phoenix House Captain 2014

It has been quite a different experience for me during this year’s IMU cup, definitely not the IMU cup I remembered last year. Nonetheless it was still good – having the opportunity to work with a wonderful committee, seeing the sport captains taking charge and leading their teammates, seeing new players who have no prior experience in the sports they participated taking up the challenge to do our house proud, truly it is a privilege.

The zeal shown by some of our Phoenix teammates, their effort and contribution is priceless to the team, every participant has made a difference for Phoenix during this IMU cup. Thank you fellow Phoenixians. Next year, we shall rise from the ashes stronger and better. PHOENIX IGNITE!

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Thank you fellow Phoenixians. Next year, we shall rise from the ashes stronger and better. PHOENIX IGNITE!

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cynthia


Cynthia Tan, a semester 4 medical student in IMU has embarked on a journey to Nepal for her medical electives. Let’s take a walk through the memory lane of her visit to Nepal where she wrote about her experience and her aspiration to raise awareness regarding health burdens in Nepal.


 

Namaste! In the space I’ve been given, I plan to do a few things. First persuade you to visit Nepal at least once in your lifetime, secondly share my experiences and finally raise awareness regarding burns and its health burdens in Nepal.

plane view

Why should you visit Nepal?

Nepal, नेपाल, is a beautiful country situated between China, India, Tibet, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Its population of 27 million people consists of some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met in my travels abroad and its landscape and architecture are some of the most colourful and beautiful I’ve seen. The Himalayan range stretches all across Nepal and it is a sight not to be missed, even in the monsoon cloudy season where you’d have to sit and wait for snow capped peaks to appear. Of the top 10 tallest mountains in the world, 8 are found in Nepal, including of course the world’s famous Mt Everest. Lumbini, Buddha’s birthplace and many monasteries is a short 40 minute flight away from the hustle bustle capital city of Kathmandu. Kathmandu is vibrant, colourful, filled with life and a city that doesn’t sleep, you can find everything you need in Thamel- the hub of Kathmandu. If I haven’t got you yearning to visit Nepal let me share my experiences with you, and if I have here’s some more reasons for you to book that flight.

Streets of Kathmandu
Kathmandu Model Hospital 3

My time in Nepal!

From the moment I arrived into Kathmandu as the plane was landing, I knew I would enjoy my time. The rolling hills and valleys and the colourful buildings in the distance was just beautiful. The ride from the airport to Thamel was full of life and I just couldn’t wait to be in the midst of it. After my first meal, a Nepali Thali lunch set, I was excited for the many more food and drinks I’d be tasting. Momos- Nepali dumplings, buff(alo) momo if you are adventurous enough is not to be missed and of course a good cup of Nepali Masala tea. For you beer lovers, make sure you try Everest beer too! Shopping in Thamel is fun, targeting tourist audiences you can find all kinds of souvenirs, salwar pants, scarves, tops, trekking gear and the list goes on. A visit to the Kathmandu Durbar Square is a must! I managed to visit the square on the first day of the Indra Jatra festival where there were various masked dances and processions including that of the living goddess Kumari. Bhaktapur, 20 minutes away from Kathmandu is another city I visited and loved. It’s architecture remained in its ancient wooden form and the views from many of the rooftop terraces of the mountains was breathtaking. Bhaktapur is famous for its pottery, you will see men and women putting clay together to mould vases or preparing the furnace. On one of my off days, my friends and I did a 15km trek from Changu Narayan to Nagarkot, a viewpoint many go to see the Langtang Himalayan range (I very sadly missed it due to the cloudy situation). Swayambhunath, the monkey temple is the oldest religious site of Kathmandu and after the hundreds of steps up, the view of the valley is absolutely worth it. If you have enough time, make a short weekend trip to Pokhara, you can fly or bus. We flew there on the smallest commercial plane I’ve ever been on (9 rows, 2 seats per row) in 25 minutes! In Pokhara, we rented a boat and rowed out on Phewa lake and went paragliding over the Annapurna Himalayan range. Pokhara is different to Kathmandu, it’s quiet, natural and peaceful, a good getaway from the hustle bustle. From Pokhara, we returned to Kathmandu by a scenic car ride, driving through the mountains, rivers, local villages, rice terraces and then it was time to return to KL. I hope this little account has done the persuading, if not I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Cynthia & Dr Rai

View from Kritipur hospital

Thamel

Pokhara

Nepal Thali Set

Nepal

hostel rooftop

street with rickshaws

The forgotten global health crisis.

Despite all the fun I had, my time in Nepal left some lasting impressions on me and my perception on the burns crisis. These impressions include images of burnt babies, amputated limbs due to burns and disabilities due to burn contractures. In Nepal with a population of 30 million, 66,000 cases of reported burns and 2100 deaths are recorded by the WHO yearly, the second most common injury in Nepal accounting for 5% of disabilities. To put it in striking differences, the USA have a population of 300 million people and 3500 people die of burns yearly. Additionally, the annual percentage of women who contract HIV/AIDS is the same as that who are burnt. In South-East Asia, more girls aged 5-14 die of burns than TB, HIV/AIDS or Malaria. In the USA and Australia, anywhere between 700,000 to 1,000,000 USD is spent per burn victim a year, however in Nepal for 1300 burn and cleft victims combined, 300,000USD is spent yearly. This goes to show how much aid is still needed and I was so glad to hear that Australia and a local Nepali poet are putting in every effort to do so. Every little bit helps, so please take your time to have a look at the following website: here and here, and through the word of mouth raise awareness for this devastating yet preventable issue.

Each one of us can make a difference. Together we can make a change.

Barbara Mikulski