• Event Writeup

    Writeup of the past OSG events

    OSG Talk#14 - To Dance, With Love by Danny Wee and Lim Jiay

    26th May 2018

    I believe that real success only happens to someone who thinks and acts beyond oneself, and take steps to make small diffrences in others' lives.

     

    Since early this year, I have reached out to Danny and Jiayi after understanding their passion not only in dancing, but in their contributions to the local children communities. We agreed to share this with fellow Singaporeans in an OSG session.

     

    This OSG Talk adopted a "Fireside Chat" style where we have smaller group of audience to enhance intimacies and participations. William Ding was super generous to offer VandaRoom and even equipped it with new Projector and Mic/Speaker systems for this session.

     

    Danny opened the talk with ice-breaker dance moves. Cyndi and Danny made it looks simple while and most of us tried our best to catch up.

     

    Jiayi briefly explained the philosphical differences between western and eastern dance moves, something about ying/yang and emphasizing of 'whole-body' movement and flow.

     

    Danny started his session explaining how he started his passion for dance, as well as the physical and spiritual benefits of dancing. More importantly, he introduced his charitable effort at 灵舞 and how 灵舞 has transformed the children in terms of self-confidence and their self-expressions. Danny presented a video of the 灵舞 program, featuring the children's vitality and joy when they performed on stage.

     

    Jiayi, who has spent her fifth year in Beijing (3 years at High School and now on her 2nd year at Beijing Dance Academy). Over the last 4 years, Jiayi has travelled to a rural village in Yunnan to spend time with young children there. Besides teaching them simple dance moves, Jiayi emphasized that the children really look to her very much as a "Big Sister" who cared for them constantly. Jiayi also presented video footage of her trip to Yunnan village.

     

    At the Q&A session, Jiayi and Danny emphasized that everyone is capable of playing a part in social and charitable programs. Doing good for the local community are not solely for the wealthy, or those possessing a professional skills (dancing, music instrument, language, finance etc). Everyone can play a part in charity if he has the heart and mind to it.

     

    Both Jiayi and Danny mentioned that many charitable projects suffered from "sustainability" problems, and the need to be persistant in one's effort. They stressed that "volunteerism" is best not just a "touch and go" program, it should have persistence and depth in order to have long term impacts.

     

    Lastly, they agreed on the importance of both strong publicities as well as proper documentation for the benefits of future generation as reference and adapt for other social projects.

     

    The lunch at VandaRoom was another highlight, with Hainanese Chicken Rice, Katong Laksa, and Mee Goreng to choose from. William also prepared nice vegetable dishes to supplement the already awesome meals. Thank you William for your support!

     

    I really wish more Singaporeans can follow the great examples of Danny and Jiayi to persist in doing good within their communities. Can't wait to see the children perform on stage again, and to go Yunnan with Jiayi this year!

    OSG Talk#13 - "Wet n Wild" Wall

    20th May 2018

    This "Wild Wall" trip was planned and organized by Guo Dan, a Peking University Singaporean graduate who had done countless adventures over the last few years, including cycling from Chengdu to Kathmandu, and also from Kunming to Bangkok.

     

    On 20th May morning 0700 hrs, 17 of us, including 3 super young Sinagporeans age 3,5 and 6, gathered and set off from Tuanjiehu subway station in a chartered bus. The trip took about 2 hours to arrive at a village where we will be hosted for breakfast at a 农家乐.

     

    Our breakfast consist of corn porridge, white bun, chicken and goose eggs, and salted vegetables. Somehow we enjoyed the chicken eggs a lot, probably because they are from free-range chicken. The host even gave us a small "Tibetan chicken" egg!

     

    Right after our breakfast at 1030 hrs, we thanked the host and set off for our hike towards the Jiankou Great Wall. Although the weather forecasted that there will be rain at night, the drizzling stated since the early morning. Fortunately most all of us come prepared with raincoats or umbrellas, and that the rain was not super heavy.

     

    The climb from the village to the Jiankou Wall was about 1 hour, largely hampered by muddy tracks and slippery slopes. However we used this opportunity to enjoy the greenery and fresh air, more importantly to chit chat and to know more about our travelling companions.

     

    When we finally arrived at the base of Jiankou Great Wall, most of us simply stood in awe, asking ourselves "How did they manage to build this wall 800 years ago?". Guo Dan told us there are 2 ways of going up the wall: turn left to find a low wall out there, or try to climb the high wall here. Many of the young and strong Singaporeans took up the challenge of climbing the high wall while the rest of us traill along the wall to find a low opening.

     

    Once everyone had climbed up the Jiankou Wall, we started taking pictures to commemorate our "great achievements", only to suddenly realise that we can't see much beyond 20m. We were literally in the clouds, everywhere is nothing but white. This part of the Great Wall was considered the Wild Great Wall because it was not refurbished like those we are familiar at Badaling or Mutianyu.

     

    We walked to the nearest tower and took shelter from the rain to start eating our "lunch", comprised mainly of bread, biscuits and crackers. That is when many of us started to talk about how delicious "Mamee" and "出前一丁“ is and what we will eat for dinner today. Somehow, the chill and the humble lunch set our imagination flowing....

     

    By 1300 hrs, we have completed the Wild side of the Wall and entered the more civilized side 慕田峪 Wall. After a whole morning of mud, slope and ruins, it was amazing to suddenly see nicely paved steps and ladders. Although the visibility is still low, by 1400 hrs, we can see further as the fog seems to clear.

     

    By 1500 hrs, the rain stopped and the fog also cleared. We took this opportunities to take lots of photos and to enjoy the last stretch of the Wall. After an endless, knee-killing stretch of downhill steps, we finally arrived at the entrance of 慕田峪 Wall. By this time, we only have dinner in our mind.

     

    We are so fortunate that the ride back to the city was quick and uneventful, allowing us to arrive at our hotpot restaurant an hour earlier. We attacked the hotpot with a vengeance, to the delight of the waitresses.

     

    Many of us hoped that we can have less (or no)) rain and less fog for this trip, but I always believe there is beauty in every circumstance. The challenge of ascending slippery slopes and the beauty of walking in the middle of the fog/cloud maked this trip a superb and memorable one for me, and more importantly, it is the new friendship forged.

    OSG Talk#13 - "Wet n Wild" Wall

    20th May 2018

    This "Wild Wall" trip was planned and organized by Guo Dan, a Peking University Singaporean graduate who had done countless adventures over the last few years, including cycling from Chengdu to Kathmandu, and also from Kunming to Bangkok.

     

    On 20th May morning 0700 hrs, 17 of us, including 3 super young Sinagporeans age 3,5 and 6, gathered and set off from Tuanjiehu subway station in a chartered bus. The trip took about 2 hours to arrive at a village where we will be hosted for breakfast at a 农家乐.

     

    Our breakfast consist of corn porridge, white bun, chicken and goose eggs, and salted vegetables. Somehow we enjoyed the chicken eggs a lot, probably because they are from free-range chicken. The host even gave us a small "Tibetan chicken" egg!

     

    Right after our breakfast at 1030 hrs, we thanked the host and set off for our hike towards the Jiankou Great Wall. Although the weather forecasted that there will be rain at night, the drizzling stated since the early morning. Fortunately most all of us come prepared with raincoats or umbrellas, and that the rain was not super heavy.

     

    The climb from the village to the Jiankou Wall was about 1 hour, largely hampered by muddy tracks and slippery slopes. However we used this opportunity to enjoy the greenery and fresh air, more importantly to chit chat and to know more about our travelling companions.

     

    When we finally arrived at the base of Jiankou Great Wall, most of us simply stood in awe, asking ourselves "How did they manage to build this wall 800 years ago?". Guo Dan told us there are 2 ways of going up the wall: turn left to find a low wall out there, or try to climb the high wall here. Many of the young and strong Singaporeans took up the challenge of climbing the high wall while the rest of us traill along the wall to find a low opening.

     

    Once everyone had climbed up the Jiankou Wall, we started taking pictures to commemorate our "great achievements", only to suddenly realise that we can't see much beyond 20m. We were literally in the clouds, everywhere is nothing but white. This part of the Great Wall was considered the Wild Great Wall because it was not refurbished like those we are familiar at Badaling or Mutianyu.

     

    We walked to the nearest tower and took shelter from the rain to start eating our "lunch", comprised mainly of bread, biscuits and crackers. That is when many of us started to talk about how delicious "Mamee" and "出前一丁“ is and what we will eat for dinner today. Somehow, the chill and the humble lunch set our imagination flowing....

     

    By 1300 hrs, we have completed the Wild side of the Wall and entered the more civilized side 慕田峪 Wall. After a whole morning of mud, slope and ruins, it was amazing to suddenly see nicely paved steps and ladders. Although the visibility is still low, by 1400 hrs, we can see further as the fog seems to clear.

     

    By 1500 hrs, the rain stopped and the fog also cleared. We took this opportunities to take lots of photos and to enjoy the last stretch of the Wall. After an endless, knee-killing stretch of downhill steps, we finally arrived at the entrance of 慕田峪 Wall. By this time, we only have dinner in our mind.

     

    We are so fortunate that the ride back to the city was quick and uneventful, allowing us to arrive at our hotpot restaurant an hour earlier. We attacked the hotpot with a vengeance, to the delight of the waitresses.

     

    Many of us hoped that we can have less (or no)) rain and less fog for this trip, but I always believe there is beauty in every circumstance. The challenge of ascending slippery slopes and the beauty of walking in the middle of the fog/cloud maked this trip a superb and memorable one for me, and more importantly, it is the new friendship forged.