The AirportThe army took position at the airport. Batons were distributed in full public view. Stations were set up. As we drove off the airport, armored vehicles were stationed at certain strategic locations. There was a road block and vehicles and passengers were thoroughly screened.
The WeatherThe heat was unbearable. The humidity was unreal. The air was still. Luckily there was drinking water everywhere.
The CampIt was very well organized and coordinated. Every minute detail was thought and taken care off. What started off as a ice breaker during the first day slowly built up towards the second day. While the first day was more on dealing with the business aspects, the second day was more on teamwork. By the third day, they worked your mind and spirit. They shake you to the core but in a good and positive way. I do not believe that it can be done. It just is impossible. Not by human anyway. They do it. I still do not believe it. Then they make you do it. Yes. I now believe it. It can be done.
The CamaraderieWe were put in different groups. They made sure that the International participants, thirteen of us, were all spread out so that we would not be together. We did not know each other when we first met. The Thais made me feel very comfortable and at home. It was Thai hospitality at its best. Language though was a barrier was quickly broken down. By the end of the third day, we were like brothers and sisters
The MentorsThere were about fifty plus of them taking care of seven hundred plus of us. As we retire to bed at midnight, the mentors were still on the grounds. They were preparing for the next day till the wee hours of the morning. When the going got tough, they were there to shore us up. At the end of the evening, they put up a show for us. Other than personal satisfaction, there is nothing for them to gain from mentoring us. We are actually in competition in them. I am touched. I take my hat off for them.
They come from all walks of life. Quite a few actually borrowed money to attend. From professors to successful business owners to grandmothers and secondary school students, they all come with a common goal in sight. To seek and make life better. In physic and spirit.
The FoodSurprisingly the food was good. I must say that we were well fed. It was Thai food at its best. It tasted better than some of the local food I have eaten thus far.
MyselfI was pleasantly surprised that I survived. I was quite skeptical with all this camp stuff. I initially went because I had too. So I just wanted to get it over with. I went to look see look see what so big a deal this camp was.
This is not a camp like any others. They were not selling anything to us. There was no enforcement. We were free to drop out at any point in time if we so choose to.
As the day wore on I realized that the organizers really put their heart and soul into making this camp a success. They were all volunteers and they need not go to such extend. My skepticism dissipated a little. I slowly realized that every minute I spent was well worth its weight in gold. They made every minute count. They respected the time I took off for the camp. So I have the highest regard for the organizers.