“When your children, grandchildren, ask you where were you on the 5th of April 2019, you can tell them you were at ICCFS Malaysia, the first ever ICCFS in Malaysia”.
I didn’t think I’d be able to make it for the first public speaking tournament in Malaysia and say those words. Due to the fact that all the people on the media team were competing, documentation of this historic occasion would be severely limited. Hence I wanted to travel up to Kuala Lumpur so that I could help to document the tournament through photos and videos. My mom and sisters would be heading up on Thursday, I would be booking out from camp on a Friday evening and the tournament was going to start on Saturday morning. No matter how I looked at the situation it didn’t seem possible for me to attend. Taking a plane was out of my budget and taking a coach would mean that I would reach the bus terminal in the wee hours of the morning and spend a few hours there before travelling to the conference venue. Following a few discussions with my parents and the East Asia Adult Leadership Team, I decided that the best course of action was to contact my uncle who lived in KL and ask if he would be willing to pick me from the bus terminal, let me stay overnight at his house, and then drive me to the tournament venue the next day. It was a lot to ask of him and frankly he was under no obligation to wake up early in the morning to pick me and then send me to the venue. However, he was very gracious and agreed to help me out, for which I am very grateful. With the last lap planned out, I was all set to make my trip up to Malaysia.
After booking out from camp on Friday I quickly went home, showered, and headed out to meet my dad at the coach pick up location. This was my first time going up to Malaysia on a public coach by myself and so I didn’t really know what to expect. But I was instantly put at ease by the large cushy seats and the swift customs clearance. Before I knew it, the Malaysian customs was behind us and we were doing 100km/h under a starry sky on a largely empty highway. The next time I opened my eyes, the bus was pulling into the terminal and my uncle was waiting for me at the pick up area. When we reached his house, I spent some time catching up with my cousin before I nodded off in preparation for the long day ahead. At 6am, I woke up and we set off on the half hour journey to the tournament venue.
The tournament went very well and I spent the day engaged in taking videos of the various speeches given while other people on the media team did their best to take photos and videos in between their speeches. I was also blessed to have a friend who was previously in ICC to help take photos. Without him I wouldn’t have been able to manage both photography and videography.
For people who don’t know me, sacrificing a precious weekend to travel overseas for two days and two nights just to take photos and videos for an event that I’m not even participating in, might seem like a downright strange thing to do. However as I made videos and promotional materials, I realised that there were very few photos and videos from the first few events in Singapore. Hence I determined that I would not let the same thing happen in Malaysia. I want students from Malaysian and even all around Asia to be able to look back on the 5th of April and say that, “I was there at the very first tournament in Malaysia, and I’m a better person today because I was there”.