Ever wondered what it would feel like to have the raft you built turn over a 180 degrees, tossing you over into the murky water in the middle of a sad-looking lake? Well me neither. But it happened. And just like life in general, horrible stuff happens. And that’s okay. Unless you can’t swim and your life jacket is ruined, then you might have a problem buddy.
On the 29th July 2017, the second Orientation Bash of the semester was organised by the Activities department to celebrate the arrival of our new July intake students and man, that was fun. Held at the Semenyih Eco Venture Resort in well Semenyih obviously, it was a part of a bigger plan by the department to foster relationships among these new little precious diamonds and to allow them to experience all the fun they can get before the semester gets to their head and unleashes its wrath upon them (and no, I am not even exaggerating).
The event kicked off at 8.15 a.m. with 19 teams (192 students) departing Monash on 6 different buses on an hour-long journey to Semenyih. Shortly upon arrival, we got geared up (read: put our shoes on) and embarked on a 3-hour jungle trekking adventure into what seemed like a forest with a little farm inside with cute dogs running around all over the place. An hour into the trek, we stopped by a gem of a river that was hidden beyond the trees. We did almost lose the MUSA President though when he fell into the deep area of the river but he was rescued instantly and all was good as the students went on to enjoy themselves, splashing and jumping around in the water and all while the rest of us who were not very keen on getting wet yet (ayy) stayed on the dry ground and took selfies by what I think were rubber trees. The journey continued after almost 45 minutes spent at the river and we got back to the dining hall just in time for lunch.
The second part of the day was separated into two different sessions which consisted of a DIY-Raft building session and the obstacle course race. Team 1 unfortunately had its raft flip over and tossed two of its members into the lake and out of two members, one of them was me (lol). It was all in good fun though since no one really knew how to tie their rafts but all 19 teams still managed to complete the challenge in two different sessions.
The obstacle course was a bit more challenging ( a few people got injured and all) and while more detailed explanations on safety would have been great, it went relatively well and all the teams were capable of having all their members collectively complete all the obstacles that were presented to them (lol wait till you see your assignments and tests and lab reports and presentations and exams).
By 5.30 p.m., most of the teams were done and some of them headed to the pool right after to relax while the rest headed for the showers to get cleaned up before dinner. Right after dinner, the prize giving ceremony commenced with team 3 snatching up the third spot, team 6 the second and the ultimate champion was team 14. The day ended on a good note but based on feedback from some of the students, the facilities at the obstacle course did not seem very safe (rusted metal and all) and the scorching hot weather made it very difficult for some of them to actually walk all the way up with inadequate water supply to keep themselves hydrated. When asked, Activities Chairperson Franklin Tan said that the Semenyih Eco Venture was a merely an experimental alternative to see whether they could utilise other spaces apart from Broga and while he believes that this semester’s Orientation Bash was generally successful, he knows that there could be other better places in the future. All in all, it was a good Saturday well spent and that’s all that matters.
Words by Calvin Fernandez
Photos by Andrew Peter Lim, Tiffany See, Shaun Prakesh & Chris Oh