Batam.

After a long weekend, I’m back in Singapore with a sun tan, a few more mozzie bites but great memories that I won’t forget anytime soon. Am really thankful for how the Batam trip turned out, be it through the friendships made, and the sights that we saw.

I was initially quite worried at how things will turn out, especially with the lack of planning and the group being exceptionally large. However, we managed to settle the activities and ferry ride within a few days before the trip, and during the whole time, God provided us with reliable transport, and safe passage. We were a 15-people strong group, and we stayed in 2 villas that had free provisions (Oil, bread, drinks, sufficient frying pans and plates). The villas were cosy, and there was enough space for everyone.

During our first day, we mostly relaxed after arriving, walking causally at the beach right opposite our villa, and we also went to eat at Nagoya Hill mall. There was an A & W outlet, so we enjoyed these huge pints of root beer float with ice cream. We went grocery shopping together too, and at night, some of us star gazed. One of them saw a shooting star, and with the guidance of a friend who studied astronomy, we caught sight of a planet (Mars I think) and a constellation.

On the second day, we set off rather early, and thank God that we managed to wake up on time, and the weather was good enough for us to head off. We were then driven to a jetty, and despite the high climb down to a rickety old (a bit dubious looking) sampan, we were safe. Most of us got a lot of sea water sprayed directly on us even before we arrived, because the boat was tiny, and the water was so cold. After some instructions from our guide, we set off to snorkel. I saw a lot of corals, and fish along the way. However, the current was strong, so I became quite fearful after a calm half an hour. I started swallowing sea water, and without watching, my leg hit against a sea urchin. Immediately the urchin’s stings lashed out and my leg was cut. Thank God that despite everything, the guide knew that I was in trouble, and he quickly got me out to shore. Some friends came up ashore earlier to check on my leg, and they tried to get me medical aid and a first aid box. When I finally managed to sit down and wash my wound, I saw many friends with scratches and bad cuts on their legs, and many of them were cut by coral. The currents were so strong that day, and I am just so glad that we managed to be safe!! Despite everything, we saw the beauty of nature in the sea.

We broke for lunch, and after that we set off to a small look out point to take underwater shots. During that time I really saw how the class coordinated and helped each other out. Most of us were really tired by then, and the current was so strong, so we each held onto life buoys and swam against the current together. Whoever was nearby, we helped. Some of them also tried the kayak, and I sat on it for a joy ride with a friend.

Our final stop was this really sandy white beach that looked worthy of a Pirates of the Caribbean landmark, and a few of us went ashore to look at the crabs and coral that were washed up on the beach. We then took a boat ride back, where I sat at the front of the boat and admired the vastness of the sea, the wide expanse of the sky and the wind. When we rode back, we saw a glorious sunset, and truly, I just admired and wondered at how great my God was. After a sumptuous dinner at a kelong, all of us stayed up and we had a great time of fellowship and playing cards. 🙂

The last day was really relaxing, and we woke up later, had a giant breakfast of noodles and eggs (and leftover ice cream haha). We also had a good time of worship, and finishing up all the food that we had bought over the days. After which, we went for a massage and shopped along the way. It was my first time at a full body massage, and despite my initial misgivings, the massage was so good. She removed some of the knots on my back and also made it more relaxed.

It felt so surreal that our trip had come to pass really fast. And I am grateful for every moment of it.

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