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Light breakfast in the morning. Wirajaya – or is it Wiramaju? – program tonight, to sleep overnight in jungle.

Aerobics in the morning.

Briefing about program. Operasi Kelapa Emas! Propaganda: Malaysia negara yang kaya-raya, makmur, etc., has kelapa emas, foreign infidels (of course, they just HAVE to be Westerners. Westerners always become the bad guys in Asia – why?) trying to get at it. Mission: Get to kelapa emas before them. (Duh.)

Other girls bathe before leaving, I don’t because I know we’ll all get dirty anyway. Some pack bags with clothes, and other stuff. I only bring 3 mints, a granola bar, a torchlight, and contact lens eyedrops in my fatigues’ pants pockets.

Collect fatigues main pack and poncho from Logistics. Given 2 hexamine campfire sets, and two mess tins.

Line-up. I have full water bottle (update: If you’re going to sleep in the forest, fill up your water bottle. No kidding.) Strapped bottle to combat belt.

Camp area not far away from main camp!! Argh! Can still hear announcements on PA system, and general noise.

We’re told we might be “kidnapped” if we fall asleep, so someone has to stand sentry in each tent. Not really a tent, because we tie the ponchos to trees and that covers us as a tent.

The toilet is somewhere deeper into the jungle, a hole scraped into the ground and covered by a keladi leaf between users. As I pee and hope that my accompanying friend isn’t looking my way, I think – What a crazy way to spend my 18th birthday, today.

We were given plastic bag of food: 2 packets of curry Maggi, a packet of sugar, two Boh tea bags, four packets of 10 sen biscuits, a packet of uncooked rice, two tins of chicken and potato curry, two tins of sardines (but no can opener), plastic forks and spoons, and 2 pears.

After cooking curry Maggi and half-done rice with tinned curry (also had sardines, but no can opener. Duh.), we fall asleep. Joan, Ching, and I stand sentry after dinner until midnight. After that, we ask for swap but Uzi and Elsie sleep hard. The only exception is Maxis, who slurs, “Boleh kah kalau inda payah berjaga?”


“Saya mengantuk bah ni.”

Joan, Ching, and I curse as we stand sentry for another hour, before forcing the three awake. Only Elsie and Maxis wake up. Uzi never does, and sleeps throughout the night. She later says she did stand sentry, but with her eyes closed.

Conversations heard on walkie-talkie: 2 sent home due to muntah-muntah, 1 asthma.

Told that we might be attacked by “guerillas” in the morning. Never happened.

Our TPK, Mahadie tells us to clear up camp area before going home in the morning. Clean it up, everything, he says, because this jungle has penunggu. We get out of jungle at around 8:30 am.

Trainees like to mimic Mahadie behind his back: “Berikan tepukan kepada anda sendiri! Saya bangga dengan anda!”

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