Monday, June 18, 2018

The buggy generation

Read to the end to find out what this post is REALLY about.

A couple of weeks ago, my church organised its once-in-two-years church camp. Traditionally, the June hols are when churches hold their church camps and mine is no different. Since Andre's poly holidays didn't coincide with that week, he had to stay home and Kenneth decided to stay with him.

So it was an all-girl trip for us - me, Lesley-Anne and my sister. We had such an enriching and blessed time together. Our speaker was Pastor Edmund Chan who started the annual IDMC Conference. He's such a spirit-led and charismatic speaker. Apparently, our church booked him four years in advance, that's how popular a speaker he is!

Our church camp was held at AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort, an hour drive from KL. The resort is gorgeous - it's like something out of the Maldives (but closer to home and cheaper!). It's really an ideal place for a retreat. It's quiet with a fabulous beach. For a small fee, you can take part in unlimited sea sports, like jet-skiing.

Infinity pool
For families, there are luxurious family villas that sleep four with two separate rooms and two bathrooms! Lesley-Anne and I were booked in a superior villa (sleeps two). All the villas have a balcony that looks out to the sea.

The only drawback is that due to the size of the resort (the villas are very spread out), depending on where your villa is, you can be quite far from the lobby/main entrance area, which was where we had to go for all our speaker sessions.

If you see the photo below, the resort is laid out like a palm tree, with the lobby area at the base of the trunk. The superior villas are mostly along the trunk, while the family villas are along the "branches". Just the trunk itself is around 500m, and each of the "branches" is another 500m or so. Which means that if your villa is situated at the end of one of the branches, it's about a 1km hike to the main lobby.  

Photo: Avani Sepang
To facilitate movement, the resort provides free bikes that can be found parked all along the villas. 

They also provide a buggy service. However, since our church contingent comprised more than 600 campers, our church organisers told us to leave the buggies for the older folks who really needed it.

Our villa was located at the 350m mark from the main lobby, so it really didn't seem like a problem. Lesley-Anne is a terrible cyclist and she said she would most likely cycle into the sea, so walking was going to be our mode of transport. However, by the second day, my knees were killing me (though it was probably the prolonged standing during the sessions more than the walking that caused the problem).

One afternoon, Lesley-Anne was walking ahead and I was lagging behind under the scorching sun when I passed by a couple of bikes. Suddenly, biking seemed like a really good idea. I picked one, placed my bag in the front basket and hopped on. I gripped the handlebars confidently, and off I went!...for about 10 metres before nearly crashing into a flower bed. So much for not ever forgetting how to ride a bike. Anyway, the bike went back to the side of the path and I went back to shuffling the rest of the way.

So by the end of the second day with aching knees, I gave in and took the buggy.

I was a little abashed that I was taking up a spot that should have gone to the old aunties...and then I noticed something curious. Nobody shot me dirty looks as the buggy whizzed past them on the path. In fact, nobody even looked twice in my direction. Then it dawned on me. OMG. I AM THE OLD AUNTIE.

It's amazing how quickly your feelings can evolve. I went from shame to wonder to indignation to resignation all within a split second. (I'm efficient. Even my feelings are efficient). If ever I was in denial about my auntie status, that jiggly ride on the buggy snapped me out of my delusions once and for all.

It's official - I am part of the buggy generation. It's quite funny, when you think about it, that I had more than one sort of awakening at church camp. Ah well. The least I can do is accept it with grace and humour. And at least it's a comfortable ride.

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