Saturday 19 October 2013

by Alisraa Aldin and Austin Ng, Class of 2015, Form 3 Cempaka

Buckle up your seat belts ladies and gentlemen! Cempaka Airlines proudly presents two trips down south; the Great State of Texas and the Southeast region of South America, Brazil!
IU Day Brochure designed by Valarie Law & Aliah Mastura
As you near the North Hall, the first thing that will catch your eye is the students walking around in black pumps and green scarves wrapped around their neck. Those would be your stewards and stewardesses, ready to assist you and always ensuring that no one enters without a ticket; or a smile on their face. If you made your way down to the field however, you’d see sweaty football players running around in hopes of making their way to the finals of the glorious football tournament. That's just a brief glimpse of the environment of this year’s IU Day (short for International Understanding Day) which was a fresh change from its formers. For the first time in Cempaka history, the Interact Clubs of both campuses worked together to hold a joint IU Day. As the Damansarans transitioned to our new home, the idea of a joint IU Day hatched in the minds of our Interact Club heads (pun not intended) and thus the deal was sealed. Both Interact Clubs made the decision to combine the two originally separate events into one day, taking us on a journey to experience the culture and history of not one country, but two! 

At seven in the morning we ascended on the bus to Cheras with our half-wake faces and zombie-like walks. Endless preparation began, with a hundred and one things to do before IU Day started. It was time to see if the venture would take flight. 

Simultaneous to all these preparations, a football tournament was held in the spirit of 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Students from other schools also flocked to the field, hoping to get their hands on the big prizes that were up for grabs. 

‘Passengers for Flight 1987 to Brazil, the gates are now open for boarding. Do make your way to Gate D immediately, thank you’. Following that announcement, the Damansara IU Day began, Cheras having kicked it off to a wonderful start. Stewards led passengers back to the North Hall; now transformed into the vessel that was Cempaka Airlines, drawing them in with free Kit Kat at the doors, and the less enticing black and white, one-page ‘magazine’ - we are a low-budget airlines! Before we ‘took off’,  there was a short safety demonstration by the stewards, led by Chief Flight Attendant, Tiffany Tan. Ryan Yoong then started his presentation ‘Keep Calm and Samba On’ as he talked about the various wonders of Brazil - Victoria Secret models being one of them (well, someone has to keep the audience awake). 

Keep Calm & Samba On Presentation! Slide done by Amanda Lee

Next up on the line up of special ‘inflight’ performances was the Interact dance ensemble, dancing to the upbeat track of Danza Kudoro. Passengers were then serenaded, Brazil style by Caramel the band, namely Kaye Leong, Lim Pei Yie, Eunice Ng and Tania Ashlyn singing Copacabana. Last on the line up was another dance number by Nisa and Hana Hurst, aptly titled Amazon.

Then, the plane finally touched down, with nary a bump - we have the best pilots in the world. The doors were flung open and everyone swarmed out to experience the Brazilian Carnival leaving the hall in a mess of Kit Kat wrappers despite the kind reminder. Oh well, I guess they stopped listening once they heard that pizza (the most consumed food in Brazil) would be served. At the carnival, various booths set up around the poolside so people would have the chance to experience a taste of Brazilian culture. There were a vast variety of games lined up, the most popular being the balloon pop quiz and a traditional game known as Luta De Galo - a thrilling match between two participants as they hopped on one leg, aiming to steal their opponent’s handkerchief.It was particularly heartwarming to see a student from SMK Convent Bukit Nanas repeatedly participating in the vigorous Luta de Galo game, despite being in a floor-sweeping black dress.

Brownies, pizza, coconut cookies and lemonade were also up for grabs. Pizza being the first to go (no surprise there), followed by the Jing twins fabulous brownies. The clock struck three as the IU Day came to an end, save for the still ongoing football match which lasted till 6 in the evening. Dream Team 2.0 emerged as champions in the end, winning the big RM1100 prize!

“Unless you were part of the committee, you’d never know that IU Day was just one huge jumble of frantic phone calls, bad shoes, plasters, countless of googledocs, and maddening, endless questions like ‘do you think 100 brownies will be enough’ or ‘how many balloons/prizes/magazines should we buy?!' Needless to say though, it all came together in the end, thank goodness. Besides all the random (and now probably pointless) Brazilian facts I learned, I also learned a very important thing; Free Kit Kat is a much better idea than boring old peanuts.” 
- Amanda Lee, President Elect 2012/2013 of Interact Club

A big thank you to Encik Hisham, the infallible referee of our football tournament and also the sports department teachers. And kudos to the teacher advisors, Puan Siti and Mr. Shaik, the IU Day Director, Tan Yu the president, Tai Kai Xin as well as the entire IU Day Committee for running the whole show, bad weather, forgotten props and all.

Another 365 days before we embark on another IU Day Journey. 

“Thank you for choosing Cempaka Airlines, we hope you had a pleasant flight.”
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