Winding down

Hiya there!

I hope you’ve been doing well. Yeah, I know, I was away again for too long. My apologies which is why I’m committing to writing this post because it’s the start of a new semester tomorrow and who knows when I will be back.

(I hope to be back soon though)

Let’s catch up!

I wrapped up the last semester in August and had a 3 weeks break before I began my 4 week attachment.

Man, those 3 weeks were amazing yet busy.

I did quite a lot in 3 weeks actually. I began my driving lessons and I can so far say that I’m a total wreck because I can’t even keep my car in the centre of the line which is something I don’t get. And I can’t move on to learning other stuff because I can’t keep my car in the centre. Sad life.

I tried to commit to going for Taekwondo classes but only managed to attend 1 session because I was busy. I took up Taekwondo in school this July and it’s been tough but I’m determined to keep going because I want to instill discipline in myself and learn how to protect myself.

What else? I took up a coding workshop that was offered by the School of Info-Communication Technology in my school and attended 3 out of 4 workshops. I learned how to code in HTML (hyper-text markup language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) and dabbled in a little of JavaScript as well. The main purpose of this workshop is to teach participants how to code to be able to set up their own website. Though  I was quite slow during the workshops, I’m still going to retain all the materials that I have from the workshop and try to accomplish this on my own someday.

I also had a camp which I was in-charge of. This camp is called the Discovery Camp and it is for secondary school kids and it’s for us to show them what the School of Health Sciences is about so that they may consider joining us in the future after their national exams.

Oh my gosh, this camp was so tiring. We were short on helpers this year so for those of us who are in the camp had to step up and take up more roles to make sure everything went smoothly. We spent 2 full days preparing for the camp and another 2 days were for carrying out the actual camp. It all went well albeit it was tiring but I had a good night’s sleep after the camp was over. Like, literally.

After all the camp madness was over, I took a short break from the hustle and bustle of the city life and went to Malaysia for 2 days along with most of my family and cousins. Another reason we all went there was to celebrate Eid Al-Adha, which is a festival of sacrifice. 

This short getaway was what I needed except that it was too short. We stayed at my grandparent’s place while over there and it is so quiet and peaceful up there because there is no internet, landline or television. You are in a true sense really disconnected from the world. And I admit, for a moment, I thought to myself, “If only I could have this peace and quiet everyday”.

Anyways, moving on…

I had my attachment, of course. 4 weeks long- 2 weeks at IMH (Institute of Mental Health) and another 2 weeks at KK Women’s and Children Hospital.

I really enjoyed all 4 weeks. IMH was actually fun. Yes, there was the initial perception I had in my mind on how to interact with mentally ill patients. But, after a few days of being around them, I actually began to enjoy it and found that the stigma in my mind against these people was slowly being broken down.

It was so fun that I actually looked forward to work everyday because my only job everyday was to engage the patients in conversations or to keep them occupied. Ain’t that amazing?

Yes, once or twice, things got out of hand and the patients got aggressive but not physically, only verbally. So, things were still pretty okay.

And then, there was KK Hospital. I spent a week in the obstetric ward and a week in the gynaecology ward.

It was pretty okay but on one of the days, I was assigned to the nursery and I almost went mad. It was non-stop work of feeding the babies, changing the babies, bathing them and measuring their vital signs.But they were all so damn cute.

And I got a new admission for this baby that was just 1 hour old when it came to the nursery and its mind-boggling to think that just 1 hour prior, this baby was someone’s womb.

Besides all that, I, of course, went out with my friends. With one group of friends, I went to Pasir Ris beach.

And with my other friend, we went to Ikea and then to Hougang Mall where I tried NeNe Chicken for the first time. I got 2 pieces of fried chicken with this sauce called The Freaking Hot sauce which is really freaking hot.

I have a high tolerance for spicy foods but this one really got the best of me. I had tears streaming down my face as I ate my chicken. I will definitely go back again but maybe this time, I’ll have a milder sauce
I also met up with my best friend Gracelyn on 2 separate occasions and one time we went karaoke-ing and the other one was just a simple lunch date with her at Swensen’s where we ate a lot and had a real food coma afterwards. Because, after lunch, we went back to my place and ended up crashing on the sofa together.

I also attended my uncle’s graduation which took place at SIM this past week and I’m really proud of him for graduating.

And just yesterday, me and my friends took part in a casualty exercise run by MOH and Khoo Teck Puat hospital. The purpose of this exercise is to establish emergency preparedness in times of emergency exactly like when an emergency will happen such as a bomb blast. Me and my friends were all casualties. And for the most part, we sat around waiting for our turn to become casualties but when we did, it was actually fun because there is nothing like lying in a bed and being pushed around. But hey, we did it man.

The rest of the time was for family and working at my mum’s restaurant twice a week.

How could I forget? Of course, I baked! It’s not counted as a holiday until I bake something. But this time, I baked both sweet and savoury. I baked cream cheese frosted cookies (recipe at: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/08/03/cream-cheese-sugar-cookies/ ) as well as my staple chewy chocolate chunk cookies (recipe at: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/05/13/chewy-chocolate-chunk-cookies/ )

As for the savoury dishes, I made Shepherd’s pie twice. Once with lamb and the other time with chicken. I don’t really have a recipe for this because I eye-balled the recipe and just threw it together as I went along. But I’ll just give you a rundown of what went into my dish but you can switch it up and add whatever you want to add or leave out.

My version:

3 large potatoes, boiled and mashed

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, thinly sliced

Green peas ( Add as much or as little as you want or leave it out completely)

1 chicken breast, cut into small cubes

A lot of cheese

1 egg yolk

Salt

Oil

 

Preparations:

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cut up your potatoes into cubes and begin boiling them in hot water. While your potatoes are cooking, you may begin to saute your onions in some oil over medium heat. Once your onions are slightly cooked, you may add in the carrot, green peas and chicken and continue cooking. Season with salt.

Once the chicken has turned white, its cooked, so take it off and turn off the stove.After your potatoes are boiled, take the skin off the potatoes and mash them all up in a big bowl. Add an egg yolk, salt and a small handful of cheese into the potatoes and mix it all up. You may add any kind of cheese you want. I used “pizza topping” cheese that I had.

Begin layering in your baking dish. Spread out the chicken filling as the base in your baking dish. You can layer as thinly as you want but ideally it should be about half an inch. Spread the mash potato topping on top of the chicken. Add more cheese on top and place in the oven to bake for about 20-25 minutes.

This recipe makes a lot. I had enough to last me for 2 days and basically just ate Shepherd’s pie for every meal.

So, that was my holidays. I hope you haven’t been too busy lately.

If you are, slow down and relax for a bit if not, you’ll feel burnt out.

Wish me luck for the upcoming semester.

Ciao!