Stonged, Finally!

Ain’t no mountain high enough, baby.

Top of the world!

This reminds me of a song. Remember this song people?

I’m on the top of the world,
Looking down on the creations,
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I’ve found
Ever since you’ve been around
Your love’s put me at the top of the world…

Top of the world by The Carpenters

But “You” in this context referring to Allah s.w.t, His love’s put me at the top of the world, literally. :)

On the way

In the train Huda Lee & me were talking about how nice it would be to travel & go backpacking with ur husband for honeymoon and holidays. And dissing people who think that backpacking is a cheapskate way of travelling – it is when u travel like that, u actually discover ur other half/ friends true colors more, compared to high-end travelling where everything is comfortable & cosy.

Caving

We went to 3 caves: Gua Gelap, Gua Keris & Gua Ikan. I was so awed by the caves (I think we all were), they were so magnificent and vast! Subhanallah. The sculptures… they were amazing! To think that all these were created by Him, and only Him, that only He has the power to create anything He wants and that there are so many signs of Allah s.w.t all around you. When I first stepped into the cave, it felt so surreal. It’s so amazing words just can’t describe it. U had to be there to feel it.

Gua Gelap got it’s name coz the cave is so dark you had to wear ur headlight to explore. Gua Keris got it’s name from a sculpture which resembled a huge keris, while Gua Ikan got it’s name from a sculpture which resembled a big fish. Unfortunately the ranger told us that the fish sculpture had already broken into pieces so he couldn’t show it to us.

Hiking up Stong

Was a challenge. The rocks were treacherous and slippery, and we had to hike up the waterfall rocks too – this was really scary coz u can slip and die any moment. Serious! I’m not exaggerating, one simple slip and ure done. And I slipped once but was quick enough to grab a tree branch. My heart beat like crazy after that near-death moment and it made me realise more that our lives, everyone’s lives, were at the mercy of Allah and only Allah. Kak Huda pointed out that we came with 25 people and Alhamdulillah we came back also with 25 people.

Hilwan pointed out that underneath a sign that said “Berhati-hati” (Be Careful), there was also a sign that stated that there had been 8 deaths so far in Mt. Stong. All the more to put ur trust in Allah and to always strive to be a better Muslim. U never know when it’s gonna be ur turn next.

Since I was the first sister personnel behind the brothers, there was no way I could ever give up even if I wanted to. (of course mard never gives up, *cough cough* but u never know lah, spur of the moment thingy, anything can happen) Anyways, the brothers were super duper fast! As usual. Hilwan was the last brother so he was always in front of me, acting as the middlemen between the fast to the max brothers and the sisters. The thing about hiking is that u tend to follow the person in front of you so I tend to follow his ways, forgetting momentarily that he’s a guy and that his moves were not very sister-friendly. He can jump off a step while I need to take 2 steps to achieve that step. Sometimes tho, he falls & tells us not to go thru that route. Anyway I also had to figure out easier ways for the sisters to hike.

Which brings me to this point. While hiking up & down, I observed that there are so many ways to get ahead. So many branches, boulders and natural steps that Allah has created for each and every one of us. U gotta figure out the best way for you, sometimes u have to use ur hands to bring urself up, while other times u only need to use ur legs. It shows me that the answer to every problem lies just in front of us, and we have to try and find it. At times when ure not successful at finding the right answer, u try and try again, find another rock or step or tree branch that is available.

MasyaAllah. Sometimes we fail to realise that Allah gives us challenges because He knows that we can handle it. Sometimes we even feel like giving up and He will even lighten our load without us knowing. Allah works in mysterious ways!

Oh and I must add this! I’m so amazed at how Hairil can hike with slippers, sometimes even barefoot. And his slippers are the selipar jamban type hokay no kidding (the brand was “Tat Sing”). Even the rangers hike with shoes on. *Salute big time*

Actually we’re the spoilt & pampered ones.. Zaman dulu where got track shoes..

Touching moments from the pax

Touching moment #1: During solo night, after reflecting and discovering I still had some time left, suddenly I got scared coz images of some scenes from Congkak started to appear in my mind. So I started to sing. But the singing was not enough (probably due to my lack of talent therefore making me bored with my own singing), so I went to takbir raya instead. It must have been loud I guessed, coz after that Adawiyah, who was a few distances from me, thanked me for the takbir & told me that it actually made her less scared (coz she’s afraid of the dark) & she too started to takbir and thought of Hari Raya moments with her family.

Very touching hokay! (Actually she also told us that at first when she heard a female voice out of nowhere takbir-ing in the jungle, it made her scared – who wouldn’t right? – hahaha! – but then she listened properly and discovered that it was my voice instead of some “other” female.)

Touching moment #2: I had Shyieka & Nabilah behind me all the way during the hike. Nab had difficulties climbing (we all did) so Shyieka & me kept encouraging her all the way. So at the end of the whole thing I thanked Shyieka for being such a good sport even though it was her first time climbing too, and u know what she said?

“Aww thanks, I thought if you could do it, I could do it too.”

Very touching hokay! *sob sob*

Crying

This is the only camp so far that I cried a lot. Serious!

During Solo Night while reflecting, cry.

Reach Saff centre watch video (about mother & the whole trip), cry.

Reach home, cried some more!

But nehmind la, I think the tears balanced out the amount of water I drank thruout the whole trip. I didn’t pee much, so it all had to go out somewhere…

Going back

Thank goodness we took the sleeping bunks on the way back. It was luxurious to the max. Sharing time back in Singapore was very lovely coz the sisters shared on our own reflections. The videos and slideshow wrapped things up, followed by hugs and what else, more tears.

Alhamdulillah. I’m so thankful to be given the opportunity and strength to go through this experience and to be able to meet so many active, beautiful individuals that inspire me (whether they know it or not) along the way. :D

I love this picture! The rock that the brothers were praying on actually shows the direction of the kiblat! So amazing right? SubhanAllah :)

Pictures: Mardhiah’s, Afifah’s, Aidil’s, Hafizah’s

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12 responses to “Stonged, Finally!

  1. alfaqeer

    oh subhanAllah! I love that last picture too! Welcome back dear! :)

    I love your reflection on how Allah gives us challenges and the ways are all in front of us, we just need to find the way suitable to us. That was beautiful.

  2. Huda Lee

    Yup, beautiful! Thanks for reliving the “moments” mardhiah! We are still thinking of Stong and most probably, that shall fade away but I hope the lessons we learn does not fade away too. We shall remind each other because that is what sisters in islam should do :)

  3. simplymardy

    InsyaAllah! Still having Stong-itis. Should be gone by next week I hope. Hahaha. Let’s all strive to remind each other of lessons we might just forget or overlook yes, we’re all humans after all :)

  4. afeefah. fifaifo

    subhanallah mardh, wat a beautiful sharing. I had a great time too, with you guyz, not forgetting the sisters that just cant make us stop giggling, and laughing apart frm all the crying and tears we had during reflection.

    it was a great spiritual energizer for us. recharging our iman and takwa towards HIM, plus being blessed with such wonderful sisters around. May Allah make us better muslimahs and strengthen our ukhwahfillah.

    love you gals.

  5. for me, climbing up barefooted on rocks especially provides more comfort and traction. shoes, even worse boots have hard slippery soles. but when you’re destined to fall, you’ll fall =D

    slippers are essential for base camp where there’re lots of small rocks and stones, and also for the hike down.

    and its actually not to eksyen terrer or garang =P

    i’ve never actually got to look at myself during solat. i look so peaceful ^_^

  6. mdhilwan

    owh mard, ive rewinded the tape and saw that the board showed that there have been at total of 9 drownings at Stong. fyi. Anyway the vid is on the way. Still work in progress :)

  7. mardy

    afeefah.fifaifo: thanks fifa! yah la i can cry one moment n then laugh immediately after that with such a crazy group of sisters like u girls. insyaAllah :)

    spiderman_pink: cehdebab good theory! and that pic of brothers praying, is something u can never get in sg. so peaceful =D

    mdhilwan: woah. 9 drownings. i think it must’ve been due to the deceiving waterfall pools that look shallow but are actually very deep. alrite u have 6 more days to complete the vid!

  8. ruqayyah

    gorgeous picture! (the 1st one with u and the cloudies =))

  9. mdhilwan

    lol dah siap! ^_^ Cant wait to share it with u guys on tuesday postmortem

  10. Huda Lee

    Yay! Video coming right up!

  11. simplymardy

    hoooooray! :D

  12. Pingback: My new Blackberry « s i m p l y m a r d y

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