I Bought My Flight Tickets Before Saying: Mak, Daddy, I am Going to Poland!

Yes, I did.

Surprised much? That was my rebel character coming out for awhile there. 

I was pretty much afraid they would say no. After deciding to say GO to my team to attend the annual climate change conference on the 31st October, I had about 3 weeks to collect fund to fly me to Poland. Didn't know what I put myself into back then. I just wanted to go and see the world. Though, doubts and worries hit me hard, I was like, can I really have sufficient money to go there? Then, a good friend of mine said: 
Never limit yourself, you'll never know how far you will go. 
Tried all kinds of method due to limited time: personal outreach, via LinkedIn and a journalist from selangorkini even reached out to me. Tried to keep it low from my personal social media, but still managed to seek help all over the world. And God was so kind, three days before flying, funds came in. I was ecstatic for awhile. Tried preparing myself mentally and physically to go there. And yes, I did tell my parents - and they were OKAY. Pheww.

I was informed that the temperature at Poland will reach below zero. Needed to stay warm and embrace the cold. Friends were kind to give their winter clothes so I did not need to buy. Everything was kept in limited budget, and also to keep it more sustainable? :)

Thus, as the time came, I was there to attend the 2 weeks of COP24. A euphoric moment to be able to witness the adoption of Paris Agreement Working Programme (PAWP) for all governments following the three years . Follow the UNFCCC COP24 stories here

Moving on to my stay there, it was a small, comfortable flat I could say. Had the room to myself at Krakow. As my schedule were pretty hectic, where I needed to attend the conference from morning till night, so I spent most of my time: 70% of time in Katowice - the conference area. 20% was due to the long journey, and the remaining was just for self -care.

Nevertheless, I was blessed to meet people all around the world who shared the same vision and care to our mother earth, also the locals whom I learnt a little Polish. Without them, it will be pretty lonely throughout the journey. 

In summary, I could say I was pretty active in attending the side events and doing actions at the conference area. Ate vegan food almost everyday (it was freee :) ), learnt to step out of my comfort zone and indulged myself to the local food (was ranting to get Malaysian food back then, haha). 

With newly made friends, from all around the world

Some snippets of Krakow and Katowice

Dziękuję Bardzo, Polska

Thus, before December ends, let's celebrate our achievements and falls for this entire year. YOU did your best. WE did our best. Be kind, always. And pay it forward. Cheers for a more sustainable and exciting year, hopefully. 

Note: More articles coming from my NGO website. Will share the links soon. Just wanted to document this short Poland post here so I could reminisce :) 

Graduation Thoughts

A yellow scroll
fixed in my grip,
Just to see them smile,
This is for you Mak and Daddy.

The journey to complete my Masters at University of Malaya (UM) was not as bliss as it look like. Prior registering at UM, I planned to pursue at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and it did not turn out as I wanted to. Thus, moving forward I came back to Selangor and looked up for opportunities. Somehow I was moved to check UM's website and registered for this Masters course.

Scholarship was not available back then as MyBrain was just put into hold that year, thus I decided to still pursue and work as research assistant to help with my fees. Juggling with work and studies was not as easy as I thought. But I still was persistent to finish this course within 1 year in a half. I realised that things was so hard to handle at one point but I kept on going and said, this will eventually make Mak and Daddy happy.

And so, I persevered. 

Semester by semester goes by and the final lap (a.k.a final semester), I was working on the mini research project and anxiety strikes. It was a battle with myself and the thesis. God knows how much I've been through. When I thought things were crumbling down, I still prayed for the best. And by the time the results were announced, all I could do was sujud syukur and say Alhamdulillah. 

I finally graduated with Lulus Cemerlang a.k.a With Distinction.

And look at this smiles, masyaallah. 
Allah is so kind to bless me with this results. 

Daddy was saying, 
The journey of getting this scroll involves so many people for the success to be obtained. Syukur, alhamdulillah. 
Mak helped so much with household work to ensure I eat nutritious food, clean clothes, sufficient love and fees paid on time.

Daddy works on encouraging me daily.

Adik motivates me lending an ear to my miseries and joy.

Abang's family entertained me every time they visit me.

Lecturers thought me the essence of sustainability science course.

Friends cheered me up.

Seventeen months of strife,

All for this day.

A beautiful one.

The happiness of graduating enveloped,
Extinguishing the pain I've experienced,
It was definitely worth the pain.

Just remember graduates, our success is not solely ours. Stay humble with our education and never stop seeking knowledge as it has no end.

What's next, Yana? We'll see what happens.

Good luck, Yana :)

Rainbow Warrior Ship

A late picture post of my trip to the tour of the Rainbow Warrior Ship by Greenpeace. I went there with my fellow Malaysia Youth Delegation (MYD) team on 2nd June. It was a sunny day and exciting day for all of us. But as soon as we arrived, we were told that we needed to wait as there was an unexpected crowd of attendees. We ended up waiting for 2 hours prior boarding the ship. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the tour by our German guide, Flo. More write-up on this can be read at Powershift Malaysia website written just because I feel like expressing the day through pictures below. Till next time. Cheers!

The Rainbow Warrior Ship

Waiting to board Rainbow Warrior Ship

The excitement that overshadows the heat

A sneak peak into the ship

The 58-metres A frame for sailing

Dolphins as their symbol of freedom

The bridge of the ship

Bought myself two stainless steel straws as my pledge to reduce plastic straws

Lady With The Camera

"Here she is... The important person for today. The camerawoman."

I used to think that I was good at taking pictures. So I shamelessly volunteered as the one in charge of taking photos for Care2Run's event. Though before attending the event, I thought I will just take simple pictures of people here and there. As I reached the event place, little did I know,  I was wrong. The word KL Bar Run 2018 was displayed at the main bunting and I was shocked. Am I suppose to take pictures of the Care2Run children's running? Mind you, I was only using my sister's camera - Samsung NX300. Not with any fancy fabulous lenses. I barely have any experience taking pictures during any big event at all. All this while, I've been taking pictures of sceneries and static things only. Oh dear. 

My mind went blank.

I comforted myself saying that, no worries. Let's just focus and capture whatever emotions in the event will be. Although this will be my first big photography event, I need to start somewhere, right? Plus, National Aspiration Leader Symposium (NALS) is coming up! So I needed this practice. Psstt... I will be one of the media officers there, so keep an eye on me you might be pictured in NALS social media. 

Anyways, KL Bar Run 2018 changed my life (literally) in viewing how we should run. I was amazed how motivated was the children to run. I was inspired how they practiced hard and unleashed their potential just by running. And what mattered most is the will to complete the run. It is not a race but to complete the run on their own timing is a privilege. Never knew that just by taking pictures, I was able to witness the children's characters. It was fulfilling. 

Below I share a few of the snapshots I took during the event. Hoping to contribute more to the society by taking moments to be remembered. 

Lady with the camera~

One of the mentors explaining things to his mentee. 

Hugs <3 He did a wonderful job!

One of the youngest mentee

Never stop running~

The children suggesting some cupcakes for lunch. 

The Care2Run team

Note: Care2Run provides opportunities for primarily disadvantaged children (shelter homes, poor/broken families) to run with mentors who are ordinary working adult volunteers. It aims to use sports to nurture a growth mindset among the children and inspire them to achieve their goals using sports psychology while they are guided by staying fit and eating healthy. 

For further updates on Care2Run or if you are interested to become one of the volunteers, kindly refer this link.

Run hard when it is hard to run - Pavvo

I Bought My Flight Tickets Before Saying: Mak, Daddy, I am Going to Poland!

Yes, I did. Surprised much? That was my rebel character coming out for awhile there.  I was pretty much afraid they would say no. A...