Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hammock system and other photos.

1 Monkeys outside the appart - eating rubbish and being cheeky.
2 my infected eye (common here)
3 my light cookset - porridge and hot milo in the mornings.
4 experimenting with bivis , and sleeping in a hammock - takes some getting used to. bivi held up to storm winds and rain . I relax with an MP3 player...
5 me relaxing in my hammock, end of day, while kids make dinner ... a little break from the little devils.
The short haircut makes a big difference coping with the heat here - I avoid having my head cooked during the day. and thus suffer less from heat tiredness.
Mossie coils under bivi to ward off mosquitoes. no snakes so far.

Busy and tired.

Yikes. Finally update this blog. I was out for a week and a half with an eye infection. Then , suffering from general physical burnout - which we were warned about at TAFE. 15 hour days pushing kids to move , clean up and so on.... weekends arent enough to recover - especially as I am new to this intensity. sposed to get 2 days leave every 4 courses, but in practice, trainers do 6 or 8 courses and accumulate leave ... because not enough trainers available. So many other trainers are worn out, coming down with colds, looking tired...
have a week off next week, thank God.

I recoverd a bit this weekend by doing serious R&R - rented a scooter and went up a 700 m mountain in a cable car. amazing views. Also caught up with an air cadet from my first corporate course - Shri is of Indian origin, training to be airline pilot, want to immigrate to aus... has uncles there , as well as in UK. His father is encouraging him to emmigrate - for his sake, as well as his kids future. Mucho discrimination against non-ethnic Malays here, a lot of it quite official and enshrined in law. you will never rise to the top jobs here if not "Bumi" - Bumiputra, or ethnic malay. other ethnics are Indian, chinese. Chinese being most hard working and enterprising.

Malaysia is pretty mild and prosperous compared to , say Iran or Syria. But plenty of room for improvement.

This whole experience is very formative - like going through a fire and being molded by the heat. being an expat makes you freer to re-invent yourself in some ways. we support each other among expat trainers. Will be glad to be back working with anglo-saxon kids tho... Malay kids are really passive often - as we were warned by our management. means they almost never volunteer to do a job, and you can get deafening silences when you debrief them on the day's activity. (eg jungle trekking). it's like they are on Valium sometimes.

Makes me appreciate my culture anew. which encourages initiative and ambition ... , critical thinking etc. The govmt here is trying to change this - I read an article re "Malay undergrads lack initiative and inquisitiveness" in a local paper, saying they were trying to go towards an american model where uni students were encouraged to be critical etc. I'm certainly impressed by the level of desire to better themselves here. They are teaching Math and Science in english in high school, in order to raise the english standard... the French could learn a lot from this culture... I'd give Malaysia a better chance to succeed in the future than France, by far. Improvement starts by the acknowledgement that you have a problem - which is sorely lacking in the land of the ostrich - France.

I'm improving my group management all the time, and even my character is changing - I am jettisoning parts of myself which are of no use to me, or hinder me. The kids hug me at the end of the course, so I must be doing something right. your a bit like their Sergeant during the course - they resent you, then they love you for making them stronger.