Monday, December 7, 2009

Last Few Months

Slacking with this just like most things…

Much has happened since I last updated this blog.

I fired my first gun back in August. 6 shooter. Tight.

Late September I ended up going to Pulau Weh which is a small island located just North of Sumatera. Tom, Charlie and I flew into Banda Aceh (still mainland Sumatera just south of Pulau Weh) and took a ferry to the island, then caught a bus to the area of the island we were staying at.

Once we got to the other side of the island things were extremely eerie. It almost felt as if that side of the island had been deserted. There was a long stretch of that side of the island with a ton of guesthouses but as we walked along we could rarely find anyone at any of these places. We needed a room and we had the hardest time trying to find an area that actually had people working. Eventually we found some signs of life and were able to book rooms. Tom and Charlie had theirs and I had mine. Both of our huts were right on the water and this was our view…

It was a holiday where all we wanted to do was relax and that’s all we did. It’s always nice to wake up every morning and move from your bed right into a hammock. Never bring “A Brief History of Space and Time” by Stephen Hawking when you are trying to relax, trust me. Other than lying in a hammock for most of the day we really didn’t do much else. We did find Monopoly and Scrabble at the Restaurant of our guesthouse which we did get quite addicted to. There wasn’t much alcohol on the island unless you were willing to pay through the roof for it so the three of us had ourselves a bit of a detox week.

Charlie and I did get to do a bit of snorkeling which was awesome. It was my first time so I was stoked. The reef was apparently “dead” due to the giant Tsunami that crashed through there a few years back but I still thought what I saw was amazing. We wanted to take photos with Charlie’s new underwater camera but right when we got it in the water it stopped working. So much for waterproof.

It was all good up until the day of snorkeling then things took a turn for the worse…

After the morning of snorkeling we met back up with Tom and he was complaining about something in his eye. He attempted to get whatever it was out of his eye but had no luck. As the day went on his eye seemed to bother him more and more. We made guesses about what it is but we really had no clue.

The next day Charlie and I had made plans to head to another side of this smaller island to do some more snorkeling. We heard the reef there was extremely alive and we were really looking forward to it. Like I said things took a turn…

Charlie woke the next day complaining about her eye. She was having the same problem that Tom was having. That was our last day in Pulau Weh. We had to get back to Banda Aceh that night because the next morning we had a flight from there to Medan. We got back to Aceh that evening and we booked a room for the night at this swank little place. Tom’s infection had spread to both eyes and Charlie’s one was getting worse. The next morning was when it reached me. I woke up having a little bit of trouble trying to open my one eye so I knew I had it. In the end we found out it seemed to be Pink Eye. You never want it. It’s hell. We got some drops in Aceh but had to take the next day off from work to sit in containment at their house. The trip was nice until the eye infection.

After the trip was when I started full time at my new job. I now work at the same school as Tom and Charlie, SIA (Singapore International Academy). I much prefer SIA over IEC. IEC is a language school but SIA is an actual school. The children seem like they actually want to be at school instead of IEC where if you are teaching an evening class most of the students don’t seem too happy to be there.

I do have a bit more work to do at my new job, i.e. marking and writing tests/exams but I’m getting use to it. It’s more work but it still keeps me interested. A big change with this school is that I have the same 6 classes every week at the same times. At IEC I would have, on average, 20 different classes in a week. It’s much easier to get to know your students when you have less of them and see them more often.

We celebrated Halloween at school which was fly. I was in charge of planning and building a Haunted House, first time ever, also fly. My main goal was to make the kids so terrified that they would cry. It worked. Tears were shed all through my Haunted maze. I was more focused on the maze then my costume though. My original idea was a bit shit, not worth mentioning. I ended up having an idea, kind of last minute but I knew it would work. I decided to ask the principal if I could try on the student uniform in the largest size they had. I actually didn’t need the largest I went down one size and was able to pull it off. Come Halloween I made sure to slick my hair down to the side and wear large nerdy classes and a tall pair of white socks. I don’t even think I have a really good photo of me in the get up which is a bit of a bummer. I thought the kids would think it was hilarious but most of them just asked me why I was wearing their uniform…

November just flew by. I did get a free “vacation” from the school, which was nice. I had to go to Penang Malaysia to get my new work Visa. I spent about 6 whole days there which was a great little break from work. I took out a bike while I was there and drove it all around the island on my last full day. I didn’t know what I would be back there so I wanted to make sure I saw a few new things while I was there.

The drive around the Island was great. There was nothing but endless winding roads on a really beautiful day. I stopped at a Butterfly Farm which was really interested and educational of course. Further around the island I found what was almost like a hidden waterfall. You had to park and walk a bit to this area with a really amazing waterfall rolling over these rocks. It was something else. Next I found a tropical fruit farm that held tours. I wish I took the tour to have the fresh fruit buffet after but I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to finish the rest of the island. I passed and just had some fresh juice while enjoying the view. The rest of the trip got me back to the heart of Georgetown, the more populated part of the island. It was pretty wild to open up that little motorbike on that small bit of highway they had.

That night was my last night in Penang. I headed back to the night market that night to take one last stroll through to see if I could find some Christmas gifts.

Since then I have been back in Medan just working and waiting for the Christmas Holiday when my sister gets here. She will be here a week tomorrow which is wild. I’m sure this place will blow her mind. I have put together a pretty intense itinerary involving elephant rides in the jungle, tubing down rivers, jungle treks, wild orangutans in their natural habitat, bat caves, volcano climbing and relaxing next to one of the world’s largest crater lakes. We are planning to do these 2 weeks of intense travelling the best way… on my motorbike. I hope our asses can take it. I’ll let you know.

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