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Thursday, May 13, 2004

once in awhile, i like to stand in front of my world map,
lightly glide my fingers across the laminated surface,
occasionally leaning in to take note of certain countries,
invoking past memories, indulging myself in them w a slight smile playing on my lips.

to me, the world map is a summation of how far ive made it as a human being n it is my only testimonial. (but then again,u can say that im being forced by circumstances as im the girl who has no cert as her uni screwed it up, thus disabling me from sending in a single resume.)

--

each n every country ive been to, in the past 4 yrs, had taught me something new n aided me in my personal growth.

uk: whined.complained.muttered.cried.n laughed my whole way thru the 3 yrs there. was so isolated from everything n everyone that uk was simply a cocoon to me. it provided a brief respite from spore (oh, how i hate this place as much as i hated uk.) it was there that i learnt how to deal w loneliness n turned it into my adv. uk was all but a dream, never to b repeated again. she did me alot more gd than im ready to give credit for. for one, i learnt how to think for myself. for 2, minimal contact w others gave me the luxury of not conforming. for 3, i had time.

spain: the first cty i backpacked to n realised the importance of language. learnt how to read a map n navigated myself thru the frustrating maze of madrid. too glazed n amazed by the trip to absorb much of wat ive learnt. recall being mesmerised by dali n gaudi.

greece 01: daring (or foolish some mite say) enough to go to greece w/o a single guidebk. everywhere i went to was simply based on word of mouth recommendation by my greek fren who hastily scribbled a couple of notes down for me. fell in n made love to the 427946215 greek gods n greek myths. my first slr cam, made me more aware of the wonderful world of visuals.

france: went there in seek of companionship (another daring/foolish move as it was the first time i was meeting a girl i knew from mirc. n needless to say, i only knew 4 words of french-- 'ta gueille','merde', 'putain' n 'quel con'. 'shaddup','shit', 'fuck' n 'wat stupidity' respectively. im sure thats all the words i need to know to get ard paris.) was a totally leisurely hol. didnt step into lourve, didnt mount the effiel tower, didnt do moulin rouge..... was more concerned abt fagging the 18cm long cig at 4:38pm, laughing over cups of tea n mending a broken heart so that i could move on.

prague: gd fren doesnt necessarily mean gd travelling companion. pple r selfish n i realised i enjoyed my own company more as i slowly meandered along the streets, loosely using the river to guide me along. 1st time i wandered alone in a foreign land n no harm came to me. had to cope w the trama of losing my wallet n lied to my parents that i was pickpocketed in uk as they had no idea i went to prague.

amsterdam: 1 night cruise for a day trip in amsterdam. not satisying in any manner. was raining on the first night, n there was a pungent smell of vomit n beer in the air abroad the cruise. strongest memory was of me falling zzz by 830pm n waking an hr later after i was slapped by a woman i had just kissed in a dream. (it was incidentally the first time i had any phy touch w anyone in my dreams. n i remb i enjoyed that kiss.)

austria n budapest: another insane trip w only a demin jacket to protect me from the heavy snow. (it was then i found out as long as i get a cup of hot tea in my tummy every few hrs, im able to withstand temps as low as 0 degrees wo catching a cold.) beautiful beautiful country, all the snow capped mountains. n i found a fren in shey. i thot no one in uk wld bother to take time out to understand me. she led the way the first few days n sensing that she was tired towards the end, i took over the reins. digicam broke down, forcing me to take pics w my slr w a zoom lens, 100mm - 300mm. found it v limiting. *roars.

greece 03: i loved greece so much i had to go back n walk the gorge which i never had the time to during '01. amazed that i actually finished the walk as phy endurance is not one of my strongest trait. had one full day to myself n finally felt i was home. (i didnt need a map at all. i shall retire n migrate to dusty ancient greece.) hopped onto a bus to another town, had my fave cucumber n tomato salad in a greek roadhouse, did my laundry, took a leisurely walk ard for the best spot to enjoy my solitary sunset. (that day, i was at peace w the world.)realised that all my pics of sunrise n sunset r taken in santorini. realised that middle aged women gravitate towards me.

scandic countries: that was when my dad knew, i was capable enough to look after myself in a foreign land. *smiles. n that was all that mattered.

--

up n coming

sri lanka: a wk at most. gonna b diff as prev countries i went to were all developed. its gonna b a v rough trip, esp w the heavy monsoon rain. but wth, wats the worst that cld happen to me? robbed n raped. big deal. (like real). can forsee, its gonna take alot from me.

india: my most ambitious trip. not known for working well in teams, i have to spend 18 days w them. how can anyone stand working w me? im too demanding. too forceful. too stubborn. too task oriented. too anal. too unforviging. too ready to put anyone down. too negative. too individualistic. too rash. too irrational. *takes 'too' deep breathes. i am so gonna die.

nepal: hopefully this nov/dec. all i need is 2k, a mth off n a sturdy pair of legs. its gonna b physically tiring. (i suffer from v low energy levels. i think i need to c a doc abt it. 4 yrs ago, i have no qualms abt finding a bench in town to curl up, ignore all rude stares n zzz in the middle of the day. if i do it now, ill surely get walloped by jo.)

--

for all the mental n phy (sideways only) growth ive done, ive somehow neglected my spiritual side.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

things had an interesting turn w regards to the india expedition.


father felix had finally admitted that he was unable to get any fundings from both the local community n the spanish govt so work on the proposed building had yet to begin. (according to YEP regulations, local communities must come up w 50% of the finances n that they must have started on the building proj b4 we r over. this is to ensure that they have a high level of commitment n that once we leave, someone wld b taking gd care of the building.)now, father felix asked us to wire him some money so that he can get the contractors to start the groundwork n once we r there, we would be able to work on it together. eddie, our proj manager, said it was BS n told father felix that we would not be giving him any money anymore. (good move on his part as all along, we felt that father felix was cheating us of our money due to his highly inflated quotations.)

so now, we have freed 5k. but we r hard pressed to put the money into gd use for the local community.
can anyone help us out in this?

there r certain social issues in this community.

1)as the men r fishermen, their work is seasonal. so the females make homemade desserts/work in a sea shell company to supplement the income. the females have banded together to form a couple of self help groups. but, they have no proper place to meet (they sit along the streets), n they have run out of ideas on how to make more money.

2)eng/IT literacy rate. a girl's education takes 2nd place to a boy's. so the girls r stuck in the poverty cycle as they have no where to go to improve themselves. (most drop out of sch by 15.) many, (boys n girls), r keen to learn IT n abt the internet. however, when asked wat can the net do to improve their lives/work, they have no idea. in fact, they have no understanding of the internet at all. (they r v simplistic.) they just have this thinking that as long as they know how to use a com, their lives wld improve drastically somehow. both grps need a space where they can meet up for tuitioning.

--

we came up w a couple of suggestions ie improving the working conditions of the women working for the seashell companies by building another hut for them (but their employers might employ more workers n they wld suffer from the same overcrowded conditions again. in this case, it wld only benefit the employers.) or buying them fans to b used during the peak of summer heat (once we leave, their managers wld take the fans n bring them home for their own personal use.) or we can buy more computers n keep them in the sch (the sch might only allow their students to use it or they mite b stolen.) however, all these to me, seem v insignificant. (its all things that we can simply buy. i dont have to fly 93854 miles just to BUY them stuffs.)

another prob is that we dont want to simply give the money to the ple thus making them reliant on outside help n we want a certain kind of continuity for our proj.

--

anyone who is unable to come up w a feasible idea will cease to b my fren. (sometimes i think im a loner bcoz im so bad in pple/anger management.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

ive successfully crammed 5 days of tute into 3.
just take a look at wed's timetabling.

9am-1030am -- tiff
11am-1230am -- dom
1pm-230pm -- adrain
3pm-430 -- dex
445-615 --joey

if im not cranky at the end of the day, it will b considered a miracle.

*no time for lunch.

Monday, May 10, 2004



pedro the lost leon lion.
its a jungle out there.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

india, thru a coach window.



our leaders -- 2 girls on the right.



the father felix -- fat man on left.



the kids




the women -- the self help grp




the proposed site for the sch -- all 11k worth




i hate special occasions.

mothers' day, xmas, vday, bdays n even anniversaries.

each occasion brings abt a certain expectation from all parties.
they all demand that u give them a lil more time, appreciation, love n presents.
but at the end of each n every occasion, they feel let down.

ie. 'first month's aint wat its all cracked up to b.'

then u have to sayang them, applease them, bend over backwards to make them feel loved n appreciated.

i dread all these. (bloody waste of time. all the black faces.)

which idert came up w all these expectations?
(y r they allowed to have such expectations in the first place?)
wat abt all the loving n care given on days that have not been deemed 'special occasions'? r they seen in a lesser light?

today's is mothers' day.
its gonna b a long day for me.

my mom has already shown her black face the moment i woke up.
it's gonna b a long day of complaints which i am not willing to deal w it all.
n i have no book to hide my face behind.


----joraffe----







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