Saturday, March 24, 2007

MOE 18 March 07

well, back from another 5 days of 6 or 7 Am starts and sweaty days. some good photos on this one. The lead trainer was Nora, who was pleasant to work with.

I pitched in more than usual, with games from my manual, plus ones I've learnt from the Malay trainers. Also briefs on Kayaking, a smoother navigation brief where I built a hilly area with sand on the beach to show spurs, knolls, saddles to the students. We did a 7KM paddle with the 14 yr old students - quite a bit for them. From a small island called Tiloi, to aother islands, then across a channel with waves and wind to Tuba island, the main island we use on these camps.

I got a bit exasperated trying to coach one or 2 double kayaks who had trouble keeping up with the group because they were doing the usual beginner zigzag path - often at right angles to the desired direction. My english wasn't getting thru to them because these few students had quite poor english. Decided that next time I need to set up a signal for stern rudder (left or right), on the beach, and make sure all students knew what to do when I yelled the signal at them. eg "rudder kiri" meaning "rudder left", (kiri = left in malay). mmm so I need to have a bit more basic Malay vocab at my fingertips, to avoid banging my head against a wall occasionally.
Bagus makaan = good food; Tariq = pull; Lagi = more

and so on -- I'm picking up this stuff as I go along. The kids like it when you speak a little Malay. Most of them understand what you say 70 % of the time. a few have very poor grasp of english. Thankfully, we are always paired with a Malay trainer.

On the first day, the kids were zombies and didn't respond much... they usually are pretty tired as they travel by bus and ferry for 6 hours or so to get to Tuba island. They perked up at the end of the 2nd day - after kayaking. Thankfully. My energy levels were the best so far... sleeping better at night and managing the group a bit better. Some stiff trapezius problems while kayaking. plus a bit of a vertebrae out in my upper back... my chiropractor flatmate adjusts me almost weekly... it's not severe pain, but uncomfortable. Well - It would be nice to have got into this profession 10 years earlier, (now 36) . I'm not going to whinge about it... but I have to recognize that it makes me a little more prone to back problems and so on.
Surprisingly, wearing the big pack jungle trekking often fixes any lower back niggles I may have - the large lumbar pad massages the lower back , and the big hip strap places most of the weight low on the back. I highly recommend the large "Deuter" pack.
I'll be doing a post on general conditions - food on course, and so on later, for those who are interested.

Readers: Don't hesitate to leave comments- click on the "comment" section at the bottom of the post- you don't have to register to leave a comment, just type right ahead. it would give a nice warm feeling if you left a comment - Tafe dudes and dudettes, as well as friends and family. Cheers.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Special needs camp

Click on the link below to see a bunch of photos from the "special needs" camp I did 2 weeks ago. Our lot of students were deaf, so we had to use the sign language interpreter quite a bit, as well as communicate with approximate sign language.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

short update

Hi to all. I'll be adding updates on various courses I've been doing next week, hopefully. Between shopping and sleeping and packing for the next course, I don't seem to find much time on the PC. Just a question of organization.

did a week with "special needs" kids (some deaf). A week on the Reef Explorer boat, where high ropes is conducted. - thats the photo of me above, on the boat.