Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Back to the Roots



Late last week, out of the blue I was called to help with running a government subsidised course. Held over the weekend from 0800hrs. to 2200hrs. I was reluctant as I would normally want to be well prepared for any talks or lectures. The organisers assured me that all the materials were ready and that I would have no problem teaching these group. Since it was over the weekend and will be held in Langkawi (cheap ciggies...), I agreed.

The group of people turns out to be 30 boys and men who are mainly boatmen, boat operators and skippers. Those dealing with tourists understood a smattering of English, most do not, some have difficulty writing their own names. But they made up for these with their determination and eagerness to learn. Learn what ? They have been plying the island for years, what is there to learn ? To learn rules and regulations, to get licensed so that they would not be arrested or their boat - read livelihood - confiscated.

It was with great difficulty that I taught in Malay, much thinking was required to express maritime terms from English to Malay. It was exhilarating to be able to share what little I know with these people that we (my colleague and I) ended up extending classes well past midnight in response to their request. In those two days they have to learn compass and charts, rules of the road, light signals, basic communications, first aid, fire fighting and seamanship. Things which I myself learned more than a decade ago.

As I write this, they sms'ed saying that most had passed the orals exam with three of them having to re-do the exam this morning. I wish them luck and hope that they all get their license. It is their livelihood after all. With or without the license they will still operate the boat albeit the risk of being arrested or their boat confiscated...

UPDATE: I just received news that all of them manage to get their license. Augurs well with the spirit of the programme which is to license and regulate all maritime players. This feels good.


On another note, Idham has initiated a charity drive for which he will pay RM127 for each blogger that took part to an orphanage. Details here. Please support this noble effort, it only costs you time not money.

13 comments:

Raden Galoh said...

Salam bro. Kudos with your effort disseminating knowledge to others. I bet they gained valuable info from your session.

I've tagged you for a noble effort, let's make it a reality and spread the effort. Please visit my nlog to find out about it ya.

Take care and cheers!

Apandi said...

OK, RG, done mine at http://apandireviews.blogspot.com/2007/06/blogging-for-charity.html
hope this works...

J.T. said...

Good excuse to go to Langkawi.. other than sharing expert knowledge.

You and your colleague certainly know a lot (despite your obvious modesty) if you guys had to extent the classes well after midnight.

It is true, though after all is said and done - with or without license, life has to go on for them. They live with the risk.

Mat Salo said...

So.. berapa karton dapat tibai? haha. Good job, man and excellent write-up. Consider this kerja amal. Believe me, they WILL be grateful at the opportunity to learn...

Great shots with the G7... nanti write-up on Pantai Jeram coming soon... For the moment let may say this: 35 minutes from Damansara (using NKVE) - CHEAP and GOOD pulak tu!

Am already at home (Balikpapan that is)... alah..

Apandi Reviews said...

Berapa karton ? The nice custom officer checked us thoroughly even asking for proof of arrival - presumably to verify that we are entitled to duty free ciggies. Luckily I did not get greedy...

It was humbling yet disconcerting when they salam and tried to cium tangan - more so those older than me. I am grateful for the opportunity to do this.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Apandi,

Well done. It is always great to be able to share. We may not realise it, but that in itself is an indication of our wealth of knowledge, wealth of anything that we are willing to share. It creates that extra special aura in a person who is generous.

Apandi, you are popular and I say that, as I too have tagged you even though I probably saw your name in Raden's for the above. Nevermind I still want to print it here:

I've decided to tag you for a nobel effort. Let's make it a reality for the that cause. Please visit my blog to find out about it, if you're busy, you don't have to do it. Thank you.

ruby ahmad said...
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ruby ahmad said...
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Apandi said...

Me ? Popular ? Not a very apt correlation. Eiii malulah. Not very good at receiving compliments (it is one is it not?). But thank you so much and your tag do make me feel good.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Apandi,

What a sweet response. How humble and that's nice. In any case it is for a good cause. To me as long as the kids get the help that's waht counts.

Gosh! Sorry for the above technical erorr..he he.

Cheers.

Apandi said...

ruby;

I knew that either you were in a rush or distracted. I would go for distracted he he he.

Yes, its the bottom line that counts, in this case, the kids.

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

idham said...

apandi...:)

wah...i pulak yang seronok baca what u did for those guys in langkawi...
itu berbakti besar tu ...:)

bangga!

idham