Monday, 19 January 2015

Summary of 2014

I'm really excited to do this entry because I would be able to look back how 2014 has been to me. I'm gonna break it down into a few categories:-

Most of you should know that I'm currently working in Democratic Republic of Congo as an accountant. Not a place for the faint hearted but by God's grace, He has sustained me throughout 2014.

I've learned many things from this job as I have a very good, helpful and knowledgeable COO.

I also learned how to apply Proverbs 15:1 ("A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger") at work as dealing with local Congolese and Indian expats can be a pain to the ass sometimes.

It's a little hard to separate these 3 together unless I'm backpacking which is something I really wanna do. Hopefully in 2016 as planned.

Democratic Republic of Congo - not a vacation of course. A country I'm working in.

Adelaide - was there for Sam's wedding and it was my first time being a best man. Thank you for the opportunity.

One of my greatest achievement in life is bringing my parents to Australia. It's a place where my mum talks when it comes to a choosing a country for a vacation.

Sydney - was there for Nic's wedding. Another beautiful wedding.

Bangkok - flight delayed for a day, so I managed to walk around for a day.

Johannesburg - had more than 14 hours in the airport, so I decided to get out and walk around. It was cold!

Perhentian Island - I just love beaches and crystal clear water!

Mount Kinabalu - this is something on my bucket list! Glad I did it with Jason.

Pulau Langkawi - was there for Reuben's bachelor party. One of the best planned party so far by Joshua. Keep it up!

Sports and health
I had the chance to run with an African. I was really inspired by the book 'Running with the Kenyan'.

I played football with the local Congolese here. But I only manage to touch the ball three times throughout the whole match. Bleh. Kena look down cause I'm Asian. Haha! Hello, I'm Asian David Beckham in high school ok.

I've been putting a lot of hour in my weight training. I think I've loaded at least 5kgs of muscle mass. Insanity cardio abs really helps define my abs but still a lot to work on. Have to consider a cleaner diet.

Joining the Ultras
I think this is my first time watching a live football match. The memorable thing about this match is, it is the Suzuki cup finals between Malaysia and Thailand and we joined the ultras which was a crazy experience. The atmosphere in the stadium was ecstatic and full of energy.

Meteor Shower
It was my first time seeing meteor shower, the experience was priceless but I didn't get to share this moment with anyone special. The funny thing was, I received a flyer from a friend regarding this meteor showing sighting in USM. I only decide to go at 2am because I can't sleep but I'm glad I did it. In the span of one hour lying down in the middle of the field, I sighted 1 fire ball and 6 meteors. =)

Frequent Flyer
I've always wanted to be a pilot but I just don't have the grades to be one. But God has been pretty kind to me. For 2014 alone, I flew in 30 different flights. That's quite an insane figure for an accountant.

I also had the chance to fly in a private plane chartered by my company. I felt like a first officer.

City Hunter Treasure Hunt
It's a treasure hunt event organized by my church and I'm glad I joined it. I had a lot of fun partnering with Deriss and decoding those clues and questions. Winning this was a surprise! starbucks!

Break the Code
First time playing this and I'm glad I did this with my close friends. Quite surprise that my brain comes in handy in times of need. Hehe!

2014 is one of the best and most challenging time in my life. It was great that I get to travel and share memorable moments with friends and family. Tough because I have to be away from them every 4 months. I wouldn't wanna be anyone else but me because 2014 has taught me to be wild at heart. The challenges I faced everyday has turn me into a better person, a more mature and patient guy who is ready to accept bigger and tougher challenges in 2015.

I really miss racing and competing in triathlons, marathons, floorball tournaments, etc. I hope to do more races when I'm back permanently in Penang and travel to more countries!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

My Mental and Emotional Status

Surviving DRC for almost 1.5 years is really an achievement to be proud of. Every morning, during breakfast, Jamian and I will talked about how fucked up our sleep is. The annoying mosquitoes, the bed bugs and the power cuts in the middle of the night.

Jamian & I going through our morning routine
I'm really in a bad mood because I haven't been sleeping well for the past week. As I'm writing this, the sound of the generator is roaring loudly and the emission of carbon monoxide is filling up my room.

I'm tired mentally and emotionally, but last night I stumbled upon this Instagram user and I read her blog and watched her YouTube videos. Man, that changed how I totally feel. She even inspired me to write this post. She wrote, " A blog (is) to document my life, not for any other purposes. I want to remember how I felt and how I dealt with each situation that life throws at me." This is exactly how I feel. She added, "Plus I have really terrible memory, I've forgotten most of my past memories until I started reading back. I've definitely came through a long way till I became who I am now. ;)"

I skipped church today. Last Sunday, one of the church member passed me a letter requesting for some funds to upgrade the church music instruments. Sometimes I feel I'm being taken advantage of, I know I have this #faithhopelove project at the back of my head but I don't see much progress/upgrade of the church building after contributing $1,000 to the church building fund.

This is a very grey area and I'm in a dilemma right now. I rather use that money to upgrade the church benches and cement the brown dirt floor in church. Or to even go feed the poor. I really don't know that to do anymore. I'm stucked!

Letter to me
$1,750 worth of amps and speaker
I really hate my job, I hate being an unethical accountant. Period. It feels like a prison here, barb wires around your house with armed guards 24/7. Life is super routine here as we are not encourage to go anywhere except house and office. I'm very hungry now, it's 4.00pm and lunch is still not ready.
Front part of our house
Despite all the negativity and complains, I thank God for this once in a life time experience, for sustaining me, for giving me comfort and strength.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

My Experience in the DRC Part III

36) Boys selling water in plastic bag and people here drink from the small plastic bag. I've never tried before because we're advised not to drink local water. We only take mineral water here and it cost $1.50 per bottle. We even use that to brush our teeth but now I just use local water for that. Trying to cut cost for my co.

Focus on the third guy from the right. A plastic of water cost 50fc (equivalent to RM0.15)
37) Did you know the one doing pedicure and manicure here are young boys. You usually see them carrying different coloured nail polish all tied up together. They will walk on the street and if they are lucky, those 'aisui' women will sit at the side of the road and get pampered. Really a funny sight!

38) You can't walk at the streets after 10pm. The locals told me that the crime rate in Kindu is rising, a lot of robberies. So the soldiers will patrol the street after 10pm. They will put anyone who is on the street in prison for one night. Weird.

39) Bicycles are modified to carry goods. They carry bags of charcoal, thick ply woods, groceries, etc.

40) The internet cafe is cost a bomb! It looks like a classroom with wooden tables and chairs. Used laptops are given and your time is written on a piece of torn paper.

Busy Face-booking
Feels like going back to school
$4 dollars/hr and the speed sucks
41) Currently they are quite a number of photostat and printing services on every corner of the street. They will use a car battery to power up their mini photo machine or printers.

42) Their heat tolerance is high. They can sit under the sun for hours. Amazing.

43) Their cold tolerance is low. They will wrapped themselves in thick jackets and wind breaker when it rains.

44) Bugali taste like mud! When they cooked it, it smells like shit. Really terrible smell. This is their staple food here.
The flour used
Mama Rebeca mixing the flour with water and palm oil
 Mama Leki and Mama Rebeca having a happy meal together
Bon Apetite!
My turn to try
Close up shot of Bugali. 
45) Their hand signal have a different meaning. If you want something to be filled to the brink. Show this sign...
This means full in DRC.
46) DIY screen protector. They used plastic to wrap their mobile phones. Can't find the pic. =(

47) They cut the grass with a parang which is really time consuming and taxing to the lower back.

48) People don't carry powerbanks here but they bring their charger along with them.

Taking every opportunity to charge their phones
49) The usage of toilet paper here is very different from back home. It cost $6 for a dozen of low quality toilet paper which hurts your (_x_) after cleaning it.

It is used for one of my company's official ceremony

Yea, the VIPs are gonna cut that 'ribbon'
It is also used as a wedding deco

Bride and bridegroom seated inside a tent during their wedding ceremony. Will blog about this experience in another separate post. 
50) They look very similar if you don't know them. There was once I mistaken this guy as my worker in Kindu when I was in Kinshasa. Both places are 700miles apart and it was darn embarrassing.

I'm still not be continue.