What Just Happened?

The following is the last of my updates recounting my exciting travels across the globe, providing some concluding thoughts on my time in Tunisia and some thoughts on how I could possibly still be standing after such a long and action-packed few months. First I ‘d like to say thank you if you’ve been keeping up with my blogs throughout the Summer. I’ve had a lot of encouraging feedback and I can only hope that you’ve had as much fun reading along as I’ve had writing these things. I’m always happy to chat about more about all that I’ve got up to, so if you see me wandering about just shout my name, call me over and we can chat for a bit and share some insight into the Summer we have each had before I make my excuses and tell you I’m urgently needed in Morocco or some such place. Continue reading

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Another Country

Aslema! For those of you who weren’t aware, I have somehow found myself in Tunisia for a few weeks rather than taking the time to have some proper relaxation time before the new term begins. I’m at a language camp on the outskirts of Nabeul along with a team of people from the UK taking part in a project which aims to help Tunisian university students build their conversational English skills and increase their cultural awareness, many of them having never left their native country. Continue reading

Cambodia Hope, Part 2

I’ve managed to cram so much fun and exciting stuff into my inappropriately long Summer that it’s been a struggle to make the time to stay still long enough to write a blog. In fact, in order to stave off boredom I have been keeping myself so busy that I’ve actually forgotten to leave time for any  proper relaxation before classes start, meaning I’m probably going to just crash at some point in the next month or so. Part of me thinks I’ll regret it in later life if I don’t make the most of this time, the other part is just idiotic. In the meantime, here’s the final exhilarating update of my antics in various Asian countries, written as I went along. Continue reading

Cambodia Hope, Part 1

I’m back! As I write this I am seated comfortably in my student digs in Glasgow, readjusting to regular life and appreciating the familiarity of my surroundings. My biggest challenge at the moment is trying to recall the thoughts and feelings I’ve had churning around my head for the last 8 weeks and trying to convince myself that it wasn’t all one big dream. Part of me feels as if I was never away and that I walk away from it completely unaffected. That’s always how it is, but I’m now glad that I was taking photos as I went along which will hopefully help convince me and I have a ton of memories which keep coming back to me at random moments.

The following is a day-by-day narrative of my brief time spent in the faraway kingdom of Cambodia, written as I went along. I do hope you enjoy reading it, though I’m writing as much for my own benefit as I attempt to recapture some of those escaping thoughts and feelings and try to work out just what it was all about. Continue reading

Poipet

Before I embark on my arduous and lengthy journey to Cambodia (16 hours on a bus – eurgh!), I felt it would be pertinent to share my thoughts, expectations and plans. This blog with its altered focus is going to shape up quite differently from those that have come before. As such, you may read the following and find it a little strange depending on what your life-view happens to be.  
 
I will say this if you are reading my blog and perhaps don’t know me all that well. In my life, first and foremost, I am a Christian though I often don’t do a good job of showing it and living it out. Continue reading

Thailand Blog 12: Tales From the Back of an Ostrich

It was as I was riding an ostrich bareback across the plains of South-East Asia in the basking sun that it occurred to me that this country is just plain mental. I had made this realisation before of course, but this was one of many moments when I just took a step back to consider my barmy situation and was reminded of the fact yet again. The opportunity to ride an ostrich came about after I mentioned my elephant-riding exploits in Chiang Mai the previous weekend to a friend. I reckoned an ostrich was probably going to be more aggressive than your average elephant , but when was I ever going to get the chance to do this again? This attitude is inevitably going to land me in trouble one day, but it has done me quite well so far. I started the day with a breakfast of fried ostrich and rice before being taken to sit on the back of a live specimen which then proceeded to jaunt casually around its pen (I may have exaggerated when I said ‘the plains of South-East Asia’, it just sounded more impressive). Fortunately the bird was unable to sense that I was digesting the remains of one of its relatives (which I imagine wouldn’t have made it best-pleased) and my experience was relatively uneventful. I’d been hoping for an ostrich race, but alas this was not allowed. Continue reading

Thailand Blog 11: Elephants, Opium and Alcohol

It was as I was riding an elephant bareback through the jungles of South-East Asia in the basking sun that it occurred to me that life is pretty sweet. I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to come all the way out here to undertake the privilege of helping kids build up their English skills, but to have had so many unforgettable experiences so far has been just amazing. This thought occurs to me as I consider how blessed I am to do all that I’m able to do, yet how quickly I get caught up in the small frustrating things which come along and cause me to lose sight of the good things. Though this is something that I suppose I have always been guilty of, I’m becoming more aware of it now. My Thailand adventures have been incredible, but at times the delight of being here has been overshadowed by the smallest of niggling worries and dilemmas. A couple of days ago I was in a miserable mood because so many things seemed to be going wrong. I was feeling disorientated and a bit useless, organising things thousands of miles away was proving a headache, I had cleverly left myself with no dry and clean clothes, I had exhausted myself from washing all my clothes by hand (goodness knows how people coped before the invention of the washing machine), I managed to take a chunk of skin out of my hand, I locked myself out of my room and had to scale a stretch of roof in order to break back in through a window… Continue reading