Remembering Summer

Remembering Summer in December

Wouldn’t it be so nice having coffee and muffins by the terrace, overlooking the sea? You ought to be kidding me if you don’t agree with me. I mean, come on, it’s summer and that’s how we should be having breakfast or maybe a hefty healthy lunch of seafood-the freshest lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and fish and vegetable salad. Yum Yum! Later in the afternoon it would be great lying in the hammock under the shade of the tree, listening to your favourite “summer songs” which you have on your iPod, and having mango shake or halo-halo. This would really be truly refreshing. Or maybe you could walk by the beach with bare feet, feeling the sun on your skin, the water and the sand on your feet and wait for the beautiful sunset, only beaches in the Philippines can offer. You watch as the sky changes the shades of its colour–from the relaxing hue of blue to yellow to fiery red to cool red violet into the blackness of the star-filled night. You chill out with your friends by the beach, sitting in circle with bonfire at the middle providing you light. You sit, you chill, someone takes out a guitar, he starts to play, you sing. You enjoy, you have fun. You drink, you dance, and you feel free. And you say to yourself: “Summer is love. That’s what”.

Who wouldn’t want that? I sure do. And I want it so badly that I can’t think of anything else.

I had cold coffee and muffins for breakfast. I had seafood for lunch. I am listening to my summer songs from OrtoPilot and Rogue Wave. Everything seems perfect, but sadly, I am not anywhere near the beach, nor am I outside the house. I wake up every day doing the same thing: turn on my laptop, log in to Facebook, check my mails, and prepare breakfast. By 8:00 am, I’m off for office. I stay there until 5:30 pm and go home. I feel like I’m such a loser, just as everyone else had gone to the beach and enjoyed summer; here I am in the room Facebook-ing. I browse through the new uploaded photos of friends-all from their summer outings.

It’s summer and people should be out somewhere-at the beach, at the mountain, or at some friends’ house singing karaoke. But I am not. I want to be out of this confinement called OJT. I want to go to the beach and enjoy summer… even just for a day. I want to go home and stay out all day in the sun even if it means sun burns and heat strokes (well, I hope not). But as they say, quality education takes time. And I’d like to think that OJT is worth my summertime.

I miss the great outdoors. I miss being out in the open. I am not a hardcore outdoor enthusiast, but I enjoy being outside the house, bumming in the beach, hiking a mountain or just plain observing people anywhere I’m at. But most of all I miss the beach-the sand, the sea, the sun, the kites, the wind breeze, the beach bums… everything about the beach-I miss. I have painstakingly asked my friends to change their profile pictures. They can have any summer-themed pictures they want so long as it’s without the beach as their background. Some complied; most of them mocked and said I can have my summer outing when my OJT ends; some even went to the extent of tagging me in their pictures.

It hurts so I succumb to defense mechanisms. I rationalize. I sour grape. I sugar coat.

Doing on-the-job training is good for me. Aside from the fact that it’s a requirement for me to finish school, OJT exposes me to the “real” world. It makes me realize that there is a big difference between theory and reality, that the four walls of the office are not prison cell, but a venue for continued learning, venue for opening my eyes to the real essence of human resource practices in the workplace.

It’s a chance for me to grow and witness what it’s like being outside the comforts of school. It’s a chance to evaluate myself on where I stand compared to people outside my circle. It’s a chance for me to share this summer experience with friends that I don’t usually hang out with-to talk to them about anything; the elections, why we would vote for our candidate, the hopes that our candidate would win the elections, the office hours, the pseudo summer love affairs, the deadlines to meet.

Hanging out with my co-trainees is great, but what’s even greater is talking to people with different backgrounds and knowing what they think about random things and learn from them. So far, I learned that no matter how I try to approach things objectively and logically, it just won’t work because most people rely on their instincts and gut feel in decision-even if it doesn’t make sense. No matter how much I think that my suggestions are logically and feasible, they won’t be accepted immediately by most people, especially the boss if it outwits theirs. That in the real world, I have to be humble because there are a lot of people who are way better than I am, who knows more than I do and who are far more experienced than I am in life.

Norway

Norway – The Country Of Northern Lights

Norway is one of the coldest countries on this planet. It is literally freezing up there. The country is near the top of the planet that we might as well call it the inhabitable north pole of Earth. But there is one thing that mesmerizes people and makes them want to live here forever – The Northern Lights. If you have never heard of them, then worry not because we are here to explain what they are and why they are something you need to go see at least once in your life. These lights will leave your breathless and will make you want to stay in the moment forever. And they are the reason why you should grab an air Canada ticket and fly to Canada today.

1. What are the Northern Lights?
You might have seen the sky turn blue, black or yellow. But have you ever seen a green night sky? If not, then this is what the northern lights represent. Auroras or Northern Lights happen near the north pole and in reality are collisions between electrical charged particles from the sun that come all the way here and then enter the Earth’s atmosphere. They happen at the south pole as well but since that area of the Earth is practically inhabitable, most people turn towards countries such as Norway (near the North Pole) to go and see them. The auroras are called ‘Aurora Borealis’ in the North and ‘Aurora Austalis’ in the south.

2. What colors can we see the Auroras in?
Even though green is the only color that comes to mind when we think of Auroras, they are actually found in a lot of other colors as well. Pale green or Turquoise is the most common out of these. However, if you’re lucky you might even get to see Auroras in Pink, red, yellow, blue and even violet colors. Since it is the dispersion of light, you can find auroras in all the rainbow colors if you’re lucky enough. These lights do not have a defined form and may appear as patches or scattered colors across the sky. Sometimes they look like scattered cloud across the sky or like rays from the sun.

Auroras are a beautiful phenomena of nature and we should feel lucky to witness it. Now that you know what they are all about, we highly recommend that you add them to your bucket list.

Treat Yourself

Treat Yourself to the Holiday of a Lifetime

Working hard day after day takes a toll on the mind and body. It also takes time away from your family and social activities. Yet it is what we do to pay the bills and give back to society. It also sets a good example for others around us. With that in mind, never feel guilty about the time you take off work to enjoy something fun and relaxing.

Planning your ideal getaway doesn’t have to be one more stressor or one more thing you have to fit into your schedule. Instead, you can count on a luxury holiday planner to assist you. They can take care of all the planning and get you scheduled for the events you want to take part in. They know the best places to stay, packages to save you money, and so much more.

Proven Reputation

It is essential to verify everything is in order when you turn to luxury holiday planner services. They should have a proven reputation for you to verify they know what they are doing and they will get everything in motion. They should have 24/7 access so if something isn’t going according to the plans, you have a means to get in touch with them.

Avoid working with unknown entities or those with terrible reviews. You are leaving it all up to luck that luxury holiday planner is going to help you out and make your travels exciting and enjoyable. If you aren’t careful, they could cost you plenty more than you had anticipated. They can also turn into a nightmare so do your homework and find an excellent provider to work with.

Cost

You may be thinking you would love to have such an adventure but you can’t afford it. You may assume it costs too much to hire a luxury holiday planner to get it all done for you. The good news is you can afford to travel to unique locations and popular destinations. You can get all the perks too and yet you can also save money.

It is often going to cost you far less to hire a luxury holiday planner to take care of it than it would be to plan all of that on your own. They have access to package deals, discounts, and upgrades that you don’t. Why pay full price for everything when they can get it for you and in the end, it will cost you less?

Where do you want to go?

It doesn’t hurt to talk to them and discuss where you want to go and what you want to do. They can share with you the possible options, pricing, and more. If you give them some of your time, they can help to customise the perfect travel plans for you. It doesn’t matter if you are going alone, with a romantic partner, or your entire family.

Working with a luxury holiday planner gives you a chance to get out there and see the world. It also gives you time to relax, enjoy life, and to help our mind and body get back in sync. You may not realise the stress on your shoulders or how rushed you have been until you have that much needed downtime to relax and unwind.

This can also be time for you to try new activities, learn about a given culture, and to enjoy new food dishes. If you are traveling with others, it is the ideal time to be able to communicate, to connect more, and to avoid common distractions of day to day life that seem to be inevitable.

A Nomad by Blood

A Nomad by Blood – Liberia

I have always had the wanderlust gene embedded in my blood. For many years now I have traveled the globe working as a quality specialist having got my early training in Aberdeen after hitch-hiking 960 kilometers to find a job, unsuccessfully I might add, only to get involved in the oilfield a few short months later. From then on it has been a kaleidoscope of change and experience.

The oilfield was the vehicle I used to travel extensively whilst money was never the prime objective it was forthcoming and I have to say usually a better remuneration then the norm. It is and always has been a vocation that has brought me change, education, realisation, and just unadulterated surprise and enjoyment whilst engulfing me in so many different cultures and countries.

Because of when I first began my travels and the lack of technology at my fingertips most of my recorded photographs have melted into the mists of time. More recently technology and especially the advent of digital photography has enabled me to record and log my recent overseas adventures. It is those, because of the clarity of the recorded images and the ability to effortlessly store them, which will be my point of departure in recording my nomadic odyssey over recent years. Others not visually recorded I will address in the future. Below is a brief log of one of my most recent projects to give a flavour of my life on my travels.

Liberia
Unusually for me this contract was mining related and although my work in Quality Assurance, Quality Control is cross industry it was a new and interesting experience for me.

On this particular day, 10th March 2014, depicted below I was attending a blessing of the construction that had been partially finished and to be completed.

It was attended by all the workforce and I was, amongst others, guest of honour there to break a coconut on part of the foundations as part of the ritual. This having been done by all guests of honour everyone was able to partake in some light refreshments. It struck me at the time that so many ceremonies revolve around food globally. It is almost mandatory for any occasion like this to succeed.

The project itself was the ongoing refurbishment of an iron ore mine in Yekepa, the rail link to and from the mine situated further into the hinterland and between it and the port in Buchanan where the iron ore was deposited prior to loading from silos into large ore carrying tankers.

My rotation was 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off and during my periods of work (on) I was billeted in this very property which formed part of a gated village or at least 6 or 7 gated communities in close proximity to one another. By Liberian standards it was pretty good digs. The fact that the electric would cut on a regular basis was testament that we were in Africa, developing Africa, the part of Africa we had come to, to help develop. So it was something taken in your stride and led to some interesting nights around the dying embers of a braai.

In fact it was here that I first tasted Sushi, well actually not because I had first eaten sushi some years before. What was special about this tasting was it was served from the back of bakkie (pick-up) only hours after it had been caught by some of the guys on one of their regular weekend leisure activities. It was without doubt the freshest, tastiest raw tuna I have ever tasted.

Work was as usual on most projects 10 hours a day for 6 days a week which left the Sunday (Friday in Arab countries) free to pursue your pastime or leisure pursuit or just lay on your pit. Television was hit and miss so it was incumbent on you to use your time most profitably.This particular location like many I have had the fortune to work in had an off limits to anywhere other then the confines of the camp. After 6 weeks stir crazy feelings make you crave civilisation and a new face. Fortunately for us this camp was situated next to the sea to accommodate the work ongoing in the port. What that allowed us was to go by vehicle along the seaside of the camp to a lovely spot where we could be beside the sea on our day off. A few beers, a braai, some good company and time just melted away.

Liberia is in West Africa and has thick lush jungles and minimal infrastructure and so where we were was deepest darkest Africa so to speak. Always hot or raining heavily gave this place the humid steamy sticky feel that had you always wanting to have a shower having just completed one.

Work was ongoing and the days were broken by early morning shower, breakfast, work, lunch, work and evening meal. Nights were primarily spent in your accommodation unless punctuated by an impromptu soiree. But predominantly relaxation was taken on a Sunday.