- An Intensive Training Camp
Last week’s topic was about finding joy from work itself. This week is about finding simple joys of life in between and outside of work.
My work this week: be an observer of a 3-day-2-night staff training camp held in Bandung, the capital of West Java province in Indonesia. Sounds easy to be an observer, eh? Not really, not when the language was foreign and words were sometimes lost in translation. And it was a test of both physical and mental strengths. For two consecutive nights, I had to stay up till 2 a.m.
(Picture on the left: It was already quarter past one am, yet there was no sign of ending…)
The training was designed to broaden the perspectives of nearly 50 education consultants with the aim of enhancing the quality of their consultation to teachers. Focusing on a selected education Centre under our flagship in the area, the participants analysed data ranging from area demographics, classroom management to students’ study situation. Then they visited the Centre and even went to its nearby schools and kindergartens to interview parents. In the evening, they shared and discussed the information gathered till the wee hours. I marvelled at their dedication and enthusiasm.
(Picture on the right: Parents waiting for their children in a school compound…just the right time to make conversations.)
Clearly, the training approach was very successful in broadening perspectives and fostering a strong sense of camaraderie among the participants. That, I think, must be credited to the high level of commitment of their leaders, right from the highest echelons, who were constantly encouraging the participants.
Over the 3 days, I made constant comparisons in my mind between this training which was aimed at broadening perspectives and the training I conducted last week that was aimed at deepening understanding (041: Joy From Work Struggles). I must say, precious lessons were learnt. My conclusion is, whatever the approach, the real measure of success is whether it brings about a real change in the mindset and skills in people to deliver concrete results.
You may be wondering by now, given the hectic training schedule, how did I manage to find time to enjoy the simple things in life? Well, that depends on how much you want to enjoy work and life. Opportunities to discover joy in life abound, as long as you remain curious.
Opportunity (1): Cosplay @ Jalan Asia Afrika
On the first day, on my way to lunch along the street of Jalan Asia Afrika, I chanced upon some interesting cosplay characters: The Incredible Hulk, Transformers and Iron Man.
And if you are not someone who is easily put off by scary characters cosplay, here are some out-of-this-world beings from the horror realms.
I am impressed by the tolerant brand of Islam practised in Indonesia. It allows young people to showcase themselves in such bold expressions. These young people, in turn, are ingenuous enough to turn it into pocket-money earning art that attracts tourists and local people to pay them a nominal fee for taking pictures together. And they don’t take a cent from curious onlookers who are taking pictures from a near distance.
Opportunity (2): Interesting Street Sights
Adding to the charm on the streets of Bandung were the horse carriages picking up passengers on the roads
Also, as I walked along the streets of residential area with the participants, I was drawn by the lively mood of street hawkers and children.
(Picture above: A hawker making surabi, a famous Indonesian pancake that is made from flour and shredded coconut.)
(Picture above: Children bursting out of their classrooms with smiles when the school bell rang.)
Opportunity (3): An Enchanting Villa- Stay Experience
For ease of bonding and late-night discussions, everyone stayed at the Resor Dago Pakar, which is made up of a long thread of beautifully-built villas along the hilly and breezy region of Dago, north of Bandung,
As we had to move out for work from 8 am, I made time by waking up at 6.30 am to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.
The stay was pleasant with clean, comfortable beds and amenities. Too bad the experience was marred by the intrusion of winged insects that swarmed around the ceiling lights in our bedrooms after a sudden bout of rain on the first night. Strangely, these insects died quickly and fell all over the beds and floor.
We kept all windows and balcony doors tightly shut the next day. Sure enough, these short-lived creatures did not appear because it did not rain on the second night.
Opportunity (4): At The Airport
Even when I was departing at the airport, I did not squander the final opportunity: a picture of me posing in front of the plane.
Being able to capture this shot brought back much nostalgia of the yesteryear before aerobridges appear.
Seize every opportunity to enjoy the simple things in life, my family and friends.
William W.K Tan
22 April 2018, Sunday