first helpx in tropics

AnaAs there are only two days left till our departure for the next destination it seems like the right moment for the summary. Our 3 weeks on the tropical island coming to an end. How was it?

It’s impossible to say whether the stay was what we expected. As we’ve never actually known what we should expect.

So we knew there’s this little island with it’s 3 little resorts, bungalow style. The island has been picked up by Scandinavian “Survivor” show crew – for 8 years in a row Dutch, Belgian and such are coming to shoot their entertaining reality tv on the nearby wee island. And Pulau Babi Besar is where’s the brain of the operation, we volunteer in the house of Big Brother :)

Speaking of which – locals are so dreamy-sleepy, negligent except for the times when you mention Survivor’s production crew. Their dark faces are brightened with the smile at once! Oh, so much is going on then, all the parties – beach party, bar party, farewell party for each and every leaving contestant, every little success needs to be celebrated. Yes, no wonder the boredom of the quiet island and the uninterested visits of German expat families from Singapore at the end of the season don’t wake up the staff here. Only the nervous pro-activity of the students and their director is somewhat from a different fairy-tale. They are indeed from a different world – kids from college of tourism and hospitality in Johor are here at the end of each week.

Mr. Sze ThoThey have a wonderful teacher – Mister Sze Tho (Sito), whose interesting stories always should be confirmed online. The tropical fauna and flora, no matter how exotic to us, seems to receive additional dose of oddness in Mr Sze Tho’s words :)

Cooking classHis cooking class is as engaging as his stories when he tells you about his true passion – flowers. And that’s what comes to Mr Sze Tho’s mind when he recalls his visit in Poland in the late 80s – all the beautiful flowers, impressive Lazienki Park, “nie ma” (we don’t have it) as an answer in the shops/restaurants and dumplings homemade by Pani Irena :)
And from the little memories here comes the picture of Poland seen with the eyes of Malaysian, ambassador’s friend and a keen observer.

Ana setting up dinnerWhen we arrived here – me and Arek, we were both in awe – though a question crossed Arek’s mind – what will we have to do for such a gorgeous place to stay at?

Well, helping out in the bar but mostly in the restaurant and chatting with Caucasian guests as many of the local staff members struggle with the conversational English. And every weekend Arek guided wee groups of guests on a jungle trek.┬áIf not for the long hours, we’d say the helpx is a dream.

jungle guide

However we had more luck than the two English volunteers we’ve met when we arrived. Girls had 8 to 10 hours shifts every day a week, what was the case for us at the beginning too. Though after two weeks of it the monsoon scared the guests a bit and we had our days off with absolute rest, something we begun to dream of :)

Even though the food here is exceptional (and noone in my presence can ever say that the best food in Malaysia is in Penang, I will allow myself a few comments in a separate post). So, yes regardless the food and friendly staff, regardless the calming view of the South China Sea – it’s time to go.

To try another Helpx, get dirty with some manual work in Thailand as we did in Norway, get familiar with new people and new projects.

Terima Kasih, Aseania Staff!

first helpx in tropics
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