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Forest & Georgi in Brunei
Sunday, 3 July 2005
Lazy Sunday - Beach BBQ
Lazy sunday after busy week. Slept in, finished reading "Da vinci Code" (awesome book). Did a bit of sun tanning.

In afternoon went out to our private beach. Haven't been there for a few weeks, but it was still pretty clean. No sign of the big bonfires we had last time we were there. Jo and Fin, and Clint, Toni and their munchkins Marcus and Thomas came to the beach too which was fun. Had a good float in the ocean, much bigger waves than previous times...before it has been pretty calm at our beach. Anyway, fun to float on the air matras in the rolling seas. got a bit close to the sea wall on the way in and there was quite a good current going back out to sea there, so a bit of a struggle to wade back to shore.

Stayed till sunset, had a nice bbq of chicken that Georgi had marinated. Oh, I think I lost my phone again too.

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 8:16 PM
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Thursday, 30 June 2005
Canada Day Hetero Hash
Took day off work in order to get the Canada Day Hetero Hash laid....that is Georgi and I were the hares and had to set the paper in the jungle for the run. Cheated a bit and went out in the morning to set the paper (you are supposed to only go out a couple of hours before the run), but got all around the run. Most of the run was a backwards re-run of the men's run we set on Wednesday, so were able to reuse lots of the trails and paper set in the woods.

Canadian High Commission put on a Canada Day gathering at the Sheraton Hotel; luckly we had to leave early in order to get back in back in the jungle to finish up our run. Thought we had it made 'cause we set the whole run in the morning, but Georgi forgot her running shoes so had to go home and get them; this made us late, and we were super worried about getting "caught". See, if you are the hares, you are not to be seen by any of the hashers until AFTER the run, so if they see you either on the way to the site, or even worse, catch you on the run, you definatly get the hashshit.

Anyway, got to the site, dodged into the jungle and got set up. We were setting a figure-8 hash, so had to re-arrange the paper once the hashers had gone by. Set up a nice little "viewing bower" near the area where the hashers had to climb down into a 1.5 m deep concrete drain they were going to run up. There was a convient hose tied to the top of the drain for people to climb down, but it seems as if after the first couple of hashers went by, the hose broke, and the rest of the hashers were very confussed as how exactly to get down into the drain!

At this point, we also posted one of the Beaver signs. Most of the men recognized it from the Wednesday men's hash, and yes, it was the mixed company version of the sign!

While re-arranging the paper for the "out" trail once the hash went by, someone shouted at Georgi...she was super worried 'cause she though someone on the return had seen her. So, she was rushing to get the paper rearranged and somehow tripped, injuring then tendons in her leg behind her knee and ankle. No idea how, but she is on ice at home now!

Shout-up after the run was fun - held it on the beach, so lots of people went for swims after. Everyone was very complimentary of the run, even through most went through the creepy culverts under the highway (even though we had cut very convienet "bypass" trails up and over the highway!) Some people even said there were bats in the culverts. Food was awesome, cooked on site in propane "king cookers" - fried fish, cabbage, etc.

After shout-up, went to Canada Day party at Laurie and Veggen, a Canadian couple living here...however, didn't stay long as we were both pretty tired...I had a long week after being out in the jungle almost every night all week.

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 11:01 PM
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Wednesday, 29 June 2005
Canada Day Hash - Brunei Hash House Harriers
Today we Canadian guys put on a "Canada Day" run for the men's hash. Michael, Len, Pete and I set the run, although only Michael and I went in to the jungle to set the paper; Pete did the food and Len was Mother Hen.

I ended up getting to the site late because I had to get my passport renewed today: my current passport is totaly full from all the stamps and various visa shinanigans we have had to got through. The, Canadian High Coms overseas do not accept Professional Engineers as garentours...yet they do in Canada; how disrespectfull is that? Have to have CCPE look into this one! Anyway, becuase of that, I had to run around to get a lawyer to do my statement of no-garantor. Then the laywer thought I didn't look like my passport and driver's licence picture: I guess all caucasians look the same!

Oh, to avoid this hassle I have, if you are ever getting a new passport, ask for the the "fat one" - it is 50 pages as opposed to 25. They don't tell you about it in Canada, but you can get it!

Anyway, once Michael and I were in the jungle laying the paper, it was slow going. some of the hash route we had not chopped out yet, so I had lots of cutting to do, and to make matters worse, Michael has been sick for the last week, so he has not been feeling well and was moving VERY slowly. So, we were only about half way around setting the paper when the hash started. Len was super parinoid and was phoning me every 15-min saying "Where are you guys now....WHAT...get your asses in gear, get going!" - see if you are the hares setting the run and you get caught by the pack, you are in major hashshit! I ended up ditching Michael, taking the paper and running ahead, instructing Michael "what ever you do, DON'T get caught!". Then, to make matters worse, on the run back up the beach to the finish, I ran out of paper! Luckly, Pete and Len drove up and gave me more paper, but wouldn't give me a ride home, fearing the hashshit.

Just made it back in time, maybe 15 min before the hash came it. I was pretty tired and all the guys said it was a long run, some asking it that was "orienteering" distance.

After during the shout-up, Michael gave his annual "Canada Day Quiz". Really quite funny with all the guys heckling and shouting. The best part was that when we started asking the quiz questions, two guys with signs made up saying "Beaver" would storm out chanting "Beaver! Beaver! Beaver!" as it is the "men's" hash, there were two signs depicting both interpretations of the word "Beaver"!

Anyway, Pete had done up the food which we told everyone one was beaver meat (funny how it tastes just like chicken) and a good time was had, lots to Tigers consumed.

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 11:01 PM
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Monday, 27 June 2005
A Week in Singapore
After being in Brunei on visitor visas for 6 months, we are finally getting our work visas - however - this entails that we travel to Singapore to the Brunei High Commission and to get a medical. It seems that getting a medical in Brunei is not accepted! All of this running around took about a week but lucky for us we got to tour around Singapore. What a beautiful city and really well designed for the pedestrian. Excellent transit, lots of trees and shade and underpasses and overpasses so you aren't always crossing the streets. Traffic is not very heavy or smelly as there are restrictions to the number of vehicles permitted in the downtown core and it is also very expensive to own a car so there aren't quite as many. Chinatown and Little India were lots of fun - we found many Mah Jong sets and accessories and can't wait to break them in at the Shallow Bay Mah Jong parlour (aka Lara and Darren's cabin). Food was also very good, we ate great margaritas, er, I mean Mexican food(lame I know, but after being in Asia for a while, Mexican is exotic, trust me), stayed in 3 different hotels (long story, but we are now experts in Singapore accomodation choices!) and went to the Night Zoo from 7pm to midnight, which was excellent! Giant Flying squirrels were a highlight for Forest. The story of the squirrels was that a zoo employee was at the wet market in Chinatown and saw the squirrels for sale for eating! They rescued them and now they have a big park to play in - they've even had babies. The zoo itself is designed such that there are "natural" barriers instead of lots of fencing and cages, it really feels like you are in the jungle with the animals. I'm not sure what it is but the nocturnal animals really were active and fun to watch, cooler I guess. It was strange to be looking at rhinos, lions, tigers, hyenas and wolves across a moat-like river and that was it - I guess it's safe!?!Makes for a nice zoo experience anyway! We also saw the "show" which, among other things, had some racoons tip a garbage can filled with cans and bottles and then the otters came along and did some recycling - they didn't get the right things in the right bins but were pretty cute anyway! These large part cat part monkey-like Binturong's climbed along a thick vine about a foot above our seats which was pretty exciting too!
Forest and I spent our 4th Anniversary while in Singapore which was also kinda nice!
Now back in Brunei and busy preparing for the Canada Day Hash - well, Forest is busy, I just had to make a phone call and my work is done! Forest and fellow Canucks Micheal, Len and Pete have been busy creating a new hash trail and are hosting the hash on Wednesday. Forest, Micheal and I are recycling the same trail (some minor modifications) on the Hetero Hash on Friday. There is also a Tea at the Sheraton Utama Hotel hosted by the Canadian High Commission on Friday and another Canadian couple are having a party at their house (we haven't met them yet but have been invited through the grapevine!).
Sorry no photos yet, we used our old fashioned camera in Singapore (whizzed through 3 rolls of film - I think we're conditioned to the digital camera hence the many photos we took!). Hope to get them developed soon, scan them and THEN put them up!

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 4:38 PM
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Sunday, 29 May 2005

Back at work, good day, made lots of progress. Georgi producing our Technical Memo #1 (which has been a bear), so that is good to see getting out the door. Forest finished reviewing the Interim Operations Plan for the Sg. Akar Landfill, so that should be out to the Client soon too. Will be nice to be getting product out the door. Afterwork went for a quick, short run at Jl. Muara 370 which is the Ghurkha Camp trails: nice to do a fast run for a change instead of these long, plodding runs done on the hash.

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 11:01 PM
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Friday, 27 May 2005
Weekend May 28-29
Saturday, Forest skipped work again and slept the morning away. Georgi had presentation on Solid Waste to about 250 school principals, Headmasters and Headmistresses. I guess they were looking at somehow doing Solid Waste related programs at the schools. The presentation was sponsored and partially organized by the Canadian High Commission who had some funding to support educational programs. Apparently the presentation went great and people were pretty excited, asking how we were going to implement the program: well we were not even getting paid to do the presentation, so I have no idea how they (e.g. Brunei Ministry of Education) are going to implement a program! Also, following Georgi was a presentation on Lego, so how do you compete with that! However, Georgi did manage to find out that Lego makes not one, but three different Lego garbage truck sets! I want one!

During afternoon, Forest decided that if he was going to take one thing home from Brunei, it was a sun tan, so proceeded to get a sun burn. In the evening were invited for dinner with the Canadian High Commissioner Paul Lau and a Canadian couple from Jakarta who are the Defence Advisor to the Canadian High Commissioners and Ambassadors in the region. I have no idea how Canada has anything to contribute to Defence and armed forces here?! Interesting couple none the less.

Sunday Forest went out with his hash buddies Len and Micheal to recce (reconnoitre) a new area for the Canada Day hash they are setting. Pretty neat area, all grassland hills overlooking the sea; probably the best view to be had in the area: 360 panorama of the sea and the city. Kind of reminded me of the grassland foothills in Alberta, except the grass is pretty high, thick and difficult to walk through; what would make the area perfect for orienteering would be graze some cows on the area! Finished about noon, got about half the hash route recced, but it was totally hot, we were baked, drank 1.5L of water in about 3 hr of walking. Really tired me out, as I was breaking trail for those other two guys (who conveniently wore shorts, not long pants), so watched stupid movies all afternoon. Georgi made good progress on her quilt and is just about done.

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 11:01 PM
Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2005 1:00 PM
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Friday, 13 May 2005
Second Trip To Bali, May 14 to 24th
The four of us then headed off via ferry and plain to Bali for a week. Our first stop was Ubud in the interior of Bali, a nice town known for the Monkey Forest Temples and traditional dances and handicrafts. Forest and I rented bicycles for $5 each for the day and cycled a big loop to check out furniture. The traffic is crazy but they are used to scooters and bicycles being on the road so it really wasn’t so bad – the exhaust fumes and street dirt was the worst part. The furniture hunting soon turned into door and trim hunting for Forest! The intricate wood carving the area is famous for really is spectacular. Forest now wants a door, frame and 2 windows but has nowhere to put them – maybe the shed will get renovated into a Balinese Shed… i-yi-yi! It was great to be on bikes again – a great way to see the countryside and travel at your own pace!
Forest will continue with the Bali trip updates shortly... I hope...

Rice Padi

Warrior Monkey

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 11:01 PM
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Thursday, 12 May 2005
Durian Tasting
Ron and Marsha toured around Brunei during the week and had lots of time to recuperate from their whirlwind travelling pace over the past 2 months (much more ambitious than Forest and I would ever be, staying in a different town every night almost for 2 whole months!!). They toured Kampong Ayer (the water village) and drove from one end of Brunei to the other and generally did pretty well as the road maps here aren’t very good! We took them (and they took us!) to our favourite restaurants and even sampled some Durian… a notoriously smelly, potent, rich, weird fruit that is banned from most hotels in Asia due to its stink!!

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 11:01 PM
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Sunday, 8 May 2005
Temburong Trip #2 - Canopy Walk!
Forest and I must be working on our reputation of trying to kill our parents with exercise. First, back in 1999 or 2000 we gave my dad Leg 5 in the Kluane bike relay and just about did him in, and now, we went and made Ron and Marsha climb 1000 steps straight up a hillside in Temburong to do the canopy walk and see the rain forest! Once again, another jungle adventure in Brunei that turned into more than we bargained for. The combination of heat, humidity and head colds didn’t help Ron as he clambered up the hill with us! The trip itself was pretty good – a whitewater river (first one we’ve seen) boat ride in a very long, very narrow river boat (see photo) to the Forest Reserve,

and a climb up many steps to reach this scaffolding apparatus in the trees called a canopy walk. I’m not crazy about heights but I managed to drag my butt up this contraption and get back down again. You don’t get a sense of how tall these trees really are until you’re up at the tops of them – it was incredible!

Once again, Marsha’s bird karma came through for us and we saw 3 bushy crested hornbills fighting and squawking over some fruit way up in a tree and this really beautiful little bird called a Greater Green Leafbird – Forest was off snooping around and missed this sighting! Big thanks to Maura for our Borneo bird book!

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 11:01 PM
Updated: Monday, 30 May 2005 1:45 PM
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Saturday, 7 May 2005
Our First Visitors to Brunei
Forest and I drove to Miri, Malaysia, 2 hours west, to pick up Ron and Marsha (Forest’s parents).

It was great to see them and catch up on the news from their 2 months of driving and sight seeing every road in Australia and New Zealand! They have had an excellent trip – although they had bad colds by the time they reached us as it got chilly in New Zealand and there’s no such thing as household heating systems down there. On the drive home we did the scenic route and lucky for us, Marsha has good birdlife karma as we saw 2 Oriental Pied Hornbills!! Very exciting as these are big birds and usually hard to find. They were right along side the road in a tree so we hopped out and Marsha took some great photos.

That evening we went to the Empire Hotel (pre-Mother’s Day dinner) for the buffet dinner (more giant prawns with their eyeballs still in!).

Posted by blog2/forestgeorgi at 11:01 PM
Updated: Monday, 30 May 2005 1:35 PM
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