- Thursday, March 31, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
- The Plan
Okay, I'm starting to get the semblances of a plan worked out. The potential networking contract with the dam company has been put on hold indefinitely. Not having any work to do here is really getting me down and the job hunt is not going well. I think I've reached the point where it's time to head home.
So, with that in mind I've come up with a bit of a tentative plan. At the moment my plane ticket will leave May 5 from Bangkok. I'm looking at spending the next 2 weeks in Lao so that I can see Lao New Year. After that I plan to go to Vietnam for 2 weeks to visit there. I'd like to get to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat but it might be too expensive, have to find out the prices. I'm looking into the possibility of doing a stop-over in Japan for a few days on the way back. Could be a neat chance to visit Sneddy and see how he's liking Japan. Not sure if I can really arrange a decent trip there or not though and it will probably be really expensive so I might pass on that.
When I get back I'm definitely going to try to take a course at NSCAD. I'm leaning towards the colour course because I haven't taken it yet and I've been shooting colour print film here in Lao so I'll have lots of stuff to print. The big issue is going to be figuring out a way to register because I can't do it online. I might have to fax the registration from here. It'll cost a little bit but it's only a 1 page form so shouldn't be too bad.
I also need to re-certify my CCNA when I get back. I've been looking at other certifications and might pursue some. I've even been looking at the Microsoft certifications which I've been really hesitant to go for before. I haven't seen a good IT diploma course that I like so this might be one way to get some more qualifications and save me the cost and time of studying for 6 months in school. Hard to say though because not having any diploma or degree in IT has really been hurting me so I'm not sure if the certs will help that situation or not.
# Posted 5:07 AM (0) comments
- Sunday, March 27, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
- Looking to the Future
Well the continued lack of employment here in Lao is making it increasingly look like I'm going to be heading back to Canada soon. Lately I've really been missing home so in a way this seems good. On the other hand, I'm really afraid of falling back into the same rut I was in before I came here.
But in general, I'm increasingly feeling that I like what my life could be in Canada more than what my life could be in Lao. I just have that many more options to pursue my interests outside of work in Canada. I have friends and family that I miss, I improve my photographic skills in an amazing creative environment (NSCAD), I can take Taiji, etc, etc.
In Lao on the other hand, I do have some friends but my social life is pretty much as limited as it was in Canada, or worse. There's amazing places to go to take pictures but transportation is tough and the harsh sunlight means you really have to pay attention to the time of day you shoot. I do have a girlfriend here and I will miss her but we both knew that I might leave when we started dating. More and more I'm realising that the life I would want to live here is mostly just the fantasy of having an affluent lifestyle.
The big fear of course is that I'll be stuck in the job market back in Halifax and be forced back into a job that makes me miserable. I know I can't go back to call center work. There's actually a variety of reasons for this, the scheduling issues aside. One of the biggest is that I already have a lot of call center experience and I need to move into something else or else it will really look like that's all I can do. I can just imagine an HR person looking at my resume, "okay, you did some work for a non-profit organization during university, then you worked at a call center, you left that and tried to do freelance work, that didn't work out so you went back to a call center, then you got an international placement as a volunteer, and then came back to work at a call center". Doesn't sound too attractive does it? I need to move into something that will give me some more impressive experience on my resume and will make it look as if I've moved beyond call center work.
Now the big question is when? At the moment I'm riding out the end of my visa and will probably stay a little longer for Lao New Year (Apr 13-15) then travel a bit. My plane ticket currently has me leaving on May 6 but I can change that. I'd really like to be able to come back and take a photo course at NSCAD and they start up in the 2nd or 3rd week of May. It would be nice to come back and get right into doing something. Coming back and starting on a course right away and maybe taiji too will help me not get settled right back into the rut I left behind. I know I'll be jet lagged and tired for a bit so it will help to have something to get me off my ass right away.
The big thing that might hold up this plan, but in a good way, is that I've put together a contract proposal for some short-term contract work. It's a cool networking project so it would be some nice experience. Right now they seem pretty keen on my proposal but they haven't approved it yet. If that goes ahead then it will probably push back my return date. Hopefully I'll know soon because I'd like to make plans. Now that I've decided to come home I'd like to be able to move along with that right away but this contract would be some good experience and it would also be nice to be coming home with a bit more money to help me get settled in. For instance, I'd be able to get an apartment and some furniture as soon as I got a job offer instead of having to wait for a few pay cheques first to save up some money.
# Posted 1:39 AM (0) comments
- Wednesday, March 16, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
- Back to Unemployment
Well I finished working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday. I've been able to keep reasonably busy so far. On Monday I went in to finish off some things ar work, still have some stuff left to do there and need to clean out my desk still. Yesterday I had a meeting with a company here that sounded promising. Turns out it's not a job but there's some potential to do some short contract work for them with some cisco gear so it's still pretty interesting. Need to do up a proposal and also figure out how much to charge them.
Mai (my girlfriend) took me out last night to teach me to ride a motorcycle. We just stayed in a parking lot and I drove around a bit. Still not quite used to working the throttle but I was surprised how easy it was to ride. I suspect riding a bike every day for the last 6 months has helped a lot. Not quite ready to hit the road (no licence causes a few issues with that as well) but it did help get my confidence up. If I stay I plan to get a motorcycle but I'll need to get my licence first because I don't want to cause more problems if and when I get hassled by the police. If I stay I'm planning to head home at some point for an extended visit so I'll get the licence then. Need to get a car licence too and learn to drive stick so that way I can drive anything here (not many automatics here).
Today I was a lot more down. Basically I'm in the same boat I've been in for the last 5 years or so, nothing's really changed I just had a 6 month placement in Lao to distract me from that for awhile. I don't really have a plan if I stay and I have no idea what I'll do if I go back home. Pretty much business as usual for me.
# Posted 4:10 AM (0) comments
- Wednesday, March 09, 2005. On this day: BBC, Wikipedia, HowTo
It's my last week at work so I'm really stressed. I have a lot of stuff that I wanted to get done and I'm just not sure if I'll have the time to do it all.
The fact that Tuesday was a holiday (Women's Day) didn't help because we stopped working earlier before lunch and then just went to parties in the afternoon on Monday and then the office was closed on Tuesday. So basically today was my first day really working this week. I want to tighten up a few things with the lab before the end of the week.
On top of things, work has gotten the budget to network all the office and wants me to do that. It's cool to get a more networking project but the timing is not the greatest.
Plus, I'm having to sort out my insurance and plane ticket. Fortunately, I have a friend who's a travel agent and she's helping me change my plane ticket.
On top of all that, I'm also trying to track down another job in Lao so I can stay and manage a relatively new relationship with my girlfriend. Pretty stressful.
# Posted 9:09 AM (0) comments
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