Saturday, July 18

Pictures Of My House In The Jungle

Even in remote areas, you have these standard JKR quarters
so it's really not that bad if the living quarters are well maintained.


If you want to be a teacher in Malaysia, you can expect to be placed in a rural or remote school for your first posting just like I was. But it doesn't have to be a complete torture. It's actually a wonderful opportunity to experience the best part of being a teacher = changing lives & making a real difference. Believe me, there is no greater sense of satisfaction than when you see a child you've worked with so hard & so long excel in their examinations. There are no tuition centres here so you can go to bed with a smile knowing that the achievement has it's roots in you. Let's not forget the beauty of nature & the fresh smog-less air.

When I arrived here many years ago, I knew that I had to root myself at the school for at least 4 years in order to see the change that I can make in the school. That's exactly what I did. I didn't run off home every weekend like some of my colleagues did. I stayed back some weekends to spend time with the children. It's a better use of my time anyway because my school is very far away from home.

Every year, I spend 300 days out of 365 days at school. Since I live here most of my days, I invested heavily in turning this bare quarters into a swinging bachelor's pad. I bought thousands worth of furniture & household items from places like IKEA in KL & furniture/lamp shops in Sibu to make the place reflect my ideal evil-genius HQ. My home is a reflection of my personality. I needed a place which feels like home & just being there recharges my batteries.

Without further ado, I present to you the pictures of my house in the jungle:

This is where I write my blogs & entertain myself.



My housemate's workstation.
Notice the Pua Kumbu. It was a gift from a student's mom. She made it herself & I proudly had it framed.

My kitchen.
I have an coffee machine for those mornings where extra motivation is required.
I grind the coffee beans myself too for the best aroma.

Dining area.
I have a bread maker for the best wholemeal bread ever.
It's way better than anything you can get at the bakery. Trust me.

My bedroom.
I bought & carried a Dunlopillo mattress to school so that I could get better sleep at night.
I've also decorated it with personal photographs & newspaper cuttings.


Even if you are placed in the middle of the jungle, your living conditions do not need to resemble that of a jungle hermit. Don't let your environment change you. You can change your environment.

As teachers, we are rarely placed in comfortable situations. Often, to do what is right & what is best for our students, we need to juggle with politics, red tape & protocol before we execute the actual task itself. It's not easy. It can get really exhausting & discouraging. But, every time I come home, I feel revived as I soak in the ambience of my home just like how Superman flies up into the stratosphere to absorb the warmth of the sun. Soon, I am ready to tackle wicked problems again.

What to make a difference? To me, it all starts at home. Put in some effort to make your living quarters an extension of yourself. Once your home away from home is in order, you have a great starting point from which to spread the change you want to see outwards into the whole school & beyond. You might just begin to see a whole new level of breakthrough & sense of satisfaction once you begin to do so.

Have you put in effort to make your quarters more comfortable? I would love to see the pictures! Share them in the comments!

**I wrote this blog post many months ago but I seem to have deleted it accidentally. GRRR!!!**

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