of soaring & dreaming

December 1, 2008

cool breeze, falling leaves

Filed under: Events,Work life — carnationzky @ 8:55 am
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yes, for many days now it’s been like this. nice eh? i keep going out of my office just to feel it … and to take a deep breath and inhale the “holiday” season … alas we do not have a holiday here just for that so … we will still be in office. we can take leave though. i am still thinking about it. gonna bake those oatmeal cookies for giving away. i still have to get the recipe from my friend who baked some a couple of weeks ago and they tasted nice. i hope they will taste the same when i bake them. soon there will be plenty of parties – christmas, year-end/new year, farewells, retirement, etc.

below are photos taken during our farewell party for phaung who left to work in singapore. good for her. these were taken months before, though!

lei, phaung, me

lei, phaung, me

with laksiri & pop

with laksiri & pop

cida-ait/sea-uema project team

cida-ait/sea-uema project team

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September 1, 2008

Field Trip to Chiangmai (Part 1)

Filed under: Events,Sustainable Communities Course,travel — carnationzky @ 10:19 am
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I just loved the color & design of the bus upholstery!

I just loved the color & design of the bus upholstery!

We were excited to see in the training schedule that we would be traveling up to Chiangmai, one of the major tourist destinations in Thailand. The last time I was there was about a year ago, on my way to Phayao province. During this training we would just spend one day in Chiangmai due to limited time. We flew by Air Asia early in the morning and then took the last flight on the same day back to Bangkok. I was both excited and also worried since we were scheduled to leave AIT at 430 am, and gauging by my waking time during the past few days, I was not sure whether I could wake up that early. Everybody had the same thought. So the night before we left, I set three types of alarm in my mobile phone as it has no snooze function. I am using a simple and cheap one. In addition, I also set my husband’s mobile phone to ring, which has a snooze function. In this way, I had at least four different alarm sounds trying to wake me up. Target time was 330 am. Too early for all of us. I also slept late that night so I barely had 5 hours’ sleep. But wake up I did when the phones started their chorus. I still had time for a cup of coffee and a shower, and off I biked to AITCC to meet with the rest of the group and arrived there before 430.

With my SEA-UEMA colleagues.

With my SEA-UEMA colleagues.

Most of us slept in the van on the way to the airport and even during the flight. Some of us had breakfast on the plane even though we had our own snack box. I had a cup of hot chocolate and tuna crackers.

When we arrived in Chiangmai, we were led to the parking lot where a big tour bus was waiting. It was good so we could all travel in one group. During the past days traveling we had to use four vans and travel separately. And we had to be with our own group! It would have been nice to also travel with the others for more exchanges and varied experiences.

Since we had some time still before our appointment with the Chiangmai city officials, we toured the old city and then stopped at one of the temples. Most of us took photos of the buildings especially the ones with interesting art works. Then it was time to go meet the officials. We were there for the whole morning, listening to presentations. I had to stand many times and walk around just so I would not doze off. I knew the minute I closed my eyes, those camera flashes would go off. Actually nearly everyone was watching who would sleep and we would take photos of them. Just for fun! The sessions in the morning were both interesting and thought provoking. But our group was too big and there was too much information for an effective interaction. So by lunch time we were nearly out of energy, and so sleepy. We were glad there was some coffee and snacks to perk us up. Nice Thai hospitality again!

Keeping eyes and ears open!

Keeping eyes and ears open!

We had our buffet lunch at Centara Grand Hotel which was quite nice as there was a variety of food. We had about 1.5 hours before our afternoon field visits. Then it started to rain. We were hoping that it would stop by the time we arrived at the first field site but it was still raining a little bit. So they distributed raincoats and we all felt like we were from outer space going into the community. After a short walk we felt so hot in our raincoats, as the rain had already stopped.

Seriously considering urban planning & tourism issues?

Seriously considering urban planning & tourism issues?

Housing provided by the city to relocate residents living on the river banks.

Housing provided by the city to relocate residents living on the river banks.

August 4, 2008

Papers…waste not!

Filed under: Environment,Work life — carnationzky @ 6:46 am
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wonderful ... let us do our share in keeping the environment clean!

wonderful ... let us do our share in keeping the environment clean!

We use lots of papers in the office…for printing documents and the like, as well as cc’ing to relevant people. Everytime I print pages and pages of paper and photocopy more of them, I can’t help thinking about all those trees that have been felled, and the effect on forests and the environment, in processing and disposing them. One way to assuage my guilt of using lots of paper is to reuse them, i.e. if they can be reused. And once both sides have been used, what next? They go to a box next to my desk. Once full, I would carry them to the general junk shop to sell them. But it is still not efficient enough. We still use lots more. The best way is to reduce all the printing and keep the files electronically. I do that if it’s something I can control. But if it involves others and especially if required by the system, what to do? Gotta print them still.

July 7, 2008

Be Happy. Not? Be?

Filed under: Spiritual,Work life — carnationzky @ 9:51 am
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Some changes are occurring in the workplace. Can’t say I am overjoyed with the turn out. I want out actually but the wisest thing to do now is to wait it out. Hmmm lots of outs here. Some say just be happy with your lot. My mind tells me something. But what is God saying? Glorify God in whatever you do. Wherever you are. So I think as long as I am here I just have to do my best, until that best won’t be good enough for all concerned. That depends on what standard they will base it on. I think when that time comes, God will make a way for me so that I can continue doing my best, for Him. Be it here still, or somewhere else. I have to keep my eyes, heart and ears open for His green light.

June 6, 2008

Handling noise pollution in the workplace

Filed under: Work life — carnationzky @ 3:51 am
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Human noise is inevitable in the workplace. Indoor noise pollution is the end result of activities created by humans in disturbing the peace and quiet of a certain space. It has been well-known among users in a certain room here on campus that the level of pollution is high, affecting physical health of almost all users. Yet nothing has been done about it. It is also well-known in the past that despite the large number of users in this particular room, there is still quietness  as everyone concentrates on his/her own work. When there needs to be some discussion, everyone can talk and participate. However, recently, a certain occurrence of indoor noise pollution has been observed. And the level is rising. This has led to others who are disturbed to do any of the following:

1. jam their ears with earplugs and listen to music, sometimes at a high volume to drown out the noise pollution;
2. leave the room and abandon whatever work that needs to be done;
3. transfer to another room such as the meeting room (if available) to do some work there – this is only possible if the person has his/her own notebook computer;
4. go for a coffee break (but you can only do this at most twice a day)!

There might be other ways to handle this issue. The best way is to let the noise polluters know that they are polluting the environment and to reduce the level of their noise. The dilemma is how to inform them in a way that will not create misunderstandings and other ballyhoo, leading to misinterpretations. To let them know that if they want to talk about things in their own language, or if they want to argue noisily, they can go out of the room and discuss it there. It is assumed that as professionals, people have to be considerate of the others especially in a tight space as this particular room, as all are here to work (hope so), and as a team people are working to achieve the same goals (hope hope so).

Can indoor noise pollution be a solid ground for leaving the job? If so, it’s now time to find a better job where people’s health is not endangered, and where there’s peace and quiet to be able to work efficiently.

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