Well, the season has started for me with students signing up for Open Water dives in the local waters of Pulau Hantu. With the start of the season, it also means the start of my fear of falling sick, especially coming down with the flu which not only makes feel super tired, but also makes it harder to equalize my ears.
Teaching is something that I really enjoy, and I'm very thankful to my former students who chose to continue their dive education with me, and also recommend their friends to learn with me. There are days when I must admit that I have to drag myself to classes after a bad day at work, but when the classes start and I see the thrill on the students' faces, it just makes it all worthwhile.
However, it isn't always fun and games, and I don't mean the tiring bus journeys or things that might go wrong during trips. Apart from the discomfort when I have to teach while I was sick, I have had the worst possible events that happened when I was stuck on an island. My dad was hospitalised while I was away teaching, and the toughest trip was when Kat's mom passed away. I still remember clearly as the boat brought us back to the shore, and Leon (owner of Living Seas) was waiting for me at the shore and broke the news to me. I was wrecked with guilt not being able to be there for Kat. What followed was an epic boat and taxi journey to Kuala Lumpur, although there were flights out of Tioman but they refused to sell me the ticket off the island because I wasn't staying at their resort. And late last season, I had just finished my pool session with my student when Kat called me to tell me that my dear brother had passed away suddenly. To compound the sense of loss, I'd missed the phone calls from his wife who tried in vain to reach me while I was in the water. To be honest, I'm still haunted by that.
Through the long hours, the fatigue, and the worry of not being there for my family, I'm massively thankful for Kat, not just for her support of what I do, but also for holding the fort while I'm away teaching.
So, here we go, here's to a great new season!