Wow, time flys… my bags are now packed, my apartment is pretty empty and now I am just waiting for my flight home, a perfect opportunity to think back on all my Scouting and life adventures so far this year. For 6 months now I have been on an amazing journey with Scouting, gaining some very valuable work experience as an Intern with the World Scout Bureau (WSB) at their Global Support Centre in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia! How cool is that?! I still cant get over how cool an experience it has been!!
It has been incredible to contribute to my favourite world organization and work along side some wonderful colleagues. Back in February I left my home town of Delta, BC, moving away from home for the first time, to a country I had never been to before, to a city where I knew no one, but really, Scouting is one big family and through my new WSB family I quickly became settled in KL. It has been 6 months of many fun adventures, new experiences, challenges and lessons learned, but most of all a good time for me to think about my path ahead and discover more of what I want in life. Scouting is awesome for providing all of this for me!
There have been way too many fun adventures to count, but the ones that stand out for me are the times spent with my new Scouting friends. The first being an adventurous weekend of camping with a local Sea Scout group in Melaka. I got to experience Scouting in Malaysia, share my outdoor skills in camping and kayaking, and take in the great feeling you get when you watch scouts experience their “firsts”. Another memorable adventure for me was heading to Cambodia with my good friends and coworkers for a weekend of sightseeing. Siem Reap and Angkor Wat offered a fabulous opportunity to experience the culture and heritage of a country that has faced much hardship. Waking up at 4am to try to see a sunrise during the “non sunrise” season wasn’t the smartest idea in the world, but I was still awestruck by the magnificence of the temples in Angkor Wat.
Scouting adventures always bring lots of new experiences. All of the firsts I had through my work as an Intern will greatly support me along my career path. I became a Word wizard as I indexed 400 pages of World Scout Conference resolutions back to 1920 both in English and in French (no, I don’t speak French… but I now understand a little bit more than I did 6 months ago!!). I also had a really cool opportunity to engage with several iNGOs, as well as National Scout Organizations, to study organizational decision-making and how WOSM could strengthen its own processes. I am super grateful for the responsibilities I was given, as well as all I have learned from my coworkers. Lets not forget though that simply moving to KL was a big first all in itself!
Through all of these experiences I have also faced some challenges, but really I know that these challenges are just an opportunity to grow. Living in a new country, in a timezone that is 15hrs ahead of your home town, isn’t always a walk in the park… sometimes it feels like a really steep mountain or a cliff has been put in front of you. Being so far away from my family was the biggest challenge. Along with that came trying to figure out timezones, sometimes I still get confused what time of day it is! Through this scouting adventure I have realized just how much I value family and how important it is in my life. When family is far away, good friends are important and I will be forever thankful for the amazing coworkers I have in KL that were a huge support to me both in difficult and happy times.
I have learned many things over the last 6 months. Some of them just little everyday things, like you have to be crazy to hike in the humidity of Malaysia, that you are bound to get wet if you don’t carry an umbrella, that scheduling calls across multiple timezones takes talent (and at times a loss of sleep), that it is normal to have your kid ride a motor bike without a helmet, that it isn’t a big deal if you drive down the wrong side of the street, and of course that AC is your best friend… until you freeze to death. #OnlyInMalaysia!!! But most of all I have learned that I know I am on the right path in life. I am happy to have so many amazing opportunities in Scouting, to contribute to a better world through working for an iNGO (the best one I might add), to immerse myself in new cultures, and all while continually challenging myself with new experiences!
To wrap this up, I am super stoked to say that this adventure is not over!!! My internship has been extended for an additional 6 months and many more adventures await! Thank you to all those who have supported me along my “Canadian Path” adventure and I look forward to what Scouting and life continue to offer in KL in the months to come. With the rising of a new day, be thankful and simply amazed at what Scouting has to offer, you never know where it will take you in the world!