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Archive for the ‘Trips and Travels’ Category

I went to Nadi, (TPAF, Namaka), to train the trainers for this project we did for this customer yesterday last week Friday. It was the second session to train them on a very simple first phase (out of three) of this project. The first time they funded the return flight ticket; unfortunately, this time they cut down their budget and provided a four wheel drive pickup for me.

As planned, I woke up at 4:30am, got myself ready and revised my training manual while I was waiting for the pickup. They (an Indian driver and a Fijian gal) got to my place at 5:15am and stopped at service station for coffee and hot bread before we left Suva around 5:30am.

It was a cold and drizzling morning with a pitch black sky and not a single soul on the road until we pass Lami. We had a small chat on the road and found out that the driver is very fluent in Fijian. He conversed with the girl in Fijian nonstop to keep himself awake or just being his talkative nature.

They laughed their heads off several times in their conversations and checked back at me a few times to see how I was doing. Myself being a quiet nature, I didn’t/couldn’t join in their conversation and just dozed off at the back.

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Just spreading this wonderful opportunity to all those travel bloggers who like to visit Indonesia and participate in this event. Early this year, I went to Bali for similar event; I had a great time there, met lots of people and learn new things. I wish I could go again, but I doubt it since I’m not really a travel blogger. Anyhow…the following is an abstract from the GV email I got, read on for detail info as well:

Pesta Blogger 2008

Indonesian Bloggers are having the 2nd national gathering next month on the November 22nd, last year we managed to get 500 bloggers from all over Indonesia to come.

This year hopefully we can get up to 1000 bloggers to attend the whole day event. The theme for this year is blogging for society.

Leading to that, as a part of the program to promote Indonesia tourism, supported by Indonesian Ministry of Cultural and Tourism, we would like to invite several international bloggers from any country to come and have a trip to three cities (Bali, Jogjakarta, Jakarta) in Indonesia leading to the event.

We are looking for bloggers (travel bloggers) that can post their experience, photos, people they meet, basically blogging about Indonesia and Indonesian people, and join the event.

The period for this trip is between Nov 17 – Nov 22 2009 and this is the itinerary:

  1. Denpasar, Bali (Mon, Nov 17 – Tue, Nov 18)
  2. Jogjakarta (Wed, Nov 19 – Thu, Nov 20)
  3. Jakarta (Fri, Nov 21 – Sat, Nov 22)

All expense will be covered, including flight ticket from your country to Indonesia and back.

And read more about the event in detail below. Their site is fully in Indonesian language but this is from email attachment and it’s in English, so dumping it directly here.

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Consular Services in Fiji

These few months I’ve been busy running around arranging things for various visa applications. Here are my experiences, as a Myanmar passport holder, with different consular services in Fiji. Depending on the type of visa application, type of passport and your situation, the services might be different. This is entirely based on my personal application experiences.

Most visa application takes 3 days to 2 weeks of processing period and 0 to 210+ FJD visa fee. Most visa application requires you to show the followings:

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Back from Bali

Just pop in to say, I’m back in Fiji and will be posting about Bali trip soon. For now I’m just resizing the photos and uploading a few on Flickr. Flickr keeps screwing up my uploads, it’s just not uploading well at all. Tried direct upload from the web as well as using the Flickr Uploadr but still not working as it should be. May be their server’s over heated, I’ll try again later.

Grand Hyatt Resort8 Grand Hyatt Resort11

It was very tiring yet very informational trip for me. Met lots of new faces and enjoyed talking with a few. Some of the discussions in the conference were very heated and too advance for me to understand but it was a good listening and enjoyed taking notes. I took a few videos of the parallel sessions but not sure whether to upload them online or not. May be not.

GIMD9 - Global Voices on the featured slide - 3 slides about GV been featured Chow Time - Tea Break

The conference was not really for me (actually almost none at all) but I’m glad to have attended such event and enjoyed my new found experiences. We couldn’t get to visit anywhere, not even to Bali town, except a day trip to Yogakarta. No shopping nor swimming for me. There are lots of beautiful swimming pools in the resort and the lovely beach in front but I couldn’t even dip my feet in there due to very short stay and very tight/packed schedules. :( So sad.

Dance3 Parallel SessionI - The ME

Anyhow, now I’m back and catching up news and feeds on my GReader and twitter; a lot happened while I was a way for a week. Gosh I couldn’t even leave my eyes away from you for a bit and now see what happen! There goes Nargis, Nargis, Nargis and Myanmar, Myanmar, Myanmar almost every news feeds (I see Mong done a GREAT job covering the news on GV, many thanks) and now it’s China earthquake, earthquake. Geez the world is such a mess! Alright stay calm, don’t worry, I’m back so everything will be alright and stay tune with mayvelous. (Yah right! hehe) My bad, I shouldn’t be making jokes as serious things happening all over the world, but then laughter is the best medicine sometimes right? :)

To Bali

I’ll be going to Denpasar, Bali next week. I’m taking Sydney – Kuala Lumpur – Denpasar flight route and gonna stay there for 3 days; 2 days on flight so total of 5 days (a week). Have to sleep one night at Kualar Lumpur airport. I want to go out and visit the city but it’s not wise to roam around since I’m travelling alone and I might get lost, so I’m planning to stay in the airport. A good friend of us from Jakarta called yesterday to pay him a visit but I had to decline since I could only get one week of leave from work. I did promised him a visit if I get there next time. He’s a Catholic Fr. who stayed in Fiji for quite a long time before he went back to Indonesia. Very kind and a nice friend. He’s also one of the players in our Badminton group. We made a pretty good team then. I don’t have any contact/friends in Bali. Not sure any Burmese live there or not, but if any Burmese bloggers do live there, plz contact me. Love to have a chat or two. I’m going there to attend a conference. I’m very excited and nervous about it. I hope to do live tweeting from the conference if the net is available. Otherwise I’ll try to blog from the hotel. I’ll see how things go.

Tech-Ed 2007 @ Gold CoastI’m Back! How is everyone doing? Miss me? ;)

My two weeks trip was exciting, tiring and a great fun. I met lots of new faces and visited new places. It was a great experience for me. Couldn’t come back quickly cos’ I caught a cold after the trip due to too much excitements and weather changes; then my laptop screwed up and had to repair OS. Now everything is settling down so catching up on my feeds and blogging here.

I took lots of photos and a few videos of my two weeks stay at GC, Syd and Adelaide. The main event was ofcos’ GC Tech-Ed. It was my very first business related overseas trip. I thank my bosses and the company for giving me an opportunity to participate in such event. I met lots of geeks and super geeks at Tech-Ed. There were total of 2400 delegates made their mark at Gold Coast Tech-Ed this year. ~80% of them are male with very few female delegates, regardless of this year Tech-Ed having the most female participants compare to the previous years. I’m one of those very few female delegates and most of the time I found myself lost in the superiority and the geekiest air around them. I felt like disappearing when I have no idea what the geeks were talking about. Yet, I somehow found myself enjoying their conversations and was inspired by their intense knowledge and skills on various subject matters.

Here are some of the photos Sarnil and I took from the event.

Note: Lightbox enabled. (Click on the photo, hover over it to browse “Next” or “Previous”)

Surf Parade Apartment

We stayed at Surf Parade apartment which is about 20-30min walking distance from Gold Coast convention center and about 10min Bus ride. The room was very neat and well furnished – TV, fridge, oven, microwave, washing machine, in-room spa, etc. The view from the room was also great. Can see the beach and also the buildings from Surf Paradise area. The room costs around AUD 119 per night and ideal for two people but I stayed alone so quite a big room for me. There were heated swimming pool and tennis courts downstairs but I didn’t even have a time to peek at them. The whole day out and we only came back to our rooms after 9 or 10pm to sleep so we couldn’t check out the whole building and the surroundings.

Surf Parade Apartment The room My room The Bed

Kitchen Bathroom View from the apartment Morning View from the apartment

Gold Coast City Views

There wasn’t much time for us to explore the city as our times were fully occupied inside the convention center. I found Gold Coast has many weird looking buildings, some having spiral type and some has alien style weird diamond shape in the middle. I didn’t see any building of my liking but overall the city is quite lovely and quiet.

Gold Coast City Area Gold Coast City Area Gold Coast City Area View infront of Gold Coast Convention Center

Activities at Tech-Ed

There were lots of sessions to attend to and I had a hard time choosing them but Sarnil and I sorted out ourselves on which sessions we should attend and share them later. We couldn’t attend any hand-on-lab sessions because they were always too full. I sat one exam there but I didn’t make it. It was the very first failure in my exams history and I was very disappointed about it. I stayed 2 whole hours burning my head hard in the exam room; I missed one session and my lunch. I was so hungry and was mad at myself for the failure. Anyway what done is done and I’ll try that exam again later. So let just say, the exam was a hard one and I didn’t prepare well. Some of the sessions I attended are:

  • WEB316 Ajax Patterns with ASP.Net
  • DEV307 Developing Office Business Applications with Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office
  • DAT302 Database Schema Versioning: How to Use Microsoft Visual Studio Team System for Database Professionals and Team Foundation Server to Version and Deploy Your Databases
  • CON206 Custom Activities with Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation: A Developer’s Primer
  • ARC307 Enterprise Library 3.1
  • DEV308 A Lap around Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation
  • DEV311 NET Framework 3.0 End-to-End: Putting the Pieces Together
  • CON311 Building Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation Enabled Windows Communication Foundation Services in .NET Framework 3.5
  • DEV320 Microsoft Visual C# Under the Covers: An In-Depth Look at C# 3.0
  • OFC418 Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies 2007: Deployment and Advanced Administration Topics
  • ARC312 Make your Customer’s Day: User First Design

I also attended the “Blogger Lunch” and here is one live post which covers pretty much everything about the session. I found out later in the “Ask the Expert” section that one of the Blogger Lunch session speakers, Darren Neimke, is in fact from Adelaide and live near Flinders University where my sister is studying.

Sarnil and Robert at Tech-Ed One of the Exhibitors and Sarnil Tech-Lab Blue car

Sarnil with two speakers Sarnil and I with two speakers Bull ride Bull Rides

Speakers at Blogger Lunch Blogger Lunch May at Tech-Ed Exhibition Hall

Lock Note speaker Peter Watson - Locknote speaker2 Mr Host Mr Host

Me infront of Gold Coast Convention Center May and Robert infront of Convention Center Robert Lunch-Ed

Peace! At Closing Note Session Robert at lock note Lunch at Tech-Ed

My Tech-Ed Lunch Red Car

One of the fun things about Tech-Ed was collecting stamps and freebies from exhibition stands. I collected a few pens, toys, a cap, a T-Shirt, a few evaluation product CDs and lots of information brochures. I also filled in lots of forms to place in the daily draws. There were some gift packs and good stuffs such as Xbox 360 draws everyday. My friend Robert won Xbox360 and we were very jealous of him. Such a lucky guy but he didn’t even invite us to play with him. Bad Robert!

There were tons of food and drinks at Tech-Ed; if you are a drinker, you would definitely love it. Coffee stands were always packed and I liked the breakfast donuts. Lunches and dinner were great too but for some reason I only ate lots of salad. I think it’s cos’ of different cooking style, their meat/main dishes didn’t taste good in my tongue.

Movie World Night

They booked the whole “Movie World” park for 2400 Tech-Ed delegates from 6:30 – 11pm on Thursday night. It was a great fun. We met one of the speakers and Sharepoint expert, Milan Gross, from Hawaii and team up with him to enjoy the night. We rode “Lethal Weapon” (roller coaster ride), “ScoopyDoo” ride, Batman stimulation and the Waterfall ride. I couldn’t believe I actually rode all of them and enjoyed it. I couldn’t have ride them if it wasn’t for the guys who kept pushing me to try so. Every ride I closed my eyes, shut my mouth and sit very still and stiffly so I didn’t get to see the high/dangerous views. But the feeling alone is scary enough for me. That was a great fun and we all enjoyed the night.

The gang at Movie World Duck and May Yellow Ladies Star War gang and May

Wonder Woman and Us The Water fall ride At Movie World Cheers!

Chow Time Robert and Sarnil Sarnil with neon lights Sarnil with Star War gangs

Me and Milan at MovieWorld at Movie World Robert and Sarnil at Movie World Star War Gangs

The Matrix gang Robert and the thingie Sarnil with some super heros

Evening at the Beach and Last Night Out

The final day closing note ended around 4:30pm and we rested a few min at our apartment. Then we paid our (my) first and final visit to the beach in front. It was lovely evening and we saw some surfers, walkers and swimmers there. We took some photos at the beach then went back to the apartment and waited our friend to go for dinner. The final night out was enjoyable. Conversation between Sarnil and Milan was interesting and amusing. They did the talking and I did the listening part as usual. We then had Korean BBQ for dinner and done a lot of walking around to digest the food. Actually the guys were searching for a good place to dance. I had a very early flight to catch and have to wake up around 4am in the following morning so I took an early leave, said goodbye to the guys and came back to the apartment. Then I packed my stuffs and get ready for Sydney departure in the next morning.

Gold Coast Beach Sarnil at the beach Sarnil at beach GC - beach

Sarnil with his fav car Milan and Sarnil May and Milan

So Tech-Ed ended pretty well and some of Tech.Ed 2007 Statistics from lock note are:

  • This year there were 89,608 teeth at Tech.Ed.
  • You ate 12,628 bread rolls, and drank over 14,000 liters of enough coffee and Coke.
  • And at MovieWorld, on the Superman ride, we recorded 1,216 cries of “shhh****tttt…!!!!”
  • If all our Tech.Ed delegates were laid end-to-end, you’d stretch 4.15 kilometers long. But only an average of 1 meter wide. In most cases.
  • If all this year’s delegates forms a conga-line, that would be the end of Gold Coast Tourism.

Interesting stats, aren’t they?

I was checking out the next Tech-Ed SEA 2007 at Kuala Lumpur 10-13 Sept and found out that there is one Burmese in the speaker list. The speaker name is “Maung Maung Phyo” and is a Senior Consultant from Singapore. He looks pretty young. Kuala Lumpur Tech-Ed got quite a few female speakers and most of them look very young. Also there are lots of Asian speakers. Impressive! Our friend “Milan Gross” is in the list as well. Being a Sharepoint expert, he got to travel a lot I bet.

Anyways Gold Coast Tech-Ed 2007 was great and I enjoyed it. Tech-Ed SEA 2007 looks interesting too so do share some words about it if any of you out there attending.

Gold Coast Tech-Ed 2007

Tech-Ed 2007 LogoHi, Sorry for long absent; blogger is currently attending Tech-Ed 2007 at Gold Coast Convention Center for a week from 6th to 10th Aug. She’ll be then visiting Sydney for 3 days and Adelaide for another 3 days. Blogger will be back on 18th Aug.

Couldn’t blog long. Just dropping a line during session break. I’ll write about my Tech-Ed experiences very soon. At the moment, I’m at “Ask the Expert” session, and quickly posting this. I got one exam to sit tomorrow and couldn’t finish studying yet. Gotta cram tonight.

Anyways gotta run. Will post about things properly later. Tar.

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