E-mail Update - 2005-09-01

Mom, Divemaster and Work

Sa wat dii khrup (Thai for Hello),

First off is the big & great news, which is that my mom does not have cancer :) I have talked to a lot of you about this in personal e-mails & wanted to let you know how things turned out. For those of you who have no clue about this, here is the short story. My mom was having problems with her colon, which she went to get checked out. What they found after over a week of testing is that she had a tumor in her uterus. They took the tumor out a week ago this past Tuesday. We just found out on Tuesday of this week that the tests came back negative, which was the best news I have ever heard. She is recovering at home now & is still very week because she has been sick over the past few weeks & has had lots of testing, plus the hysterectomy is quite a big surgery. It will take several more weeks, possibly even a few months for her to get back to feeling normal again. But everyone was just happy that the tests are negative, & the other can be dealt with. This negative tests also mean that I will not be home in the next few days. I will be staying with the original trip plans, which means being home in December.

The other big news is that I am officially a divemaster & am employed. I started the program on August 8 & finished August 26, so I did it in 2 weeks 4 days (a new Phi Phi record!). I also successfully passed the snorkel test which is having to drink a bucket of alcohol through a snorkel with a mask on (that one is not an official test though). It was nasty, but I did not throw-up after doing it like some of the other people
;) I actually had to go diving the next day so I only drank that. The day that I finished everything I went around to the different shops to see what positions anyone had open. I found a job with Barakuda Diving Center & accepted it since it seemed like the best option. I could have worked at Visa, but they are not that busy & Barakuda was, plus I am the only divemaster at Barakuda, so I will get most all of the fun divers that come through. I have been working there for 5 days & have done 10 dives, so that is good. I also have been working on my sales pitch because part of the job is being in the shop selling to people who walk by. The second & third day I was there I made or started all the sales for the day, so that was pretty nice for the pay check. I am not a huge fan of the selling part because I just want to dive, but it is good for me to do as a learning experience. The downside of all this is the whole "work" part of working, which does take away from the traveling. However, my office is biggest & most colorful I have ever had! Plus how cool is it that I get paid to go diving ;)

Other than that I have basically not been doing much. I stopped working at Reggae after a little over a week to focus on completing the divemaster program. When I was doing the divemaster program I basically just dived every day & then studied every night. Now I dive every day, then go to the shop to sell in the afternoon. At night, I go home to sleep or go out with friends.

As I write this I am sitting in an Internet cafe in Ranong. This means that I have been in Thailand for 4 more weeks & needed to do another visa run. This entails going to Burma to leave Thailand, get a stamp & come back in. It is such a waste of time, but something you have to do. I took the bus for 5+ hours this afternoon after going to Phuket on the ferry this morning. I successfully picked up my package with all the scuba equipment that I have at home which my mom sent. So that was nice, better late than never (it got stuck in customs & is about 2 weeks late).
In the morning I am riding with a guy on his motorbike to the immigration office to get stamped, then to the port to take a long tail boat to Burma to get a entry & exit stamp, then back to the dock where the motorbike guy is waiting for me. After that we go back to immigration & lastly he drops me off at the bus stop to catch another 5+ hour bus back to Phuket. I will probably have to stay in Phuket tomorrow night, but I am holding out hope that I can make it back in time for the afternoon ferry to Phi Phi.

The plan at this point is to work in Phi Phi until September 28. Then I will go back to Bangkok to catch my October 1 flight to Japan. I think I will stay there until October 12, then I will come back to Thailand & do my instructor program. Of course everything is subject to change :)

Obviously things have been busy lately so I am behind to everyone with e-mail, but I am going to try to catch up tonight, because there is really nothing else to do in Ranong ;)

Peace & Love