Our formal training session began on 3rd Aug. There were more than 26 participants form around the world and it was yet another proud moment for me to be representing my country. We were all asked to come in our national costume for the group photograph. I did present myself with my silk athang marthra gho.
Having done with the introductory session in the morning, we, the participants were called for the formal class, but in informal dress. An elderly man (a retired Customs official) began the lesson with his introduction. He introduced himself as Mr. Hamza. In his late 70s, he still proclaimed himself as an old man but with young and vibrant at heart. From him, I have learned a great deal of wisdom which I wish to share with my readers some other time.
That evening, we were all invited for a formal welcome dinner during which participants were briefed on the history of Malaysian culture and tradition. We were also educated more on the MTCP program, its aims and objectives.
I took a seat near my colleague from Nigeria. But we were soon joined by our colleagues form Maldives, and Mauritius. We were like back benchers. We dined voraciously and soon emptied the table. We were served our second share when some of our friends were still hesitant to start their first share. It was a real fun altogether.
From next day, we were into a serious business; -the training on traveller's management. Besides the presentations form the participants, classes were also taken by some of the most experienced and experts form the Malaysian Customs department. We were mostly trained in reading the behaviors of notorious people, nabbing smugglers, prosecuting them and finally sending them to the gallows. We were also trained to facilitate and expedite legitimate travellers with respect and diligence. In between, we were also oriented to the international terms like advance passenger information system, Kyoto convention, WCO -safe framework of standards and risk management.
These trainings went on for days and took away all our energy. Most of the participants lavishly smoked cigarettes to relax, but for non smokers (like me), an occasional sip of coffee along with a trip to different areas in Melaka, (that are of historical significance to Malaysia) arranged by our organizer was just enough. The holy sites like Melaka; -the heritage site; and various departmental stores were good places to be at the end of a busy day.
Most of our friends shopped garments and electronics. Some even bought diamond rings! since I had not much money for shopping, I opted to become an unofficial photographer of our group.
|Here comes your Photographer|