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Working Professionally with Children and Youth in Care
CYC-Online Issue 20 SEPTEMBER 2000 / BACK
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postcard from leon fulcher

From North Borneo

Hello Child and Youth Care Workers wherever you are!

I am tempted to say “Eat your heart out" but instead I will send this Postcard from my holidays! Now I know that most folk send postcards from their holidays, so that part makes sense. However, I should quickly point out that all my other postcards were work-related!

OK, I accept that some readers may think me fortunate to have opportunities to travel and pursue my practice interests in child and youth care. But this month's Postcard is written while I am in holiday mode. So to all of you who have already had your summer holidays in the Northern Hemisphere, spare a thought for my partner and me lying in the sun next to the South China Sea on the northern shores of the Island of Borneo. The Survivors television sensation was filmed just to the north of here. And we will not be voting people out of our resort!

Damai Lagoon Resort on the South China Sea

Our holiday will be at the start of a final round of Research and Study Leave in Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. We leave the wintry weather of Southern Hemisphere New Zealand and travel to the tropics via Singapore and Kuching. We arrive just as the Northern Hemisphere starts moving into winter. Its hard to believe that before I get back to New Zealand, the 2000 World Series will have been decided, and the NFL season will be half over. Such are the marker events in each year from my days as a youthful Yankee male.

Kuching is a beautiful and interesting city

In the late 1800's, the local leaders made a British gentleman named Brooks their Raja. They knew he had a gunboat and could help them control the Kuching River from pirates and other marauders from the islands now known as Indonesia, and the northern side of the South China Sea. Kuching was a strategic port of call beyond Singapore under the leadership of the British Raja Brooks as the British Empire extended into Southeast Asia. It was also occupied by the Japanese during World War II.

In 1953, formal negotiations with the British enabled this part of North Borneo to become a state in the new nation of Malaysia. After Singapore succeeded from the Malaysian Federation, Sarawak was recognised as the largest and one of the most culturally diverse of all the states of Malaysia.

In case you are interested in trying out a holiday in this part of the world, I can recommend “and Damai Lagoon gets 5 stars!

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