Tioman Island Fest 2006 is underway!!!

By Serina Rahman

The Marine Group is happy to announce that after much hair-pulling, stress and sleepless nights the Tioman Island Fest 2006 (TIF06) is slowly but surely coming together and moving along. Although a mix up in dates meant that we had to scramble an English teacher for the English classes at Kampung Genting at the last minute, we managed to find one ready and willing to travel at the drop of a hat and we are eternally grateful to Stewart Green for his help and excellent assessment of the students and the conditions on the ground.

In spite of a painful attack by the jelatang plant, “it hurt twenty times worse than stinging nettles!” he said, Stewart did a great job of setting up the class and preparing the students for their one month’s sojourn into Conversational English for Tourism. He also benefited from the generous hospitality of the Sun Beach Resort (who are sponsoring accommodation, air conditioning and hot water no less!) and the warmth of Kg Genting locals.

At the moment the students are under the care and tutelage of Kyle and Jen, a pair of MNS volunteers and members who have tremendous enthusiasm, passion and commitment. Before leaving for Pulau Tioman, they’d already declared their plans to “drum with the local rock band, sing karaoke with the uncles and learn to cook with the aunties” in order to build rapport, disseminate MNS messages and encourage participation in TIF06 activities.

With the support of the Tioman Development Authority (TDA) and the Marine Parks, everything else is in motion. The trail guiding workshop is set to happen on April 9th and 10th and the environmentally-friendly snorkeling guide workshop will take place from May 8th to 10th.

The Marine Group is also forever indebted to Khairul Anuar and Zawalan who made the long trips out to Pulau Tioman (at incredibly short notice) to speak to the powers that be on the island. None of this could have gone ahead without their presence at those meetings.

So look out for more news and reviews on the events unfurling on Tioman and book yourself a weekend getaway to the island around the 27th of May to enjoy the festivities first hand.

The MNS Marine Group is not actually organising trips to Tioman but we can provide you with some travel and accommodation tips if you need it. A great website to consult is www.mytioman.com.