Monday, June 26, 2006

Saying Goodbye in Brisbane.....

The Last 5 days I spent in the spread out city of Brisbane. I unfortunately didn't get to see very much the city as I attended a McGuire course held in Hotel Watermark, which I don't mean to sound like a bad thing. Doing a course has never been a bore, and I am sure it never will be. The different kinds of people I meet, and the changes I observe in those people never seizes to amaze me. I take my hat of to all these brave people, especially those who have to face the world's reaction of more than just a stutter. But it's not all bad! One almost cannot believe how much fun it can be to work hard, get results, and truly appreciate those results. I wonder it that is not what life is about? Isn't life about searching for the right input of behavior, resulting in the most favorable outcome and then appreciating that to the ultimate extend? The trick is to determine the correct source,quality and duration of input for the desirable outcome. And this may only be determined through action, persistence, making changes and having faith. And definitely not from just talking and thinking about it. Anyhow, that is my theory for today.

I am at the end of my tour of New Zealand and Australia, and I am heading off to the UK tonight! Just that thought releases emotions of excitement, and a little bit of fear. To reduce that fear is a matter of collecting the correct information and confirming that information as true. That will reduce the amount of unknowns and abracadabra, fear less, excitement more!  I had a great time and I would like to thank the 1507 people I have engaged in conversation with. Especially the one's who gave me smile, and a extra bit of their time. I feel that I have grown in my speech ability's and skill, and I looking forward to building on that success. Sincere thanks to everyone I met, friends and especially my family who supports me.

Europe, here I come! Kee - yaaah!     .........................1507 contacts since 15th May.    

brisbane artificial beach

Posted by Hein van der Merwe at 01:43:15 |

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

You ain't nothin but a hound dog.....

One of Australia's and I guess many other countries' bus service is greyhound. I've traveled with them from port Macqaurie to Byron Beach and tomorrow I will ride the hound again to Brisbane. At the port I visited the Koala hospital, won't you be my teddybear? Most of the people who work at the hospital are unpaid volunteers, it was very interesting to see them at work and I never realized how much work it would be to take care of a kola. Koalas are quite specific about the type of eucalyptus that they would like for the day. Byron bay awarded me with a steep walk on the beach and to the lighthouse. It is the most powerful lighthouse in Auzzie and also at the most eastern point, or at least very close to it. I was also awarded with a school of dolphins and a few floating whales in the distance. Unfortunately the weather did not permit any swimming as it was cloudy :(. Two very slow days in terms of speech contacts as I only did 45 more, but those did include some quality conversations such as when I shopped around for a digital camera.I'm looking forward to the course in Brisbane that starts tomorrow night. Good luck to the South African Course also held in Cape town this weekend. "Hou die blink kant bo ouens!" Suddenly I miss South Africa.....bow wow wow. 

koala hospital port macquarie australia

Posted by Hein van der Merwe at 08:44:28 |

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A week is too quick

During my stay in Sydney I visited 2 toastmasters clubs the Tuesday. The first club was AMP toastmasters which were a bunch of neatly dressed people on the lunch break. The meeting was held short and concise and I heard great speeches.Especially one advanced speech that was a simulation of a news reporter style report on the dangers of climbing Mount Everest. Another member told the life story of his grandpa who recently past away. A remarkable tale of a Jewish survivor of the holocaust. The other club I visited was the ACCA club. I had the opportunity to take part in Table topics and had to do a 1min impromptu speech about why Humpty Dumpty could not be fixed. Of course that is because he broke much more that his shell, his whole ego of the ultimate wall-sitter was broken. And no glue can fix a broken ego or a broken hart. I then was asked to do a 5-7min speech about my journeys, it was a great challenge and all went well as I spoke about my journey from South Africa to there, and from stutterer to future eloquent speaker. Thank you ACCA toastmasters for your warm welcome, excellent feedback, tips,  and kind support, I had a great time. 

I visited the Sydney aquarium and saw a duck billed platypus ( funny thing that one ). In the class tunnels I saw a big manta ray and many angry looking sharks. On my way to the Aquarium I had a chat with three lovely old ladies on the porch of their flat. I made a full disclosure and they told me that I appeared on the Australian advert for the McGuire program and the recognized me. This was footage shot at the Melbourne course. The Wednesday night I dressed up nice and saw a show at the Opera House called Vula. It tells the story of 4 Fiji women and the relations with the sea, themselves, their spirituality and with each other. It was a contemporary show with the stage of water and magical light and musical effects. Truly remarkable artwork, I also experienced this on my visit to the Art Museum.

I then spent 2 days hiking in the blue mountains and now I am in Port Macqaurie. My contacts count is 1212. I'm on my way to the Koala hospital......... 

blue mountains katoomba australia

Posted by Hein van der Merwe at 05:11:46

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Silly Sydney Poem!

sydney poem
Posted by Hein van der Merwe at 14:10:44 |

Monday, June 12, 2006

Seeing Snow Seeking Sydney...

And here I am! Again! Hello. First things first, I have reached 1000 contacts! Yeha! Only 99 000 to go and then I can retire :)  There was a mistake on my last post calculation , it should have been 790 + 56 + 15 = 861, that day(Wed 7 June) I hit  my ultimate record in contacts by making 180 in total that day, thus giving 805 + 180 = 985. I started my 4 day tour from Melbourne to Sydney that Thursday and had definitely talked to more than 15 people in those 4 days. So beyond any reason of doubt and confusion I  have made 1000+ contacts from 15th May! But now you are thinking exactly what the hell is a contact he keeps yapparing on about? Is a telling people my story? Is it touching them with a electrical wire? Is it holding hands? What counts as a contact? Here goes........

Hein's definition of a contact: Approaching a person to verbally translate my thoughts is a contact. But it is only a contact if my intentions are to use eloquent speech, and use good McGuire technique. (Take a pause, Breath full costal breath, speak, release residual air). If I speak only to speak, it doesn't count, it is in fact bad  , bad dog!. Even if it is fluently, still bad dog! Because that is the road of thoughts I had when I still stuttered severely. And if I speak only to speak and stutter like in 'em old days....ooohh.. very bad dog!Then it is best to cancel that and repeat the (bad dog word!) with good technique. Then lastly: Speaking eloquently is not necessarily perfectly fluently. It means being in control of what you say. I use voluntary stuttering when I speak, to practice control, and also to show people my intentions. Of course the ultimate super dooper contact is when I disclose to strangers my story and what I am doing. Of my 1000 contacts about 350 were disclosures, and that feels good.

O ja, my trip........ kangaroos, wombats, rain forest, mountain walks, squeaky beach, Rosellas (pretty parrot), caves, wine tasting, snowy river, snowy mountains, snow, cold hands, zip wire, vegetarian food, buddist meditation, emu's, 1000 year old trees, hydro electric scheme, parliament house and now I am in Sydney!

The last four day's I didn't do very much talking. Spent many hours on the bus looking at the countryside and getting lost in my thoughts. I'm reading a book from Susan Jeffers "Feel the fear and do it anyway" which I highly recommend for anyone. I modified my motto from "Face your fear and your fear will disappear" to an affirmation "I am facing my fears, and my fears are disappearing"       why wait for IT to happen!?        It is happening!

mount kosciuszko australia
zipwire in australia


rosella australia

Posted by Hein van der Merwe at 01:49:48 |

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

You give, I give...

I'm back in Melbourne! Will be leaving off for my 4-day trip to Sydney. It is now 1:40pm and I have made 56 contacts today, total thus of 760+56+15 = 831.

Have a look at my photo's in Albums........Some interesting people, animals and plants there that I have come in contact with. Sing with me now ......What a beautiful world ! ....deep and breathy.

Posted by Hein van der Merwe at 03:40:34 |

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Under down under in Tassie

The last few days as you (people reading this) know was and is spend in Tasmania. My 3 day tour ended Saturday in Hobart where I've stayed since then in the Allport Hostel. I've had wonderful walks through rain forests and hugged a tree. The tall trees we saw at Russel falls are said to be the tallest flowering plants in the word, and the tallest one the is 79 meters. Yesterday we visited the Cadbury chocolate factory and I bought 4x125g caramel blocks and 10 brunch bars for only $8. The tour through the factory was fascinating and quite tempting as well, stacks of chocolate surrounding you and you are not allowed to touch it, ultimate self-discipline exercise I tell you. Today we took a drive up Wellington Mountain and we where blessed with clear skies so we had a wonderful view of the city Hobart. One thing about Tassie, it's blerrie cold! I've never been so cold in my life! But, the people here really have warm hearts so that makes up for it :). We stopped of at he cascade beer brewery and had a certain Ale which is the best beer Iv'e ever tasted (no, not a cliche, I'm not into cliche's) really very good. I've visited some interesting towns such as Sheffield , the town of murals, with beautiful artwork painted all across town and Queenstown, which was once a copper mine mega.

My count at this stage is 760 contacts, I see that 1000 coming up soon. My feelings about my speech at this moment is that I'm on my way to  certain stage, level of control that I desire. I focusing on the journey towards that and using my experiences (good and bad ones) and especially the people I meet to correct myself and guide me on the way. Thanks to everyone who is supporting me and for the kind comments and e-mails.

cadbury factory hobart

Posted by Hein van der Merwe at 06:01:36

Friday, June 02, 2006

Under down under

Down in Tasmania, down in Tasmania. I flew down from Melbourne to Launceston and had 2 delightful conversations with two complete strangers. One at the airport and one on the airplane. Stayed in Launcheston backpackers, got on the tour-bus with 6 other backpackers. Visited cradle mountain, had a walk to Montezuma falls. The scenery is beautiful, but it is very cold. $2 for 10 min internet....expired
dove lake
Posted by Hein van der Merwe at 10:17:19 |