(I found this word in a Winston Churchill speech recently)
This is a continuation of "A difficult start" in which I explained our first few months in Kuantan and the problems we were engulfed with. If you haven't read about our tough early times, you should go and read that post first.
Downstairs below my apartment lies a line of shops and restaurants, the most notable being the Kuantan Curry House. The Kuantan Curry House is owned and run by a lovely Indian family who helped me out a great deal in the tough early days in Kuantan. The robbery had made us feel extremely denuded. Whilst I enjoyed taking the 'roti canai' (fried bread dipped in curry) back upstairs to eat, it was the wife of the owner who began having tuition classes with me. Her name is Puraini. Even though Puraini didn't learn from me for long due to her work commitments with the Curry House, she was my very first student, which besides giving me my first small flow of income, gave me hope of finding more students in the future. Their four children have at various times, also attended my tuition classes. We remain good friends with the Kuantan Curry House to this day.
Secondly, whilst looking for a job, I came across two men selling Diamond water products. They were quite helpful but couldn't get me an official visa. So I didn't really work for them for too long at all - I didn't sell a single product in the mere two weeks I went around knocking on doors advertising Diamond water filters.
In addition to promoting Diamond, I also passed on my business card and introduced myself as an English tutor searching for students.
It was for this reason that I nevertheless knocked on a door whose owner clearly had a Diamond filter in their front yard. I told her that I was an English teacher looking for students and that very same night she sent her two children, Alston and Regine, for tuition class with me.
It was a moment of great joy as my difficult times were beginning to dissolve. From Carmen, the mother of these two children, came a flurry of referrals. Many hopeful, desperate prayers of faith were answered as I gradually built up a number of students to teach each week, in addition to a growing reputation in Kuantan.
Which people have had a big influence in your life?