The Unexplainable Beauty of Trust

Just think for a moment about a very busy ferry terminal at a popular holiday spot. Like train terminals and airports everywhere, there are hundreds and hundreds of people arriving and leaving all day.  Everyone is in a hurry; rushing to be picked up by a taxi or friend or family.  People are busy talking — often screaming at their kids — and fighting their way forwards with too much and too heavy luggage to handle by themselves.  You get soon tired yourself just by watching this scenario.
The other day, I rode the ferry from the mainland Malaysia to Langkawi, a UNESCO Geopark rainforest island in Malaysia. In the terminal, I got caught up in all that chaos as well. Then all of a sudden, I saw this father and daughter scenario – the two of them resting on a chair outside; totally at peace. It was like watching the contrast between two different worlds…
The serenity of this scene gave me much to think about at that moment — and also now as I gaze at their picture.  Most of all, it was the feeling of trust that the young girl had placed in her father that grabbed me. Sitting there together totally relaxed, while all the other people were chasing their own things in such a hurried and loud environment… 
I realize that peace and beauty can be found almost everywhere in the world in almost any situation – when we let things go in perfect trust; even in a very hectic ferry terminal like the one on this truly beautiful Langkawi Island.

Small Habits That Create A Better World

Compare a happy R&D of a small natural cosmetics company with a happy gathering of local youngsters. The R&D play in our labs and local children play on our land and all of them enjoy astonishing sea views. One party is protected from the hot sun under a roof; the other uses the shadow of a palm tree. Yet all feel happy but under a different circumstance. What is this story about?
More than ever in the history of our planet, we must become responsible in life in whatever we do. Whether we are young or old. Whether we live in a cold climate or in a tropical Malaysia. When all are not becoming more responsible we stand to lose a beautiful world what we still can call paradise. But the question arises… for how long can we still call mother earth a paradise?

Results of bad habits that help to destroy our world.
At Paul Penders Home Office we live by simple community rules that help to keeping all of us happy. That is simply in looking after ourselves in terms of cleaning up after ourselves; it’s that simple while it creates a difference when the same rule is applied to all who share this planet. Simple things make for positive changes when we cooperate, even starting with enjoying a cup of tea and clean up our own cup! Enjoy a cup of tea but do not leave your cup for the next person to clean it, or do you?
Are you one where mother never taught to clean up after yourself? Rather put your empty cup in the sink for someone else to clean? Because you are “too busy”? or too important? or… just too darn lazy? In our case at Paul Penders, such little thing make a community feel unhappy and being unappreciated. It spoils the feel of peace when all were to do the same.

Now let’s look to something bigger but what applies to the same golden rule of cleaning up after yourself? How about an empty water bottle or a plastic bag that we so careless throw away? See what the result is from your empty water bottle or plastic bag? The picture below is just a multiplication of an entire lazy same like you people and it has become a mountain waste that could have been avoided just by taking a little bit care, and it saves our planet. Thus to clean up the world starts with education, right?

Therefore, these great youngsters who enjoy the beautiful scenery of the sea and enjoy using our fresh natural seawater swimming pool understand and no longer leave plastic bags at a well maintained property. We and even they have been part of beach cleaning parties for few years. Yesterday Eva and her crew went out together with local youngsters, also as part of education and that beauty and happiness can also be created by preservation and using our mind.
Therefore small habits create a better world for all.

To make it a better world starts with the one that does not wash her/his used cup of tea. Its all about the right mentality and we need to educate those who don’t know. Of course we cannot be responsible for others. And at this precious, beautiful part in the world called Langkawi UNESCO Geopark Rainforest Island, a one hour flight from the capital Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, some of us kindly help to protect what must be protected for the future of all of us.

An Incredible Contest With Unique R&D Opportunities

The famous, world-known Iron Man contest may take place again this year in Langkawi. When it happens, Paul Penders Co sponsors again 57 year old New Zealander Leslie McMillan.
Leslie will be for up to 13 hours being exposed to torture under a burning tropical sun. And believe me, no peanuts to undergo such harsh tropical sun conditions hitting your body when one is in a survival mode during this race with the great obstructions.
The rainforest island of Langkawi Geopark in Malaysia is located 5 degrees north of the equator with weather temperatures at this time of the year varying from 30 to 35 degrees C or 100 degrees F – that during the entire day!
It is obvious that a whole day in the sun means an enormous attack on the skin. Sunburn and dry skin would be inevitable if adequate protection would not be taken very serious.
Therefore a wonderful opportunity for Paul Penders to perform R&D tests during this race. Where in the world to find better conditions to measure efficacy of our products? To know for sure how far our natural products can go in protecting skin and hair in a grueling sun?
Any R&D scientist would dream to test his products this way. No lab tests in artificial conditions with computers for performance tests. No, this is the real thing in hot sun and salt seawater; thus extensive scalp and hair protection is a must.

    Some 700 Iron Men contesting in the ocean in a 4.5 Km swim

What Paul Penders products will be used during the race, as well during training sessions prior to the race?

Leslie, as well as us, were quite satisfied with the protecting effects that our products offered last time. Think about this… Just a 30-minute walk in the burning sun here in Malaysia will make one totally wet and exhausted. So imagine the effect on the body when one is for 13 hours constantly swimming, biking and running?

    Finishing…!! Yvonne, R&D manager of Paul Penders brings flowers to an exhausted Iron Man

Of course, only Leslie can share the details of the experience of fighting the elements. This will be covered in an exclusive interview after the race. With over 700 Iron Man competing, Leslie may not win but for sure will be one of the best protected contestants when it comes to professional natural skin and hair care products.
Note: Each Langkawi Iron Man Race receives some 700 participants from up to 40 countries with over 1,500 volunteers helping out.

Discovering an Incredible Country (Part 2)

Bastiaan and I visited Harcourts; a great, progressive pharmaceutical company in Sri Lanka. We wanted to observe the market potential over there for Paul Penders natural herbal cosmetics. In 2 earlier blog stories I wrote about the visits of Mr. Ahamed Rheyas, CEO of Harcourts made to Langkawi. Actually, he loves the beauty of this great UNESCO Geopark tropical rainforest island here in Malaysia!
The senses of freedom I feel in Sri Lanka is almost the same as I experience it in the US. I talked with a journalist from Sri Lanka’s biggest newspaper about it and he agrees. No hidden frictions or interfering by the government in religion groups as well. In Sri Lanka things indeed seem very peaceful.
Me being in the natural cosmetics industry for many years, of course, I was interested to see the women of this great country and I can report the following… the women I have seen in the capital and in small villages alike are dressed beautifully. They wear dresses of various soft colors, and again… always that pure and friendly smile. One wonders about how this country was 25 years in the grip of terrible war, yet appears now so happy and content.

Bas and I visited also several department stores in Colombo and discovered that there are almost no natural cosmetic brands available. We saw several local and imported cosmetics based on Ayurveda principles. The only natural high-class imported brand we noticed was Clarins.
I spoke with the store manager of Clarins who was open and very friendly in sharing her experiences with consumers in regards to natural cosmetics. She did notice a growing demand for high quality natural cosmetics. Yet I did not see companies like Origins, Khiel’s, Jurlique and other skincare brands. However, at the other hand, most of the famous American and European perfumes are represented in Sri Lanka. We also noticed a direct selling brand that probably is doing well in this new, growing economy with opportunities for all.
It is obvious that in Sri Lanka a great opportunity exists for Paul Penders natural herbal cosmetics. We had several discussions with Mr. Ahamed Rheyas of Harcourts company to develop a plan that includes Paul Penders outlets in the country with the first one to be open in September this year.

This trip was truly enjoyable and a great learning experience as well, including a journey to Kandy, the hometown of Ahamed. A long drive took us through fresh, green sceneries with huge mountains as well. We much enjoyed the historic sites in Kandy and especially the great local food!! 🙂

One thing that touched my heart is how people of Sri Lanka care ‘for all that live’. For example, I have seen many stray dogs out there, but they appear not in the same terrible condition like in few other Asian countries where animals are hungry and often beaten. As part of the Buddhist religion, many of the stray dogs in Sri Lanka are kindly being fed and treated with kindness.
So can this great new country be an example of how the world could live in peace, harmony, happiness and…. respect to all?

Discovering an Incredible Country (Part 1)

Bastiaan and I visited Harcourts; a great, progressive pharmaceutical company in Sri Lanka. We wanted to observe the market potential over there for Paul Penders natural herbal cosmetics. In 2 earlier blog stories I wrote about the visits of Mr. Ahamed Rheyas, CEO of Harcourts made to Langkawi. Actually, he loves the beauty of this great UNESCO Geopark tropical rainforest island here in Malaysia!
I never visited Sri Lanka but several other countries in this intriguing part of the world. For no good reasons I expected Sri Lanka somewhat to be like India, Vietnam, Thailand or Myanmar. But soon I found out that Sri Lanka stands totally on its own in many aspects. The best way to describe this wonderful island is as a mix of all of these countries but with its own authentic flavor!

And that comes too because of Sri Lanka’s interesting historical influences from Malaysia and even strong influences from as far as from… Holland! Of course like most countries in Southeast Asia, also here is the strong colonial past of the British felt throughout and almost in all aspects of the society.
The war in Sri Lanka ended few years ago after 25 horrible years that brought much misery, destruction and pain to the people of this country. The war brought their economy to a standstill. But since the war is over, just a few years the result of peace shows progress and development in many areas. Sri Lanka regains quickly economical strength.
Luckily enough, not all of the beauty of Sri Lanka is destroyed by the war. The people are still very warm. We have seen more smiles and natural friendliness than in any other country I have visited lately.

Colombo (the capital of Sri Lanka) shows off immediately a new future spurred by fresh ideas and political and religious freedom. Sri Lanka is ready to embark on a great future that will surprise many who never knew about this country before.
I was mostly touched by the feel of harmony between the several ethnic groups and different religions. I did not notice any pressure between Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and other religions. Sri Langka’s citizens are entitled to express their opinions, and according to what I have seen in few Asian countries, that is quite unique by itself.

Part 2 of our trip to Sri Lanka and visit to Harcourts will follow shortly