I am currently sitting in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport waiting to board the first leg of my international flight back to the East coast of the US. My time in Malaysia has been whirlwind…so it really matches the way the rest of my life has been since the beginning of May when Oren and I moved to our new apartment. I haven’t really updated since then, so I’ll start there.
Moving went really smoothly, all things considered. We had a veritable army helping us move in. Andres and Molly came in the morning to help Oren, Mom, Dad and I load the truck. Then they surprised us by following in Andres’s swanky, “new” Volvo. It’s new to him. Eve, Guy and Itai met us at the new apartment and between the nine of us, we got everything unloaded in a matter of hours. It was pretty epic. Pizza and cider was our reward for conquering our four-floor walk-up so efficiently. It took a while for Oren and I to set up house, but it’s finally in a place where it’s pretty much done. We didn’t even need to buy that much more furniture…and the 700% increase in windows is treating us very well indeed. Thanks, Ikea, for the super cheap and stylish curtains.
Moving and organizing took up the parts of my days that weren’t used for commuting and working. Working hours were consumed with preparing to come to Malaysia. It was hectic most of the time but also very exciting. I’ll have a lot waiting for me when I get home, but that’s alright. I was sick for half of June–I got two different bugs, two weeks in a row. It sucked because it totally made me waste my whole Capoeira coupon. I got a coupon for a months unlimited capoeira classes as this one school on the lower East side. It was fun to try but ultimately it’s not on my way home. It’s frustrating to not get home until 10:00pm without having had dinner and then need to turn around the next day for work. I need to start some form of exercise, but it’s probably not going to be with that school. I’m looking into gyms that are both affordable and on my way home from work. Good luck to me.
Malaysia has been an experience. But before I got here, I went o the End of Stay Orientation in Washington DC. There I met the six ladies that won scholarships from the Department of State to go study and live in Malaysia for this academic year. I led them in their Pre-Departure Orientation. I also had the opportunity to meet the 49 Malaysian students who were ending their six months in the US. I, along with a PAX volunteer, Marisa, would be shepherding these 49 kids back to Malaysia after the orientation.
The shepherding part was stressful and I may choose not to repeat that particular experience when I have a meeting directly following. In spite of my exhaustion, the meeting with our Malaysian partners went really well. There was a minor hiccup when a political protest was scheduled for the middle of our meeting. As it turns out, some major tear-gassing occurred right outside the hotel we had been staying in until the day before the protest. I’m glad we moved into a suburb even though it might have been exciting to watch the action.
Both of our teams are in pretty good shape in terms of the project on which we have been collaborating. As usual, it was really beneficial to meet in person and thresh out some issues.
After the meeting, Paula and I went on vacation to Penang and Langkawi. I had been to Penang on my homestay–it’s a city that is full of nice people, breathtaking temples, and fabulous food. I saw a lot of schools on my homestay and so I was excited to actually get to walk around the old city, George Town. Paula and I made some tracks. We saw the fort in town and then we went to an old mansion to take a tour. The museum about Penang is one of the nicest I’ve ever been in and it was very informative. Our time in Langkawi with simply relaxing. We didn’t have an agenda, but among our activities were pedicures, lounging, eating, island hopping and shopping. The vacation part went the fastest, obviously and now I’m at the point where I’m ready to get home and back to my routine. I may not be quite ready to get back to work, but that all comes with the territory.
I’ll try to post some pictures of Malaysia, but posting for Turkey gave me a lot of trouble, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ll probably have to find a new venue for my pictures.
That was a quick one to cover so much, but I think I did it enough justice. As always, thanks for reading.