30 hours lah!

September 20, 2012 | Elizabeth, DVM, AFS, Malaysia, Science of Life Studies 24/7

Hello from Kuala Lumpur (K-L)!

Although I feel as though I just arrived to my internship position here in the capital of Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, I have not been on Canadian soil for almost two weeks! I already feel however as though it’s been five. I’ll admit that I thought I was fairly prepared for Malaysia. I was warned about the weather reaching humidity levels even Southern Ontario and Quebec couldn’t imagine; and that considering this heat, everywhere you go people are wearing long sleeve shirts and jeans without a care, respecting the major cultural norms associated with the Muslim religion. I was even prepared for the sanitation system making sure to pack toilet paper so as not to get stuck without! Nevertheless, the one thing I completely overlooked was my 30-hour travel time to get here!!!
I knew that in order to travel to the other side of the planet it would take some time. But two days was something I seemed unable to comprehend. In my head I thought with the time difference, two days will really seem like one, that I’d be super tired when I arrived but that I would have to suck it up. In reality, two days is two days. I was tired and pretty terse by the time our last flight landed, but as soon as I stepped foot on that Malaysian soil, I knew it was worth it. Everything from our AFS volunteer’s shy enthusiasm to our welcome here at SOLS 24/7 have made my senses go into overdrive. The majestic beauty and humble atmosphere supported by the locals is indescribable.
As I sit around our dinner table and chat with the other volunteers here at SOLS 24/7, I can definitely say I traveled the farthest. The overwhelming intercultural respect, understanding between the staff and the enthusiastic students creates a welcoming family dynamic in a bustling community looking to become something better. I know that I am probably still blinded by my own enthusiasm to explore this diverse nation, but I figure I might as well enjoy the ride… Making sure I get a taxi with a driver who uses the meter however is one of my many challenges to conquer!
All in all, I’m greatly looking forward to the next few months here in Malaysia. I can already tell that I’m learning a great deal, not just from my internship tasks, but from the local people going about their daily lives as well. From mosques, to temples to Christian churches the range of cultures is remarkable. I just hope to be able to experience as much of it all as I can in the time I have left!

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