Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

D-Day 2014: Durian Tasting

July 23, 2014
Delicious Durian--The King of Fruits

Delicious Durian–The King of Fruits

It’s hard to describe a durian, the “King of Fruits.” It’s prickly on the outside, fleshy on the inside, succulent and stinky all at the same time. You just have to try it.

Looking Over the Durian Stall

Looking Over the Durian Stall

So that’s what we did. We walked up the road from Sri Utama to our favorite durian-seller. Our trusted friend William was there to help us choose well, and, like his mom before him, he always picks a good one!

Mr. Casey gets the camera ready!

Mr. Casey gets the camera ready for the big event!

Mr. Casey, a secondary math teacher and Paige’s cooperating teacher, was so excited by the prospect of watching Americans react to their first taste of durian, that he brought his camera to record the whole episode. He obviously enjoyed the experience, too!

Ready for the D-Day Moment

Ready for the D-Day Moment

Our durian vendor opens a nice, ripe durian… But Amanda and Paige aren’t quite sure what to think of it.

We're ready, we think!

We’re ready, we think!

Amanda, Robin, Mitch, Rachel, Chase and Paige are as ready as they’ll ever be. Mitch is going to be the brave one to go first, as Mr. Casey captures the moment!

Yeah, Mitch!

Yeah, Mitch!

Next, Robin. We know you’ll be telling your friends about this experience long after we’ve gone home!

Robin asks herself, I am really ready for this?

Robin asks herself, I am really ready for this?

Paige and Chase’s turn.  Uh-Oh!

Chase takes a taste while Paige looks on.

Chase takes a taste while Paige looks on.

I guess this face says it all.  Now they have all had the official Malaysian experience!

Ah..... Delicious Durian!

Ah….. Delicious Durian!

 

Bukit Bintang: The “Star Hill” Section of Kuala Lumpur (February 2014)

June 30, 2014

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You have to visit Bukit Bintang at night.  It’s a busy hot-spot full of locals and visitors bustling between good restaurants and great shops.  This is where the night life is!  So the group took advantage of the weekend to visit the famous Pavillion Mall, still decorated for Chinese New Year.

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Amazing Pavilion Mall

 

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!


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P. Ramlee Street is named after a famous Malaysian actor, singer, and director whose movies put Malaysia (and Malaya, its former name) on the map.  There’s always so much going on in Jalan P. Ramlee!  But to get to that section, we had to take the crowded monorail. Watching Chase squeeze his 6’6″ frame into the monorail started us all smiling, and we soon had the whole car giggling with us.  But Chase, as usual, took it in stride.

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No matter where we go, we always seem to end up at the Petronas Towers. At the top of this photo, you can see the famous towers, always a beautiful beacon for everyone in KL.

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Blessings in the Temple

March 12, 2014

There were several temples inside the great Batu Caves.  This one was quiet and serene.  In side a priest came out to greet us and asked us where we were from.  He also gave us his blessings….

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Batu Caves 2014

March 10, 2014

We chose a Saturday to take the trip to Batu Caves, a Hindu holy site on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.  The dramatic limestone mountains can be seen from miles away, but close-up the view is incredible.  Built into the caves and around the entire site are several temples and impressive statues.

The students pose before the statue of Lord Hanumann, the monkey god, as we enter the holy site.

The students pose before the statue of Lord Hanumann, the monkey god, as we enter the holy site.

 

The gold plated statue of Lord Murugan, to whom the cave temples are dedicated, is a thrilling sight to see.

Nearing the steps to the cave, the student teachers pose before one of the most famous Malaysian landmark, the statue of Lord Murugan.

Nearing the steps to the cave, the student teachers pose before one of the most famous Malaysian landmark, the statue of Lord Murugan.

 

We stopped before the gate to the steps, because this was a banana tree with bananas and pod included!  We’d seen so many banana trees nearby, but no one had spotted the bananas on the tree like this one.

Bananas!

Bananas!

 

And they were ready to begin the climb to the top….

Ready, set, go!

Ready, set, go!

 

Next: the view from inside the caves.

Petaling Street

February 21, 2013

Petaling St

Now, THIS is the place where all sorts of people come for all sorts of bargains!  A fast-paced night market, Petaling Street is famous–so we just had to experience it.

Petaling St Bus

Amanda, Jenn and Steph

Nick, Jennifer, William, Amanda & Stephanie are ready to run the gauntlet!

Nick, Jennifer, William, Amanda & Stephanie are ready to run the gauntlet!

Petaling Street has got anything and everything for somebody who knows how to bargain.  Fruit and roasted chestnuts, watches and jewelry, knock-off DVDs and fake designer handbags, electronics and clothes–you name it, it’s there.

Cartier shops for a watch

Cartier shops for a watch

Nick guides us through the fruit section

Nick guides us through the fruit section

In the hot and VERY steamy night, we worked our way through the stalls, from one end to the other and back again.  We did it!

MIssion accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

Going to Batu Caves

February 18, 2013

On our second weekend here, February 2013, we thought we could make the journey to Batu Caves, a Hindu holy sight on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, so we hopped into the LRT (Light Rapid Transport) and then caught the train to the Caves.

The KL cityscape from the Dato' Keramat LRT stop

The KL cityscape from the Wangsa Maju LRT stop near the school.

We were able to see the great limestone caves getting nearer and nearer as we approached.  A great statue of Lord Hanuman greeted us on the way in.

Standing at the entrance to Batu Caves

Standing at the entrance to Batu Caves

Moving closer to the steps that lead up into the caves, we were struck by the gold plated statue of Lord Murugan, the deity to whom these caves are dedicated.  Many devotees pray to Lord Murugan during the holy festival of Thaipusam, which we had missed by two weeks.

You mean we have to climb all those steps?

You mean we have to climb all those steps?

Cartier's new friends

Cartier’s new friends

Well, at least we made more friends along the way!  Yes, there are 272 steps, and we were determined to climb them all.

Half way there!

Half way there!

See the next post for more on Batu Caves 2013!

Kate’s Birthday

February 23, 2012

The Birthday Girl

Lucky Kate!  She celebrated her birthday on the 11th of February.

Kate watches while "Dr Gina" lights the birthday cake

We asked the hostel boarders to join us for cake and tea to wish Kate a birthday she’ll never forget!

And it's a party!

The cake says, “Selamat Hari Jadi, Kate”  — Happy Birthday in Bahasa Malaysia.  Her lucky number 34 is on the cake too–that’s not her age!

Sri Utama at Kuala Terengganu

February 17, 2012

On Monday morning, 6 February, we came to the Sri Utama School in Terengganu.

Our visit to Sri Utama KT

The Wilkes University student teachers were very impressed by the orderliness and beauty of the school, as well as the kind and patient teachers they met there.  Mme Paulin called the students to the assembly and welcomed us officially to the school.

Mme Paulin watches as one student leads the morning assembly

Morning assembly

Our students worked in teams of two, each team consisting of one primary and one secondary student teacher.  This pairing up helped our secondary student teachers feel more comfortable working with the younger students in this all-primary school.

Meeting the children

Pre-schoolers sing "Wheels on the Bus"

One of the Sri Utama children’s favorite activities seemed to be “The Hot Seat,” an activity in which each student—and the teacher as well—take a turn sitting in a special seat.  There, they must answer questions about themselves.  In this way, we were able to get to know interesting information about each student, develop quick rapport, and give the students an opportunity to practice forming and answering questions in English.

Marrissa and Kate in class

What a wonderful morning we had getting to know the students and faculty in our sister school, Sekolah Sri Utama, Kuala Terengganu!

Tour of Kuala Terengganu

February 17, 2012

Madame Paulin was our constant companion on the island, as well as Mr How and Ms Fadzilah, who kept us company for the entire trip.

Here we are in front of the White Mosque, upon arrival at Kuala Terengganu

Madame Paulin takes us to visit a Chinese temple

Mme Paulin was also our gracious tour guide the next day, Sunday, the Prophet’s Birthday (a holiday), as we saw the sights of Kuala Terengganu, including the exquisite Crystal Mosque.

Here we are in front of the exquisite Crystal Mosque

The camera just doesn't do it justice

We stayed the night at the Permai Hotel where we prepared for the next day’s visit to Sekolah Sri Utama Kuala Terengganu, after a delicious banquet at a Chinese restaurant.

Now THIS is great Chinese food!

Hungry Mr How with Tom and Becky, who is giving Felicia her "teacher look"

We were eager to get to KL’s sister school, Sekolah Sri Utama Kuala Terengganu, the next day….

Weekend at Pulau Kapas (Cotton Island)

February 14, 2012

Pulau Kapas, here we come!

As if the first few days didn’t hold enough surprises for us, we found out we were about to be treated to a weekend on Pulau Kapas, off the East Coast of Malaysia, courtesy of our host, Dato’ Fawziah!

Before sunrise on Saturday morning, February 4, we joined a caravan of three vans that took us on a six-hour journey to Terengganu on the east coast of Malaysia.  Here we boarded a boat and braved the choppy waters to Pulau Kapas, a beautiful paradise island with calm, sandy beaches and clear waters.

At the jetty waiting for the boat to Pulau Kapas

William, Becky and Tom hang on