Posts Tagged ‘Wilkes’

Jungle Adventure, February 2014 – Di Dalam Hutan

June 30, 2014

Ok, so it’s been a few months since we’ve been back. We’ve finished the semester and these student teachers have graduated. But we’re all still reminiscing about the adventures that we had just a few short months ago in Malaysia! Here is our story about one hot Saturday afternoon in February, when this group of student teachers decided to experience the jungle.

Ready for A Jungle Adventure!

Ready for A Jungle Adventure!

Now you may think it’s odd to have an ATV park in the middle of the jungle. But it’s there–the rock says so–and it’s truly IN the jungle.  We’d heard all about it.  We had to experience it first-hand. We got loads of directions from friends at the school on how to get there (all of them different).  Finally, we piled in the van and found our way in to the jungle.

a Jungle village

Village at the edge of the jungle

The further inside the jungle, the narrower the road....

The further in, the narrower the road….

We cautiously eased our van up the ever-narrowing jungle road, hoping to find the much talked about ATV Adventure Park.  And, finally, just when we thought the road was about to end, there it was.

With the motto “Respect the Jungle!’ the group was off on an adventure.

See you later!

See you later!

And what’s a jungle adventure without a little drama?

f Lost in the jungle

Lost in the jungle!

With two secondary science majors on board, they insisted on having the full jungle experience.

Jungle river swim… Is there anything more refreshing?

Back home, several hours later, these adventurers were washed and refreshed and ready for another adventure–this time on the town!

Paige, Rachel, Amanda, Chase, Robin & Mitch: All cleaned up and ready for more!

Jom! (Let’s get going!)

February 16, 2014

The 2014 cohort of the Wilkes University student teaching abroad program was packed and ready to go, here with our wonderful driver, Miss Beth Spencer of the Education Department.

Driver Beth

5 in the van

And here we are, waiting at the busy JFK International Airport.

Waiting at JFKReady for Takeoff

Singapore!

April 22, 2012

After a 5-hour bus ride from Kuala Lumpur, we arrived in Singapore!  It really is as beautiful as people say, especially at night.  By the time we got settled into our hotel, we had only a few hours to experience this beautiful city before it was time to go back to the hotel and get enough sleep for our conference the next day.

But as tired as we were, and as nervous as we were about our presentation at the international symposium the next day, we got out and about in Singapore. Here we are on the bridge at famous Marina Bay.  We’re hungry and we’re tired, but we’re here in Singapore!

We are facing the Marina Bay Theatre, which has a roof shaped like a durian. And you already know how much we love durian!

Of course, you can’t go to Singapore without taking a photo in front of the famous Merlion.  It was lit up with colored lights, with eerie bell music playing from a loudspeaker.  So beautiful but magical.

After a quick jaunt around this part of town, it was time to make our way back across the bridge and find the hotel.  The next day, March 8, was the date of our presentation and we wanted to be ready!

Shopping at Central Market

March 5, 2012

Of course, we don’t work all the time!  Like everybody here, we love to shop.  In fact, shopping seems to be a national pastime.

Here we are ready to go inside Central Market

We had to make the traditional shopping stop at Pasar Seni, also known as Central Market, the center for Malaysian handicrafts and art.  Originally a wet market (a place where people buy fish and vegetables and other wet things), it was converted to this charming  and convenient shopping center in 1986.

The outside of Central Market is as nice as the inside!

Central Market is now a Heritage Site, a landmark for Malaysian culture and art.  There are so many bargains to be had in Central Market!  You can’t help but enjoy the cozy feel of the place, and we obviously felt quite at home shopping until we dropped.

Katie chooses some fantastic wall hangings

Becky and Felicia drive a hard bargain!

Lucky for us, there is a great Thai restaurant on the first floor (which would be called the second floor if we were back in the U.S.A.), and we had a chance to relax and enjoy some Thai cuisine.

At the Thai Restaurant

Thai Fried Rice....m.m.m.m.....

Once is just not enough; we have to get back here again!

Kate, Gina & Felicia: Satisfied shopper!

Thaipusam

February 18, 2012

Hindu temple inside Batu Caves

After spending a wonderful weekend on the east coast of Malaysia, we had no idea that there might be another once-in-a-lifetime event right around the corner: Thaipusam.

Throngs of devotees climb the steps into Batu Caves, behind the giant gold-plated statue of Lord Murugan, for Thaipusam.

Thaipusam is the Hindu festival that is very popular in Malaysia.  During this festival, which fell this year on 7 February, many Hindus make a pilgrimage to Batu Caves on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur to offer thanks to Lord Murugan for granting them some favor.  Before they begin the pilgrimage, they will have fasted and prayed and meditated for about six weeks, in order to cleanse themselves and make a worthy offering.

On the day of Thaipusam, or even the night before (which is what we experienced), devotees will travel to Batu Caves to carry a kavadi and offer prayers in thanks for something good that has happened during the year. Many devotees will shave their heads, carry cow’s milk  or special kavadis up the 272 steps to the temples inside of the caves, some of them entranced, their flesh pierced with hooks and skewers–all in gratitude for the blessing that has been granted to them.

Hindu devotee carries a kavadi to the temple

To see this incredible festival, were driven to Batu Caves, back in Kuala Lumpur, before we going back to the Sri Utama KL Campus. Thaipusam was simply an incredible experience, unlike any to be had in America, and many photos were taken for memories in years to come.

Another devotee during Thaipusam

All in front of Lord Shiva

After climbing the steps, we pause at the deepest part of the cave in front of the statue of Lord Shiva.

Overall, this weekend was an unforgettable, enriching, once-in-a-lifetime experience, for which we are very thankful.

Felicia going back down the steps

Settling In

February 14, 2012

Luckily, the day after we arrived was a public holiday (Federal Territory Day, February 1) for the residents of Kuala Lumpur, which gave the students some time to sleep and get acquainted with the Sri Utama campus.  Waking up to a clear, sunny day on the beautiful KL campus, the students truly understood what a great opportunity they had been given.

Becky, Kate & Katy

The following two days, Thursday and Friday, were spent meeting with, observing, and assisting their cooperating teachers with classes.  A few of them were asked to teach classes, a challenge they enthusiastically accepted—even with jet lag!

 

Most important of all, they began to get acquainted with the teachers and the

Sri Utama teachers and students gather for an assembly

students in their classes.

Getting Acquainted

February 12, 2012

Luckily, the day after we arrived in Malaysia was a public holiday (Federal Territory Day) for the residents of Kuala Lumpur, which gave the students some time to sleep and get acquainted with the campus. Waking up to a clear, sunny day on the beautiful KL campus, the students truly understood what a great opportunity they had been given.

The following two days, Thursday and Friday, were spent meeting with, observing, and assisting their cooperating teachers with classes. A few of them were asked to teach classes, a challenge they enthusiastically accepted–even with jet lag! Most important of all, they began to get acquainted with the students in their classes.