What a trip thus far! After close to 24-hours of trans-pacific flight time, I have settled in Kuala Lumpur for ETA Orientation. Although I feel physically refreshed the majority of the day, I crash around 4 pm and struggle to make it through the rest of the day. I still have not fully comprehended that the waiting is over and my Fulbright Grant has begun!
The past few days have been a blend of excitement and anxiety. My travels began at 3:30 am on Friday a, January 2nd and ended two days later at 4 am in KL. The American Airlines flight I took from Dallas to Hong Kong is, I am told, one of the longest flights in the world at close to 17 hours long. I can reassure all of you, that I felt every single one of those 17 hours! From Hong Kong we flew 4 hours to Kuala Lumpur (KL). A few hours later, I arrived at our hotel in the Golden Triangle district of KL. And yes, it was in the 80s with close to 90 percent humidity when we walked out of the airport. What a day!
It is funny how life tends to repeat itself. Meeting 100 fellow Fulbrighters is an overwhelming experience and it feels a little like freshman year all over again. Constant mixing and mingling laced with small talk and underscored by an intrinsic nervousness. However, these fellow Fulbrughters are vastly different from my classmates at Coe in that they are all here for the same reasons: to help bolster their Malaysian students’ English language proficiency levels, and to promote cultural understanding between the United States and Malaysia. In other words, these are some incredibly talented individuals and just flat out cool people!
For the next two weeks of orientation in KL, my fellow Fulbrighters and I will learn a lot about the beautiful country of Malaysia. We will speak to members of the United States Embassy, have high tea with the Ambassador, trek around in the Jungles outside of KL, learn Bahasa Malay (BM for short), and explore all KL has to offer.
Due to the packed orientation schedule, blogging during these first two weeks may be difficult. However, I will try my best to post pictures with brief descriptions to help paint a picture of my life in Malaysia so far. Here are a few from the past 3 days.
Sehingga masa akan datang! (Until next time!)