A Travellerspoint blog

School Life in Malaysia!

It's a great place to work!

sunny 87 °F

Fun Friday swimming

Fun Friday swimming


Christmas Pool Party

Christmas Pool Party

I've spent a lot of time posting blogs about places I have visited in Malaysia, but I haven't written much about the reason I'm here. So, I'll give a little blog space to my place of employment. There is a Facebook page that you can check out, as well as a website.

I was initially hired to teach in Turkey, but the political situation was spiraling downward and I was really worried about getting in the middle of the problems there, and safety. So, I did a little searching and found openings at several different schools and was offered positions in a couple different schools, but felt that this would be a good place to be, lots of areas to travel to and see, and my church nearby, which was an important requirement for me. I won't go into the pay....it isn't what I was offered and expected to receive.....and is quite a sore point with me, but I'm trying to look at this place as an opportunity to meet new people, live in a new area, and travel across Southeast Asia, so I'll leave it there.

This is a brand new school. It's truly amazing how huge it is. It's not yet finished, but slowing progress is being made. A couple of months ago the 2 swimming pools were opened. Big swimming pools! PTA fundraiser and pool opening

PTA fundraiser and pool opening

PTA fundraiser and pool opening

PTA fundraiser and pool opening

PTA fundraiser and pool opening

PTA fundraiser and pool opening

PTA fundraiser and pool opening

PTA fundraiser and pool opening

I have 16 students in my class. It seems like a small number of students, because in the US I would have at least 26 students. But.....before you think it's easy, it's not easy. I have ability levels that range from 1st-7th grade in reading and math. Some students are just learning English, and some are very proficient. I have students from Scotland, Canada, Malaysia, China, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, and the UK. Ten boys and six girls. They are pretty active, but I've got some good behavior systems set up and they are doing well. There is always that one kid in the class that is.....difficult, but I always just think that I have him for a school year, but the parents get him forever.....poor people.

My kids are memorizing poetry this year. It's great for reading fluency, and the poems I ask them to memorize have moral values. They are doing a great job and are so cute when reciting it. We like to travel around the school.

One of the amazing things about teaching here is the different things we get to do. I have always had Fun Friday with my kids wherever I taught. The kids have to earn it with good behavior during the week. Last week we went swimming at the new pool. We just walked a few minutes from the classroom and hopped into an amazing pool. It was so much fun! We are studying ecosystems in science and we live in a beautiful tropical paradise that is all around us. Different activities than I had in Alaska and Utah.
Fun Friday swimming

Fun Friday swimming

Fun Friday swimming

Fun Friday swimming

Fun Friday swimming

Fun Friday swimming


Ecosystem studies

Ecosystem studies

Ecosystem studies

Ecosystem studies


For our Christmas party we had it at the pool. Two of my parents put it all together and it was awesome. Tons of food, swimming fun, and hot hot weather.
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After school today I played tennis on the new tennis courts and then jumped in the pool to cool off after with some friends. Laying and floating in the pool after a fun tennis game, and looking at beautiful palm trees and green gardens was amazing and a great way to end a week of teaching.....without a voice because of illness for a couple of days.

One of the great things about working here is the teachers I am able to associate with. We support each other and frankly, I couldn't live here without that support. We have teachers from New Zealand, Ireland, China, Malaysia, The UK, Canada, and the US. I am learning so many new words from other countries, like elasoplast, boot, bonnet, flyover, and more.

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https://www.facebook.com/RafflesAmericanSchool/

http://www.raffles-american-school.edu.my

Posted by dianeski4 06:59 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Saturday in Singapore

At least 18,000 steps worth!

semi-overcast 80 °F

Frankie and Felicia invited me to go to Singapore to see the Live Nativity at our church. We decided to make a day of it starting at 9 am. It was a pretty quick border crossing and we made it to the church in an hour. We left the car parked there and headed for the MRT. We went over to Sensota Island and spent several hours there. There is Universal Studio, an aquarium, shopping, a casino, restaurants and numerous activities like zip lines and such you can do. We were also able to see Fort Siloso, where the Japanese invaded during World War II. We walked on the beach, ate Krispie Cream donuts, walked thru the casino where we had all the free soda and hot chocolate we could drink, ate a yummy lunch of Chinese food, and walked and walked.
https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Attractions-g294264-Activities-Sentosa_Island.html
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We headed over to the church building where there was a fantastic live Nativity. They had different rooms set up to depict King Herod, the shepards, the wise men, the angels and finally Baby Jesus. Very touching.

We then headed over to Orchard Road to look at the Christmas Lights. It was like New York City. Crazy crowded and bright with holiday lights.
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Back to the church where we visited with people while waiting for the traffic to slow down at the border.

I was talking to a sweet sister missionary and she told me she is from Orem, Utah, near the mouth of the Provo Canyon. I
mentioned that I taught at Foothill Elementary School that is near there, and she said she went there. She asked my name and realized I had her younger sister several years ago, and that she loved me and always would talk about me. What a crazy and small world. We took a photo together and sent off an email to her mom and Addy. I'm hoping to hear back from her.
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Did see a cool moon tonight. It was a crescent moon turned sideways and looked like a smiley face. Yes...I'm on the other side of the world and it's turned differently here. Amazing
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Fabulous day with some really wonderful friends.

I am heading back to Singapore tomorrow to stay overnight with a friend because I have to get a new passport at the US embassy. I've run out of pages and can't get my work permit until I have a new passport. Hopefully, the day will go just as well.

Posted by dianeski4 07:53 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Penang, Malaysia

More adventures!

rain 70 °F

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It's been a wonderful visit to Penang. This city was so worth coming to, and I'll be coming back!

Yesterday I was able to get an Uber to church. It was only 5 ringgits, about $1.15. They have a building here in Penang, with many more members than in JB. Quite a few expats, and many Chinese and Malaysian members. It was so great to be able to be there! I love how everywhere I go I'm able to find my church and enjoy the spirit I feel there. After church while I was waiting for the Uber to find me, I heard this rustling in the trees and looked up and saw monkeys. Just a little freaky...but later about monkeys. They can be pretty scary.
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I called for an Uber and he took me to the Botanical Gardens. Less that 1 ringgit. $.25. I tipped him and gave him 5. Geez...How do they survive?
I bought two bags of peanuts because the lady told me it was so fun to feed the monkeys. She said they would come right up to you and eat out of your hand....right....Just after getting into the gardens I took a path that was fairly quiet and there wasn't anyone around. This "cute" little monkey came running up to me so I threw him a couple of peanuts. It happened so fast I can't believe it. That little punk jumped right up and grabbed the bag that held the 2 bags of peanuts. He sat down and started eating. I thought that I should get back the unopened bag....not a good idea. He started hissing at me, and started towards me. Then he had these two bully friends that came up and harassed me too. The punk didn't even share with them, but they sure were protecting him. It was scary. Another guy came along with his wife and tried to chase them, but they started running towards him screaming and he ran off. 90_IMG_5291.jpg90_IMG_5290.jpg90_IMG_5288.jpg90_IMG_5286.jpg

Now that the peanuts were gone I could enjoy the rest of the garden. And it was beautiful. Very different from the one in Singapore, more natural. There was a little waterfall, and tons of mature trees. The weather was not too hot...maybe I'm getting used to it?
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I was also able to visit Penang Hill.

"Penang Hill is a hill resort comprising a group of peaks in Penang, Malaysia. It is located in Air Itam, which is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the city centre of George Town. Penang Hill is also known by the Malay name Bukit Bendera, which refers to Flagstaff Hill, the most developed peak. The name Penang Hill covers a number of hills, with the highest point at Western Hill which is 833 metres (2,733 ft) above sea level. The hill stands out prominently from the lowlands as a hilly and forested area. It was used as a retreat during the British colonial period, and is now a popular tourist destination in Penang. The top of the hill is accessible via the Penang Hill Railway from its base station at Air Itam." Wikipedia.org

Totally amazing. I took a train ride up to the top for $14. Which was pricy, but I didn't want to spend the $7 to wait, so I got right up there. Wonderful views of Penang, and mainland Malaysia. Usually at the top of major tourist attractions you pay a ton for food. But lunch was under $2.
Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Penang Hill

Views of the city. Lots of little shops, tons of small restaurants, wet and dry markets. Life is happening here.
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I walked from the hotel over to the Komtar building and had lunch here. It was the most expensive meal I had in Penang. $11 for a 3 course meal. I had a famous Penang dish called Char Koag Teow. It is made with noodles, seafood, bean sprouts, and some type of spicy sauce. It was served with salad and dessert. The views were outstanding. The building and surrounding buildings held shopping malls where you could find anything! I was even able to get my iPhone fixed. The glass cover had cracked!

View

View

View

View

Salad

Salad

Char Koag Teow

Char Koag Teow

Dessert

Dessert

View from the Tower

View from the Tower

Me

Me


KOMTAR Tower, or Menara KOMTAR Complex is Penang's tallest building and the sixth tallest building in Malaysia located in the heart of George Town, dominating the island's skyline. KOMTAR is an acronym for Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak. When the skyscraper topped out (reached full height during construction phase), it was the second tallest building in Asia after Sunshine 60 in Tokyo. KOMTAR was still Malaysia's tallest building for 3 years before it was surpassed by Menara Maybank in Kuala Lumpur in 1988. It remains as Penang's tallest building since 1985 at a height of 232 metres (761 ft). In 2016 as part of the revitalisation plan, three new levels totalling 17 metres were added to the tower raising the height to 249 metres (817 ft).

I would highly recommend Penang as a destination. I didn't have time to see everything, and really want to come back again!

Posted by dianeski4 00:58 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Penang, Malaysia

Weekend trip

semi-overcast 80 °F

We have a day off school on Monday, so I decided to take a trip over to Penang. I took a short one hour flight from the airport in Johor and arrived at about 10am. I went to the hotel and just thought I would leave a bag there until I could check in at 2, but they had a room available, so I was able to get in a little rest before heading out for the day. Beautiful views from the hotel of the city and China Sea.
Heading to the airplane

Heading to the airplane

Hotel View

Hotel View

View from the hotel

View from the hotel

There is a hop on hop off bus that takes you around the island so I paid 45 RM for 24 hours. There is a city route and a beach route. So, I took both. The scenery was beautiful. I stopped off at a butterfly farm and enjoyed the beautiful insects and plants.

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I hopped back on the bus and finished up the beach route and stopped off on the city route at a huge mall. They had a food court and so I tried some of the famous Penang food. A noodle dish, and ice-cream made with ice, noodles, milk, and kidney beans. Yes, it sounds weird, but it was tasty.

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I got back on the bus and spent 2 hours getting back to the hotel. Traffic was pretty bad, but got to see lots of sites. I'm loving this opportunity to get out and see a new part of the world. I am independent! I did enjoy meeting a couple of interesting people. One couple from Austria is on a four month honeymoon and have traveled thru Russia, China and not Southeast Asia. Another guy I met on the bus was from Australia, and just on a holiday. He can't understand our political situation.....and I can't either. But I'll leave it at that. Some of the best parts of traveling are meeting new people and making connections. All of us are just trying to make life work and find happiness on the way thru this journey.

The other day I had dinner with the missionaries and while talking with one of the newest missionaries found out that he was from Provo, my home town. I went to school with his mom, aunts and uncles. His grandma played the organ in my ward when I was a little girl, played for my parents funerals, and is still playing! It's indeed a small world.
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Posted by dianeski4 07:39 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Kompong Khleang

Floating Village

sunny 90 °F

http://www.tourismcambodia.com/travelguides/provinces/siem-reap/what-to-see/76_the-great-lake-tonle-sap-floating-village.htm

Visiting the floating village was another highlight of the trip to Cambodia! One of the interesting things I experienced before the village was sampling frogs. One way to make some money is by catching the frogs from the rice fields and cooking them up to sell by the side of the road. We stopped by once such roadside stand. A woman and her baby were busily preparing the frogs. They are so fat that there is room to stuff them with a tasty filling of chopped frog and spices. Then they are placed on skewers and BBQ'd. Yes, I tried it. It tasted a little like chicken. I honestly couldn't eat more than a bite, but the tour guide was happy to take the rest home for a feast later. 1$ treat!

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

BBQ Frogs

We drove to the river and boarded a boat to take us to the floating village. The two boys, who looked to be ages 12 and 13 were actually 16 and 17. Cute kids who were clearly good friends.
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Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

It took about 45 minutes traveling down the river before we got to the village. I can't even describe how amazing this village was. There was a floating school, church, police station and many homes. Children swimming in the river, fishing everywhere, parents holding small babies, cooking, cleaning, seemed like life just happening, just in an unique place.

We continued out to the lake where we were to watch the sunset, however with the cloud cover we weren't able to see much. But it was still beautiful. While waiting another "Snack" boat came and sold us water, fresh cut mangos and Pringles Potato Chips. The boys loved the chips.

Then it was back through the village and back down the river. What a fantastic experience.
Floating village

Floating village

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Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Floating River Cruise

Posted by dianeski4 04:08 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

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