Monday, 23 July 2012

Day 43

Today was my first official day of orientation. All the new hires gathered together, introduced ourselves, listened to an inspirational speech by the head master and were given tours of the middle/high school campus...

Really?! A waterfall, coy pond, climbing wall entrance. Sometimes I feel like this isn't real! 

Life sized chess set!

I grabbed my sack lunch and met up with my "trailing spouse."  He and the baby were waiting so patiently for me.  We ran home and then I drove myself over to the Melawati campus to work in my classroom along with my personal assistant! It is a little bare bones and I am feeling out of my element, but at least all the boards are covered. Miraculously, I brought enough border to complete SEVEN bulletin boards as well as a small welcome board outside my classroom.  I wish the lighting was better. It's more of a burnt red than it is orange, but it really does freshen up the room a bit! It now feels more cheery and more like me in there.

I have the same schedule tomorrow... only I am not quite sure what to do next in my classroom. 

~Until Tomorrow~  

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Day 42

What a busy Sunday and start to a very event-filled week. I start orientation this week, which will consist of classes and informational meetings in the mornings, working in my classroom for the afternoons and dinners planned for the group in the evenings.  I am excited, nervous, overwhelmed and a whole combination of emotions.  I will say that everyone we meet is so nice. I know I keep saying that, but we have been blessed to meet very genuine, caring people. It's going to get crazy busy very quickly, so bare with me if our blog posts get sporadic, but I will try to keep you updated.

Our day started at 1 p.m. when we met at the Ampang campus. We rode on the same buses that the students take to school. Check out that swanky ride, curtains and all! There was even television so the kids could view movies if they are on the bus for a long period of time. 

The first stop was the Utama Mall. We just grabbed some lunch.  Check out my hot husband's "professional" look! Nice right!  You can see the "rugged island man" look in the Tioman post.  

Keith was asked, "What would you like to drink?" without hesitation he answered, "Root beer float!"  So, naturally I ordered a white hot chocolate. It actually was a little too creamy.

We found this fun store...

and this fun store... (for Keith)

and we made sure Jaxson got some playtime in!

My favorite stop was the local farmer's market that occurs every Sunday afternoon/evening.  I spent less than 20RM and got a ton of fresh produce. Our little group doesn't stick out too bad. Ha!

Keith found another store while I navigated the market. It is a travel store of just all sorts of bags that fold into each other. 

We ended the night with Dinner at Suzy's Corner, where we got our steak fix again! Jaxson was so good all day; we even had some offers for babysitters!! He passed out while we waited for dinner and woke up just in time to stuff his face full of steak. 

 ~Until Tomorrow... hopefully~ 

Day 41

I spent the first half of the day trying to write, edit and upload the post from our Tioman Trip

The rest of the afternoon we got ready for our "date." We were very excited to be going to the first real event for all the new employees to meet, but I think we were more excited that we had an amah (nanny) lined up to keep Jaxson for a few hours.  She was suppose to arrive around 3:45pm, but the cab driver could not find our neighborhood because it is not on the navigation systems yet. If you try to put our address in the GARMIN, it is just an empty space because it too new.  I had the security guards talk to the cab driver on my "handphone" and give him exact directions. Around 4:30 the amah came out of or building with a security guard. I was so confused as to how she got into our building already. Apparently, the cab driver dropped her at the wrong entrance and she was escorted to us.  We quickly gave her directions for Jaxson's routine and said goodbye.  Jaxson gave us a cheerful and adamant goodbye almost excited to see us go.  We rode with our New Zealand friends, that also moved into our complex, over to the Renaissance Hotel.  There we met our administration team and all the new hires... all 38 (for elementary, middle and high school) of us! We grabbed some dinner and headed home.  Our amah said Jaxson did great.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Trip to Tioman

Day 38

Somehow I managed to skip a day somewhere along the way... Day 38 is the day we headed to Tioman.  We woke up about 5:15 a.m.  Loaded up and headed over to meet Chris and Max so we could follow them down there.  They took us through the SMART tunnel, which was actually about a 3-4 minute drive through the whole thing.  We had it all to ourselves and it quickly took us right out of the city. 

We had some car trouble along the way. Chris and Max went ahead so that they could get there in time to purchase tickets for the ferry.  We, on the other hand, could NOT go above about 90 km/j which was about 60 mph.  So, instead of it being about a 4 hour drive it was closer to 5 hours. We had a case of delirium in the backseat...

We also managed to get stuck behind every slow moving vehicle known to man as if that was even possible because we were going 30 km under the speed limit!

The drive was really not bad besides the car trouble and most of the drive is through a Palm Tree Plantation. These Palm trees would squash the palms in Florida; they were so massive and beautiful.

We literally made it by the skin of our teeth.  As we were parking the ferry pulled up and they began boarding.  Thanks to Chris and Max we had our tickets in hand and made it aboard!

About a 2 hour ferry ride over and we arrived!  It was absolutely gorgeous and worth the stress of the trip down.

Walking down the jetty and onto the island, it reminded me of the scenery from the tv show LOST. 

We got checked in and made our way to our own little bungalow just a few steps from the water. 

A very simple and quaint one room hut for about $50 USD a night.  It had everything we needed.

It didn't take us long to throw on our swimsuits and head right to the beach.  By this time, it was a little after 2 so we were able to get some good beach time in!

 Aren't these little huts so cute?!

 I love watching Jaxson and Keith explore new things together. It's one of my favorite things. 

 He really is growing so fast!

We did some exploring, tried to find some dinner (the options are VERY limited) and went to bed early.  

Day 39

We woke up to very low and long rumbling.  The sky was overcast and there were several rain spurts through out the day until early afternoon. Although, I wished that it was sunny for our only full day there, it was so relaxing listening to the rain while being cooped up in a little bungalow in the middle of the South China Sea. 

We were able to get some breakfast even though the restaurant wasn't technically open yet.  I think Jaxson may have helped a bit on that one.  I ordered one "plain pancake" and one "banana pancake."  Keith ordered an omelet.  I wish I could tell you that it was the best pancake I've ever had, but I can't.

This is what came out. It looked like, smelled like, and felt like play-dough. 
And if I could imagine what play-dough tasted like, this would be it.  

The fresh squeezed orange juice was really good and the coffee/tea wasn't bad either!

Jaxson was not a fan of the "pancake" either.  Oh well. At least we tried it!

We did find a nice place for lunch. The boys shared fish and chips and I had a tuna sandwich. The view was lovely too.

Keith could not help himself when he saw "banana fritters" on the menu. 

After lunch, we (by that I mean Jaxson and only Jaxson) had some naked beach time...

While Jaxson napped, Keith and I were able to do some snorkeling.  Those of you who know me well, would be so proud of me!  I am very terrified of open water and especially of sharks eating me. Seriously; for me to swim out in open water to a platform 150 meters from the shore, well that is a BIG deal.  I wish we could have taken underwater pictures of what we saw.  There was reef parallel to the beach that was the home to so many beautiful underwater creatures, many of which I have never seen before.  We had such a great time snorkeling and loved what we saw we are wanting to possibly do some diving.  I might have to take some anti-anxiety medicine to do that, but I know it would be worth exploring the world down in the ocean.

We met up with the crew around sunset, enjoyed a beer and headed to the other side for some pizza on the beach.  This sweet little kitten, "Shark bate" fell asleep on me.  I wanted to bring her back with us, but Keith said no.

Grace and Jax enjoying the view.

Here is a side note you need to know before coming to Tioman. If you are not a cat lover, then stay away because there are cats everywhere!

 Literally, everywhere.

Anyway, we walked to the other side of where we were staying. 

Along the way, we had some pretty incredible views...

Best pizza in Tioman...

Day 40

We had the choice of taking the 11 am ferry or the 6 pm ferry.  We really debated on which one to take, there were pros and cons to both options, but we decided to go ahead and take the earlier one. 

So, we hitched a ride to the jetty.

While we waited for the ferry, we got some up close shots of these working fishing boats. I loved all the vibrant colors. 




 This is what happens when a baby drops his passie in the ocean... no more passie! And that was our only one!

And this is what happens when you drop a flip flop in the water...


Too bad passies do not float.

My rugged Island man. Ha!

Good-bye beautiful Tioman!

Of course, we had more car trouble on the way home... this time not being able to go above 80 km/j.  We hit South of KL about 7... which was five hours from the jetty in Mersing.  We sat in traffic for about and hour and half.  See all the red! (it is the first Friday of Ramadan) We were suppose to go up through Ampang.  I re-routed us. We still hit traffic, but at least it wasn't a gridlock. The roads here are poorly designed and it's so frustrating!  We finally got home at ten p.m.  

It was still worth it!

~Until Tomorrow~