Friday, December 16, 2011

An Autmun Trip to Ipoh

We get a long weekend about once a month due to all the different Malaysian, Hindu, Chinese, and Muslim holidays. I am getting better at keeping track of which holiday is which but really, I am just glad for the time off! We decided to take the kids back to the water park in Ipoh. The boys went before a few years ago but Natalie has never been so off we went.

Pool water tastes YUCKY

Natalie's first ride down a water slide with her big brother.

Kyle gives Alex a lift so he can feed the friendly Raccoon.

The Bird Sanctuary is one of our favorite places.
The birds land on you and eat right out of your hand.

Alex trying to coax an albino peacock to take some food.
The bird isn't scared. It's just full. :)

We finally got Alex to let a bird sit on his arm and take food. This is an African Gray Parrot. It can talk in more than one language.

Little Miss Independent who refuses to hold anyone's hand when she walks. She folds her arms up like this and walks. It is so funny!

Watching the tigers fight and be fed was another highlight!

The Perhentian Islands

This summer we decided to take a trip to the Perhentian Islands for a few days to do some snorkeling, sunbathing, and general laziness. The travel agent sent a chartered van to drive us across the country which takes about 5 hours. Well, it should take 5 hours. But with the way these hired drivers do it, it's more like 3 hours. I prayed the whole way that we would just make it there alive and Alex (my poor car sick child) puked all the way there.

When arrived, we then loaded our luggage onto a banana boat for the 30 minute boat ride out to the island.

 The dock as we arrived...

 The water was crazy blue.

We did lots of snorkeling and it was so amazing!

John helping Alex build a sand castle.

The view from the deck.

Hanging out and reading

This is one place we will definitely visit again. Beautiful clean water and snorkeling!!!

A Bangladeshi Baby Shower

There is a Bangladeshi man who does a lot of painting at our school so John has gotten to know him a bit (well, as much as he can since the man speaks very little English). This man and his wife just had their first child, a boy. It is a Muslim tradition in their culture to have a party 45 days after the baby is born and he invited our family. We were the ONLY Americans there. It was quite an honor.

When we walked in about 40 men were gathered in a circle chanting and praying. This went on for a long time while we basically watched. Then came the FOOD! They treated us like honored guests. It was a great experience.
The proud papa and his baby boy

Some of the women served us (and Alex served himself!)

According to their tradition, the men ate first...

And then the women ate

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fourth of July in Malaysia

So obviously they do not celebrate the fourth of July here (although I admit the first year I wondered why there were no fireworks... duh).  But our little group of Americans at Dalat did not let that stop us. We gathered together on the beach and had a barbecue on the oceanfront. There was food and friends and sand and waves. We even had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows. What else do you need?

The kids had fun playing in the ocean

We all gathered and said a prayer for the United States and its leaders.

Beautiful sunset

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Trip to Singapore

This summer we decided to take a trip to Singapore for a few days. It is amazing there. So clean. So organized. It's like it was built yesterday! We went to the sceince center there which was so fun! We also went to Universal Studios, shopped, and most importantly, found an APPLEBEES. :)  Yes, my kids were so happy to see an Applebees that we ate there twice. If you ever get the chance, definitely go to Singapore!

There is always a McDonalds!
My handsome boys

In case you forget where you are....

Ah, the joy of babyback ribs!

Riding their first subway.

Archimedes is a personal favorite for Kyle. 

And Isaac Newton of course!

Alex knew these were canopic jars from his 1st grade history lessons

And he told us this was called hieroglyphics

We had a blast at Universal Studios!

My silly boys

Waiting for the show to start

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flora and Fauna

You see all kinds of unique animals and plants here....

There are monkeys everywhere. They hang out on telephone wires and trees and if you are not careful they will get in your house. They are the Malaysian version of a squirrel!

I have no idea what this thing is except that they seem fond of mud puddles.

The "fish spa" is another fun Penang treat. You stick your feet in an aquarium full of fish and they bite at your feet until they are silky smooth. Weird but fun!

Giant mushrooms as big as my hand on our campus.

Around Town

Since we are here we feel like we should try just about everything once. So when we heard about "ear wicking" we were like HUH? But what the heck... it is cheap and will make for good photo opps.

So they stick this paper tube in your ear and light it on fire and it draws all the wax out of your ear which is kind of gross but still really fun. Kyle said it felt really weird but it didn't hurt. He was slightly alarmed by the smoke though!

 Alex decided to get in on the act.

Natalie thought they were both nuts.

Random pic of the view from our living room.

 A few pics of my gorgeous Indian princess!

This is the harbor where all the rich people keep their boats.

Coach comes to Penang

And by "coach" I mean Coach handbags of course!!!  Yes it is true, they have finally opened a Coach store in Penang. Of course, the import prices are so high that I can't afford one but that is not the point!

The even more fun part is that they had this big release party and fashion show and everyone who is anyone in Penang was there. Now I am no one important but I KNOW important people...or at least I know people who know important people.

My friend Ailee went to high school with a girl who is now a bigwig with Coach in Asia and she threw this whole shindig and invited Ailee plus one. Ailee's husband would rather jab his eyeballs out with hot pokers than go to a fashion show so I got to be her plus one!

It was so fun. There were models and glamorous people and reporters everywhere! They kept taking pics of me and Ailee mostly because I was literally the only white person there. :) Our picture ended up in a fashion magazine here in Malaysia!