Week 22: 2016 Comes to an End!

26 December- 1 January  This was the last week of our 5-and-a-half week school holiday, and it ended with the start of 2017!  Some of the family was still here at the beginning of the week, following the 16 day prayers.  I went to the Tapah aerobics class, where we had a guest zumba team…

Week 21: Sixteenth Day Funeral Prayers and Christmas

20-25 December On Tuesday, I went to Ibe’s house for the making of tongyuan dumplings, which is a tradition for the Chinese winter solstice. When I looked at a thermometer, I could definitely tell winter was coming: 32 degrees! Oh, wait, that’s Celsius; the weather remained as usual, around 90 degrees F.  We made the…

Week 20: Following the Funeral

12-18 December Following the death of my host uncle, we spent sixteen days devoted to prayers for the deceased. Before every meal, food was placed on the shrine as an offering and everyone sang prayers.  Before praying, my host brother (the head family prayer-doer) would light incense sticks, the jothi (a small flame on a…

Week 19: Experiencing an Indian Funeral

In the beginning of this week, we helped clean the Hindu temple in preparation for an appearance by a holy woman who learned all of the mantras by heart before she was ten years old. The lecture was in Tamil, so I couldn’t understand, but her singing of prayers was beautiful. Amma translated some of…

Week 18

I started off this week at the beach with my AFS Tapah friends Freya and Ibe. By the time the week finished, I was another year older.  While Amma was attending a course, Ibe, Freya, and I entertained ourselves in Lumut, walking around the town and to the riverfront/ beach, and swimming around in the pool. …

Week 17: Thanksgiving Abroad!

21-27 November This was our last week of school for the year! Since Malaysian schools operate on a calendar year, the month of November is for exams, and then December is a holiday! While Amma had a class in Ipoh, I walked around Little India.¬† I was in Ipoh again the next day, this time…

Week 16

This week brought more exams… and more beach! This weekend, Amma had a course in Port Dickson, so I stayed with a host aunt while she was at the course.  I got to spend a couple of hours at the beach! (With supervision) Sunday, we returned home.  And that’s a wrap for this week!

Week 15

This week I started school exams, and later went to the beach and to my host brother’s graduation.  We were invited to attend a huge Deepavali open house at a fancy hotel in Kuala Lumpur that was hosted by two government officials, including the Dato’ that Amma works closely with.  The MIFA Malaysian Indian Football…

Week 14

(I finished my week 13/ Deepavali post with a lot more pictures, so check that out if you haven’t seen it!) We were in Penang the beginning of the week, as we stayed with family for Deepavali. We visited a temple for prayers We had school again on Wednesday. Halloween was this week, so I…

Week 13: Deepavali!

Selamat Hari Deepavali! Diwali valthukkal! Happy Divali! Deepavali was this week, one of the major Indian holidays. It’s known as the festival of light, and it’s famous for lots of lights, kolam, murukku, Open Houses, cookies, and angpao gifts of money for students. We had a Deepavali celebration on Wednesday after school put on by…

 Week 12: Three Months In!

Three months already! Looking back, the time has flown by, but it also feels like I’ve lived here for ages. I’m homesick far less frequently now, and I don’t cry very often anymore. I don’t really crave America as much. (But I do sometimes, of course) I’m usually able to understand conversations in Bahasa Malaysia…

Week 11

Sunday night we went to My Gopeng Resort, where we spent the night for our AFS Perak chapter delayed orientation. The next morning, we went whitewater rafting! The jungle was beautiful and it was so fun. We jumped in and got to swim in the river a couple of times, also jumping off of/ attempting…