Rock Steady

Rock steady baby, that’s what I feel nowwww. Well hello, dear family and friends that still have any interest in reading this. Can you believe I’ve been writing on this blog for 7 years? Here is a brief summary of what I’ve been doing: After two weeks cruising the classic tourist circuit around Cambodia, I spent a month working for Little Planet, an outdoor education company based in Tioman Island, Malaysia. A month flew by, spent mainly introducing groups of international private school students from Singapore to jungle trekking, kayaking, snorkeling and star gazing, as well as a detour to the wild jungles of Endau Rompin for a three day canoe trip and a field trip to Bali, where I learned how to mud wrestle men twice my size.  A painful 22 hour flight later I was back in California in my happy place working another quick season for Naturalists at Large, and after flitting around California for two months I hopped back on a plane to return to Malaysia for the summer. And here I am, writing during a two week vacation, after a jam-packed June.

Strangler fig, my absolute favorite tree

Malaysia was a bit of an adjustment for me- tolerating the heat and humidity, driving and walking on the left, learning to avoid the giant water drainage holes between the curb and street. Most of that feels second nature now, although I still always initially look the wrong way when crossing the street, and on occasion will feel so overheated that I’m actually surprised I haven’t burst into flames. Despite now having spent two full months here, my Malay remains embarrassingly terrible. I can count, but only to 4 (satu, dua, tiga, empat!). I can order more chicken, or I suppose in theory I could order up to four more chickens, which is great because Malaysia consistently has the best chicken I’ve ever eaten, especially when fried (Satu lagi ayam!). I can tell someone to enjoy their meal, and cheers, since as usual I spend a lot of time eating or thinking about eating (Selamat makan! Hanto hanto!). I can tell you good morning and ask how you’re doing, but can only respond with an affirmative (Selamat pagi! Apa kabar? Bagus!) As for other miscellaneous words I’ve picked up, I think I’ve got banana (pisan!), turtle (penyu!), toilet (tanda!), hot (panas!), good (boleh!), brother/ sister (abang/ kaka/ adik) and headscarf (tudong) and that’s really it. Makes for some really stimulating conversations, if you enjoy conversing at the level of a one year old.

I’ll do my best to start writing a bit more but no promises, the Internet can be pretty spotty and something about living on an island can cause me to be pretty lazy… But for now, here are a handful of pictures from the last five months!

Katie and I derpin’ around Siem Reap
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Oh how I love trees
Really identified with this guy when I was in the early stages of heat stroke
Old timey tunnel
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Watching the bats in Battambang
Beautiful Balinese rice paddies
This lil guy had different floral decorations every day and I think he LOVED it
“Cultural excursion”
Durian, unequivocally the worst thing I have ever eaten. Texture of baby poop, taste of diarrhea that has been lit on fire with battery acid.
Pura Besakih, the Balinese mother temple
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Bye bye, Bali!

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