As of today I arrived in Malaysia a week ago, and so much has happened! Before we left we had an orientation in DC, to try to get us more prepared by talking about the culture and expectations. Once we arrived in Malaysia we were picked up in the airport and taken to a hotel along with the other 47 kids from all over the world that were going to be living in Malaysia for the year. There were kids from Germany, Argentina, Venezuela, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, and a couple more. They took us around KL (Kuala Lumpur) for awhile, and then taught us a song that we would have to perform the next day after we got our host families. My family is a mom (Diana), a dad (Baharuddin), and a 19 year old sister (Amelia). They are very kind, and doing their best to make me feel at home :) After they picked me up we went shopping at the Petronas Towers, and headed home. I got settled in my room, although it will change quickly because my family is currently remodeling their home.
The first couple days I didn't do much. I only left the house once or twice, to go to the market and buy my school uniform. I was still very tired from the long flight, and my stomach was adjusting to the food. Also, to the heat! It is exremelyyy hot here! You can't hardly go outside, or any room inside without AC for that matter, without sweating. Whenever we open the fridge, the cats try to jump inside!
After a couple days of tiredness and sickness, I had my first day of school. My school is only a five minute walk from my house, and has grades 5 through 11. Because their school year runs with the calendar year, I am starting in grade 10 and will begin in grade 11 in 2012. Only three minutes after I walked onto the school property I was asked to introduce myself in front of the whole student body. Thankfully, they let me do it in English. After the assembly, I went to the counseling center where I was given my class schedule and introduced to Alya, my 'tour guide'. Instantly everyone at the school was very friendly and made me feel welcomed. Besides from the weather and uncomfortable uniforms, it was a very good first day!
Aside from school, I have visited the neighbors, done some shopping, and a lot of cooking! Everyone here is very nice in Malaysia! When we went to lunch, we started talking to a couple for a few minutes, and then they ended up paying for our lunch! Shortly after we returned home, our neighbors dropped in and gave us two cakes, a chocolate and a rainbow (I will be sure to post pictures later, because they are quite impressive). The food is all very good, and very spicy! I am going to be taking a cooking class in my school so I can learn how to cook the traditional Malaysian foods. I am also considering a baking class, or a martial arts class. I think I need the exercise, especially with all the food!
This weekend we are going to see the new Harry Potter movie, visit my host grandparents in the village, and attend a wedding in KL. I can't wait! Overall everything is a lot of fun, and I am being kept very busy! I will be sure to write more later!