Lots has already taken place already during our time in Kota Kinabalu; however, our country coordinator, Peter, has been gracious and flexible with our jet lag and general need for adjustment to this new place. We arrived two days ago (at about 1AM) and here are just a handful of things we've learned, seen and been puzzled by:
- STS: Sabah Theological Seminary; our first "home base" as we go through our first week of orientation in East Malaysia on the island of Borneo in the city of KK and the state of Sabah
- KK: Kota Kinabalu; a pretty large city that will be my home for the next 11 months and our first stop as a YAGM Malaysia group; you can find everything here from local fish markets to movie theaters to Coach stores (who knew??)
- Laksa: a superb dish some of us had at a restaurant in the "City Center" that comprised of a broth, spices, tofu, shrimp, chicken, cilantro and deliciousness
- Umbra juice: I called it "guac juice" or a "garden in a glass" a very strange concoction of avocado, something sour and lots and lots of greeny goodness; the glass was passed around the group and there were many shocked, disturbed and delighted faces - a wide array of reactions to say the least
- "Squaty potties": the bathroom situation is still puzzling many of the women; there's a bucket with water (sometimes), no toilet paper and no instructions on what you're supposed to do. More on this topic, later.
- Fellow Americans!! Tonight, we met a family of ELCA long-term missionaries who teach here at the seminary in Sabah. My ears perked up when I heard a woman say to two young boys, "Do you see the YAGMs?" ha - it was a welcome comfort to hear someone refer to us as "YAGMs"
- Terima Kaisah: [tah-ree-mah kah-sea] "thank you" in Malay; the first thing we learned! :)
- Mount Kinabalu: the tallest mountain in Malaysia; this morning, we had an incredible view of the thing on our run and tomorrow we head there to do some hiking. We can't wait!
Can't wait to share more, soon! One of the YAGMs, Sean, suggested an "electronic free" time on our retreat to Mount Kinabalu (an excellent idea!), so we will be MIA for the next few days.
In the meantime, please pray for everyone's continued adjustment to this new place. We have some bodies in the group that are trying to get over colds, some trying to get more/better rest and minds that are very full and over-stimulated by new things. We are very blessed and thankful to be here and trying to enjoy every moment with healthy bodies, minds and spirits.
[peace, blessings, joy]