At the Orientation in Washington, DC, so many things happened in a very very short amount of time, giving each of the students an abbreviated amount of quiet to really work through the emotions everyone was feeling. Fortunately, bestowed upon us were these magical portals into our consciousness called journals. Since I adore writing and have already planned to keep this blog, I thought I was set. It took until the "How to use a Journal" seminar was half over before I realized how many undocumented feelings and events went on. I'm sorry, blog followers, but there are some emotions that WILL NOT MAKE IT TO THIS BLOG. My deepest and most sincere apologies, but I really can't just write "I was annoyed at this person today" because then that person will feel blogged about. Even though this is about my experience and reflecting on it, people will get hurt if that happens.
Other seminars included an Introduction is Islam featuring the wise Imam Arafat, a lesson on how to be a great Ambassador for your country, your community, your family and yourself, and many many others. I learned so much from being with the Malaysian students who were in attendance for their final orientation before going home. They were all so happy, so friendly, so helpful, so caring, I just couldn't handle it! They told me things about the school and home life and the culture differences that they could compare because they were here in the US for a year, and it was extremely helpful.
In Malaysia, there are two different tracks in school. There's the Arts/Language/History/Culture track that's taught in Malay, and there's the Maths/Science/Biology/Chemistry track that's generally taught in English. Because I'm so excited to learn Malay and my interests lean towards Arts, History, and Culture, I'm figuring on taking that track of classes. I understand that this will be challenging, but I am confident in myself and my host family's help. I'm really very very excited to go!
Talking to my host family makes me so happy- they seem like the nicest people and they have a lot of experience in hosting. I've had some experience hosting, so I know what's said and what's not, and how indirect communication can really affect relationships. I hope they are okay with me writing blogs- that's something we'll have to talk about when I get there.
Speaking of when I get there, the clock is ticking down! I've got 7 days before I leave for LA for the orientation, 10 days before I leave the country, and something like 12 days before I see my host family! I'm coming home!
Here's something I thought was cool: 5 Malay Words from the first Quizlet List:
Tunjuk: To point out
Turun: To descend
That's right- I'm going backward alphabetically.
Good luck to my friends in India and Thailand!