We have been in Sabah on Malaysian Borneo since last Tuesday so I figured it was an apt time to post the second installment of my blog.
We started the journey to get here on Thursday the 22nd of August. After flying to Abu Dhabi and then to Kuala Lumpa we were pretty tired as we had been travelling for about 24 hours with very little sleep. Despite this, we went out for our first taste of Malaysian food at around 1am at an outdoor restaurant. The food just kept coming and was accompanied by some very loud Malaysian karaoke; we had roti canai, cheese and garlic naan, fried rice, orange juice with condensed milk and so much more! The food here is just amazing and by UK standards, pretty cheap too!
The following few days we spent acclimatising and adjusting to the time change in Seremban and Malaka. Our hosts treated us to more Malaysian food and we all managed to buy Malaysian phones and sim cards. We managed to get time for a swim in the sea in Malaka, and to explore the Jonker Walk; an amazing set of streets home to many Chinese shops and market stalls that sell everything from Taiwan sausages to traditional style clothing.
Our first morning here at OBS began with a welcoming assembly, where we were introduced to all of the OB staff and to what the project really entails. In a typically Malaysian style, we then had a dancing lesson in front of all the staff, and had some food as we hadn’t eaten for about an hour and a half.
Since the first day here we have been out for food with the other members of staff a few times, eating rice, noodles and of course roti. As well as this, we have been lucky enough to receive cooking lessons on how to make chicken noodles, rice, Malaysian omelette and fried pak choy. Yesterday we managed to use our new cooking skills and the BBQ by the boat house to make lunch for our fellow Project Trust volunteers that live locally. It went down very well and we can’t wait to learn how to make more food!
The scenery here is breathtaking… The beach is beautiful and there are other islands not too far away. The rain forest surrounding us here is full of wildlife, unfortunately including millions of ants and mosquitoes. But being taken on a first ridge walk meant that we encountered a troop of monkeys swinging around in the trees above our heads. The most dangerous of the animals we have seen so far was actually a small frog that was in Lucy’s kitchen. Heavy rain had resulted in a power cut, so we were cooking dinner using head torches for light. It was then we found the little frog that we thought was harmless and so started to photograph it. Later we learnt that the frog was poisonous and spits when agitated… it seems we had a lucky escape.
Anyway, that is it for this instalment. The first group we will shadow and help with starts this afternoon, so I will be able to let you know how the teaching goes pretty soon.
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