Sunday, July 17, 2011

Living Large in Singapore

So now that I've finally showered, put on some clean clothes, and got my boarding pass, it's time to wait for the boarding time. In the short time between my 4 minute post and this one I have definitely had my Singapore adventure!

So one of the guys I met on this trip, EJ, and I were riding on the tram system they have between the terminals and we had a car all to our own. Which immediately meant leaving our luggage carts unattended and swinging/climbing all over the inside of the car. Our luggage immediately rolled away and spilled over the inside of the car, but that just gave us more obstacles to dodge. Finally we started to slow down for our arrival and we had to quickly pick up all our luggage.

Then it was off to explore the airport looking for our group so we could find the showers. Not too much longer and we were successful! We met up with members from our team and were pointed in the direction to find the showers. EJ and I found the place which had exercise machines, a pool table, and a pool on the roof! We had seen the pool earlier and it was all shut down, but as EJ and I were exploring around we discovered another door that we could sneak in to the pool area. We walked around for a bit looking at the pool and testing the hot tub (it was cold) before heading back down to check on showers. Well the showers were available and I was ready to clean up, but then I really had the urge to go swimming. EJ and I snuck back up to the pool and after looking around a little bit again we decided it was time. This pool was great! No roof, nice floors and plants all around, and full of clear water we were ready to jump in. So quickly we stripped down, jumped in, and went swimming around for a bit. Then we hopped out, grabbed our towels, and ran to our showers to warm up and wash before starting in on the longest part of our trip home.

Now we have our boarding passes and are waiting at a Starbucks for our boarding time to come. Right now it's 4:30 in the morning so we'll be able to board in thirty minutes or so. We are all looking very dead, but everyone is excited to get a little closer to home. Everyone wants to crash, but they're all trying to wait so we can sleep on the flights. I'm just excited to watch movies and stuff! I'll probably end up asleep too. Give me a couple more hours and I'll have been awake for 24 hours. Never a good idea for me, but I figure with all the flights ahead of us catching some naps on them will be nice. I probably won't be getting online in Tokyo which is our last stop before landing back in Atlanta so this will more than likely be my last post from the trip. I'll probably have another talking about being back and reflecting on my experience, but that doesn't really count. So last post of the trip. Feels so weird to be headed home, but I'm really excited to be back too. Being with friends and family sounds amazing right now and I look forward to being with them. Until then, peace out!

My 4 Minute Post

Currently I'm in the airport at Singapore which is the nicest airport in the world. So far I agree. Amazing lounges, butterfly gardens, sunflower gardens, video games, free movie theaters, it's pretty tight. Apparently a really tall slide too. I'm kinda curious about that one. We landed here at about 9pm local time and our flight leaves at 5 am. We have some time to wander around a bit. Hopefully find a shower sometime too. After eating at Hard Rock Cafe I'm pretty stuffed, but it's a beautiful feeling. This airport is really built like a mall, but it's super cool. My sleep schedule is starting to get messed up, but hopefully I can confuse it enough that when I get home I'll be able to sleep through the first night and it'll correct itself soon.

1 minute left, okay that's most of what's been going on here, but I'll post again if I think of anything tremendous. Just wanted to see what I could get in!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sabbath Adventures

So this past Saturday I gave the sermon at church in the morning and sat through a Sabbath School that was nicely done, but in their language obviously, so I had my own little prayer session during that time. After the meal, we went to a member's house to eat lunch. It was really cool because most of the church was there all bringing different types of rice and toppings for the rice. Ever since that episode earlier that sent me to the clinic I haven't really eaten much, but I will admit I finally ate a pretty good meal that day. The food in my village is excellent and usually has more taste than what we're being served back at our cabins. When I finished eating I must have been falling asleep because they told me to go lay down on some mats and I was out. I woke up and everyone had left, my translator was sleeping, and so was most of our host family. We looked through some of their photo albums, we even spent some time feeding and playing with their pet rabbit, but one of the best things of the evening was getting to drive their motorcycle! We drove that around for a little bit and then decided to go check out Indonesia.

They were going to let me drive their car to the border, but it wouldn't start. So we just walked over to the rest of their family that was going and hopped in their car. So with a van loaded well beyond capacity we go driving up to the border to drive around and take pictures. We spent a fair amount of the day there just walking around, but it was really cool! I also get to check off one more country that I've been to on this trip! When we got back to the village of Entubah, we took the motorcycle out again and we went to the school where their daughter goes to school. It was a really fun drive on the bike and the school was actually really big! That about wrapped up the day because after that was just cleaning up and getting ready for the evening meeting. Even if it was a really chill Sabbath afternoon, I had such a great time actually getting to hang out with the people at my church! I've always loved these trips because of the friendships I make, but so far it's been really hard to spend time with the people here because of the rules we keep getting reminded about. Oh well, at least one day here has been really cool and productive! Since then it's been the same ol' same ol' of boring morning meetings, lazy afternoons, and then finally getting to go to our villages, but mostly just to preach. Sigh...

Tomorrow we're off to see Orangoutangs in the morning though so that should be a neat experience! Were driving all the way back out to the bigger city of Kutching so we might even get a little American food! The last time the group came out this way because of the culture village they got McDonalds and KFC if they wanted. We'll see what happens!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Culture Clinic

So the other day was one of our "outing" days here in Malaysia and the plan was to go to a culture village to see some of the traditional huts, dress, and dances of the different tribes here in Malaysia. We had practiced our sermons the day before so we were prepared for the talk that night. All that was left was to be up and out by 6 to head to the village.

Well around one in the morning I start feeling some pain in my stomach and soon found myself throwing up most of that evenings meal. Feeling better after that and thinking I had only over-eaten, I was back in bed and trying to fall asleep. Unfortunately this was far from the end. From about one in the morning till six I was either next to the toilet or on the couch feeling the pain in my stomach start growing again. It was at about 6 that my roommates woke up and according to them "heard me moaning" so I'm guessing I was in pretty bad shape. They had some anti-vomiting medicine that helped me sleep a little, but they also went and told our trip leader what was up and she came to check on me and said that a pastor and his wife would be here to take me to the clinic in a couple of hours when the clinic would be open. I think I actually got some sleep during that time because I faintly remember getting my computer and slipping in and out of conscious because I can remember a very choppy story line of Balto that I had playing the whole time.

Well the pastor and his wife showed up and we made it to the clinic where much to my dismay the line was out the door. For some reason though they took me straight into a back room where I could lay down. I think the pastor's wife said something about me being "very pale" so that may of helped. Anyways, so I'm in this back room and they start an IV on me to start getting some fluids since for the past 10 hours or so I hadn't really been absorbing much. So I think I dozed off a little with the IV in me and woke up sometime later still feeling pretty uncomfortable when the doctor decided that maybe some acupuncture would help. So apparently the acupuncture points for the stomach are one near the knee and one a little further down and to the side I think. I can't really remember. The acupuncture sort of helped I suppose, but definitely not for an extended amount of time. I kept getting a kick out of it though when I would look down and see two, fairly long pins sticking out of my leg. After the acupuncture I got another liter set up for my IV, some pills, and an injection for pain. In the end they gave me one more liter of fluids into my other arm since they had taken the first IV out, another round of acupuncture, and a few more pills before I finally got a fair amount of rest and stopped throwing up. Oh yeah, I guess I had thrown up a few times in the clinic too. Just not my day. Anyways, so finally started feeling better and went back to the cabins we're staying in and actually got to sleep for a couple of hours straight.

After sleeping I actually was feeling a lot stronger and I wanted to at least go to my church where I had been preaching, but when I got down to the parking lot my ride had already left without me since they thought I was sleeping the entire evening. I tried to find a way for someone to take me, but I guess everyone was still a little worried about me and I ended up just tagging along with another speaker. Looking back at it I'm kinda glad I got to go since most of us will never really experience any of the other speakers sights and it was neat to be able to just be a part of the audience and see what these evening meetings are like.

When we got back from the meetings I gave my mom a quick call where she promptly started making me list of my symptoms and quickly figured out she was putting them in to WebMD to figure out what was wrong with me. Then it was off to bed. I slept through most of the night for the first time and I'm happy to report that today I'm feeling a whole lot better than yesterday! I even gave the practice talk in our morning class and I'm feeling good about preaching the word tonight!

I have to say I'm a little disappointed that I missed out on the culture village, but I almost think getting to be in the clinic was almost an even better opportunity for me! I'm really excited about studying to be a nurse back home and I'm hoping that I'll be able to be a mission nurse and possibly work in clinics such as the one I was in and it was neat to be in one! Even if I wasn't very sound in mind and body when I was there. I remember saying to the pastor's wife that I was probably the laziest patient the clinic had ever seen since I spent all day just laying there.

I find that I'm still not too excited to eat the native food here, but I'm slowly working up an appetite again. Right now I'm mostly taking in simple fruits and these little round things that are apparently palm trees. I'm not exactly sure so don't ask, but they're pretty tasty and they are very easy on the stomach so I'm enjoying them. I am starting to feel a lot better and I hope that I can keep from over-eating and going through that experience again!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bored in Malaysia???

I never thought I would admit it, but I'm afraid that our morning classes here in Malaysia are going to be a little boring. Especially this morning I don't know how long we spent in class but here is a little video to clue you in:

Now I know we need to go through these meetings, especially when we cover our talks, but I'm in Malaysia! If I wanted to be in class I would have taken summer school! I want to be out even if it's just hanging out with the people at my church that would awesome! Unfortunately it appears that my university is ridiculously strict and if they could assign us all a personal babysitter they would. It's getting a little ridiculous, but I'm hoping to work with my pastor to at least get out and do what I can while I'm here! I don't want to go back home only to tell people that we sat in class and preached, sat in class and preached. Just to go out and do anything would be more interesting!

Luckily last night there was some dance going on in the village that I go to every night so I got to ride a motorbike with the only other teen guy at that church to go check it out! That's the kind of thing that I can write about! I bet if they heard about it back home they would freak out and be talking about how we shouldn't be doing things like that. Anyways, it was cool and I even got some sticky rice out of it! Riding around the town was incredible and I hope to be able to check it out in the daylight too! Well the good 'ol laptop battery is about to die and I need to go practice my talk for tonight! Check back in later!