Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Crazy Busy

Written by Megan

So sorry neither Ron nor I have posted for quite a while.  Our lack of communication through this blog is entirely due to our insane business with our new jobs and our new life, and the fact that we didn't have internet at home until just a few days ago.  We STILL don't have cable either - things do NOT get done as quickly in Malaysia as they do back home.  Then, when we do have things being installed (like internet), if it isn't working 100%, well, we have to find other means of fixing it because there seems to be a quote among the Malaysian workmen here, and that is "Not my job."  UGH!  :)

Ok - so we've had many workers in and out of our house since we moved in on July 10th.  After much frustration and anger, things have gotten much better (and we've found we are not the only ones having house issues here - and we actually haven't had it as bad as some others).  Anyway, here is a list of what we've had fixed since moving in:

1. All beds (yes, the supposed "NEW" beds that were here), have been taken out and we bought our own.  This is because night 1 here - 10:00pm - when I was making the bed, I saw small black WORMS CRAWLING ON THE MATTRESS!!!  Thank goodness for fast friends here who let us sleep at their house that night.
2. Windows in upstairs loft fixed because it would rain into the house
3. Water heater and water "boost" fixed. (We have to flip a switch so we have hot enough water, and a strong enough flow to take a good shower).
4. New air conditioner in our bedroom - old one was leaking water.
5. Gas stove fixed - our Amah had to cover her arms in wet towels so she wouldn't get burned with the blast of fire when she turned on the stove.
6. New roof over the "laundry area" out back.  Old one was leaking onto washer and dryer.
7. New washing machine - old one here was getting our clothes dirtier!
8. House sprayed for bugs.  (Lots of dead bugs in drawers when moved in - nobody had lived here for a while, and I guess bugs taking over is normal for empty homes in this climate).
9. New Shower head in master bath - old one trickled water.
10. Water heater for our Amah's bathroom - since apparently cold showers is acceptable to give maids here - NOT FOR US!!!  (Julie is very thankful)
11. Although this came furnished - the furniture is so hard and awful (to us) that we bought an Ikea couch for the loft upstairs, Dining room table, shelving unit, tv, tv stand, side tables, and a new couch (on top of the new bed in our room).  SHEESH!
12. Contractor had to fix the large gash the furniture movers put into the railing.
13. Tech guy from school had to come over 2 days after we got internet to actually get the internet to work on our Macbooks for work.  (An example of when the actual internet guys were here and said to me "not my job" when I asked to make sure internet would actually WORK on our computers!)

OK - I think that's it.  PHEW.

As for my U.S. friends and family, I'm just going to let you be thankful for the ease of U.S. living.  Anytime you get angry about something not working quite right, just think of us :)

On a POSITIVE NOTE:  We have met such AMAZING and KIND people here.  Everyone is so helpful and nice.  Caden has made great friends.  He literally just said to me "I'm making some really good friends," then went on to name about 7 kids he likes to hang out with.  There is a 2 1/2 year old boy, Liam who lives a few houses down.  His Amah is friends with ours, so they will get the kids together to play.

Speaking of Caden, on September 5th he's going to join a  Montessori style nursery school called Buzzy Bee.  He will get picked up in a van - and ride to school (5 minutes away) with his friends Liam and Fletcher.  He is very excited :)

Ron and I have already been exposed to so much more professional development and collaboration with teachers than we ever got in America, it's mind boggling.  We are learning so much professionally, and doing so many more things with these classes than we ever could with the the large public school classes.  My largest class is 17 kids!  I only teach 2 humanities classes and 1 media literacy class.  That's it!  Plus, overall, these kids actually like learning and want to be in school.  Here is an example, I have my kids write short journals every day.  In the States it was like pulling teeth to get even 5 sentences written.  Here - I have to repeatedly ask my kids to "wrap up their thoughts" so we can move on.  It's great!  I can do so many higher level things - it's been a nice change of pace already.

Although I feel like a first year teacher when it comes to the amount of time and effort put into planning - this is good for me.  No more showing up right before the kids and leaving right after them :)  All ISKL teachers work hard, put in a lot of hours, and are on top of the newest professional material to work with.  It's nice to feel pushed.

Well I hope you are all doing well!  I'll think of you when I have my 5:45 AM wake up call from the mosque nearby singing the "call to prayer" over the loudspeaker.  (This is one of several throughout the day).