Saturday, January 7, 2012

6 Months Down

post by Megan

Ron and I have decided to change the name of this blog.  What used to be "Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Where's that?" has now become the current heading "Half a World Away."  On Tuesday, January 10th, the Turner family will have officially been living in Malaysia for 6 months.  Wow.  We made it half a year!  We feel the new title is more fitting of how we are feeling now - and how our friends and family probably feel (since we're guessing, those who read this, now have an idea of where KL is located!)  Over the last six months, there have been a fair share of ups and downs - trials and tribulations, but we have made it this far, and things can only get easier.

Since it is the 6 month mark and a new year at that, I think I'd like to take some time to look back at all we accomplished in 2011 and then look at what we've learned while living here in Kuala Lumpur.

I cannot believe all that has happened to us in such a short period of time.  In 2011:

  • We went to an international teaching fair in Boston
  • At the fair we met our now great friends, Kate and Paul with kids Sarah and Nicholas Balsamo (who are from Baltimore and also got hired to work in KL)
  • We took a job in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - not really knowing where we were moving
  • I got pregnant with Brady
  • Caden turned 3
  • We left the comforts of home (friends/family) and living in the States to move, literally, to the other side of the world in Southeast Asia
  • I gave birth to Brady David Turner on November 21, 2011 at Prince Court Hospital in KL
Brady - 5 weeks old

Looking ahead at our continued life here in KL, I've been thinking about all the positive things I've learned while living here.  Yes, it is easy to focus on the negative much of the time (like really missing our friends and family, missing our dog, Kailey, not having the comforts of U.S. - like Target! etc.), but there are many great things about life here too:
  • The local people really do love kids.  They are so friendly to Caden that he has come out of his shell and will literally talk to anyone.  He feels very comfortable here.
  • Speaking of Caden - he LOVES his nursery school, Buzzy Bee, and his "aunties" who teach him.
  • We have an amazing Amah, Julie.  Both of our boys adore her, and she really keeps our house in working order for us.
  • Malaysia is BEAUTIFUL.  I cannot wait to see more of it.  It is so lush - with beautiful greenery and flowers everywhere.  
  • The people here are so kind and helpful.  We get smiles and waves most places we visit. 
  • We have learned so much about this culture that cannot be learned in books or on video.
  • The sound of the call to prayer that was once so foreign is now just part of life here (it's 1:23pm, and I hear it now).  Now when I hear it, I think of all the kind-hearted muslim people who we live amongst.  (Have I mentioned the beautiful colors of the clothing islamic women wear here - their prayer dresses and hijabs (head scarfs) are not black - but many bright colors that reflect the colors of Malaysia).
  • It's been fun (and at times gross or mouth-burning) to try the different foods here
  • ISKL has already helped us grow so much professionally and personally that I know we'll continue to grow during our time here.
  • At National Mosque
  • We are now able to travel around and see different parts of the world.  We'll see Penang in March and Brunei this summer; we already have plans to eventually get to Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and anything else we can squeeze in (I'm hoping Australia!).