Monthly Archives: October 2012

Monkeys at our hotel

We had to go to Malaysia for a visa run and had the opportunity to stay at a hotel on the island of Langkwai.  The hotel is in a rainforest and is home to several animals including monkeys.  We ran into some several.

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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in AJ's Adventures


Lots of New Pics

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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in AJ's Adventures


Off to Malaysia

So we have to go to Malaysia today.  Have to leave the country to renew our visas.  If you recall, we went to Laos last time.  We figured we should take advantage of our nearness to several different Asian countries and try to get to as many as we possibly can.  There are two pastors here from India now and they told me that it was only a two hour flight from Calcutta.  Hmmm….are you thinking what I’m thinking?

We are going by train this time instead of bus.  The train will take about 4-5 more hours, but we figured the girls would be able to get up and walk around as well as provide us with some beautiful scenery not available on the freeway.

Like last time, here are a few do’s and don’ts that you should observe if you ever happened to end up in Malaysia.

Malaysia Travel Dont’s

  • Do not touch the head of an adult. Touching people on the head is considered rude.
  • Do not point forefinger at things. Instead, the thumb of the right hand with four fingers folded under is the preferred way.
  • Do not pound your fist into the palm of the other hand, which is considered an obscene gesture to some people.
  • Do not point your feet towards people or sacred images.
  • Do not wear hot pants and vests at mainland beaches if you are female. Topless sunbathing is a no-no. Malay women usually go swimming fully dressed and some keep their scarves on.
  • Do not kiss in public. Public behaviour is important in Malaysian culture. Most Malaysians refrain from displaying affection such as embracing or kissing in public.
  • Do not ever touch or hand a monk something if you are a woman. Even accidentally brushing against their robes requires that they fast and perform a cleansing ritual.
  • Do not be offended if your offer of a handshake is not reciprocated by a Muslim who is of the opposite sex. In Islam, physical contact between the opposite sex is discouraged.
  • Do not be embarrassed for burping. In Malay dining etiquette, burping or belching after a meal is acceptable.
  • Do not discuss ethnic relations or the political system. They are both sensitive subjects.
  • Do not drink alcohol. The country’s large Muslim population does not drink alcohol.
  • Do not ever involve in illegal drugs. There is a mandatory death penalty for trafficking.


Malaysia Travel Dos

  • Do shake hand with men for greeting, but not women unless they offer to do so first. The traditional greeting or salam resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp. People greet visitors by placing their right hand over the left chest to mean I greet you from my heart.
  • Do remove your shoes before entering a Malaysian home or temples and mosques. It is customary to remove and leave footwear outside the house. This practice is also applicable when visiting religious buildings.
  • Do use right hand to receive or give something. The right hand should also be used for eating. It is considered discourteous in Malay custom to use your left hand when you hand over or receive things.
  • Do carry essential travel documents and have your health insurance and health certificates ready before your travel.
  • Do convert most of your currency in Malaysia. There is restriction of bringing large amounts of ringgit (Malaysia’s currency) into or out of the country.
  • Do follow simple rules when visit a Buddha temple. Show respect and remove your hat and shoes,Dress conservatively, no shorts. When sitting, never point your feet at a person or image of Buddha. Stand up to show respect when monks or nuns enter.
  • Do enter the shrine with your left foot first, and exit by leading with your right foot.


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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in AJ's Adventures


A Walk Around the Farm


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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in AJ's Adventures


Fleeing to the City…?

Wait, wasn’t one of the reasons I came here was to get out of the city? lol

Things have been pretty normal around here. Normal being that when you live in these parts, anything can happen.

Over the last week or so we have had massive amounts of rain. During that time we have

-trekked through the jungles in search of needed materials,

-gotten Bob stuck and unstuck from a deep pile of mud,

-killed a few snakes,

-watched the lake overflow,

-helped fill sandbags with the local village people to try and help the flooded areas,

-barely made it home before the road washed out, only to find that we have no water or electricity here. Kind of ironic don’t you think.

We could actually survive here without water or electricity. After all those will be my living conditions in the next few weeks when I move to the property.  But we have a few things to do in Bangkok anyway so now seems like a good a time as any to flee to the city.

I’ll keep you posted if things get any worse.  Hopefully this is the last bit of rain that we will have for the rainy season.

If not, no worries, I can kind of swim ok sometimes, it just depends.  lol

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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in AJ's Adventures


End of class, Back to Work

After a month of intense medical classes, it is finally over. Not sure how much I will be able to retain, but it did open up a whole new world for me.  Lots of things that I’d like to research more and pass on to my little ones.  Knowing how the body works and how each part works with the other parts is a field of study that is almost inexhaustible, and very much overwhelming.  But to not attempt to share with them what I have learned would be to risk putting their very lives at stake.  And no I am not being over dramatic (for once in my life). 🙂

To celebrate we had a small dinner party.  Lots of fun.

Raena’s aunt, Rose, got a chance to hang out with everybody one last time before she left to go back home.  (Funny side note: She got online to print her boarding pass only to find out that they had changed the time of her flight by five hours…five hours earlier that is! Really Eva Air?  You couldn’t send an email or something?)

Since the class is over, it’s back to work for us.  Currently, we are prepping to build another living space. Fortunately, I didn’t come across any snakes.  Unfortunately, Nathan and Sri chi did!

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What are you gonna do?  It’s the jungles of Thailand. 🙂

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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in AJ's Adventures