Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On the move again...

After 12 nights spent in Kuala Lumpar (probably 9 more than we initially expected). We've both finally recovered from our nasty little bug.

Monday we caught the 8.30am bus from KL to Lamut, a 4 hour journey on a luxury bus - through a never-ending landscape of palm covered hills (palm oil is a massive industry over here, and a bucket load of natural jungle is being destroyed to make way for more palms). From Lumut we caught a 40min ferry to Pangkor Island, booked into some budget accommodation (40 Ringgit or $13AUD), had a bite to eat and made our way to the beach. The beach looked nice, the water felt pleasant, our new snorkels seemed to be working, then the stingers started attacking and a quick exit from the water was made.

It was decided that Tuesday would be a total day of rest. After breckie, we headed for Coral Bay, found ourselves a nice shady tree right on the beach and set up camp for some serious reading. Had a brief swim (no stingers this time), more reading, lunch, more reading, nap, swim, reading - you get the picture. We headed home before a torrential downpour hit, relaxed some more before heading out with the umbrella for chicken fried rice and delicious Tom Yam seafood soup.... MmMmmm...

What's the plans for the next while? Not much I'd say - after visiting the Indian Visa place in KL, we now know we can not re-enter India until March 21st 2010 (due to recent changes in Indian visa laws) - this is very disappointing as we had planned to get back to India ASAP to help out with the year 10 studies. So looks like we might see a bit of Malaysia, have some rest and relaxation for the next 1.5 months.... (sounds like a good plan B...)

Saturday, January 16, 2010


There's a certain amount of pride you get from not succumbing to Delhi Belly after 5 months in India - but pride cometh before a fall and we fell pretty damn hard! Within 24 hours of hitting KL we were laid flat by a nasty stomach bug that made life pretty miserable for a while there. To make matters worse the hotel we were in was booked out so we couldn't extend our stay, feeling pretty feeble we booked another hotel and continued to be ill. We're on the mend now but have decided to stick around KL until the 19th to ensure a complete recovery.

One thing I've forgotten to mention is that on the way to KL we met a pretty inspirational lady, Ann Wilson. She's a 59 year old British lass who decided to ride across the world on a bike - We helped her box her wheels at Kolkata airport - We were kind of busy packing most of the time so we didn't hear a lot about her story but she has a blog which we'll be reading with interest! We even got a mention! She'll be travelling through Malaysia so we might well meet up with her again.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Selamat Datang!

Just letting you all know that we arrived safely in....Kuala Lumpur! Surprised you all didn't we? We woke up Sunday morning and decided that Kathmandu was too cold, too expensive to leave and too unlikely to get an immediate return visa. That left warm countries that were cheap to get to - Malaysia. After a 4 hour freezing bus ride, epic 28 hour train journey and a 5 hour flight with turbulence we are now settled into a comfortable hotel room in Kuala Lumpur. After a visit to the Indian consulate tomorrow and utilising our hotel's free Wifi Internet we will decide what we'll be up to for the next while - pretty much 2 options - going back to India in a week or 2 or else waiting out our 2 month banishment checking out the sights of South-East Asia.....

Friday, January 8, 2010

Going walkabout

We're off to Nepal, primarily to try and get a new visa for return to India. Due to changes in Visa Laws in India there may be a 2-month gap before we're allowed to return. If this is the case we will probably have a bit of a look-see around Kathmandu & Pokhara but then head to a more tropical climate to satisfy Miriam's preferences for warmth.

We're taking our laptop with us so you'll be able to keep abreast of the situation by checking our blog. We head off tomorrow for a 16 hour bus ride - not something we're looking forward to! See you soon....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas contributions

Thank you all for your well wishes and support over the Christmas & New Year period. It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks, but things will return to normality on Monday when the kiddies head back school.

Thank you so much to my wonderful workmates who generously forwent their kris kringles this year, and took up a collection to send over here to help out. The monies received have gone towards much needed warm jackets for some of the older kids. It’s really, really cold here at the moment especially in the mornings and evenings, and a jacket is a must (along with a hot water bottle and thermals). I’m currently dreaming of tropical islands and warmth, whilst trying to warm myself in front of a fire.

By trying to make the Christmas & New Years meals a bit more special than the usual fare, the grocery bill did go up. Therefore the funds sent through by my sister and her family, were a greatly appreciated contribution. The “Burra Khana” (big food) was a yummy change, and was definitely enjoyed by all who partook.

The new school building project is starting up again now after allowing for the foundations to settle through the monsoon, and the wait for funding. Thanks to some funds sent through by our folks church in the Mount, some of our fantastic friends, and Brad’s workmate – there is now some money available to get the project rolling again. This is a massive project (which has been given tax deductible donation status), and once it is completed the monies coming in from outside student fees will help the orphanage a bit further down the track to self sustainability.

So we’d like to give a massive thank you to all those who have supported us and the orphanage throughout 2009. It’s been a great year for us, and we’re excited about what 2010 will bring. Best wishes to everyone for a fabulous 2010.