Thursday, June 30, 2011

There's No Crying at Boy Scout Camp

When we were trying to figure out when to flee the country, I decided that we should wait until after the Fourth of July. We need one more flag-waving, firework-watching, Proud-to-be-an-American holiday under our belts to tide us over until we return. We'll head to Houston for the long holiday weekend to be surrounded by family and say our farewells. Then, off we go!

Last Friday, we drove out to the Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp near Bastrop to partake in a family dinner with our oldest boy who had spent the entire week encamped in the woods with his buddies. Afterwards, we headed over to the campfire program. It was so quintessentially American, and I began to wonder what exactly do Malaysians do for fun. At the end, we all watched a slideshow narrated by John Wayne with scenes from all across this beautiful land. Then, Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA came on, and everyone started singing along. As I joined in, I couldn't help the tears that welled up in my eyes.

Come on! I can't start getting homesick before I even leave. "There's no crying at Boy Scout Camp," I told myself. But sometimes there is. And sometimes this gal can't help what she feels. I love my home, and it will be hard to leave behind all my beloved friends and family. But who knows when would be the next time I'll be handed an adventure like the one that lies ahead?

Monday, June 27, 2011


1.  You're moving to Malaysia??!!
Oh, this one is really simple. Yes. We leave home next week and will arrive in Malaysia in about a month.

2.  Why?
Hubby's company offered him a position in Penang, Malaysia. He was so excited by it that he took them up on the offer.

3. For how long?
Two years. At this point, this seems like a really long time. But I'm guessing that by the time it's over, it will seem not long enough.

4. Where will your kids go to school?
They'll be attending an American school over there.

5. Are you from there?
Not a bit. My grandparents were born in China. My parents were born in the Philippines. And I was born in Los Angeles but got to Texas as quick as I could. I've called Texas my home since preschool, so this will be a big change for me.

6. Do you speak Chinese?
I wish! My parents speak English, Cantonese, and Tagalog which is the Filipino language. Somehow, I only ended up speaking English. I attempted to remedy the situation in college by taking a year of Mandarin, but nothing stuck.

7. What do they speak in Malaysia?
The official language is Bahasa. But since the people are a mix of Indian, Chinese, and Malaysian, a lot of languages and dialects end up floating around. Luckily for me, English is widely spoken.

8. Where will you live?
We'll be in a high rise apartment. Our kids have spent their whole lives in our 2-story suburban home in Austin, Texas. I tried to explain apartment living to them by bringing up the Hatcher family in Judy Blume's Fudge book series which is set in New York. I also told them that Penang, the Malaysian island where we'll be living, is like Hawaii. I think the word "monkeys" also came up in the description. Who knows what the kids are imagining by now.

9. What are you doing with your current house?
My awesome cousin, Leonard, is renting it from us. We'll be able to stay there when we visit home, and we didn't have to put anything in storage. Yay for Leonard!  It will once again be our home once our Malaysian adventure is over.

P.S. Dear neighbors, please email me if you notice any wild parties.
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