Travel Theme:Texture of Elephants

Asian Elephant in Malaysia

Caring

The Blind Men and the Elephant

John Godfrey Saxe ( 1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship is a Gem on Gem Island

Friends Looking at the South China Sea

The beauty of friendship is what makes life worth living. Traveling with friends just makes life perfect! For the years we have spent in SE Asia we have been fortunate to make lifelong friendships and share special vacation travels with them. One of our favorite spots is Gem Island on the East Coast of Malaysia. It is a tiny island with only one resort right off of Kapas Island. The snorkeling is gorgeous, the turtle sanctuary is uplifting and the peace and quiet is priceless. We laze in the sea snorkeling or frolicking in the gentle waves, comb the beaches for turtle eggs and shells, swing in a hammock and eat picnic lunches in the cabanas. After a nap and a shower in the garden inspired outdoorsy bathroom we head to dinner in the quaint dining room overlooking the ocean. It is a perfect family getaway and a great chance to unwind and rejuvenate with family and friends.

Frisbee on the Beach at Gem

Cocktail Hour by the Sea

Friends on the Dock at Gem

Gorgeous Gem

Dinner After a Perfect Day

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today~ Ups and Downs of Kuala Lumpur

TODAY some friends and I strolled through my favorite shopping area in KL, Petaling Street. This is in the bustling China Town area of the city.  Everywhere you look, you are assaulted with an overabundance of color and stuff everywhere! Your eyes and mind constantly rivet up and down as you try to take it all in. It reminds me of why I love living in South East Asia. Here are a few snaps I took today.

UP- Incense Burning in a Chinese Temple

DOWN- Looking into the Chinese Temple

UP- A Shop House

DOWN- Shop House Selling Umbrellas

UP- The Tower at Sri Mahamariamman Temple

DOWN- A Vendor Outside the Temple

UP- Looking Up Petaling Street

DOWN- Looking Down Petaling Street

Travel Theme: Street Markets

Travel Theme: Street Markets.
I am reblogging an old post of mine because I saw an interesting travel theme from http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/05/25/street-markets/

Global Anni

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Sunday night in our neighborhood is the Pasar Malam or the local night market.  Traffic is impossible and people are wandering everywhere with bags, trolleys, small carts, back packs.  A road is closed off and in the middle of the road are stalls with rickety tables, portable awnings, and a massive throng of people.  Smells of fresh fish, flowers, and cooking food waft through the air and your mouth begins to water.  You brace yourself and push headlong into the crowd to begin bargaining. 

 

Every Sunday I have a rendezvous with the nut man at the Bangsar Pasar Malam!  He and his wife and son run the first nut stall on the street with giant 10 kilogram bags of nuts that are loosely covered with old plates.  Nuts are my favorite snack and these are the best nuts in the…

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Chiling Out at Chiling Waterfall

The heat, the smog, the buildings, the people, the noise! When I just gotta get out of  Kuala Lumpur, I head for my favorite place in Malaysia, Sungai Chiling Waterfall with my favorite hiking buddy, Kathleen. The easy drive up to the mountains takes about an hour and a half with gorgeous views of the rain forest and a reservoir.

Sungai Chiling Waterfall, Malaysia

Hiking to the falls takes about one hour on mostly flat ground but with enough hills, roots and rain forest trails to keep you on your toes. It is an easy and peaceful hike where you will see many varieties of carnivorous pitcher plants, wild orchids, and lots of wild life such as monkeys, colorful butterflies and tropical birds.

Wild Orchid

Carnivorous Pitcher Plan

The real adventure begins when the trail ends suddenly at the river and starts again on the other side! You must traverse the river 6 times to get to the falls. Depending on the rainfall, the river can be as high as your ankles in some places or up to your waist in other places. The adults make long chains and pass the children along. Sometimes there are ropes to hold or we grab long bamboo poles to keep upright.

Crossing in Waist Deep Water

Crossing the River~ Using Bamboo Poles

After an hour you come out of a bamboo patch to the roaring of the falls. The mist hits your face as you gaze out at the rushing water.

A glimpse of the falls and 3 monkeys!

Once you reach the falls you can swim, picnic and relax at the foot of the spectacular falls. The surrounding rainforest, river and small pools are tranquil and the silence is a soothing welcome after the bustling city.

Anni and kids enjoying the cool pool at the foot of the falls

Kathleen and I usually head up to Chiling with a large group of people and make a daylong outing. The children love this hike with the ease of walking and the adventurous river crossings.

Hiking Pals cooling off

My favorite hiking buddy and her family are leaving Malaysia this year so it won’t be the same without her when I go next year.

My favorite hiking buddies, Kathleen and Derald

Fish in the clear mountain water

Hiking to the falls along the trail

Learning to Breathe…. Underwater

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” James Stephens

I started to learn how to SCUBA dive as a teenager in the Middle East but it was not a happy ending. I will spare you the details of the real life horror story involving a death and a shark during our Open Water Dive test and just state that it has taken 35 years to complete that course. Three friends and I flew to the Perhentian Islands in Eastern Malaysia nestled in the South China Sea. The island is a feast for the eyes with palm fringed white coral sandy beaches and crystalline water. We would complete our open water dives while on the tropical island at Watercolours Resort and Dive Center with Sharon, our fabulous dive instructor.

View from Watercolours Dive Center in the Perhentians

On the first dive we suited up and sped in a motorboat to a small lagoon. As soon as I hit the water I began to look for sharks, but luckily there were none to be spotted. As my head went under the water and my brain began to scream, “STOP IT! Get out! You can’t breathe underwater. There could be sharks here!!  Are you insane!?!” My body started to respond to the commands with panic, but luckily I was able to prevail over my shark terror and ignore my claustrophobia so that I could begin the descent under the water.

Anni Getting Ready to Dive

Once I was under the water, my sensibility returned, my breathing steadied and the dazzling clear blue water and the world of wildlife below astounded me. After completing our skills on each dive, Sharon led us on our fun dives where we were able to see some remarkable sea life. Blue spotted rays floated by while the spikes of lionfish poked out of crevices in the coral. Tiny translucent feeder shrimp pecked at our fingers and a batfish frolicked with my yellow fins. Moray eels snapped their jaws, as hundreds of fish lazily drifted by like a rainbow.  It was a magical scene that we were able to experience four times that weekend. After passing our tests and completing our open water dives, the boat pulled up to the resort where a sign was waiting to congratulate us all on our success. It took 35 years, but I was finally able to conquer my fear of sharks. Another “Mind over Matter” accomplishment! Another bucket list item checked!

Gorgeous Perhentians! Our first dive spot.

Sharon, Angie, Ann and Alexis

Sharon, Angie, Ann and Alexis

It wasn’t until later that day, while snorkeling, that I finally spied a shark. The meter long black-tip reef shark glided in front of me, camouflaged with the white sandy bottom. To my surprise and delight the shark instilled wonder instead of alarm in me. Instead of turning and swimming away in fright, I grabbed my friend by the arm and swam as fast as I could after it, trying to get a better look. He was breathtaking, free and peaceful. Conquering my fear was as magnificent as he was! Anticipation of disappearing below the surface sits in the back of my mind as I return to mundane everyday life. I have spent a lifetime in appreciation and awe of the beach and ocean, but it has been heightened to an elevated level of understanding now that I can breathe under water!

Anni Looking Fearless

Have you overcome a fear?

Nayati: Short Video of Nayati Saying Thank You!

His father Shamelin Moodliar was quoted in the newspaper today:

“On his first day at school, he insisted on walking back home,” Nayati’s father, Shamelin Moodliar recounted at a news conference here today.

“He (Nayati) said to me, ‘I was kidnapped on my way to school, and now I’m walking home from school. Those kidnappers can’t beat me.”

A Catharsis~ Nayati is returned safely to his family and community

Nayati in the school breezeway after his return.

After 144 hours of sleepless nights and endless days, Nayati was returned this morning to his family. The headmaster of the school announced that Nayati was home over the PA system after a dress rehearsal for an elementary concert this morning. The school erupted in cheers, laughter, hugging and tears of joy! The rest of our day was spent with silly grins and enormous smiles. Laughter had returned to our school along with Nayati.

At 2:45 the middle school and the high school were called for an assembly. The principal gave the microphone over to the headmaster who said that he had a special guest. Nayati and his parents walked up on stage. The crowd erupted into hysterical clapping and a standing ovation. People were crying and cheering, screaming and sobbing. Then we heard his sweet voice say I am Nayati. I am unharmed.  I have read all your Facebook posts. Thank you for all of your support. I am back!

Well the standing ovations and tears would not stop! He came down off the stage and walked up the theater steps into the audience and hugged all his classmates, teachers and parents. He then walked down the row of seats where the 7th graders were sitting and took a seat among his peers. Many of us have still not stopped sobbing.

When the assembly was dismissed, Nayati walked to our breezeway and continued to hug and thank everyone. His father tweeted that Nayati had decided to walk home from school. Holding his friends’ hands he walked right past the place he had been abducted 6 days earlier and went home to hang out with his buddies.

Nayati and friends walking right past where he was abducted. On his way home safe and sound!

This is an extraordinary story about an extraordinary boy! I have never seen a community come together they way that we did at M’KIS and I could not be prouder. Thank you to all of our friends near and far who sent positive thoughts, posted on social networks, hung posters and sent words of encouragement. Thank you for the incredible outpouring of love from around the world. This is the latest update to the Facebook page dedicated to finding Nayati; Sham (Nayati’s dad) is urging everyone to post pictures/videos/anything that was made when Nayati was missing. Nayati wants to see all the love/wishes/prayers that you made for him so that he can thank everyone when he can.

To Nayati and his family~ I want to thank you for your strength and dignity during your time of difficulty. You are an inspiration to us all!  Thank you for sharing your time with our community today. We all needed to see Nayati home and safe. We will all sleep a little easier tonight.

Nayati is BACK! Student Abducted in KL is Home With His Family!

Nayati is in the arms of his family 6 days after being abducted on his way to school!!!!!! Here is a photo his father used on Twitter showing Nayati and his young sister being reunited. Thank you for all your positive thoughts and energy sent his family’s way!!! The outpouring of love from around the world is astounding! Here is the press release from his family this morning.

Press Release :

We are delighted to tell you that Nayati is back home with us and although it has obviously been a very traumatic time for him he appears at this stage to be in good shape. We cannot begin to say how proud we are of him and the way that he has coped with the events of the past week.

We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from all our friends here in Kuala Lumpurand all over the world. We are unable to find the words to express our gratitude but we will never forget what they did for us.

Even more surprising, because it was so unexpected, has been the support of people whom we have never met – and are never likely to meet – in countries as far away as Zambia and the USA, who have offered their time, skills and, in many cases, money, without any expectation of any form of compensation. We are so grateful for their help.

We also appreciate very much the tremendous practical and moral support we have received from the Netherlands Embassy and in particular the Ambassador, Mr Paul Bekkers. With his help we were able to surmount some “interesting” technical problems.

Finally we would like to express our gratitude to the Government of Malaysia, specifically the Royal Malaysian Police. Their number one priority from the start has been the safe return of Nayati and they have been most careful not to do anything that might have jeopardised his safety. We have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy our stay in this wonderful country.

As we are sure you will understand, Nayati’s kidnapping is the subject of an ongoing investigation so we are unfortunately not at liberty to reveal any of the details of the case at this stage.

There will be a press conference on Friday. Details to follow.
Thank you. – Moodliar Family

Expat Child Abducted in Kuala Lumpur

At 7:40 Friday morning, 27 April, Nayati Shamelin Moodliar was abducted a short distance from the Mont’Kiara International School. His whereabouts are still unknown. He has dark brown eyes and hair. He is about 1.5m tall and weighs 45kg. He was wearing a white polo T-shirt with the school’s emblem and dark green shorts. He is 12 years old. Please, if you have seen this child please call the Malyasian Police at 999, or the school at 0320938604. Please share.

Words cannot convey how my community is feeling tonight and I cannot even begin to imagine what the family is going through. One of our students from our school has been abducted from our neighborhood and our world has been shattered. It has been almost 48 hours since the kidnapping and there is not any word yet. The expat community and the local community are coming together to post fliers and flood the social media networks. Please re-post and spread the word. Keep hope for the safe return of Nayati Moodliar to his family. We are holding Nayati and his family in our hearts until he comes home safe. In whatever fashion you choose, and from whatever religious tradition you come, please keep Nayati and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

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