February 15, 2022 — Malaysia

Ruth and I are in Malaysia, and I think it is safe to say we are enjoying our time here. To whatever extent that is not true, it is surely no fault of our hosts. Phil and Barb have been utterly amazing in guiding and providing for us.

The trip was not bad, but it took three days to get here. The first flight was 12 hours. I slept half of that, but it is harder for Ruth to sleep on a plane. We planned an eight hour layover to get some rest and rented a sleep pod in the airport. The flight into Kuala Lumpur was 7.5 hours. We were met at the gate by some people with signs to grab those of us participating in the Langkawi International Travel Bubble. They whisked us to a testing station where we were tested for COVID. (This program includes testing every day for all seven days.) By the time we got our negative results and were released it was time to check in to our hotel. The hotel was inside the airport, so we didn’t have to go through immigration that night.

The next morning we got ringgits (Malaysian cash), Malaysian SIM cards, boarding passes, and headed to immigration. There was a moment of confusion about our travel insurance and some issues with our luggage, but otherwise everything went smoothly. (Malaysian phone #: +60 14 340 9613)

Phil and Barb flew to Lankawi to be with us and to begin our orientation to the team during this seven day quarantine. They have made sure we are well-fed and have helped us to navigate the complexities of this Travel Bubble. They have hardly overworked us, but I guess the combination of travel, jet lag, change of temperature, and the general stress of change exhausted us. Several days we thought we would post some news after dinner, but couldn’t stay awake past 8:30pm! Considering the multitude of possibilities for things to go wrong, I think it is evidence of God’s hand that we are here and actually enjoying this week.

Today Curtis is arriving to orient us to the campus work he has been doing. On Thursday we leave this quarantine and fly to Kuala Lumpur.

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