Column: Learning to appreciate details in fabric of life

Life in Malaysia. Really, that’s what it has become. Not an “exchange year,” but a life. I have friends and family and teachers. I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve loved, I’ve argued, I’ve lost and I’ve won.

With just five months left, I realize I have “officially” reached the halfway point in my exchange. I have experienced so many things. Just this month, I have explored the big city of Kuala Lumpur and have forced myself to settle down and adjust to the calm and peaceful kampung life. I have talked to more strangers in this month than I have ever talked to in my entire life. I have danced with the Malaysian-Indians during Thaipusam, and I have carried a Malay conversation with the Malay people in my school.

Next week I will be going with a temporary new host family to celebrate Chinese new year — Malaysia style. I have seen the Malaysian sunset almost every day and listened to the town become quiet as the sun sets and it becomes Mahgrib time, the time in which all Muslims must respect and perform one of their five daily prayers. I have heard the Azan five times a day, every day, for six months now and will for the next five months to come.

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