Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 1 with Machika 10March2011

We have been waiting anxiously for Machika since December last year when we met her at the Rotary District Assembly in Shangri-La Hotel. Machika is an international youth exchange, IYE, student from Tokyo, Japan and will be here in Malaysia for a year. She is currently studying in a secondary school in Temerloh and we were told that we can only host her during the school holidays.
We met up with her host family at Genting Sempah and the first place she wanted to visit was Batu Caves.
Another cave?
Han: I don't want to go to the long cave
Fai: The long cave is Deer Cave. We are not going there, Han

I was worried that Han might baulk at the idea but I needn't have worried. The moment he caught sight of Lord Murugan, he said " Oh, I love this cave!!"

The boys chasing pigeons

The 272 steps up.
Long tailed macaque grooming each other while others wait for handouts.
A big aggressive male snatched my water bottle away. When I tried to retrieve it, he got defensive and bared his fangs. Scary!

Han: Hurry up, mummy!
Me: puff, puff....coming!!
Han makes it a point to look after me. Han, my guardian :)

Machika was eager to try out everything. Here, she is holding a paraffin lamp and saying a prayer as she made huge circles in the air with the lamp.
Lighting cubes of camphor. They were instructed to remove their shoes.
JY and Machika comparing feet.
With their shoes off, Machika exclaimed "Such big feet!"

Applying pottu onto each others' forehead.

There were 3 bowls available for pottu. The grey one on the left contains blessed ash, the red and yellow ones are red and yellow saffron.

JY and Machika spotted a mermaid on a statue of Lord Shiva.

JY and Machika wanted henna art on their hands. RM10/hand

Machika and JY showing off their henna designs

The girls' were told not to move a muscle and to wash the henna off after 45 minutes.

From Batu Caves, we headed to the Orang Asli Museum in Gombak. The girls made a beeline for the gift shop.

Fai pulled me to the wood carvings and wanted to hear the folklore behind each one.

Then we headed to Gentings for a whirlwind tour. We were all in shorts and t-shirts and we were half frozen when the chilly breeze blew at us.

Back onto Genting Skyway and home. In the cable car, Machika said that Mount Fuji, Fujisan she called it, was a 'funny' mountain. When asked to explain. She said that it was sandy. That instantly reminded me of Broga. So I said "Tomorrow we are going to climb a hill. Everyone be up by 5!"

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