The trip was a challenge. It was cultural, educational and highly
independent. I learned survival skills, lived with some of the local
people in their huts (no electricity and limited running water, good
heavens!), trekked through many a rain forest, climbed Mount Kinabalu…
Umm, what’s really to say? My camera battery couldn’t be recharged for
the whole trip, so I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted.
Nevertheless, I took a good 150 or so, most of which I’m taking to
school tomorrow. We give all our photos to the school, they’re put on a
disk, that disk is distributed to everybody. Should be cool.
The greatest thing about Malaysia was getting hypothermia. Hypothermia
is basically when your body loses heat faster than it’s produced, and
when that happens, your bodily functions begin to shut down and
eventually you can die. As you probably recall, I was really looking
forward to climbing the mountain, and it was incredible fun for the
first hour or so. After that, it wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t
challenging, it was just very very long. The hike to the place we were
staying for the night took around 6-7 hours. It was really quite awful
actually. It was raining most of the way up the mountain, and my bag
(and all my spare clothes) got drenched, so when I reached the top, I
didn’t really have much to get changed into. THe clothes I wore were
slightly damp, and coupled with the cold mountain air at 3300 metres, I
got very very sick. I was shaking uncontrollably for half an hour or so
and I was told my lips turned blue. I wasn’t frightened, just anxious.
Eventually they got me to somewhere warm, wrapped me up in blankets and
I slowly recovered over the following hour. I was fortunate that Mr
Blake taught human biology and knew what he was on about. Nevertheless,
I survived without any lasting damage and have developed a slightly
irrational fear of rain. Good times, good times.
I got touched by a monkey (a pig-tailed macaque, not that I particularly care. I had to sanitise my arm afterwards), stayed in an island resort (which upon reflection, isn’t as magnificent as I thought it would be. I was awed by the charming timber huts by the waterside, but upon closer inspection, everything was falling to pieces on the inside and dressed up on the out), got a wakeup call from the Shangri-La, stole soap, bought two boxsets of anime (Rurouni Kenshin and Peacemaker) and touched a leech. Touching that leech was amongst the most stupid ideas I’ve ever had, because as soon as my finger connected with it, it vanished. I thought it bit me or crawled up my sleeve and I jumped around swatting my arms and swearing like an Irishman until Mr Blake cut me down. On reflection, it probably fell off the leaf. What else did I do? Memories, friends, memories.
Well, I guess that’s the trip for you. Any questions? Yay, nay? S’all good. Tell you what though. Midnight stops and 6am starts every day screwed up my internal clock bigtime. My ninja/solder (as Solid Snake once said) skill of using every opportunity to sleep has been enhanced tenfold. I fell asleep on the bus today, and it felt normal. However, with the jeering Year 10’s, I’m going to have to try harder to get into a normal sleeping pattern. I can get 11 hours of sleep and still go for a few naps, as I demonstrated on the plane home. I’m really going to have to work on that sleep thing. Well, g’night!