Mt. Kinabalu

Mt. Kinabalu

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Growing from a Source

Just a week and a half ago we were in Kuala Lumpur visiting the National Islamic Arts Museum.  Now I am at my placement site in Kota Kinabalu and I find myself reflecting on a panel I found at the museum.  The panel described foliate motifs in Islamic art and how they were originally accompanied by a concept of Malay Muslim society.  The example of one of those beliefs was this poem:
"Growing from a source 
A source full of secrets
Growing without piercing a friend
Climbing without clinging to a rival 
But intertwining with grace and friendliness"

In a place of such great religious diversity the word "source" makes sense in describing how we grow together.  As confusion becomes a pretty typical feeling for me in a place where I don't speak the language I also like the idea that the source is full of secrets.  However, most importantly there have already been many moments of grace and friendliness.  As stories begin to intertwine I cannot wait to see how we grow together.

  • Some moments of grace and friendliness:
  • A friendly stranger pointing out my stop on the crowded bus when I no doubt looked scared and alone
  • Sharing a meal at McDonalds with some of my new teacher friends (familiar food!)
  • My roommate offering me a desk to put some of my things
  • My students helping me learn school routines, being kind when I attempt Malay, and laughing with me when I get whiteboard marker on my face.  

Growing from a source
A source full of secrets

In other news:  So far my students think I am like Barbie and my oldest class thinks I am very serious.  I'm ok with that for now :)  Excited to get this year started and thankful for the beautiful new people in my life.

1 comment:

  1. Keep writing! It is so good to read your stories. Miss you but excited for you.