ETA Farewell Dinner

11:02 PM

My next few posts are going to be a bit out of order, but the past 5 days have been some of my busiest since I've came here.
On Tuesday night, the 6 YES Abroad Students were invited to a Farewell Dinner for the American Fullbright English Teaching Assistants who are leaving within the next week. The Fullbright Program sends college age people to teach English at government schools in Malaysia. They teach in Pahang, Johor, and Terangganu. All of the "teachers" were present at the dinner, and it was really interesting to hear about their experiences in teaching at Malaysian schools as opposed to us learning at Malaysian schools.
The evening was really a good time for all. Teresa, Kaila, and I arrived a little bit late due to both wardrobe malfunctions and having to run from the LRT station to the Ambassador's residence, but it was okay in the end. After the official ceremony part of the evening, Ambassador Jones wanted to speak to us! He asked us about our experiences here, and seemed genuinely interested in what we had to say. I think he appreciated seeing Malaysia through a teen's eyes, rather than the more traditional adult route. He is a really amazing man and talked to us as if we were his equals rather than merely students.
After the chat, we had dinner! Yummy American and Malaysian food including pasta with olives. I have to say, one of the things I miss most about the US is the Italian food. Proof of America's reputation for being such a melting pot! Speaking of melting pots, I miss fondue....
Over dinner, we were able to converse with some of the ETA's and embassy staff. They all seemed really surprised that I was so young (the youngest person at the dinner), although they didn't ask me if I was married like some Malaysians have.
We got to talk to a lot of the embassy staff, which was great because someday I want to work in the embassy. Early job networking is always, always a plus.Everyone at the embassy seemed really friendly, saying we could e-mail them any time.
After we received at least 5 business cards, the evening drew to a close with even more pictures, and promises for invites to future events at the embassy! And the Ambassador mentioning he knows my twitter name,which was awesome. Overall, it was great to interact with Americans again, and have the opportunity to share our experiences with a new audience. Here's to many more embassy events!

From L to R: Kaila, Teresa, me, Jimmy
Rocking the smart casual

Talking with my hands...been with the Italians too much!
I'd also like to take this moment to wish a very happy 18th birthday to one of my best friends in Malaysia, Kaila. It's crazy to say I didn't know her this time last year. I hope she had an amazing celebration day-- Malaysian style lah

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