Hello everyone!!! I have many amazing adventures to share today. The last two days (Saturday and Sunday) have been the "Best Days Ever..." on this trip. On Saturday Gavin, Steven and I hopped on the train and headed to Pelabuhan Klang-- Pelabuhan Klang was once the main seaport of Kuala Lumpur (KL) until the modern
harbour in Pulau Indah was established. The trip was about an hour ride on the train and then we had to hop on a 30min ferry ride through the mangroves ending up on a little island called: Pulau Ketam. This was truley an amazing spot-- a fishing villiage which is all built on stilts over the mudflats. On our arrival we stopped at a Chinese seafood restaruant where we had the most amazing meal... then we walked around taking it all in. It appeared that the main ethnic group were Chinese, located around the village on the paths were spirit houses which is part of there religious practice. However, we were unsure of the exact religion it was. Many of the homes were painted bright colors, some well kept while others were run down I noticed that there was a lot of rubbish around-- this made me feel a bit sad and I didn't quite understand why or how people could let there home get like this... but it may be hard to dispose of rubbish on such a small island especially because to get to the island you have to go when the tide is up otherwise you would get stuck in the think mud. This place was very similar to where I mudd-crabbed in QLD, Australia. On the way home we stopped in Klang, here there is a little place called "Little India." Although I have not been in India I felt as though I was. As you walked down the streets there were Indian people everywhere, shopping in Indian stores and buying food. I tired some Indian sweets which were very good however, I don't think they are very good for the figure!!! We finally got back after a long day-- pretty tired out.
On Sunday our whole group went to a Lutheran church which was a neat expereience. There was actually a lot of white people there-- one of the girls who welcomed us was from the states. Her husband and her were on a one year internship as they were studying both to be pastors. It seemed as though the other white people were living there as well but, I am unsure as I didn't ask. It was an interesting experience to be in a church with so many ethnic groups and at the same time all sharing in a similar belief. One of the scriptures read was: 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 which I thought was a beautiful passage representing all of the different people (ethnic groups) within the church-- how God had brought us all together in this place. At the end of the service we all stood in a circle and held hands... I couldn't help but look around at all the faces and although we appeared to be different we were really all the same-- equals sharing a faith, worshiping a beleif and loving one another. Brothers and Sisters.
After church Gavin, Ariel, Alyssa and I got a taxi back to the hotel and from there hopped on a train to Kepong which is located 16km northwest of KL.. When we arrived we had to catch another taxi to where we were going. Located 7.5km from the station in Kepong is a 600 hectares rainforest known as FRIM: Forest Research Institute of Malaysia. In 1929 FRIM was established to research into Malaysia's sustainable management of its rainforests. This is an issue which has become very important in Malaysia as there has been an increase of logging and urban expansion. It was a an amazing place to see. We hiked 500m up to the Canopy Walkway all through the rainforest. When we got there we had to climb up a little tower and then walk on a small suspension bridge high up in the air-- we saw flying lizards and monkeys while taking every smell, sound and scenary in. You could see all of KL from the view. We hiked back down passing waterfalls and a large swimming area. It is a very poplular place for locals to hike, picnic and swim. We ate some delicious food for lunch and had one of the best mangos I have ever eaten. Then we hiked back down. We lost Ariel and Alyssa so while we waited for them we sat down with some locals who bought us a drink having a great chat about worldview, religion, what we were doing, Islam, FRIM and other small chat. Beautiful people here. We finally found Ariel and Alyssa waited around for 1.5hrs to get a taxi-- the men at the front gate were so nice in helping us try to get one... it was a bit of a hard task let me tell you. Finally we got one and went back to the hotel. What an awesome day it was!!!!! Making the most of it for sure!!!!! Anyway's, will write more again soon. Much Love - Nikki xox
Hello!! It has been a few days since I last blogged... trying to spend as little time on the internet as possible. Still haven't given into the facebook temptations hahaha. Anyways, so we are now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We arrived here on Wednesday after 48hours of traveling. It was so nice to have a shower and sleep in a comfy bed. I am sharing a room with Charis and Laura. Its a pretty nice hotel-- a lot nicer then I was expecting.
KL (Kuala Lumpur) is a huge city and very multi-cultural. Many different religions and ethnic groups. The Malay people make up about 50.4% of the population, the Chinese 23.7%, Indian 7.1%, Indigenous 11%, and other 7.8%. Islam is the most common religion here: 60.4%, Buddhist, Chrisitan, Hindu, other traditional Chinese religions and other or unknown make up the rest-- in that order. Everyday about five times a day over a loud speaker there is a prayer song... this is part of the Islam practice, you are to pray five times a day. The song is in Arabic which is a beautiful language.
We have seen some amazing sites here in the city-- visiting the Petronas Towers which are the seventh-highest buildings in the world. Truely amazing. It is the headquaters of national oil and of the various gas companies. An important part of the economy. Its interesting to note the contrast of modern Kuala Lumpur to the run down apartment buildings. However, the streets are quite clean here-- it is something I have noticed in SEA they really like to keep their areas clean. We visited some street markets which would be amazing to have access to on a daily basis if you lived here-- all the fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and meat. A bit overwhelming at times. The food here is delicious, there isn't anything I haven't enjoyed eating yet!!!! Dried fish is actually very tasty!!!! Hahaha. Mum if you are reading this I think you would find it hard here. :) I have had to use another squaty toilet again which is always an interesting expereince-- its hard especially when you are a girl (need I explain more). We also went to the central markets which were incredible!! You could shop for days there... thankfully I don't have the desire to shop at the moment. I am trying to hold off till Thailand.
This is a big city here and you do have to be careful. Being a white person you are always being looked at and as a woman men are always saying stuff to you. Its a good thing in a way to be traveling with people as I am never alone. However, I do miss just being on my own and being able to do what I want. But this is a new and different expereince... I have so much more I could write about however, this blog is getting a bit long now so I will come back and write more in a few days. Hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures so far!! M
Hello everyone... as tempted as I am to go on facebook (like everyone else is doing) I am not going too! Anyway's, after 24hours we finally arrived in Hong Kong. We got on a shuttle bus and toured around hoping on and off. We are now just walking around this HUGE city!!! Pretty hectic. We went out and got some food... we couldn't understand what the menus said so we just pointed to the picture we wanted-- It was really tasty. I used my first squat toilet which was an interesting experience. I did take a photo of it, I don't know if I will be able to upload photos-- I will try. We are now just sitting in an Irish Pub having a drink... we all feel pretty shit. Just want to have a shower and lie down. My thong (flip-flop) broke yesterday morning I super glued it back together it broke again so now I am walking around Hong Kong with one thong on. Oh dear Hahaha. We head back to the airport around 1pm and fly to Malaysia where we spend the next twelve days. Anyways, I am gong to try and blog as much as possible. Hope all is well wherever you are!!! Much love- Nikki xox
Today is the big day!!! I got up early this morning and did some yoga, just eating some breaky and then going for a walk with my dear friend Rosie. I am basically already to go. We had a prayer time last night which was really lovely-- I think a lot of us felt a lot better after that. We had cookie night and then a few of us had a dance party which was also much needed!!! We will depart the school at 12:45pm and take a bus to St. John... fly to Toronto and have a bit of a stop over there and then finally get on the plane for the 15 hour flight to Hong Kong!!! I just want to get on the plane already!! Soooooooon... Anyway's, not much more to say however, starting tomorrow I will not be checking my facebook but all my blog posts will hopefully be posted to my wall through the settings. Oh, if you would like to e-mail me you can at: nicoleleger24@gmail.com I will be checking that once and awhile. Alright, love you all. Take care. Best wishes. Much love always. xoxoxoxoxox -Nikki
On September 24th, 2012 SSU students will be embarking on a study abroad trip to South East Asia. The last 3 weeks have been somewhat intensive as we have been busy taking four courses and preparing ourselves for this trip. All the courses have been related to what we will be learning and experiencing on the trip. We arrive in Hong Kong where we have a lay over therefore, we will be doing a bus tour around the city to do some site seeing. Next we fly into Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where we spend 12 days seeing the city and going to lectures. We then fly into Manila, Philippines and head north to where we spend 2 weeks attending a Catholic University and where we live with a Filipino family. Our final destination is Chiang Mai, Thailand, this is where we spend the most time. Here we attending a Thai University, live with a Thai family and spend a night living in the hill tribes!! 
This trip is going to be a new experience for me because I have never travelled with a large group before-- other then a week trip to Cancun, Mexico (which doesn't really count). so, even though I am nervous about travelling with a group I am looking forward to a new adventure! BRING IT ON :D

Till next time. -Nikki xox