About Me

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Hello, Ciao,안녕하세요, Hallo, Hola, Selamat tengahari! My name is Rachael and I am a travel enthusiast. Ever since I can remember, my parents have taken my brother, sister and I on good ol' American road trips. It's safe to say that was where my interest in new places, people and experiences was ignited. As my parents always encouraged my siblings and I to explore and ask questions, I developed a sincere curiosity for new adventures. In addition to seeing much of the United States with my favorite travel companions (my family), I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Rome, Italy, as well as a semester in Seoul, South Korea during my college career. Now, I am honored to be taking part in a Fulbright ETA Scholarship to Malaysia for a year! My family's favorite motto is "Life is all about the journey, not the destination." I invite you to join along in my journey of cultural exchange and mutual understanding in Malaysia! After all, the more, the merrier.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Coming to a close: The Terengganu Fulbright Family

The 50 Malaysia Fulbright ETAs at the Prime Minister's for High Tea.
January 2012.
“Happiness is found not in the things we collect, but in the connections we keep"
- quote on a greeting card

As I have mentioned in previous posts, there were 50 Fulbright ETAs who represented the United States in Malaysia for 2012. Among the 50, 17 of us were placed in Terengganu, Malaysia. On a few occasions, all 50 ETAs were able to meet and connect, which generated great conversation, as well as quite a good time.

However, most of my personal time was spent with the 17 Terengganu ETAs who were placed in districts along the coast of the South China Sea. Our Terengganu cohort became known as the “T-gannu Crew.” Throughout the course of the year, we spent a great deal of time together. Each of us had a community of family and friends back at home to nurture connections with. However, beyond that, we were given the wonderful opportunity to nurture friendships and connections with one another. We became one another’s fellow ETAs, fellow teachers and fellow expatriates. We also became one another’s support system and source of inspiration. Over the course of the year, we became something of a Terengganu family. A simple weekend together hanging out provided a sense of motivation, support, inspiration and sanity in the midst of some uncomfortable, unfamiliar situations and experiences. Together, the 17 of us were able to create an environment that felt like something similar “home."

In addition to my support system back home at America, I owe my experience and accomplishments in Malaysia to my fellow Terengganu ETAs who became dear friends. Thank you Kamayani, Kate, Katie, Morgan, Melissa, Julie, Marquitta, Hannah, Nazeeha, Chelsea, Jonathan, Jordan, Nick, Michael and of course, my roommate Christina.

Terima kasih kawan kawan! Cannot wait to see where we meet next, and long live the roti rolls…

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