Friday, January 18, 2008


We have been in Malaysia for almost two weeks now, which due to my incredibly inefficient online habits has been long enough to forget most of the quirky anecdotes I could have posted. But them who know say I should blog while here, so to spite my track record with these projects, I'll try. And I'll try to post relatively often. Then again, maybe having some time between events and their recounting makes them less painfully detail laden for the hearer, or more coherent, or something. Probably it biases them in favor of the writer, as if a journal weren't biased enough.

Well the big news at this point is that the horrible rash that has covered my entire body has really cleared up a lot. I had a nasty case of pityriasis rosea; the only treatment seems to be to get sun and apply topical analgesics to get some sleep. I've been doing both, and hopefully have it kicked. Luckily it hasn't been as hot as when we were here in July, but it has been hot enough for little strips of hell to form from walking. The scratching has to annoy Zoe, so I'm trying not to scratch.

The rash comes at an otherwise auspicious time. We all got paid right away, celebrated Zoe's birthday, and became mostly fast friends. The Terengganu State Government, which is responsible for the bulk of this program, has treated us as honored guests. The hotel is comfortable. It has a fantastic view of the river. All is fine.

I am at peace. Some of us aren't, but I certainly am. Having Zoe makes all the difference, I think.

There is a tremendous temporal find in front of us, a piece of time so large that even I can spot it. Though I have no feeling about how long it will be, I have tried to internalize it as much as possible. There hasn't been a television in my life for years, but even those distractions that remain will largely dissolve, especially when leaving Kuala Terengganu for remoter destinations. No car. No friends, at least at first. No paperwork. No family. Nothing but observation and Zoe.

I am unafraid. This is my Innisfree.

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