During our field trip on Saturday to the mangroves, we were given the opportunity to meet local children and young adults from Kampung Sungai Bujang. When we arrived at the school, the local children showered us with the different tropical flowers of the region that they had hand picked themselves. We definitely felt like celebrities, with all the attention that was given to us. The head teacher of the school told us that some of the children were so excited for our arrival that they had spent the night at the school to make sure they were ready for us. We found out that it was a school for underprivileged children, and we were presented with a painting that depicted eagles and tigers. The eagles represented the group from Gustavus and other Americans, and the tigers represented the children of the Kampung as well as Malaysia.
After being given the brief introduction to the school, the group split into smaller groups. Groups of three Gustavus students went off to learn Malay quotes with two to three college-aged students from a local university. We were able to talk and ask questions about the lives of the college students as well as their cultural background. After 20 minutes, a group of the younger children came to meet us individually. The children were adorable and very shy. After sharing our Malay quotes with the larger group, we were given the opportunity to go kayaking, down the local stream. Some of us took this opportunity to get to know the college students from the kampung better.
Before the group left, we performed the Gustavus rouser for the kids and people of the kampung. They all seemed to smile and laugh after we finished, some of the kids even looked like they were ready to perform it with us. I think I speak for the majority of the group in saying that this was one of our favorite morning in Malaysia, because of the friendships we made in such a short period of time.