Friday, February 01, 2008

Wrap up the Week

Black-Crowned Night Heron (I'm pretty sure), Sabah, Malaysia (Borneo)

I've seen one in the states, fleetingly, but this guy posed graciously for me; I saw two, on separate days, so it may have been the same bird. Click on it to make it big, and seriously, s/he's got GREAT eyes!

I'm sort of proud of this picture; I think it's one of the better bird pictures I've taken. It even gets some of the glistening color in his wing feathers!

The orientation schedule for today had a visit to the great, ancient city nearby today, so I asked and they let me sign up. 180+ international visiting students signed up, too. And an almost equal number of Japanese students VOLUNTEERED to show us around. We went in small groups; mine had four Japanese students, three international students, and me. It was wonderful. The school did a great job putting things together, and the students I was with, at least, were good company. (They also got a great chance to practice some English, I suppose.)

Our guides were so fun, and really tried to explain stuff about the temple area, and we walked and walked through an old part of the city, way up the side of a hill, until we overlooked the great city itself. And that was beautiful in its own way.

We walked for several hours, up and up and up and then down and down and down (which was faster). And in the old part, as we were going up the hill through the temple complex, there were all these shops. One of them had a hawker out front handing out cups of steaming hot tea and inviting people to step on in; so we did! Inside, was a sweets shop, with lots of different displays and samples. On a cold day, that hot tea was a perfect incentive!

And now I'm off to bed. I've been here a week now, and I think I'll be able to find my way to the city over the weekend to try to find the English language book shop, and hope to find a bird book there.


  1. Yes, definitely a black-crowned night heron :). I've seen them in the Everglades and in central-southern California, too.

  2. Beautiful picture! And I wonder -- did you get small, giggling groups of middle-school kids coming up to you with instructions from their teachers to make English conversation? (I.e. "Hello. What is your name? Where do you live?" etc.) Perhaps you avoided this by being with Japanese students already, but I got accosted at least 3 times in one day, visiting temples!

  3. What a great picture!

  4. Gorgeous! I'm glad you're having such a good time. I'm enjoying reading about your adventures over there.