Friday, June 13, 2003

In Malaysia at the Start of the War
by Matt Salleh

The day was a bit weird. It started off OK.. We've been writing and practicing a puppet show about sea turtle nesting in my 1st grade ESL class.

About noon we got word that the war had started.

During my recess duty I scanned the rooftops and windows of nearby apartments. Halfway expecting a sniper. Paranoid, I know... but everyone is a little tense.

Guards patrolled recess.. where there were none before. Our last staff meeting dealt with security issues and our response to potential media.

A jet buzzed our school somewhere in there... oiling the wings, fleexing their muscles? Who knows.. it was unnerving.

You can imagine the thoughts in my head..

The day was normal aside from that. But I saw the kids running around, playing soccer, playing chase... and the background chatter in my mind.. and me scanning rooftops.... it's crazy to think about.. so I'll try not to..

a car just backfired and I jumped... a lot more skittish these days!

In the vein of normalcy...

I am including a list of birds I saw this past weekend up in Fraser's Hill.. a less crowded and developed version of Cameron Highlands.. It was an incredible trip I took with the birdwatching group of the Malaysian Nature Society... we only had a bout 2 hours of birding due to foggy weather.. nonetheless we saw a LOT of birds including the semi-rare Sultan's Tit and Crimson Oriole... about 20-something species total of which about 15 I had never seen before!

I will carry on with everyday life.. and I hope you can too.. but it is a bit weird here.. strange.. not dangerous.. just nervous tension in the air...

Thinking of you all!

-Matt Salleh

March 15th
Telekom Apartments
6-7 p.m.

1) Fire Tufted Barbet
2) Black Browed Barbet
3) Orange Bellied Leafbird
4) Crimson Oriole
5) Lesser Raquet Tailed Drongo
6) Bronze Drongo
7) Silver-Eared Mesia
8) Long Tailed Sibia
9) White Bellied Swiftlet
10) Streaked Spider Hunter
11) Sultan Tit
12) Abbotís Babbler
13) Orange Breasted Leafbird
14) Grey Chinned Minivet
15) White Throated Wagtail
16) Asian Flycatcher

March 16th
Road to Sultanís Palace
10-11 a.m.

1) Chestnut Capped Laughing Thrush
2) Grey Chinned Minivet
3) Golden Babbler
4) Grey Wagtail
5) Brown Shrike
6) Ferrunginous Flycatcher
7) Golden Babbler
8) Magpie Robin
9) Large Billed Crow
10) Long tailed Sibia
11) Fire Tufted Barbet
12) Bronze Drongo

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