My 7 Days Educational Trip to Malaysia
By: Stanzin Chosrab
On December 15, 2017, the preparations had begun for the educational trip to Malaysia. We a group of ten students from the International Buddhist College Sadao Campus, Thailand, were selected for the trip and were joined by fellow Venerable Zhen Ti and Venerable Zhen Yuan. The ten-day trip took place in December 15-24, 2017 and proved to be a great success due to the enthusiastic input from the students and Venerables. The purpose of the educational trip was to provide students with Teaching and Learning experience with kids in Malaysia. The Malaysia trip also provided an opportunity to learn from other cultures and give students knowledge about other Countries. This report highlights some of the aspects of the trip and in particular, focuses on the educational experiences on moral camp with children and senior citizen at Wan Ching Yuan, Than Hsiang Temple. This fantastic opportunity would not have been possible without the support of International Buddhist College and Than Hsiang Foundation which made it much more affordable and accessible for everyone involved. Thank you, Venerable Zhen Ti, and many thanks to all the Members of IBC and Than Hsiang Foundation which responsible for making this trip a success.
Than Hsiang Temple, Penang
After a short flight to Penang on December 15, 2017 and half a day to recover the next morning, we joined the 2017 International Young Buddhist Scholars Conference at Than Hsiang Temple (Penang), the conference started at 8:30 am and ended at 5:00 pm, during the conference most of the time I was taking pictures of guests and the participants so I can’t concentrate on listening to their sharing. After the conference, I went out for dinner with Liu Yong. Next day on December 17, 2017 we (our group) went to George Town to explore new things. When I was walking down the streets of George Town I saw many streets arts and so many old houses.
Depart to Kuala Lumpur
On December 18, 2017 after our lunch at Than Hsiang Temple we started our journey to Kuala Lumpur. Now we had to travel more than 350 km to reach our destiny Than Wah Wan (TWW) at first I thought it will be very boring because I needed to sit in the car for more than 4 hours but when we started our journey within 20 minutes I saw a long bridge which is around 15 km, while we are on this 1st Penang Bridge I felt so excited and I thought that now this trip is going to be adventurous. On our way towered Kuala Lumpur I saw so many beautiful places and experienced the beauty of nature.
Kindy Camp at Than Wah Wan
After a long road trip from Penang to Kuala Lumpur on December 18, 2017 we reached TWW at 5:30 pm. Next two days we had the children camp at Than Wah Wan Kindergarten. At first I felt I’m not prepared for it as I was so tired after the long journey, so I jumped into my bed and slept through the night. Next morning on December 19, 2017 I had my breakfast and at 8:30 am we arrives our destiny the kindergarten. We started our camp with the chanting of both Theravada and Mahayana traditions. During these two days of camp, we taught kids about modern art, crafting and telling stories through games. Before I used to teach kids in India but in TWW I saw that the kids were much disciplined and they were totally different from kids in India and I loved that.
Gunung Jerai, Bujang Valley and Old Folks Home
We departed from Kuala Lumpur on December 21, 2017 and we went to old folks home in Sungai Petani Jing Yuan another branch of Than Hsiang Temple. We stayed there a night and on December 22, 2017 we arranged a trip to Gunung Jerai and Bujang Valley. It was too cold at Gunung Jerai. I just felt like I was in Ladakh (my hometown). The whole mountain was covered with fog and we couldn’t see anything. Because of coldness we didn’t stay there for a long time; we came back down to the hill and headed to Bujang Valley. After our trip we went back to SPJY and arranged a small activity for the senior citizens who stay in the center. In term of age they are high and were so energetic, I think they enjoyed a lot to be with us too.
Kek Lok Si and Khoo Kong Si
After spending the whole day with the senior citizens and enjoying various kinds of activities with them; we had to say good bye and moved back to Than Hsiang temple where another children camp and a trip to Kek Lok Si was awaiting for us.
On December 23, 2017 we went to Kek Lok Si. It was first time in my life to see such an old and very big Chinese Buddhist temple. I was amazed to see such a beautiful temple with different architectural styles and the environment was so peace full. There is a big Pagoda in Kek Lok Si and I went inside the Pagoda and made my way towards the top of the Pagoda. When I reached at the top floor, I saw the whole city very clearly and I felt like this is something new for me; and it was something which I won’t see every day.
After spending more than an hour at Kek Lok Si we went to George Town and visited Khoo Kong Si temple. When I saw the temple I was shocked because someone told me that the temple is around 1000 years old but it doesn’t look like 1000 years old, I went inside the temple and when I took a closer look at the pillars and walls of the temple I was amazed. All the walls and pillars were covered with old paintings and sculptures. After this memorable and amazing trip we went back to Than Hsiang temple to join the Children’s camp. On December 24, 2017 it was our last day in Malaysia. So Jaroon, Asha, Usha, Regina, Ani and I decided to enjoy our last day and went to a night market which was more like a small amusement park. I didn’t know what others think, as for me, I thought it would be fun; so you guess so.
In conclusion, I would say this 10 days trip to Malaysia was awesome. First, during the trip we visited many wonderful places. Second, I have gained many new experiences in our moral camp with children. Third, it was fun to interact with senior people. I feel happier to see them and smile. Fourth, in this new exploration in Malaysia, I can easily feel at home as I can find Indian food everywhere. Fifth, I would like to thanks International Buddhist College, and Than Hsiang Temple for giving me this awesome opportunity.
See photos: http://elibrary.ibc.ac.th/node/886