Sunday, May 19, 2013

Back From Tioman Island

"It says: I missed you, Alexander."

We picked up Alexander on Friday after his 5 day school expedition to Tioman Island. I don't know who was more excited: Alexander, recounting his amazing adventure in the Malaysian jungle, or his little sister, who had prepared a welcome card to give him on his return (see photo above)?
Here, are just a few of the trip's highlights that he told us about on the car ride home:

1) It was awesome, Mom. We had a 4 hr bus ride, a 2 hr boat ride, and a 10 km trek through the jungle.

2) We couldn't always see sunlight and had to walk over branches. Luckily I brought water.

3) My cabin mate had something called conjunctivitis. I don't think it's contagious.

4) It was nice to chat late at night even though our beds were filled with sand.

5) There was a cool bouncing two hour boat ride. It made me feel a little sick but not too bad.

6) The ocean was beautiful but there were these sharp and pointy bones in it.

7) We had a talent show and us boys did a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. It was so funny.

8) Snorkeling was super fun. Except for the small stings from the sea lice.

9) I got 20 mosquito bites on my first night.

10) They left us for 30 minutes in the jungle on our own for solo time. I may have seen a snake.

Yes, Alexander has always been this enthusiastic. On his first day of school this year, even after he discovered his two best friends had been moved to another class together, he still returned home and announced: "I have a feeling this is going to be the best year ever!"
At the pick-up location, his teacher and other supervisors all made a thumbs up sign in his direction and congratulated me on his great attitude during the trip.
I really felt like I should come clean and said: "Thanks, but that's all him." Not really an outdoorsy person, here. You wouldn't have gotten that much enthusiasm from me. Especially not during the long trek to the cabins. My high school gym teacher told me I was part of the No Sweat Society. My college roommates asked me (within hours of meeting me): "You've never been to camp have you?" I guess, asking them to leave the room so I could change was a dead giveaway.
Anyway, as Alexander told me all about his unforgettable foray into the wild, I realized just how different our perception of what constitutes an amazing holiday is (Aqua di Parma toiletries and espresso machines figure prominently in mine).
More importantly, I want him to stay this way. An unbelievably excited, unjaded eleven year old boy. I want to quote Federico Fellini and tell him: "Never lose your childish enthusiasm..."


  1. I really liked this post! Heartwarming somehow...

  2. "Never lose your childish enthusiasm..."

  3. Aww, love that photo of her looking up at him!

  4. "No Sweat Society," ha ha!