Step by Step

Two posts in a day. That’s a luxury for me these days as I am hard pressed for time. But I am not teaching today and I need to record these down as my own personal diary of my journey as a student exchange parent.

I ponteng Bootcamp this morning. Today is a long day and I knew that if I allowed myself to be tortured in the morning, I won’t have any energy later to face the day. I spent the morning clearing up the back guest room. AFS wanted us to submit pictures of Sarah’s room, where she would be staying while she is with us. Check.
I also had to submit family pictures. Check.
I have to go to AFS in person to let them see me and speak to me in person. Check.
I took a cab from TTDI to Damansara Jaya, a 10 min ride away and finally found the AFS office. I was surprised. It’s in the cheap area of DJ in a shop house. Quite dingy, where I would choose not to go if I am alone, Aikidoka notwithstanding. Anyhow, I went up and surprised for the second time. Had I been my father, the first thing that would come out of my mouth is , Ofis Kemproh.. (berserak tahap maksima) so I guess, despite them doing a good job, being an NGO is still an NGO and the lack of funding shows it all.

I met Cik Siti. The one I have been communicating with and have been the voice of authority through the whole mini fiasco before Sarah was officially ours. I had imagined someone imposing and with a stoic presence and an air of authority. I was wrong. Alahai. Seriously Cik Siti Chek Mek Molek. Small, fragile and mousy, a total antithesis to her authoritative voice and emails. She’s nice, however and it was easy to go through the interview with her. She then briefed me on all the things I need to do. Which was to go to Sri Aman Girls School and register Sarah in.

And another 10 min cab ride later, there I was at Sekolah Menengah Perempuan Kerajaan Sri Aman.


I was supposed to meet up with the Pengetua but she has gone out. I waited to see the guru kanan. But she went out too. So they arranged for me to see the Student Affairs Counsellor, Datin Mary. But she was teaching hence the office staff asked me to go have a break at the canteen. So I went and surveyed the food prices myself to get an idea of how much pocket money I need to give Sarah daily. I had nasi goreng pattaya for lunch and some wheatgrass juice there. At 1pm, I went back to the office to find Datin Mary. Half an hour passed by and she was STILL not down. I decided not to wait. I left the whole envelope with the front of house with Siti’s contact number.Then I went home.

I like what I saw at Sri Aman. Wikipedia describes it as an elite school which is in Malaysia’s top 20 list of excellent schools. And it shows. It reminded me too much of my own alma mater, TKGS and for that, I think we have made the right choice for Sarah.





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