After a rocky start in KL, I finally met my AirBnB host, Din at the Jelantek Station. When we reached the house I introduced myself to his family, settled into my room, flipped through my SE Asia Lonely Planet and wondered what I was going to do in this country. Some travelers told me I could spend months in Malaysia, but after the morning I had, I couldn’t imagine staying another 24 hours… until fate stepped in.
Din introduced me to two girls who arrived from Singapore later that day: Hanna, 28 (Singaporean) and Pin, 26 (Thai). These girls weren’t the typical backpackers or CouchSurfers or AirBnB-ers that I’ve been meeting on my travels; these girls were participants for a Japanese Leadership program called SSEAYP.
What’s SSEAYP (Ship for the Southeast Asian Youth Programme)? Well, over homemade banana fritters and a cup of tea, the girls told me that they have careers in social work and were chosen to travel for a 2-Month time period, are based on a cruise ship, tour around SE Asia to speak to other “PY’s” (Participating Youths) and live on-land with a Host Family (ex: Din) when they dock in a participating country.
Din’s responsibilities as Host Dad? Treat them like his daughters. Take the PY’s around the city for three days, feed them and get them back on the boat for a farewell lunch.
Since it was their first night in KL, Din told them that he was taking them to see the sites and invited me to tag along… see where we went in the next post…