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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I-CAL - Day 1 - Malaysia

Training and Our First Day in Malaysia
Once we all arrived into Los Angeles throughout the weekend, we began a short orientation to get the (International Collegiate Ag Leadership) I-CAL team ready for the 2 week program to Asia. All members were in charge of giving a brief background of specific industries in Malaysia and Taiwan. Following this meeting we headed out for dinner and then to LAX Airport for a 1:15am flight on Monday. We arrived in Taipei, Taiwan 6:00 am on Tuesday morning, due to our crossing of the international date line. We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 12:45pm with the humidity and heat waiting.

Joseph, our tour guide, picked us up from the airport, and accompanied us on the hour long bus ride to the center of Kuala Lumpur. Along the way we talked about the Malaysia culture, agriculture, political system, and demographics. We arrived at our hotel with some time to spare before our first cultural experience for the program. Some decided to lounge by the pool, and others decided to relax in their air conditioned rooms. For dinner, we walked across the street to Saloma restaurant, where we indulged in various styles of Malaysian cuisine. We were joined by Adel Yusupov, the Southeast Asia Regional Director from the U.S. Grains Council. Once we were done with dinner, the restaurant also presented several cultural dances. Some members of the team had the opportunity to show off their ability to “get jiggy with it” Malaysian style. Even after a long day of traveling, we had a great cultural experience and are ready to learn more about Malaysian agriculture; that is after a good night’s rest.

Tomorrow, we are looking forward to talking more with Adel about the U.S. Grains Council and their work in Malaysia, visiting with the Foreign Agriculture Service, and getting to visit some various farms/plantations in the area.

Ryan Hrubes – Iowa State University
Wil Baxley – North Carolina State University


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