I'm Chris Norwood! I recently graduated from Pitzer College majoring in Biology. I am currently teaching as a Fulbright grant recipient under the U.S. Department of State education and international diplomacy program in Malaysia. I have a passion for music, videography, and international healthcare. 


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South East Asia

On this page I will be sharing some of my travels outside of Malaysia on school holidays and breaks!

September 28, 2017

I just returned from a quick holiday to Sri Lanka. We started out in the capital of Colombo and took the slow train to the Ceylon tea highlands of Nuwara Eliya. After tasting our fair share of Ceylon tea, we returned to the cultural capital of Sri Lanka in Kandy (where pilgrims make their way to see the temple holding Buddhas tooth), before making our way back to the beach town of Negombo. The beauty of Sri Lanka is absolutely breathtaking, here are a few of my favorite shots from the trip!

September 20, 2017

On school holiday, I just returned from an amazing week hitting three major capital cities of Asia. My mom flew into Tokyo to start our whirlwind tour. The aesthetics of Tokyo are mesmerizing, simultaneously fast paced and precisely organized. One of the most impactful memories I will have from Tokyo is learning about Shintoism, the ethnic religion of Japan. Shinto rituals believe humans are fundamentally good and through prayers and offerings one can be purified. Hills, trees, flowers, Mt. Fuji, and places can have a "god" like spiritual manifestation. Check out these tranquil Shinto inspired gardens. 

Our next stop was Seoul, only a two hour flight from Tokyo. Seoul has five grand palaces and you could spend months exploring these incredible complexes alone. I especially liked the Bukchon Hanok Village, where we visited a traditional home for cups of morning tea. An hour outside of Seoul lies the border with North Korea, known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). To enter we had to g...

September 10, 2017

On a recent school holiday I had the opportunity to travel to Laos. Laos is a landlocked mountainous country about a 3 hour flight North of Malaysia. From my travels on school holidays this past year Laos has been my absolute favorite. We arrived in Luang Prabang an ancient capital with a delicate mix of buddhist temples, french colonial architecture, and royal palaces. The whole city sits on a peninsula at the confluence of the mighty Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers. The city has nearly 33 Wats (temples) intertwined amongst the webbing neighborhood streets.

Restaurants spread along the shore looking out towards the Mekong slowly floating by.

View from atop Mount Phousi in the center of the old town. 

Intricate architecture at the site of the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang. We took a day trip out to the blue waters of Kuang Si Waterfall. 

 A Laotian Khao Jee sandwich, similar to Vietnam's Bahn Mi!

 We woke up at dawn for the Alms giving ceremony, where 200+ Buddhist Monks coll...

July 11, 2017

I cannot believe we have already reached the halfway point of the grant! For midyear programming with MACEE (Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange) we all met back in the capital city Kuala Lumpur for meetings including a discussion on cross-cultural understanding and current Malaysia-US politics with the US Ambassador to Malaysia Ms. Lakhdhir. After three days of programs we set forth on our two-week midyear holiday vacations.

I departed with my cousin Mike to the Philippine island of Boracay. Boracay has been noted as one of the best islands in the world, and we were met with white sand beaches and vibrant warm blue water. Other than dodging the swarms of selfie-stick-bearing tourists it was an undeniably scenic and relaxing vacation. Check out some of the amazing drone footage my cousin Mike captured of the blue waters. 

Departing Boracay via Kalibo International Airport we made our way for a one night stop in the Philippine capital of Manila. A family friend...

May 24, 2017

The halls have grown quiet for the past three weeks as students are currently taking their mid-year examinations. Examinations are extremely important in the Malaysian school system as they provide the sole means of assessment and evaluation. For students the first half of the year has been spent anxiously preparing for the nearly month long of nationwide exams in all subject areas. 

This month my weeks have been filled invigilating exams, and weekends have included trips around my home state of Pahang and to destinations throughout Malaysia. Being centrally located on the Malaysian peninsula has allowed for me to easily and affordably travel from Friday after school through the end of the weekend. Here are some short highlights of my weekend trips in Malaysia....

Malacca is a historic port town on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia about 90 miles south of Kuala Lumpur. Colonial powers left their impact here for nearly 500 years from the Portuguese to Dut...

March 14, 2017

For Chinese New Year holiday I joined other Fulbright ETAs on a trip to Cambodia. We flew the quick 2 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh is a dense bustling TukTuk filled capital pressed against the banks of the Tonlé Sap, Mekong, and Bassac rivers. I visited Phnom Penh back in 2012 on a high school trip. The past five years have clearly seen ongoing construction and development. I particularly wanted to visit Phnom Penh to see my high school math teacher Rod Kov. Rod is Cambodian and moved back to Phnom Penh to start the Rodwell Learning Center a school in the heart of Phnom Penh offering science and mathematics curriculum. One of Rods old students and now school manager named Reach picked me up at my hostel and whisked me away to the Rodwell Learning Center. It was wonderful to catch up with Rod having not seen him since 2012. He gave me a tour of his multistory school and I learned about all the classes and teachers he has been organizing over the past two years...

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