Upon meeting Paul Hengstler, the new Social Studies teacher, you are instantly drawn to his grinning face and booming laugh – attributes that may remind some of a young Santa Claus. He moved here in July, along with his wife, Lisa Jensen-Hengstler, a HS English teacher, and his daughter, Arden, who is 6 years old. Upon the topic of his family, his voice swells with pride for his daughter and admiration for his wife, whom he grew close with through forms of communication from the Stone Age – mixed cassette tapes and exchanged letters.
As a family, they like to be outdoors, wear matching costumes, and adapt to new homes and places. Although he grew up in a small town in Canada, where he didn’t get many opportunities to travel, he is making up for the lost time. He says, “Travelling isn’t necessarily what I do, it’s how I live. Do you see, there’s a bit of a difference, I don’t live my life to go on trips, I live my life as sort of one, big journey. One big trip.” He has already immersed himself in the local cuisine and gotten down with the lingo – but is still overwhelmed by the diversity that Malaysia has to offer.
As a traveller and a historian, Mr. Hengstler is intrigued by the various foods, the proximity to the city and the jungle, and the cultural blending in this city. In 12 months, Mr. Hengstler will be living like a KL veteran.