Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pink Allamanda

This pink Allamanda flower post is a sequel of the yellow Allamanda post I did in November last year. This is for the Chew Family, especially for Mrs. Chew and Lynn Wong Aka Chew Yaw Leng.

In 1974, I was a 19 year old teacher, and she was a young student. We both belonged to the house Allamanda. We would cheer A LLa Man Da. Ah Leng reminded me of this last year, a part of my life I left behind so long ago to go to Canada.

Coincidentally , Ah Leng also went to the same university and we both are in New Zealand, except she is in Wellington and I am in Auckland. Last August, I went to Christchurch and met with them after not seeing each other since 1975.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Watery Wednesday, Misty morning

Looks like we may have an early winter. When I went to work today, it was misty, and I had to pour water on my windscreen to rid the mist. When I blew out of my mouth, you can see the cold mist. and I wore a winter jacket.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Phoenix, our budding artist

Flowers for Phoenix mum Kirsten for letting me share Phoenix with you all.

I was visiting Phoenix classroom when he came out with a scroll of paper. He was doing this Show and tell, and I was most impressed. I work with his mum, Kirsten and asked her if I could blog about his work. She gave me permission to take his photo.

Phoenix is an amazing artist. He is only 6. Since he was in Kindy at about 3 1/2, he had enjoyed drawing. In particular, he draws and tells of his story of War and the military. In this particular scroll, he had glued the sheets of paper together so they tell of a story. The one at the bottom is a submarine.

Paki Paki Phoenix.

Mum took him to the Waiouru Army Museum.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Scenic Sunday/Sunday Bridge

Going on a weekend outing with the Water Engineer is often to check out his work interests. Here is one about drainage. I used to be very upset about this, but not anymore since I started blogging. These places of his interests become mine.

I did have a lot of fun that afternoon. In fact I wanted to stay longer than he want to.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Saturday Flowers: Begonia

I think this is Begonia Hiemalis. Please correct me if it is not. The Reiger Begonia (also known as Rieger Begonia, Begonia hiemalis, and Winter Begonia) is a hybrid of wax begonia species and tuberous begonias.

My new friend, Mary, from my town of birth in Borneo posted a beautiful flower. I remembered I went to take photos in my friend Annie's garden, but I didn't post them. I didn't plan to take photos, she wasn't home, so I started to snap the photos. She had sat the pot on the ground so i actually had to go down on my knees. Then she came home. She is a good friend and knows I blog. She said I was welcomed to snap any photo I liked.
Macro Flower Saturday
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Macro Flower Saturday
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Skywatch Friday: Sailing at Pt Chevalier

I saw a man and his friend struggle to launch his boat. I was attracted by his colorful sail. It was a beautiful day. My son and others do a lot of water sports here. This is Raymond Reserve, I live 5 minutes walk from here.

My school kids ask, "why don't you swim?"

"No, I like to be dry and take photos and blog."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thursday Theme Song: Dive into your imagination

A fugu aka puffer fish

Deep sea cold water crabs. these I had for one Christmas dinner. I won't tell you the price I paid for them. The photo shows how big it is. One is a male and one female. If I remember correctly, the bigger one is the female.

I am a scary cat, you will never get me to eat the puffer aka fugu fish. It is a delicacy in Japan. you also hear of people dying because they ate ill prepared fugu fish. Once, I had an opportunity to not only see it but to eat it.

A friend was given a fugu fish and she took it to the restaurant for the chef to cook it.

No, No way, Jose, was I going to eat it. The irony was those brave hearts who ate it survived.

I am posting this to my old Sibu friends Chang Yi aka Sarawakiana, and the Wong brothers. We once had a discussion, and I told them i will find among my achives this photo. I took this at a famous fish market in Auckland.
The Ocean, home to fishes
The Ocean home to critters unbelievable to you and me
Better than cartoons, you’ll see…

There’s lionfish, and hairy fish, and even stick out your tongue fish
There’s hermit crabs and mantis shrimp and fish that go to school

But how can you go swim in the sea?
Put your mask on, get your fins, and be ready to

Dive into your imagination with me.
Dive into your imagination with me.

Eight arms for an Octopus, Two claws for a crab
A shark that has tiny teeth, a parrot fish with a great big beak

There’s cuddle fish, and pipe fish, with their changing colors
There’s clown fish and frog fish and porcupine puffer fish

So how can you go swim in the sea?
Put your mask on, grab your fins, and you’re ready to

Dive into your imagination with me.
Dive into your imagination with me.

Splash in the bathtub, have fun in the pool
Let’s learn about the fishes, before you get to school
You don’t need an Ocean, to learn about the sea
Just use your imagination and dive in with me
Use your imagination and dive in with me the puffer

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Watery Wednesday: Water in the boat

Our friend S.L. gave my son this inflatable miniature rubber boat when we were in Singapore. It is hot and humid. We didn't go to the beach often. To cool him down, we used the boat as a bath. He had a lot of fun in it. There is water in this photo for this meme, only you can't see it as it is inside the boat.

There was a swimming pool on campus but it was too hot to swim in the heat. There was no kiddie or paddling pool for Sam to play in it. Here in this "boat pool" My son would play the whole afternoon, and I could relax while he is pretending to be in a boat without worrying he would drop into the water in a real sea. I didn't have to watch him all the time, as his sister would watch and play with him.

Thank you S.L.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Scenic Sunday/Sunday Bridge: Bintangnor Red Bridge

This is the bridge linking Sarikei & Bintangor which enables a fifteen minutes drive only to reach one town to the other. Francis Chen Posted this on his FB page, and has kindly allowed me to blog it.

Oh for the wonders of social networking.

For 3 years, I was happy blogging and making friends with people all over the world. Last March, I published my book, Diary of a Bereaved Mother. I decided to use Facebook as my marketing tool.

Out of the blue, I got this Facebook message," Are you Miss Chan? I am a student from Kai Chung School."

Miss Chan was a persona I had left in 1975 when I went to Canada. Miss Chan was me during a gap year from High School to when I left. I was Miss Chan in a secondary school in a small town called Binatang. The town may be small, but the respect for teachers is big.

To cut the story short, I started befriending ex students and colleagues. To be honest, because the students too have changed their names, I do not really remember who they are. Except for a group I knew very well before I left.

It's not only our names have changed, even the town has changed her name, it was Binatang for a long time. Binatang is animal, so the town authorities changed it to Bintang, which is bright star. Before I can get used to it, they changed it to Bintangnor. I will have to ask my students what this means.

When I was there, I went back in the weekends in another town Sarikei to my parents place. I could take an express boat shaped like an aeroplane, which plied on the Rejang River, or went by bus. Both these journeys took at least half an hour.

Today, I learn that the express boats are long gone. They have a new bridge which cut the trip to 15 minutes.

Aeonium cyclops , red succulent

In warm Auckland, many gardens have rock gardens where there are succulent plants.
This beautiful tall succulent has rosettes of dark reddish-bronze leaves on stems

Aeoniums are members of the Crassulaceae, a huge family of succulents that include many other popular and commonly grown succulents, including some that look a lot like Aeoniums. Echeverias in particular are often confused with Aeoniums and there are several other rosette-like succulents (eg. Dudleyas, Graptopetalums, Pachyverias and Graptoverias). One thing that sets t these plants apart is the way their leaves attach to the stem- they are wrapped around the stem with a fibrous attachment so that when a leaf is pulled away, the stem is intact with only a transverse line showing where the leaf was attached. The other rosette Crassulaceas have succulent attachments and their being pulled off the stem leaves a divot in the stem.
Macro Flower Saturday
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Last Monday, I went to my doctor for my flu vaccination, and came back with almost the whole shebang of things done. The most important of which is the smear test. She said I had it last done three years ago, and it was time again.

In New Zealand, not all women want this done, especially the ethnic women. There is a fear of going. Women is like the red succulent, strong but if you don't take care of yourselves, nobody will take care of us, and your family will lose someone they depend on.

1. What is a cervical smear test and how is it done?

Cervical screening aims to detect abnormal changes to the cervix (the nec of the uterus or womb) before they can develop into cancer. Safe and effective treatment for pre-cancerous lesions detected by screening will prevent progression to cancer. When you have your smear you will be asked to lie on your side or your back with your knees bent up. The lower part of your body will be covered with a sheet. The smear taker gently opens the vagina with a plastic or metal speculum and carefully sweeps a sample of cells from the surface of the cervix with a thin broom or brush. It takes only a few minutes to take the smear. Some women may find the test a little uncomfortable. The test sample is either smeared onto a glass slide or placed in a liquid. It is then sent to a laboratory approved by the NCSP.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Skywatch Friday: Peter Hillary

Peter Hillary with his wife (red) Yvonne and Diane Harding. Diane had worked in Nepal for 2 years.

Peter talking to the children about his Dad Sir Ed Hillary and his work in Nepal.

On the 50th anniversary of Sir Ed's conquering of Mt Everest, Peter and his friends climbed the mountain. Here I took my photo from the video that Peter showed the children of him talking to his Dad. His Dad asked him if he reached the summit.

In 1992 Hillary appeared on the updated New Zealand $5 note, thus making him the only New Zealander to appear on a banknote during his or her lifetime, in defiance of the established convention for banknotes of using only depictions of deceased individuals, and current heads of state. Peter had a joke about the $5 note. My ESOL kids remember him saying," Sorry, Dad, I have to buy something, good bye."

Our beautiful sky after the talk, view of my part of my school.

Like our Sky Tower, Sir Ed is an icon of New Zealand. View from my school.

When I was 11 in Borneo, we had to cut out photos from Newspaper and make a scrap book and learn the facts of important and famous people. The hero in my scrap book was Edmund Hillary. He was the first man who climbed the highest mountain in the World, Mt Everest in 1953 just before I was born. He came from New Zealand.

Sir Ed was not just an adventuror, He was a philanthropist. He was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Following his ascent of Everest he devoted most of his life to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he founded. Through his efforts, many schools and hospitals were built in Nepal.

As an adult, I was privileged to come to study at the university and then to live in New Zealand. Today, I was just as excited as the students of Pt Chevalier to hear our speaker, Peter Hillary. Peter is the son of Sir Ed. I was very pleased he was very obliging when I asked to take his photo for my blog. Peter by his own right is a remarkable man.

My colleague Diane Harding had organised his talk. It was Peter and Yvonne's wedding anniversary. It is indeed a great privilege to have them come to school. Diane had spent 2 years up in the mountains of Nepal as a nurse with her partner Liz who is a doctor.

Nepal, of course, has a special place in my heart. Occasionally, I blog about Ganga and Jemunah. They were the pair of con-joint twins from Nepal. In 2000, they came to Singapore to be separated. I spearheaded the fund raising in Nanyang Technological University. I felt very touched when their mum and grand dad invited me to see them while they were still con-jointed.

Peter Hillary comes from one of the great families of mountaineering and has a history of world-class achievements in climbing.

Like his father, the late Sir Edmund Hillary, who made the first ascent of Mt Everest with his climbing partner Tenzing Norgay in 1953, Peter has summited Everest and forged a new route to the South Pole. The names Everest and Hillary are forever linked, and will always be associated with high adventure.

Peter Hillary is an accomplished mountaineer, speaker and expedition leader. He raises funds for Himalayan Foundations around the world and owns the Hillary Brand, a line of HILLARY branded goods. Together with his sister Sarah Hillary, they manage the intellectual property of the Ed Hillary estate.

The last photo I show is of Auckland Sky Tower. It is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere, just as we are proud of the Hillary name who is an icon is New Zealand, so is the Sky Tower where we can see from our school on a fine day like this morning.

Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every byway,
Every path you know.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
'Till you find your dream.

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life,
For as long as you live.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream.

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