August 28, 2013

August school holidays

The 2-weeks August holidays ended in a flash, and it’s now back to the usual routine of school and homework.  Here’s a round-up of how we spend the holidays.

We made a trip back to Kuantan on the first day of Raya.  Traffic was slow and heavy approaching the Gombak toll but was clear for a short while after the toll, before it came to a painfully slow crawl again.  We were crawling for a good 20-30 minutes and saw the reason for the crawl – a car was on fire but luckily, all the passengers were safe, as we saw a family standing by the side of the road.  They even had time to evacuate their belongings from the car.
Mum followed us back on this trip so we made a day trip to Sungai Lembing, and boy, the little town was totally crowded with visitors.  I even met my ex-colleague there, who came all the way from Penang with her family and friends.  We walked around the town centre, taking in the atmosphere of the town that seemed to have frozen in time in the 70s.
Huge trees line the centre of the main road
Unique road signage and unusual street name
We then crossed the famous hanging bridge of Sungai Lembing. 

Zinc roofed houses along the river bank 

Back to Kuantan in the evening, we visited Teluk Chempedak beach, which was again crowded with holiday makers.  Yiu Yiu wasted no time in hitting the waters while Yan Yan was again, contented just playing by the beach.  Surprisingly however, she gathered enough courage to venture into the waters soon after.


I took two days leave on Week 2, and took the girls to the Farm in the City.  The girls enjoyed themselves so much. Coming back from the Farm in the City, we stopped by a goldsmith shop where Yiu Yiu got her ears pierced.  She was pretty brave, no tears were shed, and the process was over in the blink of an eye.  Yan Yan chickened out at the last minute, but woke up the next morning declaring that she was ready to have her ears pierced as well, so we made a second trip to the shop.  I was expecting some drama as she’s usually quite timid but she wowed me – again, no tears, but a simple “Ouch” as the shop assistants fired the earring guns.  It must have stung a little, as I could see her eyes turning red, but she bravely held back her tears.  I was mighty proud of her, as earlier in the day, she went to the dentist for the first time in her life and got her teeth checked.  There were there cavities that needed filling and we filled one, just so she isn’t traumatised by her maiden dentist visit.  She went through the whole process without a whimper.  No photos of this milestone unfortunately, as she laid down on me on the dentist chair throughout the whole process.

Can you spot the stud on their ears? 

We also visited the Popular Bookfest at KLCC, and watched two movies: Ge Mei Lia, an adaptation from the children comic book by the same name and Smurfs 2.

August 21, 2013

Farm in the City

I read about this place on several mummies’ blogs sometime back and made mental notes to make a visit one day.  Just before the school holidays, Yan Yan came home with a note that the kindy will be organizing a trip there after the holidays for the 3- and 4-years old.  I figured that it would be more enjoyable for her and her jie-jie if I were to take them there, instead of jostling with 50-60 other children during the field trip.

So off we went last Thursday.  It’s not difficult to find except that I missed the exit along the LDP and had to make some turns to get back on track.  The farm is located near Giant Seri Kembangan.  We reached there at about 4pm, just two hours before closing time, but the ladies at the ticket counter assured us that two hours is sufficient to cover the whole farm.

We went in just as the Animal Show was ending so we didn’t manage to catch it.  The next shows were supposed to be Fennex Fox Feeding followed by Pelican Feeding but there was no sign of the ranger at show time so we decided to go on our merry way instead of wasting time waiting.

 White cockatoo parrot, red and blue macaw

Prairie dog 

Stroking the iguana 

Flemish giant rabbit and raccoon  

World's smallest species of madoqua (Kirk's dik dik, a small antelope) 

More iguanas 

Feeding the rabbits and guinea pigs - food for animals were given free 

This scaredy cat dared not enter the rabbits' pen 

Catching fishes 

Feeding fishes, swans, geese, ducks, etc in the pond 

Javan rusa and axis deer

Sri Lankan goat 

This was the only decent photo of the three of us - the AF function on my lens is not working and the keeper didn't know how to operate the MF 

Wallaby, world's second smallest species of kangaroo

Scarecrow at the Vegetables and Fruits Farm 

Playground fun at the Vegetables and Fruits Farm

Learning about wells 

At the walk-through aviary - far right is a rare white crow 

Birds feeding off her palms - she was actually screaming coz she said it was geli 

Fennex fox 

Meerkat - did 'cha call me?

Fooling around at the entrance

It was a great two hours spent at the farm - the farm was clean, well maintained, and the keepers were friendly and accommodating.  I wouldn’t hesitate making another trip in the future.  Hopefully the owner will keep up the good work in maintaining the farm.

August 03, 2013

StART Society My Story concert

My sister got some free tickets to the above so we took the kids to the concert.

This was the 3rd annual concert of the StART Society, a charity organization dedicated to providing underprivileged children with opportunity to develop their artistic skills.  The children come from various welfare homes and provided with free classes in art, drama, singing, dancing, instruments and lifeskills (e.g. character, relationships, grooming).

*StART is founded on the conviction that arts provide children with the capacity to express, find and stretch themselves and in so doing, build a better world for themselves.  Through the healing and liberating power of the arts, StART provides underprivileged and at-risk children a safe format to express and articulate emotions, and for them to learn and grow into confident, responsible Malaysians.  The ultimate hope is for these children to break out of the cycle of poverty and crime by using the arts as a tool for intervention, therapy, esteem building and career prospecting.  StART also goes the extra mile by helping deserving students obtain scholarships from reputable college-universities.  To date, 22 students have received full scholarships from various institutions.

I was really touched by the mission and the good work of the people at StART, providing this opportunity to these underprivileged children.

 The opening choir - My Story theme song

 The StART Orff Ensemble playing two songs

Drama titled "Happy Memories" by the StART Drama Group.  The children told a story of how they look out for each other at the homes. 

"Kiss You" by the StART Dance Corps 

Guest performance by Juwita Suwito - I honestly have no idea who she is 

Solo piano performance - "Sundial Dreams"

"Oh Danny Boy" by the StART Guitar Ensemble 

"Sad Realities" by the StART Drama Group where the children shared the personal circumstances which resulted in them being in the homes

The StART Vocal Ensemble singing "What Are Words" 

Guest performance by Prema Yin - another local artist whom I have no clue about

A joint performance by the StART Choir & Dance Corp 

 StART Drumline presenting "Our Beat"

Another drama titled "A Hopeful Future" where the children shared on their dreams and hopes for the future.  The boy on the right had the audience in stitches with his impersonation of a French chef. 

Another guest performance by Liang, who was also emcee for the night.  Apparently he's touted as Malaysia's own Brian McKnight.

The last performance, a Teacher-Student Quartet.  The guy is Joshua Lee, program director at StART Society

Sitting through the performance that night, I have no doubt that StART Society is making a definite impact to the lives of some 220 children who had passed through their doors, and more in the future.

*Information obtained from StART website and brochure.