Saturday, April 30, 2011

Photohunt: Squares


This is a $4 bag from the $2 shop. My school encourages our students to buy this bag when they go for camps. It is very big and roomy. The kids can put everything in them. If they get dirty or broken, it doesn't matter. It's only $4.

I bought it after I heard my DP tell the students to use it. But I found the zipper broken before I even use it. I store my bedding when they are not the right season. So in summer, I put my winter sheets and duvet inners, and vice versa. Not elegant, but nobody comes into my room. My daughter says I am low maintenance.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekend Reflection: Jennifer

Jennifer is the one with a stripe T shirt and crown.

Today I want to reflect on a new person I was asked to interview for my church magazine, Jennifer Koelet. I wonder what kind of teenager she is, to spend out of her own pocket GBP600, or US$1000 or NZ$1200 to go to work for Camp America.
Camp America is an opportunity you shouldn't miss!
It's a chance to do something different with your summer and spend it in the U.S.A. living & working either with children or 'behind the scenes' as support staff on an American Summer Camp. Each year over 7,500 young people take the opportunity...will you be one of them? If you're a 'first timer' to the programme, read on to find out about the fantastic opportunities & experiences you could be part of in summer 2011!

I work with Adele, a woman who as a teenager had been to camp America and her daughter will be going too. They are fantastic people and I salute them.

Ka Pai, Paki Paki Jennifer. I am glad to have the privilege to do this interview.

1. Please tell us about Camp America.
Well last June I got placed in a camp in Maine, called Camp Sebago. It was a six weeks long camp in a row and was run by the Salvation Army. I was a camp counselor which meant I was a leader to 16, 9 and 10 year old girls with my co-counselor, a girl from England. Camp was an awesome experience, I made so many great friends from all around the world, learnt a lot about myself and also a lot about kids.

2. How did you get selected to go?
I applied to Camp America at the beginning of the year, but only got chosen on the 25th of June. This meant I had one day to pack, and leave for camp on the 26th. It was a crazy day.

3. Did you enjoy yourself? Did the American kids like a Kiwi teen (You)?
I had the most amazing time. Especially meeting all the kids. They loved meeting someone from another country all though sometimes couldn’t understand what I was saying because of my accent.

4. How did the trip impact you?
This trip to America made me more confident and helped me to learn many things about myself. I found out that I can do awesome things for God by helping kids understand God’s love. The trip has given me confidence in being more independent.

5. Now that you are back in New Zealand, what are you doing this year?
This year I’m still working in Fresh Direct Floral and also I am the children’s ministry’s intern at church. This means I help Wendy out with what she needs doing and to organize the school holiday programmes, which I really enjoy doing. I’m also helping direct a SUPAkidz (Scripture Union Primary Adventures) camp in July. I love helping with these camps because I used to go to them as a camper when I was at primary school. This year I’m also going to try to start working part time and do a lot of volunteer work at schools and with kids so I can gain experience with children. I am not quite sure what God has in store for me for the future, I think I will go to university next year to study to be a primary school teacher. I also hope in the long term will do more travelling and visit Europe where I was born.

6. I see you with your mum a lot. It is good to see Mums and daughters together going to church and other activities.
Tell us about Ellen your mum
My mum is pretty awesome, we live together so we often do things together. She always encourages me in whatever I do in life. She has influenced me in the way she treats others. She is very kind and generous to all her friends which makes me want to follow her and do the same. She has brought me up in a Christian household so I have always known about living your life as a Christian, but only when I was about 14 did I decide to follow Jesus for life.

Skywatch Friday: watching sunset in a plane


We were flying to Australia when I looked out of the window and saw the sunset.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thursday Theme Song:: Auckland Hospital

I went to the Starship hospital recently to meet with Dr Salim Aftimos. http:http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif//annkitsuetchin.blogspot.com/2011/04/diary-of-bereaved-mother-chapter-1-part_01.html

We talked about my late son Andrew and the future of my surviving children. Though the tears are gone, being with Dr Aftimos flooded back memories of the TLC treatment I received from him and his colleagues Drs Andrew James and Simon Rowley.

It was good to know that this artist Tiki had dedicated his song to the hospital, and that is has comforted parents like me who had lost their children.

Ka Pai Tiki.

Go to sleep, baby.
Close your eyes.
let the angels take you up into the sky

Go to sleep, baby.
Close your eyes,
let the rainbow take you up into the sky'

Sweet dreams, baby.

SWEET DREAMS: All proceeds from Tiki Taane's Starship Lullaby go to the Starship Foundation.

What started off as a calming song for Tiki Taane's baby boy has become a source of comfort for grieving families.

"I've had some tear-jerking emails from parents," the musician says.

Tiki has sung and played his guitar for his only child Charlie since the day the two-year-old was born.

Charlie started responding to the music when he was three months old and a few chords got him really excited.

"I decided I was going to write him a lullaby – that's where it all started," Tiki says.

He wrote and recorded the song and later decided to do something more with it.

He offered the tune to the Starship Foundation in the hope that it would raise awareness and funds – Starship jumped at the offer.

But he didn't expect the reactions he would get from patients' parents.

Lyrics such as `let the angels take you up into the sky' have been relevant for children who have died.

"Later on I realised it can actually be a sort of metaphor – taking your baby up to heaven."

Parents of patients have told Tiki the lullaby has become "their song".

They've also said it's been played at children's funerals.

All proceeds from the lullaby when it's bought off Tiki's website, www.tikidub.com go to the Starship Air Ambulance Service which flies medical experts to emergencies around the country.

After the Christchurch earthquake last month it flew patients out of the disaster zone in the first 48 hours.

Go to www.tikidub.com to purchase the song.

hootin--anni has a new meme.
IT'S ALL ABOUT MY NEW MEME THAT I HOPE SOME WILL FEEL LIKE JOINING IN ON THE CHALLENGE AND THE FUN [at least I hope the weekly challenge will be fun!]. It's loosely based on song lyrics [recorded songs since the beginning of time to today] and associating them with photos of yours...as I've done in the http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifpast...If you click on the link above, it'll take you to the Meme's Homepage for rules and buttons. There will be a Mr. Linky Widget for each individual week also. Do consider joining me sometime. Hope to see it flourish in time.
Click on this link to hear song.

Go to this link to watch a video of this song.

Tiki embarked on his solo artist career in January 2007 and has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of New Zealand’s most popular and diverse award-winning artists renowned as much for his powerful live performances as he is for his anthems.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ABC Wednesday: O for Oval


Those of you who watch reality shows would see these eggs as a challenge. Contestants often say it is the foulest of all smells. But I like it with some mustard and pickle ginger with rice porridge.

Century egg, also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, thousand-year-old egg, and millennium egg (or Pidan in Mandarin), is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. Through the process, the yolk becomes a dark green to grey colour, with a creamy consistency and an odor of sulphur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, transparent jelly with little flavor.

Betchai likes to know how to prepare it. When you buy the egg, it is covered with a layer of rice husk. You gently tap it over a plate to collect the husk. It is like a soft cement. Don't bang it too hard. When all the husk layer is gone, run it over the running water to clean it.

Tap the shell again like you do for hard boil egg. Peel it and served quartered. You don't have to cook it. When I was growing up, they serve it as part of the appetizer in the restaurant. The yolk has a gluey texture.

Wanda, I watched on TV, The Simpsons, they had pickled eggs too. Just white ones.

You either like it or hate it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

mellow yellow Monday: Tarp


I have seen a couple of these giant tarp when buildings are renovated. Tarpaulins keep the rain out before the roof is put on.

photohunt: Dusty in Australia & ANZAC Day

My niece sent me these photos taken at the University of Queensland in Australia.


This is an old post of the red dust in Sydney in September 2009. It blew up to Queensland and even across the Tasman sea to New Zealand. There was a layer of orange dust on our cars this morning here in Auckland.

I asked my family in Australia and my two nieces tell me:

It was very windy when we were hit by the dust storm on Wednesday. There was an inch of dust on everywhere. I was coughing all day and can't breathe properly because it was so dusty & air was really dry.

I spent whole yesterday morning to mop, wipe and clean my house. After I was just about to drink my coffee and relax watch t.v., the news said there might be another one coming this weekend.

F in the GoldCoast

Photos from the outside of my unit around 11.20am, when the storm hasn't fully blown into Brisbane yet. It got worst after that.

S in Brisbane

The photos don't show how bad it is, like she said, she took them before the situation got worst.


– 25 April – is probably Australia and New Zealand 's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. It is the commemoration for the fallen. Lest we forget.

Outside, the rain is pelting. The National commemoration is shifted indoors in the National Memorial Museum. On this day, the skies cry and release their tears. A few years past, I joined the march past and it was raining.

When war broke out in 1914, Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only 13 years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli had made a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left us all a powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as the “ANZAC legend” became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways they viewed both their past and their future.

Friday, April 22, 2011

weekend reflection: Oakley Creek Park


We had a wonderful weather today. We went for a walk and went to Oakley Creek Park. We had not been here before. The scenery was beautiful. If it was summer, I would be tempted to go down for a swim.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Skywatch Friday: Fisherman at Whitpu


Me and my rod,
Me and my fish,
As long as the sky is clear,
I am a happy Larry,
I don't need friends.
~a fisherman's song~

No wonder my little Vietnamese student said," Girls not allowed."
"Why?" I asked him.
He replied," Bad luck!"
I commented," Huh?"
He was adamant, "Also girls talk too much."

What can I say?
I asked an adult student,"Can I come?"
He said," Yes."
But he never calls me.
I think he was too polite and not "in my face" as the little student.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ABC Wednesday: N for nets

Nets surround a tree so that animals don't trunks and kill the tree.


Monday, April 18, 2011

mellowyellow Monday:It's a boy! It's a girl! No, it is a book

The friendly receptionist Michelle.

Elaine Xu my graphic designer

Jeff or Jeffery the Boss.


Writing a book is like having a baby. You don't do it alone. I am very grateful to have many people helping me from it's conception,Robyn Dove encouraging me to write, friends from as far as America like Ginny, Betsy and George, Ladyfi from Sweden, Reader Wil from Holland, Diane from Australia, and many others.

I have a prayer team from my church and my life group. I had help from the technical side. Gillian Tewsley my editor, Jeanette Grimmer who proof-read, Jonathan and Robyn Dove for their forward, My husband and my son doing the formating.

Finally I was introduced by my friend Frank to 3A copy & Design who printed my book. Jeff and Elaine Xu my graphic Designer were like my obstetricians. I have my two sample copies and am really excited when I get the real McCoy.

Thank you all.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Photohunt: Road


I have two funny anecdotes about the Morris Minor. So when I was driving back from the Water World on the Gold Coast to my brother's place, I spotted this car. I asked Josh, my 10 year old nephew to take a photo and he started experimenting with my camera.

My first story was when I was in primary school, we moved to a house next to this family. They had a Morris Minor and the wife didn't drive. Mum asked her why? She said when she was learning to drive, coached by her husband, she came to a junction. "Stop!" screamed the husband. Instead of the brakes, she slammed on the accelerator. We just need to imagine what transpired after. She never drove again.

We grew up, and Mum and Dad taught us to drive. Dad always reminded himself and Mum about that woman who never drove. Mum said she always lose weight. When I instructed my daughter to drive, I reminded myself that same story. That is why she preferred me to instruct rather than my husband though he is by far a better driver than me.

In 1975, I went to Canada and made friends from Singapore. They told us how difficult it was to get a driver's license. The tester kept failing them and the testing vehicle? The Morris minor. According to them,the Morris Minor is the hardest car to drive, if you can drive a Morris Minor, you can drive anything. When I visited Singapore shortly after, I saw long lines of Morris Minor cars with an L.

A skeptic said may be the driving schools didn't want to retire his fleet of old cars spread this rumor. What do you think?

Of course now, if you have a Morris Minor, you are cool!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Skywatch Friday: One Tree Hill


The obelix monument is on top of One Tree Hill extinct volcano. The cloud looks like smoke come out of the monument,


The monument and the one tree were one of Auckland's most obvious landmark. However, the One tree Hill has become None tree Hill. Tourists often ask this question ,"Why is it called One Tree Hill, when there is no tree?"

Until 2000, a radiata pine tree stood next to the obelisk. This tree (one of two pines) had been planted to replace a sacred Māori Totara tree, the tree which had given Maungakiekie its English name. This totara had been cut down by a white settler in 1852 for firewood.

However, in the early 1960s during a jamboree, a group of overseas Boy Scouts cut down one of the two newer pines. The remaining tree was later attacked twice with chainsaws by Māori protesters (partly because it was not a native New Zealand species and thus considered an insult). The first attack happened on 28 October 1994, the anniversary of the 1835 Declaration of Independence.[2] A second attack on the 5th of October 2000[3] left the tree unable to recover and so it was removed due to the risk of it dying and falling down.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ABC WEdnesday: M for Mountain

This photo of Ngarimu was taken when he played host to my sister Elizabeth, Bro-in-law Kallang from Borneo to his marea,


Technically, Mt Eden or Maungawhau is not a mountain. But we affectionally call our volcanic cones Mt Something. If you are a tourist to Auckland, chances are you will be taken up by bus by the tour operator right up to the summit and you get to walk round the rim of the crater. There, in amazement, you see an astounding 360 degrees bird's eye view of Auckland city. This is every tourist and tour operator's dream.

However, on the flip side, there is the ecological problem. The mountain may not sustain all the heavy load of traffic. In the past, the council rents out the mountain to farmers who graze their cows. This has stopped as this is tapu area and it disrespectful to have the cow pats all over sacred area. On a selfish reason, I am glad I don't have to watch out to avoid stepping on the shit. I climb up the summit quite often to get the challenge. I don't use the road but climb on the slope. Some parts are quite steep.

Organization chairman Kit Howden approached the board in February, concerned with a lack of management and direction for the Mt Eden-Maungawhau mountain.

"We support heritage tourism and not the mass tourism which is not contributing to the care of the maunga and not operating in accordance with the management plan."

Large portions of the mountain's western slopes are lacking support because of an unstable wall and the remains of an old quarry not being adequately revegetated, Mr Howden says.

These worries are coupled with Ngati Whatua O Orakei's concerns for the mountain in the lead-up to the world cup. Ngati Whatua heritage and resource manager Ngarimu Blair believes vehicle access should be restricted to the summit of Mt Eden-Maungawhau for safety reasons.

Ngati Whatua and the council are working on a co-governance plan for Maungawhau and other volcanoes, which could see a new management structure in place before the world cup.