Monday, May 30, 2011

ABC Wed: T for tribal chief


Here I was rubbing shoulders with a tribal chief. This Kelabit chief from the Bario highlands of Borneo was not only big in his position as a chief. He was also a very big man physically.

When I asked to take a photo with him, he obliged, but he probably wonder why. My friends tease that I was flirting.

Please note his long ears.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Skywatch Friday: Sun



This photo is wishful thinking. I took this in January, our summer here. We have been having terrible weather. It rained the whole day yesterday,

Monday, May 23, 2011

ABC Wednesday: S for sportsday day


S for sportsday long time ago in Borneo, when I was a young 19 year old teacher.


It was more like what you guys call a relief teacher. They didn't have enoughed trained teachers so they recruited fresh out of high school students to be temporary teachers. They teach for a while before they go to teachers' college or is treated as a GAP year like me before I went to university. It was the best job I had, young and enthusiastic. Now, some of those students had found me in Facebook.

Mellow Yellow Monday: Swimming in a bed of cheese



5 4 3 2 1
blast off

My niece landed on the moon,
and found herself in a bed of cheese.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blast from the past

My past caught up with me. In April 1974, as a 19 year old, I went to teach in Kai Chung school in a little town of Binatang, now known as Bintangor. Fresh from High School, I was enthusiastic. I stayed in the town and on the school compound. Some of the staff stayed there too, so we had a good camaraderie.

I made a lot of friends and was known as Miss Chan. the school came from a Chinese background and respect was valued highly.

Now some of these students have found me on Facebook, and I feel nostalgic as it was my first job. I also found a family and they treated me as one of their own. That's the Chew family. Sadly, the son whom I did teach had died. See my tribute when I heard his sad news.http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2009/01/chew-yaw-kok-belated-tribute.html

It is great to be connected again. If you were, especially one of those students in Form 2A, and all those I had taught, please get in touch. I remember meeting Peter Tang Ing Bing in 1986, he was either a medical student or doctor then, and the other student who was an engineer. We met at the Kuching ? Singapore airport? Otherwise, I have not seen any of you since I left for Canada in Sept 1975. The rest of you, you are my friends, not students. I shall love hearing from you.

As regarding the past catching up with me, hopefully I haven't done too many bad things.

ABC WEdnesday: R for Rodent Trap


Addition: I think, I am not sure these rodents are possums. In New Zealand possoms were introduced for their fur long time ago. The fur business were noot lucrative, th epossums became feral, and spread every where. They became obnoxious animals biting tree trunks and killing saplings and eating fruits. I have no idea how the raps caught them.

My friend uses fruit to trap them. Recently, possum fur have become very good again. They are warmer than other fur including wool. I will ask my friend.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Scenic Sunday: Dragon boat festival

The students in NTU (Nanyang Technological University) are very good in the dragon boat race. This is the head of the dragon that grace their float during the parade.

Duanwu Festival (Chinese: 端午節/端午节)
My church Mt Albert Baptist Church is holding their next Asian Outreach, incorporating the Duanwu Jie or Dragon Boat festival. We are having a pot-luck dinner and a message by Dr Joe Huang, the director of the Chinese program at Carey College.

The History behind this dumpling and the Dragon boat festival associated with is Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu jumped to the sea when he was frustrated that the king did not listen to his advice. After his death, the people realized that the king had made a great error by not listening to him. By then it was too late, they threw rice into the sea so that the fish would not eat his body. The banging of drums on the dragon boats was to scare the fish away.

Though this is a Chinese festival, we can draw a parallel between Qu Quan dying for the Chinese people and Jesus dying for us.

This is a post of Tradition and nostalgia. The Zhungzi or zhung in my Cantonese dialect or commonly known in Singapore and Malaysia as Bak Zhang is a traditional Chinese food, made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. Through the years in South East Asia, it has morphed into the Nyonya Zhung where the fragrant pandan leaf has been used to impart it's fragrance.

We ate this every year on the Lunar fifth of May, and we helped Mum wrap this difficult dumpling.

These days you can buy the tetrahedral shaped zhungzi throughout the year. My traditional Cantonese ones are rectangular shape like a pillow. My two older sisters Rose and Elizabeth can make them. Alas for me, too many decades away from home and combined with laziness, this tradition has died with me. I think I can make the tetrahedral shape of my mother in law, if I tried. They use a special kind of bamboo leaf which my mum grew in her garden. Most people buy from imported from China. The Vietnamese call this Elephant bamboo.

I took the photo of the bamboo clump when I arrived on the Gold Coast. It was the same one Mum had grown in Borneo. Here where her body lay, they also grown the bamboo which we used to make Zhungzi. We used with without having to boil them as you would have to with the imported ones. The leaves were soft and subtle.

My friend and ex school mate http://sarawakianaii.blogspot.com/2010/06/zhongzie-remembering-chu-yuan.html has written about this festival. You may like to read about it.


weekend reflection: Tall trees


Many foreign timber logging companies come to Papua New Guinea to log nthe tropical hard wood. I hope these ones will be spared.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Watery Wed/Sky watch Friday: Wet and wild In Auckland




Auckland weather gave us a beating today. Driving to school with our lights on, I remind myself to turn them off The sky was dark, the squall was wild. On Wednesday, I first went to my ESOl Class at Mt Albert Church. Then I went to School. The gale was so strong that it turned my umbrella the other way. The legs of my long pants were wet.

Combining this two memes as I couldn't during the week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mellow YellowMonday/Thursday TS/ Yellow Submarine.

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 past...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.


Kids are funny, they like to crowd into a confined space. Sometimes 3 kids hurdle together. This was our school's junior playground until it was dismantled.

When I walk past, I sing to them, the Beatles " Yellow submarine" song. The students went to a show, I sang this yellow submarine song and the first line of the Under the sea. They loved it, and they made their own stories.

When my youngest brother Henry was about 5, he sang this song or yellow submarine all the time, until my grandpa asked what kind of song was it with just two words, yellow submarine?


In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines

So we sailed on to the sun
Till we found a sea of green
And we lived beneath the waves
In our yellow submarine

We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

And our friends are all aboard
Many more of them live next door
And the band begins to play

We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

{Full speed ahead Mr. Boatswain, full speed ahead
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/beatles-lyrics/yellow-submarine-lyrics.html ]
Full speed ahead it is, Sgt.
Cut the cable, drop the cable
Aye, aye, Sir, aye, aye
Captain, captain}

As we live a life of ease
Every one of us has all we need
(One of us, has all we need)
Sky of blue and sea of green
(Sky of blue, sea of green)
In our yellow submarine
(In our yellow, submarine, aha)

We all live in a yellow submarine
A yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
A yellow submarine, yellow submarine

We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Photohunt: Digital

It was at the height of the Swine flu in 2009 when we visited Singapore. There were notices in the MRT train station.

Scenic Sunday: A wedding


Sarawakiana posted this photo and I asked her permission to post it here. She is on holiday in Australia and probably didn't read my request. I hope she doesn't mind as I really wanted to do this story. ( Sarawakiana was a senior in my school, and I always admired her.)

This wedding photo showed a wedding during the flooding of my Sibu town in Borneo.

The story I want to tell you is my parents' wedding.. Dad went up the Rejang River (350 miles long) He and his cousin Uncle Kok Fei probably paddled in a tiny dug up about 80-90 miles up the river. They had to do it in the early morning so that the Japanese Soldiers and the natives would not spot them.

They brought Mum down in that little boat in the dark. Uncle Kok Fei mischievously played the drum. Dad had to shush him as they didn't want to attract the Japanese. They never had a wedding photo during the war.

We used to tease them if they eloped. Mum did have a white wedding dress. It belong to dad's best friend. Mum was 15, Dad was 20. Do go to my story link to read their story especially why they were wed at such a young age.

Weekend reflection: Bird's nest


Happy Mother's Day, an Australian Coots sits on her nest in a lake in Western Springs.

Friday, May 6, 2011

skywatch Friday: Auckland wild weather



We have been having wild weather. On Tuesday, we had a tornado, and I was caught at the end of it driving home after school. The rain poured, and I could not see in front of me. When I got home, I watched on TV the tornado passed Pt Chev where my school it.

In the morning, we had very having fog. Today, it was forecast we may have another tornado. The sky was dark, the squall was wild. Our principal gave us tornado warning drill.

These are archives photos, I didn't bring my camera today. Over my http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2011/05/watery-wednesdayoutdoor-wednesday- fatal.html I posted about the tornado.

There is not something specifically in our procedures around this particular event - due to their rarity. However Met Service now has heightened awareness of the 'ideal' conditions so it is something to think about.

These are the precautions suggested in today's Herald.

It would seem that it's best to get the children on the floor in the middle of the room or in the corridor as far from windows as possible. Classes upstairs should also make their way to the downstairs area if possible - or at least to the corridor.

If in the auditorium I think you should evacuate to the corridor in the senior block and the hallway in the office block.

Ultimately I suspect there would be little or no warning and we would all need to exercise commonsense bearing in mind the suggestions below.


* Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home. Keep away from all windows.

* Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris.

* Avoid large-span roof areas such as school gyms, shopping malls and halls.

* Crouch for protection beside a strong structure, or lie flat in low-lying area and cover your head and neck with your arms or a piece of clothing.

* Get out of the car and lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area.