Tuesday, September 24, 2013

triple birthday celebration

On August 4th, we celebrated three birthdays; Claire, Eva and Solomon's. We had a party at Kidz Paradize at Spring, which is a great place for kids. The whole placed is enclosed and padded, so the kids can really run wild!

Claire turns 8 this year, whilst Eva and Solomon turn 7 and 5 respectively. All the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was 3 hours of non-stop fun!

Here are the photos...

Here are the photos of  the celebrations in school...

Happy Birthday my darlings!! Mummy and Daddy love you lots! *muah*

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

dolphin watching 2013

We went dolphin watching a couple of years ago, but unfortunately did not see any, because it was the wrong time of the year. We promised the kids we would try again another time, during the more favourable months of June and July. So after much pestering, Daddy arranged for another trip in June, after we came back from the Maldives. Like the last trip, we took a boat out from Permai Rainforest Resort, Santubong.

This time, we managed to see plenty of Irrawady dolphins, the flat nosed type, not the more well known bottle nosed dolphin. However, they were a distance away and kept surfacing at different places, so we could not get any decent photographs. We watched them playing about for a good 20 mins. They were hanging around some fishing boats. The guide told us that the fishermen would bang on their boats and the dolphins would come and help chase fish into their nets. In return, the fishermen would feed some of the fish to them! How cool is that?

We also saw huge crocodiles which were really creepy! One came in our direction and went into the water! I was just praying the boat would not tip over!!

 gorgeous electric blue crabs and mudskippers at the mangrove swamp

 The boat took us past some floating fish farms. One of them used to belong to Hubby, before he sold it off. Annie even went fishing there when she was much smaller.

Then we headed for Satang Island for our picnic lunch, a beautiful little island a bit off the coast. On our last trip, we didn't go to this island, because it was the end of the year I think, and the sea was rough. The boat was rocking everyone to sleep! Anyway, this time we did go to the island, but declined to snorkel, as it was mid-afternoon and the sun was out in full force!

The beach on Satang Island is gorgeous, with surprisingly clear water. The only downfall was the sandflies! I really detest sandflies! Their bites can itch for weeks!

Well, the kids really enjoyed the sea and the sand. There were plenty of fish swimming around too.

On our way to the island, we passed Pulau Burung (Bird Island), which is just basically some huge rocks jutting out of the sea. There were so many birds of different species living on the island and there was a cacophony of bird sounds! The guide said that after August, most of them would migrate elsewhere to escape the monsoon season.

On the way  back to Permai, we also saw a half sunken ship! Another ship was there, helping with salvaging efforts.

It was a  great trip and all the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves! Solomon loved the boat ride... boys and their fascination with all modes of transport!

Its always good to get the kids back to nature isn't it? :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Merdeka 1993!

So 31st August was our national day. 20 years ago, I was part of a huge marching band that performed during the national level celebration here in Kuching, at Padang Merdeka. There were more than 500 of us band members and flag girls, chosen from 5 secondary schools throughout Kuching, namely St. Teresa, St. Joseph, Green Road, Kuching High and Kuching Town.

An instructor, Mr Png and two assistants Mr Simon and Mr Goh, all from Singapore, were given the impossible task of producing a band display in 8 short months, for this grand celebration! It would be performed in front of the King and broadcasted live to the whole nation.

When he got here, he found St Teresa only had girls who read music but never played band instruments, nor were they familiar with drills. Some schools had only a rudimentary recorder and bells band, and others; basic marching bands with members who did not even read music. 

Band display consisting of formations and dance were unheard of in Kuching then. It's amazing that he had so much faith in us and took on this challenge.

my section: clarinet

I remember first we had to learn to play the instruments, then combine that with marching. The first time we marched round a track while playing a simple song, it was chaos! People were out of step and the music was getting jumbled up! 

After weekly practices under the sun (it got more frequent nearer to D-day), and band camp (3 days of intensive training), lotsa sweat and tears, plenty of push-ups and 8 gruelling months later, we were amazing! If I do say so myself! hehe...

It was an incredible experience. It took a lot of discipline and was nothing short of a miracle! From practically zero, we were able to make complex, precise formations and play magnificent music as one! It taught us that anything was possible with determination and hard work!

Well, in 1993, Sarawak was celebrating 30 years in Malaysia. That was why we hosted the celebrations that year. This year, 20 yrs later, we decided to meet up at the Padang Merdeka for a sort of 20yr reunion. It was a last minute thing, so only about 10 of us showed up.

But this started an avalanche of wonderful memories. Starting with Mr Png, everyone started posting 20 yr old photos on our FB group page. We got to know each other again and now we are planning a bigger, proper reunion, end of this year, with Mr Png and other teachers in attendance. Let's hope it will materialize!

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