Sunday, May 30, 2010

Watery Wednesday: travel in the mountains


Up in the Borneo mountains, where the ruggedness makes cars inaccessible, long boats powered by outboard engines take over.

Ruby Red: Red Head gear


For the whole of the first week of June, there is great celebration. It is Gawai or the Harvest festival. When Sarawak was a British colony, this was the Queen's birthday.

Here are the Indigenous men of Sarawak in their traditional dress.

Mellow yellow Monday: Tuk Tuk car


After arriving in Mulu in a small plane, we were met by our tour guide and he led us to this yellow Tuk Tuk car. It reminded us of Bangkok.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

scenic sunday: Elephant House.


Our Zoo is located next to Western Springs park. There is a little hill I could climb up and look at this part of the zoo. The rotunda building houses the elephant. We can't see the elephants and lions from out here, but you can hear them. One of the elephants, Kashim died and they are wondering if they should ship the remaining one, Burma to another zoo. The children are very sad of course.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekend reflection: Mirror in a restaurant


I got into trouble taking this photo in a Japanese Restaurant.

The waitress was rather rude when she shouted at me," No Camera!"

She could have come to my table and whisper quietly. The food was horrible, and this comment has nothing to do with her shouting at me. LOl

skywatch: Mt Eden Volcano

This is the peak marker at the summit of Mount Eden (Maungawhau, the 'Mountain of the Whau tree' in Māori). Mt Eden is the name of a cinder cone and surrounding suburb in Auckland City, New Zealand. The Auckland volcanic field is comprised of monogenetic volcanoes. This means it is unlikely that Mt Eden or any of the existing volcanoes will erupt again.

The view is breathtaking, and almost all tourists to Auckland are taken to this 360 degrees panoramic display of the city. The wind is very strong and cold. It is best to bring a wind breaker in summer. Brides brave the cold to take their wedding photos.
The strong wind has replaced the hot erupting volcano.

We love it, and often park our car at the base and climb all the way up. It is also on the Coast to Coast city walk.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Photo hunt: Memorial

This plague is at the outside wall of our Town hall. The building was opened in 1911,

150 years of our Heritage.

At Western Springs, a very popular park, we remember the American Soldiers who were in our country in 1942-1944.


I took the photos of the Town Hall when I went last week to watch the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

To all our American friends, I join you in solemn remembrance of all your heros on Memorial Day. In New Zealand, we celebrated ours on ANZAC Day last month.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Watery Wednesday: water fowl in a lake


Here's a pukeko, our New Zealand water fowl in Western Springs lake.

ABC Wednesday: Letter S for steak


A T-bone steak is my favourite cut of steak. My son and I both enjoy a steak sometimes when we come back from school.

You may be wondering why I took this top photo with the black background. The little white strip is a computer chip. I buy my meat from this "Mad Butcher" franchise chain. Often, his meat gets stolen, and sadly he has to resort putting a chip on the package.

Once I walk beyond the cashier to get a loaf of bread at the entrance. The thing started beeping. Luckily I am a frequent shopper, and the cashiers know me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ruby red: fire hose


Here's a fire hose with instructions in case of fire. Located outside a kindy in Auckland.

mellow yellow monday: Child's plaything


This little plaything is on top of a spring. Children sit opposite each other and rock. Little children need very little to be satisfied.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Puddles


We have been raining so much that there are puddles everywhere. Yesterday, it poured the whole day. I parked at the university, and when I came back two hours later, half of my tires were submerged in water.

Severe gales and floods are forecast for North Island of New Zealand. The recent miserable blast of bleak weather is heralding the start of winter. Forecasters are urging Kiwis to brace themselves for a weather bomb. At Mt Taranaki, the mountain is completely covered with snow.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Scenic Sunday: Forty Hour Famine


My 13 year old decided to join others this the forty hour famine. I got him some juice and barley sugar. This morning, I parked my car near this beautiful site next to the church. He will be sleeping together with his friends in Mt Albert Baptist Church, to have fellowship and support each other. Last year, he did the twenty hours famine. I support him as he gets to experience what it is like to be hungry and appreciate the richness we have here in New Zealand.

I got this email from the organisers last night.


Your child has registered for the 2010 World Vision 40 Hour Famine. As they have indicated they are under 14 years, we wanted to let you know a bit more about the Famine and what's involved.

The 40 Hour Famine is an awesome opportunity for your child to:

* Raise funds to fight poverty, hunger and injustice by helping children in need of food, health care, water and education – giving children the basics of life that we take for granted here in New Zealand.
* Learn a global perspective and help others in their global community
* Have fun – awesome Famine events take place all over New Zealand in the lead up to, and over the Famine weekend on the 22-24 May!
* Practice compassion by giving up something – going without for those without.

Answers to common questions:

* Does my child have to go without food?
We encourage your child to be creative with their Famine idea – they could do a sports marathon, give up their mobile phone or even go without speaking. They don't have to go without food. (If your child is under 8 years of age, we recommend they choose a different Famine.)

* When is the Famine?
The official Famine weekend is May 21-23, 2010. There will be heaps going on around the whole country for Famine that weekend. However, they can do the Famine any time before or after this official weekend.

* What time does the Famine start?
If you're doing 40 Hours start 8pm Friday and finish 12pm Sunday.
If you're doing 20 Hours start 8pm Friday and finish 4pm Saturday.

The 40 Hour Famine allows Kiwi kids to really make a difference. Funds raised through last year's Famine went to Haiti following the earthquake disaster earlier this year; they assisted communities in need all around the world, and had far-reaching impact on the lives of so many. To learn more about what the 40 Hour Famine is all about, find out more about the team challenges and fundraising processes, check out http://www.famine.org.nz, or call us on 0800 FAMINE.


Introducing… How Long? by Nathan King & Friends

How Long? is the anthemic new track supporting the 40 Hour Famine. Famine participants were invited to write in their song ideas via Facebook & Twitter. Recorded on Friday May 7, Nathan King teamed up with Elemeno P’s Scotty Pearson and Op Shop’s Clint Harris and DJ Sir-Vere to write and record the track in one day. Around 25 Famine participants from Auckland schools also turned up to record the epic final chorus. The track was released to radio on May 10 and a music video released on May 14. The track is available as a free download right here on the Famine website for all participants and anyone who donates to the Famine.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

skywatch Friday: Autumn in Auckland


This was such a beautiful autumn sun set in the Southern Hemisphere in New Zealand when most of you are having spring. Taken from my dining room window.

It looks like the eruption of a volcano in my backyard. My mind is not that imaginative. I am teaching my kids how Fire came to Samoa. It tells of how a boy Ti'iti'i wrestled with the Earthquake God Mafui'e who resided in a volcano and Ti'iti'i won and Mafui'e told him the secret.

I even made up a ditty for the kids, and they love it when they rub with two sticks.

Rub! Rub! Rub!
Rub! Rub! Rub!
Rub! Rub! Rub!

Now I get fire.
Now I eat yummy food.

Photo hunt: Monthly


I have to think outside the square for this. The Chinese call each month, a moon. Here is the moon against our Auckland Sky Tower. You will have to click on it to see a better view.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

ABC Wednesday: Letter R: railings, reflection and rhythm.


I went to a classical performance by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra," Discover New Zealand Music." They had a guest Marimba player Pedro Carneiro from Portugal. You will have to imagine the wonderful music and the rhythm.

The Auckland Town hall is a magnificent building. Here's a outside post of the building when my sister Helen took Deborah to watch a Japanese Day celebration.

You can see the lovely rails. Unfortunately they don't allow my camera inside the auditorium. So I am posting two photos taken during the graduation of the water engineer when I was awarded my PhT. (Putting Hubby through) LOL.

The rails of the balustrade were beautiful. There were lots of mirrors, and I took this with a reflection of a light.

Watery Wednesday: Foggy days

Look is deceiving. You don't see any water in these photos. But water is everywhere. These couple of weeks, we had a spate of thick fog.

This morning, the fog was so thick that it was like a light shower or what is known in Chinese as Mao Mao Yu. My student walked about two hundred meters to class, and she showed me her hat. It was very wet.

In the first photo beyond the row of trees, there is the YMCA building, but the fog has blanketed it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ruby Red Tuesday: Flying Fox

We were at Owairaka Park, and Sam enjoyed the flying fox. He was on it when a group of little kids came to join him. One was superman junior. A lot of the little kids in school like to be superman or spiderman. I took this photo without his mum knowing.

The water enginneer went on it. I decided to give it a try. You can hear me screaming from Auckland city. Those of you who have seen others doing it would have seen the kids almost banging at the tree trunk at the end and flying at an angle. I was worried that I would collide with the tree.

I just realised that my camera has a video function. The next time Sam goes on the flying fox, I will video him for you. He made things so easy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mellow yellow: NZ one of world's 'lifestyle superpowers'


Here I am tooting my own horn, or in my family's lingo, blowing my own trumpet. This is why I chose to live in this beautiful country. The photo shows using natural material for art.

New Zealand is "one of the great lifestyle superpowers of the world" according to the BBC's Sydney correspondent Nick Bryant, who wonders in a post on bbc.co.uk why the rest of the world can't be more like little ol' Aotearoa.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10645568

Bryant's thoughts, penned following a recent visit to our shores, were prompted by an encounter with "a middle-aged customs official with a sense of humour", the discovery that New Zealand has a 24-hour rugby channel, our "funky" arts scene and the "quaint fastidiousness" which still sees cricket commentators convene on the boundary during the tea break to enjoy - of all things, a pot of tea.

He points out too, that New Zealand can be "edgy and forward", citing the fact we were the first country in the world to give women the vote and the impending launch of the "world's most comprehensive emissions trading scheme to curb greenhouse gases".

"Best of all, perhaps, is how non-indigenous New Zealanders live in such harmony with their indigenous compatriots," writes Bryant, whose piece is among the most-read articles on bbc.co.uk today.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Scenic Sunday: Muriwai Beach


At the west of Auckland, is the iron sandy beach of Muriwai. The surfs are beautiful, and fishing great if you are brave for extreme fishing. I don't know if the men go for the thrill or for the fish.

The gannets come from Australia every year. The best time to visit the gannets is between October in February. The chicks hatch in November then leave for Australia at 15 weeks old returning to breed when they are 3 and seven years old.

There is a hole in the rugged cliff. I have not ventured inside because the waves can come in and cut you off.