Friday, September 30, 2011

weekend reflection: Pt Chevalier Beach

We moved to this suburb, and the beach is 5 minutes away. The water is still very cold. It was low tide when we went, and you could walk 50 meters out to sea. I snapped the reflection of the lone person braving the cold.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

ABC WEdnesday: K for Kiwi


The Kiwi, the iconic bird of New Zealand. It doesn't fly, it stays in the dark, but the New Zealanders have affectionately called themselves Kiwis.

Roger is right, it is not a real Kiwi. I bought it for my students. Real Kiwis are protected and I can't keep one in my classroom.

At one stage, people were considered Kiwis who were born in New Zealand. Now, they use it as a NZ citizen. I teach immigrant kids, and I get a lot of arguments ," You are not a Kiwi."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Save the world, mellow yellow, ruby red, rednesday: The green truck





This truck is colored red and yellow but is called a green truck. It comes and collects paper and cardboard for recycling. My kind of truck. Most people just recycle without wantting to be paid.

But now for incentives for my school, they pay the school some money. My school has gone a step further, we encourage parents to bring their paper from home. I have seen parents lugging their old newspaper and cardboard. What a fantastic idea.

Friday, September 16, 2011

weekend reflection: The customer is always right


In 1908 César Ritz (1850-1918), the celebrated French hotelier is credited with saying 'Le client n'a jamais tort' - 'The customer is never wrong'. That's not the phrase that people now remember, but it can hardly be said to be any different in meaning to 'the customer is always right'.

In the 1970s, I went to universities in Canada and New Zealand. My then management lecturers stressed the importance of "The customer is always right." Even if he wasn't, you still treated him with tact.

That is part of my work philosophy. However, this is not the case with many. Recently, I was victim to a civil servant and her office who behaved as though they were the civil BOSS and they were not there to serve in their appointed capacity. They were rude and arrogant and ignorant. After visits to the office, telephone call and flurries of email, I was so frustrated that I wrote to the man in the highest office. Only then, I got the matter resolved and an apology. They could have saved themselves a lot of trouble if only they were more diligent and humble. In fact, if they had persisted in their attitude, I was prepared to write to the highest office of the land. This reflected how angry I was.

Have you encountered similar aggravating situations?

Photos show a little reflection on the window of the Old Arts Building of the Auckland University. I spent many a winter shivering in the cold because it was very cold.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

yellow mellow, ruby red, rednesday




I went out for lunch to celebrate a friend's birthday. I thought the juice bottle was rather cute. I don't waste things. I took it back to my class room.

Lunch time order baskets for school kids.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

ABC WEdnesday: Letter H for Gift of Hope

I am the proud owner of this jute eco shopping bag.


The saying: Give a person a fish, he has a meal for a day. Teach him to fish, he has fish for the rest of his life. My church, Mt Albert Baptist Church is helping some hill people in Thailand.

We sell products made by these people, and the profits are returned to helping the hills people and giving them hope.

Our Potential Approach
1. The ministry would benefit from a short-term trip of people with particular skill sets, or people helping from back in Auckland in various ways:
- produce videos
- photography
- web help
- skilled trades people

2. Promoting and Selling Lai Mai Coffee as a way to support this ministry.

3. Promotion of the jewelry made through Rahab.

Monday Yellow, Ruby red,Rednesday: Dr Fen Moy

This is Dr Fen Moy. Her husband is Dr Jonathan Moy. Here they were with their 5 year old twins Hannah and Daniel outside my church. They are relatively new to my church, Mt Albert Baptist Church, In Auckland. Like me, Fen came from Malaysia to study in New Zealand and chose to remain in this lovely country to live.

Two Wednesdays ago, I saw a notice similar to this one below at the church office when I went to do photocopying for my ESOL Class. I used the notice as an opportunity to teach my adult ESOL students, terms like donation, volunteering. My lesson paid off, a student came the next week with two pairs of sunglasses. I am sure Fen was asking for reading glasses, so I asked her, she said she could use them.Some one in India will look fashionable and be in Bollywood.

I admire Fen. She is leaving her two children. Ka Pai to her , and to Jonathan who is home to hold the fort.

Request for Old Glasses

Please donate your old spectacles/glasses! Dr Fen Moy is joining a 2 week short-term medical mission going to India to provide primary health care to the poor, in March 2012. They will be visiting a rural area near Hyderabad (in the state of Andhra Pradesh). The team is associated with the Christian Medical Fellowship and the trip has been organised in conjunction with a local church in Hyderabad (Sion Fellowship Ministries) as part of their outreach to the community.

A similar mission last year found that the most common problems were related to eyesight – over 500 cases. Many of these problems were easily correctible by glasses. Hence, we are looking for donations of old glasses – 100s of pairs.

Please drop off unneeded glasses at Mt Albert Baptist Church, either in the foyer on Sundays, or at the church office. Thank you for your support!

● Fen is an emergency medicine specialist at Auckland City Hospital and attends MABC with her husband and 5 yr-old twins.




Saturday, September 3, 2011

weekend reflection: Father's day.

It is Fathers' Day today in New Zealand. We have two very special guests speaking - Andrew Thorburn, the CEO of Bank of New Zealand, and Timo Tagaloa, ex Rugby Sevens Player. Gravity kids enjoyed some game-time with Timo.

When I told Timo I teach ESOL to Samoan and Tongan kids, and we are studying rugby, he signed a special card for me. I am going to be very popular with my kids tomorrow. The dads were treated to a free BBQ sausage sizzle.

Our Senior pastor Jonathan Dove introducing Andrew Thorburn,,

Timo Tagaloa brought rugby shirts of various teams and famous players. Timo is involved with the Athletes in action.http://www.athletesinaction.org.nz/

My niece sang this song for her dad.

I am a very proud aunty. This is Emily Chan, my brother Charles and sis-in-law Karen's baby daughter. Yes, no matter whether you are 23 , or you are 2, you are always your parents' baby, especially if you are the youngest child in the family.

Emily plays the guitar, piano and sings. She writes all her own songs and had recorded her music. Her music style is alternative/indie rock. Here she sings this aged old Chinese song for her Dad this father's day. http://ann-mythoughtsandphotos.blogspot.com/2010/09/thursday-theme-song-moms-best_08.html

Download Emily Chan - Mum's The Best .

This is Emily's song: Mum's the best. Click on the link to listen to her lovely voice.


For reflection, if you look carefully, Dad Jeff is cooking his sausages, you can see the reflection of the winter trees in the window. The Dad of my family cleaned his car and mine, and I immortalized it with this photo.

Thursday, September 1, 2011



1st day of spring but nothing to sing about. It was cloudy and forcast is snow in some parts of New Zealand. But if you look carefully, there is a rainbow, a promise of good weather?