Sunday, July 25, 2010

Studded LBD

About a few weeks ago, my sister and I were bumming around at home till we got bored so we decided to “bling” my little black dress (LBD)! :D I bought my LBD and a few packets of studs during the end of my first semester and never got around to “blinging” it. Actually, I don’t think “blinging” is the right term used for studs. :3 I don’t know what’s the appropriate word!

DSC05149This is how it looked like initially. A little plain don’t you think so?

We spent some time ironing the studs on the dress and also clipping on the dress. We had two types of studs i.e iron-on and clip-on. I did the ironing and she did the clipping! ;)

DSC05151We came up with something random, really random. We’re not very artistic people, you see. :P

DSC05152 DSC05153Nevertheless, I was satisfied. :) Thanks to my dear sister who got so excited about “blinging” my dress after she DIY-ed/bling-ed her own studded belt!

Now, whenever I look at this dress, I’d think of my sister and the fun that we had while “blinging” this dress. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy 18th Sis!

This birthday post is late because our modem at home got struck by lightning! I’m sure you understand my dear sister! Now that it had been revived, I’m not wasting any time to do this post before I procrastinate more and eventually end up not blogging about this.

Okay, enough blabbering!

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HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY LIM WEN YEE! :D
(I know it’s supposed to be a belated birthday wish, but screw it lah k? Let’s pretend that it’s still your birthday, hahaha.)

You’re EIGHTEEN! :D Can’t believe how fast time flies. I still remember how you looked like when you were young and I always smile to myself when I have a certain picture of you when you were little in mind because you looked so cute! Especially with your bangs and chubby cheeks! Awww. :D How I wish I could relive that moment once again.

I remember how we used to play “Global Guts” and “Legends of The Hidden Temple” (the game shows on Nickelodeon) at home! We would run around the house going through our self-created “obstacles”. Hahaha. Those were the days!

Now that you’re all grown up and I’m not always at home except during the holidays, I do hope that you take care of our parents and behave yourself! Just to let you know, I think you’re doing a great job so far. :) Since you can drive, try not to get yourself involved in any mishap! Now that you’re in college, this is the time to explore and grab any opportunity that you can before it’s too late when you’re older. Take good care of yourself and stop spending so much! :P Luckily, you’re noisy so you surely do make the house feel lively!

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DSCN7458-polaSpending quality family time is awesome! :)

wenyeeHope you like it! Actually, I know you love it! ;)

I love you deep deep! :D

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It takes a whole lot of sacrifice, responsibility, love, patience and much more to be a mother.
Merely giving birth to a child without nurturing that child well does not award you the title, "mother".
Some people just don't get it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

OCIP Cambodia 2010, Part Two

*pictures credits to Siew Wai and Reuben

Moving on from where I stopped..

Our plan was to teach for five days in Kampung Speur. But, we didn’t know that during that week, the King’s birthday was around the corner. The students had public holidays for a couple of days so our teaching lessons were reduced to three days. Teaching for three days was quite swift. Eventhough we taught for a short period of time, we found it quite tiring. Maybe it was due to the heat we were facing. Their classrooms had fans but they had no electricity during the day. So, we relied on the wind which blows intermittently.

On the fourth day, we visited the homes of 30 needy students. We were divided into three different groups and were assigned to go to three different locations respectively. We had a bunch of Cambodian volunteers who accompanied and assisted us in communicating with the villagers. They also introduced and explained their culture in Cambodia along the way.

141139 The students went to school that morning to lead us the way to their homes. While waiting for us to settle some stuff, they cleaned their school compound a little.

151 We got to know them briefly before visiting their homes. Coincidentally, all five of these students were students from the class that my group taught during the teaching sessions. We also played some games with them.

154 Off we go to their houses, which were about ten minutes away from the school.

158 157 We passed by a lot of dried up paddy fields and saw so many cows grazing in the fields. One thing I noticed about the farm animals in Cambodia is that they are all very skinny! Poor farm animals. :(

167 Palm trees! Notice that boy climbing down from the tree? He is a student studying in the school in the village. Villagers collect palm juice and palm fruit from palm trees for a living.

169 Containers used to collect palm juice.

165 This is a stove used to boil them palm juice into palm sugar.

172 This is a student’s mother’s house.

174 Chruk! It’s pig in Khmer. Cui Shan was labelled as “Chruk” throughout the whole trip because she ate almost anything and everything, including exotic food like fried cicadas, spiders, embryonated duck eggs etc! She’s one brave girl. ;) Reuben and Gavin also tried everything!

177 Hay being kept to be burned to provide heat during rainy seasons.

178 Palm fruit!

183 This is a water filter.

181 Pour water into the filter.

185Clear water comes out! Throughout our trip in Cambodia, we only drank distilled water that we bought from sundry shops because of our weaker constitutions.

edit9Reuben, Gavin and Fan Rui with their glasses of palm juice.

190 This is was first house we visited.

194 Palm sugar!

195 Hazel trying the palm sugar and that’s Fan Rui sticking out his tongue. The palm sugar tasted really sweet!

196This is a type of sour fruit called “Kan-tut”. When we first told what fruit is this, we laughed because it sounded like “kentut” which means fart in BM.

edit10Some of the things we saw around the second house.

201 We went to third house and this lady was telling us about her story. Notice that little girl next to me? :D She followed me! She held my hand and refused to let go when we were walking towards the next house. Hehehe.

DSC04850She reminds me of Pebbles from The Flinstones.

203Kantut tree.

202 Another type of sour fruit. I don’t know what’s it called.

205This man found a land mine and he emptied the contents of it. During the Pol Pot Regime, land mines were planted everywhere randomly. That’s why they always say don’t take a path that has not been walked on before. See that little girl clinging onto me in the background? :D

207We found this along the way towards the fourth house. It has a nice scent and it can be eaten. I think it had a sour taste.

210We were quite surprised to find a concrete house in the midst of the village. The owner should most probably be one of the richest in the village.

212This is the fourth house we went to. The old grandmother was telling us about her story. I remember this one! She said her daughter married another man and abandoned her own daughter (the old lady’s granddaughter which is our student). So she took care of her granddaughter. Their house was so small and it could only fit two person. The old grandmother is very sick and she requested that we give her some medication but sadly, we didn’t have any and besides, we can’t simply prescribe medications without knowing what is her disease/illness.

214 The last house we went to. The story we heard was even more tragic here! According to a resident there, our student’s mother became mentally ill when both her mother’s parents were executed during the Pol Pot Regime. While she was working in the paddy fields, she was raped by a man and she became pregnant. Her child is our student. Her aunt takes care of her now instead of her own mentally ill mother.

215Gavin’s favourite boy! Gavin bought him a lot of snacks along the way and because he didn’t bring his wallet along, Reuben had to be his ATM! Hahaha.

218The shop where Gavin asked the boy to pick whatever he wanted.

220 On our way back to the school, one of our students (not among the houses we visited) invited us to her house. She gave us to taste this. It tasted a bit like a doughnut and it’s really delicious! We bought twenty pieces back for the rest of our team.

There are actually more pictures that were taken during the home visitation. It’s just that Siew Wai, our official photographer wasn’t in our group, Pearly and Rueben’s cameras were running out of battery and we took most pictures using Fan Rui’s camera but.. he rarely logs in to Facebook and I haven’t added him as a friend yet. He’s always on China’s version of Facebook though which I don’t have. :/

223 On the fifth day which was our last day in Kampung Speur, the students returned to school for our farewell ceremony despite the fact that it was a school holiday for them that day. These are the secondary school students.

291The primary school students came back as well.

232We gave out books and pens to the primary school students.

edit11A group of Cambodian politicians also attended the farewell ceremony and gave out books and pens to the primary school students.

304We had a more formal farewell ceremony with the secondary school students.

299 Before the ceremony started and before some of us were asked to sit in front, behind the VIPs.

301Vibol was the emcee.

303The secondary school’s director giving a speech. He’s a very grateful and sincere man. He couldn’t stop thanking us throughout our stay in the school. Each time he sees any of us, he utters the work “O-kun” which means “Thank you”.

305Carmen, our team leader giving a speech with the help of Nalene, our Cambodian teammate for translations.

edit12We sang a few songs for them including nursery rhymes that we taught them before this.

312Carmen presenting a mock cheque to the school director. We donated USD300 to the school for them to enlarge and deepen their existing pond so that they can collect more rainwater for their water supply.

313A group photo!

318We gave out notebooks, sweets, bags, caps, button badges etc to the secondary school students before they went home.

248Happy kid!

250Going home with their bicycles.

261The pond!

251Throwing stones into the pond. We were trying to make them hop. Haha.

321Done with Kampung Speur! :)

That was roughly what we did during the first week. After that it was rest and relax for the weekend before heading to Andong Village.

7 We went to Harvest Inn (Jacob’s guesthouse) after Kampung Speur. We felt so delighted to finally have a proper place to stay after our stay in Kampung Speur. All of us felt grateful for the air-conditioned rooms, water heater, comfortable beds, nice food, friendly staff, laundry services etc. :D

During that weekend, we visited many places including Tuol Sleng (S-21 Prison or Genocide Musuem) and Cheung Ek Killing Fields where the history of the gruesome Pol Pot Regime lies.

14This is Tuol Sleng Prison where people were tortured before being executed.

15Jacob (owner of the guesthouse) was kind enough to be our tour guide. :D The scarf on his shoulder is called the magic scarf. Apparently, it gives a cooling effect. If I’m not mistaken, it has some kinda crystals in it that gives that effect. I don’t know how far is that true though.

17One of the blocks there.

21Cells made out of bricks on the first floor.

23Inside each cell is a box to empty their bowels and a bowl for food.

24 Cells made out of wood on the second floor.

26There were no cells on the third floor. The prisoners were tied to shackles. The reason why the first floor had brick cells, second floor had wooden cells and third floor had no cells is because they were afraid the building might collapse if they were to build brick cells on all of the floors.

28We met Mr. Chum Mey, one of the survivors! :D This is him telling us about his experience. Click *here* to read what I have blogged before this about it.

102Pearly, me, Mr. Chum Mey, Cui Shan and Siew Wai.

115Group photo before we left! It was nice to be able to talk to a survivor. But it would also be good if one of the heartless Khmer Rouge members was there to tell about his side of the story, wouldn’t it?

29Then, we went to the Killing Fields.

33We watched a short video in this museum.

32This is where the remains of those executed were kept.

We also went to the Russian Market where all sorts of things were being sold. There were many local crafts, decorative items, food, clothes, books, electrical appliances etc available. The best part is you get to bargain for dirt cheap prices! All of us went on a shopping mode so none of us took any pictures, I think. Hahaha.

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40103104 We went on a boat ride along Tonle Sap Lake and Mekong River.

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54The next day, we went to this chill out place for lunch where they had hammocks tied to the pillars all over overlooking the view of the lake/river. We just relaxed while we enjoyed the breeze and lunch!

130Me in my hammock!

149

53 The view!

50 The locals approached us to sell their food.

5659The food they sold.

143

67Fried insects like cicadas, crickets and beetles were also sold! Reuben and Gavin bought some to try and they ended up liking them. They popped the bugs inside their mouths as though they were chips! This includes Cui Shan, who ate the most!

144This is Cui Shan looking very happy with her cicada before she gobbled it down. Heh.

66 Reuben with his cicada. I tried one of its legs! It was crunchy! I refused to eat the whole thing though. Eww.

687369A proper lunch!

72Cambodia’s famous Angkor beer.

160Ek Theng, Sheng Hui (clearly, enjoying Angkor beer) and Fan Rui.

161Cui Shan and I.

edit1 Then, we went to Sorya Shopping Centre to just roam around before going to a nearby market. There weren’t many things to buy there, at least there wasn’t anything appealing to me. So Cui Shan, Pearly, Siew Wai and I bought ice-cream from Swensen’s while waiting for the rest to be done.

78This is the nearby market I mentioned, forgot what it is called but it wasn’t as good as Russian Market. Didn’t shop much here.

121This girl looks so cute and chubby! She looks like a baby sumo! Heh.

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170We visited the Royal University of Phnom Penh since we still had time before dinner.

171NUS Faculty of Science students.

174NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Science students.

172173Group shots!

176 The girls! :)

183This bunch of students from Phillipines introduced themselves to us and we had a little chat. Such friendly people. :) They said they were going to visit NUS and hoped to see us there. But too bad, on the day they would be visiting NUS, we would still be in Cambodia. We bumped into them during our trip to Angkor Wat though. What a coincidence!

180We took a group picture with them.

186

929190We went to DP Lodge, Siying’s uncle’s guesthouse for dinner.

190191192We had a buffet there! Thank you Siying! :)

And so, that’s a wrap for Cambodia Week One! Phew, took me quite some time to actually cover week one. There is still week two to go.