Sea Biscuit the tough turtle gets back in the swim of things after losing his flipper

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Washed ashore: Sea Biscuit has learned to dive and swim like normal creatures after being rescued as a hatchling found on a beach in 2009

Washed ashore: Sea Biscuit has learned to dive and swim like normal creatures after being rescued as a hatchling found on a beach in 2009

When Sea Biscuit lost her left flipper, it could have been a turtle disaster.

But thanks to her human friends at Oceanworld Manly in Sydney, the little battler is now diving and weaving gracefully through water.

The green sea turtle could fit in the palm of a hand when he was rescued after washing up on a beach as an exhausted hatchling in 2009.

On the crest of a wave: Flipperless green sea turtle Sea Biscuit is able to swim and dive again after a two-year rehabilitation programmed in Manly, Australia

On the crest of a wave: Flipperless green sea turtle Sea Biscuit is able to swim and dive again after a two-year rehabilitation programmed in Manly, Australia

Sea Biscuit’s infected flipper had to be amputated and it had taken him a long time to gain weight and strength.

‘She had been through quite a big ordeal for such a small turtle,’ said handler Marina Tsamoulos.

The turtle had to be painstakingly encouraged in her marine enclosure.

‘We rehabilitate with the hope we can release them back into the wild,’ Ms Tsamoulos said.

‘Sea Biscuit has recovered but she is still growing … she will stay in Oceanworld for now, but that will be reviewed in the future.’

Green sea turtles spend their formative years drifting on ocean currents, grow to four-and-half feet and weight more than 47 stones. They live an average 80 years in the wild.

Restored to health: Sea Biscuit swims past handler Marina Tsamoulos in the tropical reef aquarium at Oceanworld Manly, north of Sydney

Restored to health: Sea Biscuit swims past handler Marina Tsamoulos in the tropical reef aquarium at Oceanworld Manly, north of Sydney

[source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1389231/Sea-Biscuit-tough-turtle-gets-swim-things-losing-flipper.html]
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Let’s go Cambodia – Angkor Wat

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black and white Angkor Wat

black and white Angkor Wat

After Ta Prohm Temple, we headed to the symbol of Cambodia, Angkor Wat. The daily pass we purchased before granted us the access Angkor Wat, checked by security certainly. Most people will have heard of the famous Angkor Wat, in fact it is only one of the many buildings of an ancient civilization.

Some background of Angkor Wat,

Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. It is the world’s largest religious building.

The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.

Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers.

Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) adorning its walls.

The modern name, Angkor Wat, means “City Temple”; Angkor is a vernacular form of the word nokor which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara meaning capital or city. Wat is the Khmer word for temple. Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok, after the posthumous title of its founder, Suryavarman II.

innocent kid at the entrance of Angkor Wat

innocent kid at the entrance of Angkor Wat

Back to our journey.

Everyone was excited at the entrance of Angkor Wat when we saw Angkor Wat through the windows of the bus. As soon as the bus stopped, we jumped off the bus and rushed to the entrance. Many children approached us and trying to sell us some stuff such as souvenirs, food, books etc.

It was noon and Angkor Wat was so crowded with foreigners and even locals. We would have tens of people blocking the view everywhere we tried take photos. Nevertheless, it was alright for me because I wished to snap photos of unique and interesting people.

From the entrance, there is a long causeway connects to the gate of the temple. I took a long walk over the huge water reservoir and moat surrounding Angkor Wat and reached the gate.

There were a few couples wearing traditional Khmer wedding costumes and had their wedding photos taken with the magnificent background. This is probably a good place for couples to have their wedding albums beautifully done.

There I started to take shots of the interesting people, including wedding couples, and an old man who seemed like a fortune teller, and monks who were not as many as I expected. Then I set my way towards the temple it had take a long walk again from the gate to the main temple. On my way before reaching the doorstep of the main temple, I met many adorable children and again I had their photos captured.

Standing in front of the main temple, whole place just looked amazing. However the weather on the day was not that good. It was windy and some drizzling. The best time to go to Angkor Wat would be dawn when the sun is rising from the back of the temple, and when the weather is fine and calm. In that case, we would probably get a perfect silhouette of Angkor Wat stands against the orangish sky while its reflection is mirrored in similarly beautiful orangish water. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way.

As I continued walking towards the central complex, I found many statues and many of those were headless, due to pillaging and looting. Making my way through the passageway and steps to the central complex, I snapped photos of many wall-carving which are similar to those in Ta Prohm Temple, such as the devatas (minor female deities). Surprisingly many of the bas-reliefs had well stood through the test of time and remained beautiful, despite centuries of wear and tear and invasions from tourists and looters.

bas-reliefs everywhere

bas-reliefs everywhere

After minutes of walk, I found my myself to be at the central complex, where I could see the lotus-like-towers. The steps to the top of the towers are small steps, less than half of my foot, and steep, the height of each step is longer than its tread. I decided to climb up the tower to have a better view of the whole compound, but time was running out. We were given only 45 minutes to tour Angkor Wat which I only had couples of minutes left when I reach the the central complex. I knew it would take some times to walk out the temple and I had leave then.

I took a few last shots of the locals praying there and quickly made my way to the bus. Forty-five minutes would never be enough for Angkor Wat. Not to mention people who want to know every piece of its stories and take wonderful photos. It would be worthy to spend at least 3 days in Siem Reap and visit temples of Angkor numerous times and different times of the day.

locals praying for blessing

locals praying for blessing

Our exploration to Siem Reap was such a short time, half a day to visit the town, Ta Prohm Temple and Angkor Wat. However, we were glad we made it and hope to see the place again. I believe there will be surprises each time we go back.

So there we were, and continued the trip to the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh in a long bus journey. Goodbye, Siem Reap!

Sharing more shots after the click. May all beings be happy.

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Killer landslide hits Hulu Langat orphanage

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One of the injured children being taken into Ampang Hospital after the landslide at Rumah Anak Yatim Hidayah in Hulu Langat (photo from thestar.com.my)

One of the injured children being taken into Ampang Hospital after the landslide at Rumah Anak Yatim Hidayah in Hulu Langat (photo from thestar.com.my)

KAJANG: A landslide hit an orphanage Saturday (21st May 2011) afternoon killing 13 and leaving three still buried.

Firemen and villagers managed to pull out nine soon after the landslide hit Rumah Anak Yatim Hidayah, Madrasah Al-Takwa, Jalan Felcra Semungkus, 14th mile, Hulu Langat, near Kajang at 2.30pm.

At 10.45pm, a boy was pulled out alive after being buried for over eight hours.

The dead and alive have been sent to the Ampang and Kajang Hospitals.

“Two landslides occurred simultaneously. All the victims did not have time to escape,” said Selangor CPO Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah at a press conference at 6.45pm.

A total of 49 students and caretakers were there but 24 escaped unhurt.

The orphanage was partially buried by the landslides at about 2.30pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Deputy IGP Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said that rescuers were being hampered by wet soil and rain.

He also appealed to the crowd of onlookers to stay back and allow the rescuers to do their work unimpeded.

Bernama reported that in Alor Gajah, Malacca, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil directed the Social Welfare Department and the ‘Skuad Sayang’ (Caring Squad) to provide immediate assistance to the orphans and family of the victims.

“I will get in touch with the police to obtain detailed information and the actual cause of the landslide so that my ministry can take follow-up action to assist the victms,” she said.

[source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/5/21/nation/20110521165352&sec=nation]
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妈妈老了

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曾经的

曾经的

妈妈老了,这是早就知道的事实。已是第三次做寿了,能不老吗?但原来这只是头脑知道,心里压根儿没认同过,一直到最近回家才不得不承认。妈妈炒的菜怎么再也不清脆可口了,分不出是菜汤还是炒菜。妈妈的厨艺一直来都是家人的最爱,虽然偶尔失手过,但还没吃厌过。以前学炒菜时,妈妈说最重要的是掌握火候,还有千万不要加水,加入少许蒜头即可炒出一道清脆可口的菜肴。可是如今,我看到的是妈妈放入青菜后,隨即是加入一碗水,不像是炒菜,倒像是在燜菜。吃在口里,食不知味,QQ的口感没了,熟悉的味道全没了。看在眼里,痛在心里,心里完全知道这是怎么一回事,因为妈妈再也无法咀嚼清脆的青菜了。

想一辈子当母亲眼中的小孩

妈妈一生辛劳,养育九个子女,即使是挺个大肚子,依然砍柴挑水干粗活。实在不愿相信那个曾经走在你身旁为你挡风遮雨的背影有天在你不警觉时竟会落在你身后,而你必须在人群中搜寻她的踪影。

不愿接受那个曾经紧握你小手越过马路的双手有天需要你扶一把,等她一会儿,耐心地牵她过马路。

不愿接受前一刻明明彼此才互相起劲谈话,才一会儿,她竟然坐著呼呼地睡著了。做子女的不愿接受母亲会老的事实,想一辈子做母亲眼中的小孩,当永远的孩子,享受母亲的呵护。忘了自己已经身为人母,依然沉醉在记忆中儿时的妈妈,那个不知何为疲惫,时刻精力充沛,终日为家人奔波的身影。硬朗敏捷的身子再也无法抵挡岁月的侵蚀,真是岁月催人老啊!

身为最小且最迟出嫁的女儿,今年终於有机会第一次替妈妈拜寿,心里祈祷这不是唯一的一次。我对妈妈说,希望你健健康康,长命百岁,因为我希望往后还能为你拜寿。妈妈感慨地说不知是否还能等到另一个十年,同辈的只剩下两三个了。对一个年长者,能健康的再活十年確实是个奢侈的梦想,这何尝不也是子女的一个奢望呢?

回娘家,回娘家,实在不敢想像没有娘在的娘家,回去时会是甚么苦涩滋味?出嫁的女儿可以回娘家实在是一种幸福。有天这种幸福感只能在记忆中去追溯了。

[文:丽华,刊登于星洲日报副刊]
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A blessing in disguise

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in a little world of strangers (taken in Voyage Travellers Lounge, Melaka)

in a little world of strangers (taken in Voyage Travellers Lounge, Melaka)

When I began planning to move to Auckland to study, my mother was a little worried about the uncertainty of living in a place that was so different from India, where we lived. She worried particularly about a lack of jobs, cultural differences and racism.

Despite these concerns, I came to New Zealand in July 2009. I have found the place and people to be very gracious and supportive. Soon after I arrived, I realised the importance of getting a job to supplement my living allowance.

Determined to do this on my own, I spent a whole day going door-to-door asking for a job, but found little or no response. This became my daily routine after college for a few weeks.

One afternoon, I walked into a building to ask if there were any job opportunities. The people there were all stunned, and advised me not to continue my job search in that manner. As I was about to leave, a client in the building, who had been listening to what the others had said, approached me and asked if I would wait outside. Fifteen minutes later, he returned. He asked me what my plans were and encouraged me to stay positive. He then offered to take me to the Royal Oak area to search for a job.

I was a little baffled, but had a good feeling about him and so I went along. Along the way, I realised that I had run out of résumés. The man stopped at his business partner’s office to make me 15 extra copies. He also gave me self-presentation tips on dressing and speaking, and added that I should give him a call if I ever needed anything. I handed out my résumés and went home feeling very satisfied. The following day, I received a call from a store in Royal Oak offering me a job.

It seems that the world always gives back to you when you need it. And this time, it was a complete stranger who turned out to be a real blessing.

[source: http://www.rdasia.com/a-blessing-in-disguise]
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April.May 2011

By | Life Journal, Photography | No Comments
old friendly cooper at Jalan Hang Kasturi, Melaka

old friendly cooper at Jalan Hang Kasturi, Melaka

Hello May! These two months are the period filled with lovEE. May, the month of a new beginning.

Firstly, congratulation to our friends Tong Poh-Ling and Goh Seng-Chin who finally finally tied the knot after so many years. Thanks for letting us to share and freeze the special moments of your beautiful day of wedding. There is nothing more beautiful in life than the union of two who love for one another has grown through the years, from the small acorn of passion, into a great rooted tree.

We would  like to congratulate our old friend Yong-Chia and your lovely wife, Hong Shuat-Teng who just celebrated the full month of your baby, Ethan yesterday. We share in the happiness of the beautiful new life you have created, and our love is with your new family.

May is also a special month for mother. Last Sunday, most of us celebrated Mother’s Day.

As American author, Washington Irving described

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.

Thank you for always being there, mom. Happy Mother’s Day. Hope your day is sunshine and flowers with happy thoughts to fill the house.

I’m glad that my camera is back from service. Sharing some shots taken in April and May, which some captured with my sister Panasonic camera.

May all beings bEE happy.

"oh, it's me"

"oh, it's me"

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

balloons (Tong Poh-Ling & Goh Seng-Chin's wedding dinner)

balloons (Tong Poh-Ling & Goh Seng-Chin's wedding dinner)

time to go home (Phnom Penh International Airport)

time to go home (Phnom Penh International Airport)

swim across

swim across

fine weather

fine weather

peacock

peacock

aftermath of fire

aftermath of fire

house in kampung

house in kampung

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