27 Sep 2013

Johor Arts Festival

The kids with their team, Jumping Jellybeans performed again, this time at the Johor Arts Festival.
What a memorable trip it was, travelling with all their friends in a big bus, singing and playing games all the way.
In between rehearsals and performances, the children went on a walking tour, visiting old bakeries, small sundry shops and playing. An unforgettable trip!

 @poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013

24 Sep 2013

Sg. Lembing, Rainbow Falls

 We love the outdoors. Sg. Lembing, (to us), is really a piece of paradise on earth.  So before I begin, bear in mind, that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. (Just saying coz, I once told a friend about the beauty of certain place..and this friend went and later said "There was nothing to see at all."

So our journey began at 5:45am. Our tour guide was Ah Tak, who is a fantastic, fabulous tour guide! (highly recommended.) (His phone number - 019-9446167)

Since we don't own a 4WD, we hired him to take us in. His truck can take about 12-16 people. The journey in  at a moderate speed, with multiple stops along the way (to take in the breathtaking view), took more than an hour. Ah Tak, our guide, knew just where to stop for photography.

This was followed by an hour plus of trekking. (I know, this duration might be insulting to fast trekkers...but alas, we are not speed trekkers, but rather trekkers who stop to enjoy the beauty along the way.) So here,  a short  (may be long winded) photo post about Sg. Lembing.

Journey In

 As we drove across the dirt road, we saw the beautiful Sg. Lembing meandering peacefully, calmly, way below us. Such serenity.  Most campers along the way were already up, watching the sunrise, for indeed the sunrise there is an awesome sight to behold. Beautiful, and glorious.

The water is so crystal clear, that despite the distance between us and the river, we could see right down to the river bed. Slowly as we journeyed, the sun began rising and the forest came to life.


Finally after a rather long bumpy journey, we arrived at trekking point. The trek in is not difficult, with some  slopes, river crossing and clambering over rocks. Just be watchful of roots, and slippery rocks (there are ropes along to way to hang on to.) But then, if you're not a regular hiker, then it's good to stay with the guide.

Several river crossings along the way, so wear suitable sandals, with good grip. Our guide Ah Tak, ensuring  that the children cross safely.

As usual, the children were way faster, and several times, we had to yell for them to come back, as it can get dangerous.
Minor hurdles along the way

Finding the path across rocks just before Rainbow Falls

Arriving at the falls

After passing several smaller, beautiful waterfalls along way, we finally came to a small pool, and beyond it was the Rainbow falls. What attracted me first wasn't the rainbow, but the strikingly green, beautiful moss that grows on rocky walls beside the falls.

The sight before me transported me to a fantasy world. I imagined pterodactyls  flying across the cascading falls, and possibly brachiosaurus and all gentle dinosaurs feeding on the green green trees that grow there.

Behold part of the amazing falls. Unfortunately, my lack of photography skills doesn't portray the beauty of this place enough. (Note* I read elsewhere, the falls is not spectacular in dry season, and only lovely after heavy rainfall. It is a tall fall, and under normal conditions the water comes down as a spray. It is this spray which results in the famous rainbow, but only when the sun is still low.)

We were fortunate that we had the falls to ourselves (usually it can get very very crowded up there, said the guide,) and thus were able to fully soak in and enjoy the beauty of the place. (I can't describe the beauty enough,....but I feel it in my heart. )

The rainbow at the falls comes and goes, depending on the clouds. But to catch it you have to be there before 10am. While watching for the rainbow, at slightly before 10am, the sun hit the falls at a certain angle creating this beautiful rainbow!!! Oooohhhhh!!! went all of us!!! My lil one began imagining mermaids...she dived in and out trying to catch the rainbow.

An interesting thing about this falls is that, if you approach the rainbow, and sit down on a rock beneath the pool right below the falls, you'll actually see the rainbow on the surface of the water, coming all the way towards you, creating a full circular rainbow. So Spectacular!! An amazing experience. I don't own a water camera thus I wasn't able to capture this phenomenon, but it's forever etched in my memory.

After 10am, the rainbow did not occur anymore and we picniked there a little longer, taking dips in the cold refreshing water. Then slowly we trekked back, taking longer this time as our guide showed us the amazing variety of fauna found along the trail.

Below- just a few pictures of insects/fauna we found along the trail. Too bad, my batteries ran out half way through the trail.

** Just outside the forest reserve boundary, we saw extensive logging going on. Sad :( :( 
Underground Tin Mining

There are other places worth visiting at Sg. Lembing but this trip we only managed the falls, a tin mining museum, and a tunnel at the old mining site. The tunnel has been opened to tourists since January. It usually costs RM30 per adult and RM15 per child. We, however, got in at a very very good discount. Don't ask me how, but we did. (photos taken with good old handphone.)

Entrance to the mining tunnel
They called this a mouse hole...tunnels made to seek out more tin.
Lots of interesting info along the tunnel
Trying out the handcar/pump trolley

ok...this post is getting "photo heavy." So will end the post here. So Sg. Lembing, we will definitely be back! As for the town of Sg. Lembing, it is a really sleepy, small town. I love it. Feels like going back several decades in time.  :)

[for my own records about my stupidity: Back to Rainbow falls, as I approached the falls after a long trek, I was so struck by the beauty of the falls before me, that I totally missed the path towards the falls. Just before the falls, there is a pool of water. To get to the falls, one must trek AROUND the pool. I, however, stupidly trekked right into the pool, all the while, gaping at the stunning beauty before me. At certain point, the water actually went up to chest level, and that wet my pouch and part of my backpack. Thus I had to hold everything (including my camera) up above my shoulders and continued wading through, until I noticed a few tourists who were leaving, laughing at me. I wondered how everyone seemed starked dry, and then it dawned on me, that they had all trekked around the pool, while I, dumb tourist had waded through the pool, bags and camera above my shoulder.)

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013


6 Sep 2013

Forensic Science - Blood Typing and Blood Spatter

Co-op learning has always been something my children look forward to. Our co-op started several years ago with just 2 families. Now we're 5 families, and we've decided this is the max we can be so every child benefits fully from each lesson. I will write more about Co-op another day. Well, this month we started on a new unit, an exciting one, Forensic Science!

To kick start this unit, we borrowed story books where crime scenes and mysteries were the main plot. We also watched this short interesting video -  where detectives try to solve the mystery of a half eaten cake. (Children loved it!)
During today's class we discussed the role of blood analysis in forensic science. As preparation, children reviewed blood components on their own at home, and played this wonderful game, Blood Typing Game,   to learn about blood typing.

At Co-op the children were given a mystery to solve. Who killed the Victim? 6 samples of blood (artificial blood, made of milk and colour) were labeled and provided. Children had to gently pour blood into anti -A, anti-B and Rh serums to determine the blood type of each suspect/victim/blood found at murder scene.
[*Anti serums actually consisted of water or vinegar, which were pre-prepared in selected containers. Clumping will occur when vinegar and milk combine.]

Based on the results obtained, children discussed possibilities of who suspects were, and what  happened at crime scene.

Part II 
We headed outside and using stuff from the kitchen, we made artificial blood. I think the children really loved this bit!

We then ran several different tests to study blood spatter patterns.
- We tested dropping artificial blood we made from different heights to study patterns formed.
-We walked/ran at different speeds to see how the patterns differed.
-We dropped multiple drops from different heights.

Children plotted results on graphs, and made sketches of patterns. We also discussed how blood pattern analysis helped in crime solving, and what information it provided. (Eg. weapon used, direction victim was walking, timing of crime etc.)

Of course, there was fun involved...creating gory scenes. :)

Co-op ended with older children cooking lunch, which was spaghetti (colour of red!) and tomato juice (colour of red!!)

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013


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