28 Aug 2015

Some random art

 This is still incomplete. We were reviewing what we learnt in  Bali. Balinese Art. 
1)Draw picture, include lots of lines. Outline lines with darker pen.
2) Paint first layer with Chinese Ink. Include shading. Before starting dilute Chinese ink into different levels of black.
3) When done, add some colour (not done yet).

 After a long time of not painting, it was hard getting reacquainted with water colour. First attempt after a long long time. (Painting based on picture of a calendar given my friend.)

 Trying charcoal again after several years...(You can tell....I've not been doing much art.) Well...I was working on this halfway, when I woke the morning, I found that someone had added the picture on the left together with the words! hmmm....:)

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2015


25 Aug 2015

Survival Class 3

Today's class we had to trek about one hour up some rather steep terrain. We were looking for a new spot to build shelter.

On the way, we passed by lots of Daun Bertam (palm) plants.

Some of the paths were new and Kak Jumima had to use her parang to cut away branches and vines to  create a new path.

Once we arrived, F and Jo were asked to look for firewood. F started the fire and Jo looked after it. The rest had to go help gather daun Bertam to make our temporary shelter. Because it had rained in the morning, ground was soggy, and there were lots of leeches.

Kak Jumima did all the chopping, while girls helped to drag the slightly thorny bertam leaves down.

We each then had to weave the leaves. 

Nel did pretty well, although Jo's was a little awkward. She was better at keeping the fire going.

Raman set the poles up and began placing weaved leaves in place.

knots were tied using long roots.

Shelter completed.

More leaves added to the back for more protection from rain. All that done, we sat down to have lunch which tasted more delicious then ever, as it always does after much hard work!

Raman showed us the Tongkat Ali pant. Roots are like ginseng. Leaves if burnt and crushed can be used to treat skin ailment, said Raman.

While looking for firewood, Kak J screamed and shouted, "Ular!! Ular!!" We snapped pictures of this beauty and sent it to Steven. Turns out it is a Wagler's Pit Viper, but the OA call it "Tunggu Bulan." It is Venomous so...stay away!

Update: Back at the jungle again the children took up the challenge of building their own shelter from scratch, this time without Raman's help. It was a true learning experience, from learning how to shave wood to create poles with spiky end (to be grounded at least 6 inches below), to weaving leaves together to create roof etc.
Job well done by the kids!
Moth Pupae in basket cocoon.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2015


22 Aug 2015

Nel Teaching a Class on Atoms.

Nel's come a long way in co-op, specifically in talking in front of her friends. Year before, she could barely stand and talk, and had to hide behind large cardboards. In this respect, she is like me. I've talked to her about  how I used to be like that, and encouraged her to overcome through baby steps in a safe environment.

So she took the challenge and taught the chapter on atoms at co-op. Most of the time she talked quite confidently and managed the class quite well. Yes, baby steps, slowly overcoming. :)

Creating atomic structures using playdough.

This was a cool experiment. 
1. Prepare yeast by mixing it with warm water, then allow to sit for about 3 minutes.
2. In a different bottle, mix Hydrogen Peroxide (6%) with detergent and some food colouring.
3. Pour yeast mixture into H2O2 mixture and watch the reaction! This reaction actually hit my ceiling fan!!! It was fancy and wonderfully exciting for the kids! So they tried it over and over again!

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2015


21 Aug 2015

Jo teaches on Newton's Law.

This year we decided we'd let the children take turns teaching chapters from the science text book we're using. We're doing a unit on physics and chemistry right now.

Jo chose to teach the chapter on Newton's Law. She basically did her own research and taught the class pretty well.

She ended it with a few experiments.
1)  Swing a clothes hanger around finger with a coin sitting on it. (Objects in motion stay in motion.) The coin will remain and not drop off. (First law of motion and centripetal force.)

2) Place one sheet of newspaper on a long ruler on the edge of the table. Let ruler stick out by about 5cm. Punch down on ruler and see what happens. Did you know air pressure weighs about 2 tonnes?

3) Create own Newton's cradle by using thick ice cream sticks to create a slim, rectangular "cradle." Place marbles inside and test Newton's Law.

4) Balloon race! Design own rocket, stick to balloon. Attach straw to balloon, then slip nylon string through the straw. Tie string across the room and let the race begin!! (Newton's Third Law.) This was fun! :)

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2015

18 Aug 2015

Survival Class 2

Survival Class No. 2

So we found ourselves in the jungle again...this time with long pants tucked into long socks, after getting several leech bites the class before....especially the bite right in the belly button!

Our first job was again to harvest Paku for lunch. For wrapping food this week, we used Daun Bemban and Banana Leaf. Raman taught us that to lessen chances of tearing the banana leaf during wrapping, place leaf over the fire first. This changes the texture of the leaf a little, making it easier to work with.

Always skewer  chicken pieces right in the middle of the skewer so it can sit nicely on top of the fire. Skewer chicken pieces length wise, and make sure they are packed together.

Instead of rice, Jumima taught us to make traditional OA food. Basically mix flour with lots of brown sugar and water. Paste must be quite thick. Then wrap in banana leaf or daun bemban.

Can you tell which is banana leaf and which is daun bemban? Once wrapped, slot them into a bamboo to be placed into the fire. Make sure not to squish them tightly.

Wrap paku with a bit of salt and chilli padi in leaf and place into bamboo to cook over fire.

Children were also taught to make own bamboo shavings to use as fire starter.

Below: Just a week ago, this very log was used by the children as the throne of the fairy queen. Yup they had lots of play time in between and invented lots of stories. Children were surprised to see that a week later, lots of mushrooms have sprouted on the very same log. Raman said that he too had never seen mushrooms of this sort before. Hmmmm....must be all the fairy stories the children invented that brought magic to this log. :)

The flour dough cooked. And of course, we had it with delicious chicken and paku.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2015


Survival Class with Raman

My kids especially Jo, has been really, crazily, interested in the topic of  survival. She's bought lots of survival books, and has read My Side of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George at least 5 times! So to satisfy her "thirst" we signed up for several classes with Raman in Gombak.

At our first meeting, we were greeted by Raman's wife on the road side. She then walked us pass an Orang Asli Village, and then through the tunnel below.

After trekking a short trek uphill, we finally arrive at our first rest point, where most activities are conducted.

On our first day, the kids were taught how to cook rice in bamboo. First rice is divided into tiny portions and wrapped in Daun Bemban.

Once wrapped, the wrappings are placed gently into a bamboo and then bamboo is filled with water and placed over the fire.

While bamboo is placed over the fire, the children were asked to skewer marinated chicken onto skewers made of bamboo too. Then chicken is slowly cooked over fire. The fire must be watched at all times to make sure chicken is not under cooked or burnt. Raman told us that for extra delicious flavour, to use wood from Rambutan trees.

While Raman looked after the fire, his wife, Jumima took the children into the forest to look for Paku leaves.

This is how the edible leaves look like, and only young shoots can be eaten.

Later after a great and delicious lunch, Raman taught the children how to start a fire. Below- Bamboo shavings are used as a starter.

He told the children that best to create triangles with hollow spaces between for the fire. Twigs are placed above bamboo shavings. Once the fire is stable, a larger log is placed above and another platform of twigs or branches on top.


Our delicious lunch of chicken cooked over firewood. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Yumm!

Cooked rice which the children prepared earlier on.

p.s wear rubber shoes if going, some slipper paths. Bring mozzi repellant, and most of all, must NOT be squirmish of leeches. Lots of hungry ones there!

Before we left, he showed us the leaf below, Selaput Tunggul, when crushed, its juice can be used to treat minor cuts or to stop bleeding from leech bites.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2015


Co-Op Getaway

Our little Science Co-op is now many years old....(I can't recall when exactly we started, for we started and stopped several times before we became committed to it.) Though we are just four families, we make a total of 13 children!! (Thanks to the Ch's..ahem.)

 This year, we were especially blessed because, finally, the Ch's were able to join us. What a blessed time it was! :)

We booked the Lutheran bungalow in Camerons, and so happened no one else had booked a room there, so the entire premises were ours for the three days we were there. The place currently can take a maximum of 28 people (but are in the process of expanding.) We had all our meals out in town, as their pricing for catered meals are a little pricey, and we could eat out for much cheaper.

 Well...while we were there, the children made full use of the compound, playing ball games in the large tennis court, and inventing their own games.

Sometimes they'd explore the little garden patch there or swing for hours while chatting away. Oh my it did them good, coz they all came back with rosy rosy cheeks.

Even the dads went a swinging! which I found quite hilarious.Somehow...you know, three men on swings, reliving childhood? Male bonding I guess.

Night time, the kids planned a midnight feast...and this got them into trouble with the caretaker....!

On the first night, some of us (namely mums) went for a midnight walk in the cool night air, while the dads chatted indoors. While walking we came across these beautiful Birds of Paradise...and wondered why they strangely seemed to have eyes. We walked closer to find snails on the flowers!

On the second day....trusting the children to look after themselves,  we parents snuck out in one van to enjoy delicious scones and tea at the Lord's Cafe Tanah Rata Cameron Highlands. Prices were really reasonable and their strawberry scones were really delicious.

On Sunday, we had the shortest Church service ever. Three of the children played on their guitars and violin to provide music accompaniment while dear hubby song led. The very short sermon was given by Uncle CF....and no sooner than when the last Amen was said to end the service, the children vanished.....out into the open air to play to their heart's content before check out.

What a blessing to spend those few days with co-op. Co-op is kinda like a little "village"...where parents know one another and each other's children. It's where you watch your children grow and learn together...as the saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child."

 Now back home, the children say, "I wish I was still in Camerons." Well...till the next trip.

[The lutheran has a very strict policy of no eating own food on their premises...not even snacks...and they have a rather...errr....[insert adjective] caretaker.... Just mentioning....in case you plan to go with a large pack of children who tend to get hungry very quickly.]

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2015

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