Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sea Coconut

Sea Coconut Tree
Sea Coconut Fruit
A sea coconut fruit cut across
1. The Sea Coconut tree is also known as Sugar Palm which is either a male or female tree. Both will flower but only the female tree will produce the fruit. Palm sugar is derived from the flower juice. Almost all the Palm Sugar that we buy from the market contains 50% flour.  When you taste the real thing, you will realize how much you have been cheated all these while.
2. Sea coconut typically has 2 seeds per fruit while coconut is 1 seed per fruit.
3. Fresh Sea Coconut tastes like jelly but softer.

Monday, March 10, 2014

YEP Cambodia 2014: Pre-trip Community Service (7 March 2014)

I am very happy with our Community Service at the Moral Home for the Aged Sick. My special thanks to Qian Ci, Alexis, Sharon and Anna for their leadership and commitment. My only regret is that we did not have a chance to participate in the physiotherapy. It is either Bingo or physiotherapy for their afternoon activity and it is Bingo on Fridays. I can see that the old folks have a good time playing the ‘kampong games’ with the students. They enjoyed the kampong games better than the Bingo game. Well done. So, I am wrong: some of the students could speak decent dialect, for this I salute their parents. This is our first test and we pass it except in the area of punctuality.
Noted that we are not allowed to put pictures of the residents in any social media. The above two pictures are allowed as they show only ourselves.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Idol and I

Sim Ann and my family
Thanks to my son, I now have a family photo with my idol, Sim Ann. More correctly, she is my favorite MP. So, how did she become my idol? My first encounter with Sim Ann was when she knocked on my door during the last election campaign in 2011.
After the usual courtesies, I said, “Yesterday, the opposition held a rally at Clementi Ave 6 and I was very impressed by them.”
She replied. “It is my job to convince you.”
(I liked the way she put it – somehow she touched me with her sincerity)
Before she could explain further, I interrupted, “So, when are you going to hold your rally?”
She started to rattle off the various rallies that would take place in the constituency. I played ‘hard-to-get’ and told her that I would very much prefer the same venue that the opposition used. It is nearer to my house. She gave me some possible dates and explained that they also have to book the venue.
A couple of days later, I learnt that the rally was really going to take place. I attended the rally and walked away satisfied that they would do a better job.
My second encounter with Sim Ann was at a resident dialogue at the void deck of my flat. A handsome young man from the audience gave a fury speech that itching ears love to hear and draw loud applause from the audience. I cheered him for his oratory skills and guts. But more interestingly was Sim Ann's response to his twisted argument. All eyes were on her when the microphone went back to her.
In a calm and unhurried manner, she asked the audience how many agreed with the young man. Only a few put up their hands. Then she asked how many disagreed and the vast majority of us put up our hands. I thought it was a clever move on her part, diffusing the tension without really chipping the young man.
When I related these incidents to my wife, she teased me that I am now a fan of Sim Ann and that was how she became my idol.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Recce Trip for YEP Cambodia Mar '14

Siem Reap
Angkor Wat
Angkor Thom
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh Town Center
Day 1 (27 Dec) Siem Reap
Day 2 (28 Dec) | Ta Phrom Temple | Angkor Thom | Angkor Wat | Silk Factory |
Day 3 (29 Dec) Khmer Homestay
Day 4 (30 Dec) Killing Field
Day 5 (31 Dec) Phnom Penh
PowerPoint Slide for Bonding Meeting II

Friday, November 29, 2013

On my way to work, I saw a beautiful sight

A flock of Litte Egret in the far end.
Zoom-in view of the flock of Little Egret.
Little Egret
School of Tilapia
Today, as I was walking to work, I saw a flock of Little Egret feeding in the canal while crossing the Kampong Java Green Bridge. The beautiful sight lifted up my spirit and stayed there for a long time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Outing with International Students to Sungei Buloh

On 9th Nov ’13 (Sat), See Pan, Dr Chen Ming and I brought 13 international students to Sungei Buloh. See Pan shared with us very nice rambutan from his garden. The Chinese students were very appreciative of it because it is new to them and they like eating it. See Pan even bought Attap seeds for the students to try. He related that he had a hard time looking for it in the supermarket because it was manned by foreigners. The first one that he approached for help was from Philippines and the second lady was from China. Both have never heard of Attap seeds.
There are a lot of Attap plants in Sungei Buloh. In the olden days, houses were built with Attap leaves. This is why such houses were called Attap house. The sap from the bud gives an alcoholic drink called toddy. The fruit has edible seed which can be found in ice kacang.
On the bus, See Pan lectured and conducted a pop quiz with instant prizes to be won.  Students, who gave the right answers, have an array of snacks to choose from.
The board walk that goes right into the swamp area is made from the wood of mangrove trees which have adapted to the local conditions like extreme humidity, muddy soil and seawater. This is a brilliant engineering solution: sustainable, economical and environment friendly.
On the way out, we saw a hornbill bird which is quite rare in Singapore. Apparently, it is not shy of people. It stayed calm and collected while the many of us were clicking away and chattering noisily.