Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Bicycles in the Air

Anyone heard of the Chocolate Hills? If not, they're dome shaped hills in Bohol, Philippines. I don't know why they were called that... someone must've had a wishful imagination!
Dad and I - posing in front of the fake Chocolate.
After all, they look more like ant hills.. These hills were about the first tourist attraction we went to. They were alright. I reckon they were pretty, but the view on its own definitely did not compare to seeing it while riding a bicycle in the air!

Riding through the air, among the Chocolate Hills.
 No, I am not a magician. I was attached to numerous cables and all such bells and whistles. But all the same, a breeze rocked my bike and the ground looked scarily far away. I had to give myself a bit of a pep talk, but when I really thought about it I realized that the chance of falling was actually very slim. Besides, if I did I was wearing a hard hat anyway. A fall wouldn't do much damage - to my brain at least.... In fact, it would make a jolly impressive story!!

It was an adventure park where I rode the skies. The Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) to be exact. When we were told what was available, I was keen as a mung bean! XD
Dad decided to join me in all the activities. His only regret was that bike ride was too slow. I agreed. When we gave this feedback to the owner of the park, he was apparently flabbergasted. According to him, he did it once and never wanted to do it again! He told us that most people would cry from fear while riding the bike. We were amazed!
We were also informed though, that a few people had stopped in the middle and taken selfies up there. I became jealous upon hearing that.
Dad and I, after riding through the air.
Doing the obstacle course.

After riding the bikes, we went on a 'tree-top' obstacle course. It was okay. They were working on constructing extensions at the time. But we had completed the whole course  in about 5 minutes. Less than ten, for sure. Again, we amazed the owners. While we had our fun, my friend Myn graciously captured our experience. :)

Dad, Mum, Me, Myn and Lyle at the entrance to CHAP.
When all the activities to do had been done, we moved on to the Logarita Springs to eat lunch. To our surprise we were compelled to pay a fee of 100p (peso) per head. The springs was a pretty place. A large pool graced the place, with an impressive, albeit cement, slide into it. I wanted to go swimming after lunch with Myn, but I was feeling a bit crook by that stage and Mum wisely forbad me. The head cold I mentioned in the previous post was starting to make itself known. The day previous when we went to Talibon to go shopping, and then swimming at their beach, I had felt fine aside from a nagging sore throat. Once the head cold made itself known, it progressed rapidly.
The forbidden pool, with its cement slide.
Our host, Lyle, drove us around 'the corner' to the Magsaysay Park. It wasn't really a park. But it did have monkeys. Lots of them, in fact. Big ones, little ones, mothers and fathers. We had saved a couple bananas from lunch for them, and these we fed them. They were a greedy, inquisitive bunch, those monkeys. When the bananas were all gone, they climbed into the tray of the truck to look for more goodies. One monkey took off with Lyle's bag of crackers. Lyle chased after it, but the monkey proved more nimble!
Inquisitive monkeys checked out the truck tray.

  • Adventure parks.
  • Crazy monkeys.

  • Sickness.

  • If I go back, I will go on that bike again. But this time, I will ride faster!
  • Next time I will also take a camera with me as I am riding. Watch out, selfies ahead! ;)

When I returned from the Philippines, I went to my sister's place in Vic. Hearing all about our adventures, especially the bike riding, Caleb (my nephew) exclaimed, 'I'm going to go to the Philippines, and I'm going to ride that bike through the air!!!!'

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The 'Something' Big!

I visited… the Philippines! Yes, the third world country we’ve all heard about. I went with my parents, and I loved it. I’ll admit it was different, sometimes awkward, challenging and at first sorta scary. But I gained an insight, also experiences, which I wouldn’t have otherwise.

We flew in on the 12th of March. Manila was busy, crowded and as we arrived late in the evening, sorta creepy. Especially at the hotel we went to! First appearances weren’t most favorable. I was thankful we were there only a night, as the next day we flew to another island – Cebu.

In Cebu we hired a pre-arranged honest, friendly, kind taxi driver who helped us around all day. I started feeling more comfortable there – the Philippines weren’t so bad after all, I decided. That being said, my nose protested at the revolting smell that came from the markets where all the dried fish was sold – that, I decided, I did not like.

The mall we went to felt very Western. I even felt a bit at home! Though the peso system threw me a bit. Forking out hundreds of pesos at a time really knocked my frugal nature. Even though consciously I knew that it wasn’t much – 40 pesos to $1; subconsciously I cringed.

The front of their SM Mall. It was fancy - as they pretty much all are, inside.

On our second day in Cebu we got tickets on a boat and headed to another island – Bohol. The ride was two hours, and when we arrived we started experiencing real life – a ride in a tricycle was first. We were going to have to ride on a bus, but when we saw how full they loaded them we opted out and took a taxi. Sadly, you have to really watch most Filippino taxis. They’ll rip a foreigner off, first chance. Being newly landed, having only dealt so far with honest drivers, we were easy game – at least that time. That we did not like.

Staying with our friend in a native house, I found that, hard beds aside, I didn’t mind the lifestyle. Much simpler – I like simple. J We had to cook on an open fire, shower with a dipper and wash up in a tub – though he did have a sink, just no running water. Sorta novel, if you ask me. He did have electricity, we found. That was a blessing – especially when the menfolk weren’t home once and we had trouble starting the fire, as he – our friend – had an electric frying pan.

I did have a problem washing my hair. You see, my habit is to wash it in the evening – no problem when you have a hot shower and no need to be outside…. So I did it in the evening – with cold water, and in my swimmers – so I could just dry off outside. Not the best idea, considering the cold breeze that suddenly started blowing. :/ By the next day, I had a sore throat that developed into a real head cold that then spread to my new friend Myn, and Mum and Dad. Not cool! Oh well, I decided, next time I’d just do in the morning. J

So, to break it down…..


  •  Smiling people.
  •  Getting a honest, friendly taxi guy in Cebu.
  •   Their malls.
  • The simplicity of their homes and lives.
  • Their cool-as jeepneys.
    Jeepneys ahoy! You can ride in any fashion you wish. XD

  • ·How crowded it was – I like a bit of privacy and space: walking down the road and getting stared at isn’t comforting. Lol
  • The smell of fish – dried or not.
  • Exploiting taxis.
  • No showers. I managed, and sorta enjoyed it, but I can’t imagine living without a shower.
  • People living on land in country areas there, are better off in some/a lot of ways than we are.
  • It’s better to not wash your hair in the evening – at least over there!
  • You can’t trust everyone. Well, I sorta already knew it… but yeah – it’s well grounded now!
  • Pesos flow out of your hands fast and easy. :/

And that is all for now! Stay tuned for part two – our week in Bohol! Whenever that happens…. :P
P.S. A sad fact is that I had flat batteries and didn't really start taking photos till I was in Bohol. Till next time!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Wise. Update.

Dear Readers,

I am writing to let you know about something I read, and my reaction to it.

You see, I was reading in Ecclesiastes chapter 12, when I read this verse: "Because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs."

Now, you should all know that I'm into quotes and proverbs. But this verse set me in action! I'm not a preacher, and I don't profess to be overly wise, but I love proverbs! And I love spreading proverbs and quotes around. So let me tell you, dear friends, that my 'Wisdom & Humour' page has been updated!

A preview... ;)
While I'm doing a blog post - since I do one so infrequently... :/ I dare say, I may as well update the world on my life.

For me, travels have been the theme. In January (12-19) I went to the Do & Dare camp - this camp is very rule-based; it has various classes (ie. Canoeing, Choir, Canvassing, Sketching, Video Production, etc.) and every minute is packed. It goes for a week and most people enjoy it.
  Fairly well straight after that, I made my way south with my sister, Christella, and spent almost 2 weeks (21st Jan - 2nd Feb) with a seamstress friend who taught us the principles of sewing. Christella's project was the flower girl dresses for my brothers then up-coming wedding reception; mine was a German dirndl I made for myself.   I learned about sewing, and some foundational life principles.

February started pretty grand. Christella and I celebrated our birthdays exactly one week apart. Considering the milestones we'd reached, our immediate family got together for a week-long holiday on the beach. Also, in light of the up-coming reception, Christella and I cut our hair. Don't worry, it's still below our shoulders. XD
 On the 10th, the reception went off. Surprisingly, even though it wasn't the real thing - the real wedding was in the States; we still had late members of the bridal party!

See - two bridesmaids were missing!!
 With plenty of bloopers to keep it real, the reception was a happy success - thanks to the many people who pitched in and helped: cooks, musicians and otherwise.
Lining up to walk in.

Flower girl and page boy - the dress Christella sewed.

Sibling picture! It's not in order of age or anything like that, but we're all there!
 Straight from the reception, loaded with (some) food, I headed with a friend's family to their place - back south! I spent a week with the said family (11th-17th). During which time I experienced yet more travelling - something they apologied for (can you believe it?! :D). I even got to revisit the parliment house! That was pretty okay, though I was quite unimpressed by the fact that they don't have ride-on vacuum cleaners to clean their massive carpet spaces! Shocking. And I thought they were supposed to have the best of everything... O.o
Two days of train travel landed me home - for 4 weeks. In a few days time, I will be going.... well, doing something big - and I might just tell you about it! When I get back, that is. XD
In the meanwhile, I've been spending a lovely time with my brother Elisha, his wife Elyssa, her mother Eve, and my parents too. :D And I've also been doing Croatian lessons (with Mum) every day, and other school work. :)

For now!

Love and blessings! ;)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Memory Lane

Walking to the Big Dam, I travel
Down memory's lane, and I revel
In the fun of yesterday.
Memories that won't go away.
A snake slithers by my feet;
This ghostly playground is now bittersweet.

What happened to all our fun?
And all the great things we'd done?
It isn't a story so tall,
It takes only a few words to tell all.
You see, my brothers have grown,
And all have left home.

I miss my boys.
The games, the teasing, the noise.
If I could go back, I would.
Oh, if only I could....
But these memories I'll treasure.
For I can, and I will - forever. ~ 1/1/14

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Donkey Oven

"Mum, Penny's cooking that foal too long - it's gonna be burned!" The donkey blues had arrived. 12+ months of anticipating a foal, and it still hadn't popped! Like c'mon, there's no need to over-bake the baby! (Don't freak out though! Donkey pregnancies are 12+ months. XD)

Every day for weeks, we'd checked Penny daily to see if she had brought a little one into the world yet - all in vain. Truly so, for it wasn't until we went to a camp over this last weekend that she finally got on with it.
I'd had the sneaking suspicion that she'd give birth once we'd left, and I was right. Upon returning home, we met our newest arrival - a gorgeous little filly.
Since her mother is Penny, we're considering calling her 'Shilling' or something fiscal-related like that... XD Ideas?
Mum likes Inky, so I think we'll go with that name. :) Thanks guys!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Goodbye Girls

It came to pass that 5 years ago we got into goats again. We didn't want to breed animals for death, so we raised dairy goats. British Alpines, Toggenburgs, Anglo Nubians, and even a couple Saanens.
I was quite the wild goat girl - my life revolved around the goats, and so did my conversations. "...and then I saw that Dolly had kidded! She's the third goat to kid this year, and now the boy/girl average is at 5 doe kids and 3 bucks kids! As she had 2 doe kids. You see....." 

5 years of blood (horns, sharp pointed feet and teeth draw blood!), sweat and tears (litres of both... lol), all effort put into our friendly, rascally pets. There's been joy and grief, excitement and pain. And yet, all things, good and bad, come to an end.

For the first few years, I wouldn't have dreamed of ever selling our whole herd, and yet it's happened. Indeed, the time of 'coming to pass' came - for today, the last of our pedigree herd has been sold. It was an emotional time for all - joy and excitement on my behalf; happiness and sadness on Mum's part. By far it was the most 'bittersweet' for her, than for us girls (Christella and I).

It has come to pass that we have moved on. Good-bye, my sweet, rascally girls!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

No Brains

 So… I have learned that:
  1. Negative thinking shrivels the dendrites (‘arms’ of brain cells that reach out to connect with other brain cells) in the brain. (~Anatomy and Physiology book)
  2. Raised cortisol levels of stress also cause the dendrites to shrivel up. (Coffee raises cortisol levels. So does stress.) -Ginty, F., ‘Dietry protein and bone health’, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol 62(4), pp. 867-76 (2003)
  3. A lack of essential fatty acids shrinks the brain (this often happens in pregnant women especially, as they don’t normally have enough on a normal ‘non-pregnant’ basis, and when called upon to share as they are pregnant, the lack becomes increased.) 
  4.  Metallic/rock music suppresses the frontal lobe – part of the brain. Consistent suppression leads to inactivity; inactivity shrinks the brain – use it or lose it.

Now we all know that every other person thinks negatively to some extent most of the time. Ding.

We also know that the average person is a coffee drinker, and that every single person encounters stress in some shape or form on a normal basis. Dong.

It has been found that every other person is lacking in EFA’s (essential fatty acids) because of some reason or another – generally simply because the EFA intake is minimal to nil; plus because fried oils block absorption - a single meal with fried oils blocks absorption for up to 6 weeks; also allergies block EFA absorption. Who has allergies? Every other person has some type of an allergy, whether or not they know it. Ding.

The TV, movies, music, entertainment basically, encourages brain death through inactivity. Dong.

  • We use only about 1-2% of our brains.
  • I think that’s about all we have left anyway.
  •  This world has to end soon – we’ll have no brains left!