Thursday, July 14, 2016

Why this Chicken Pox

2016 Eid celebration was bitter sweet. Unforgettable. A blessing I am sure. Alhamdullillah :)

So I had the most unusual Raya ever. My arm was never a bother to me. I was still in good spirit of celebration. Family some how was my joy and comfort. I had very few happiness lately, so I rejoice every little bit of happy vibes that goes my way.

I followed my father and step mom everywhere for Raya celebration. We went up to the north to join my sister at her husband's kampong in Kedah, the land of Jelapang Padi. It was an awesome time for all of us. Then we went to my little brother wife's kampong in Perak.

And after all the fun, I got down with chicken pox!

And I am writing this with a hand infested with the ugly pox. Some more, can't go out for 2 long weeks. Another one week plus to go. 

Please pray for me. I hope all the unfortunate events will end. I am desperately need to move on. Enough house rest. No more. Huhuhu. 

Alright folks. With lots of love and good thoughts. Chioa for now. Mwah! Mwah! 

Due to my cemented arm, I couldn't fit into my raya attire. Dressing up modestly. 

Look at the padi field. As far as the eyes can see. 

Tarraa... My right elbow after surgery infested with big gooey pox. Yucky, right!

Monday, July 04, 2016

A series of unfortunate events

2016 is not my best year so far. I have been tested to the max. A series of unfortunate events which left me very little hope to continue living. But you will never know what  strong is until you had to be strong. It's tiring, being strong for most of your life.

So another dreaded episode of my life came this blessed month of Ramadhan. The month I love most because my Mom gave birth to me in this holy month. A day before Ramadhan, I was again being an independent woman and so called strong; unfortunately fell from a chair and I broke my left elbow.

This strong woman didn't even go to clinic to get treatment thinking that she could bare the pain. She endured for two weeks with just a painkiller bought from a pharmacy. However the pain didn't go away and the hand can't be straightened. And that's when she finally gave up and went to the nearest hospital to fix the problem. Here goes... 

At a time when I really can't take a brake, I am facing yet with another life challenge. I went to the emergency to check on my right arm last Thursday night, 27th June'16. After about two hours I met with the MO incharge. In order to get my arm xrayed, the MO got my urine tested to ensure I am not pregnant. Yup, even when I told that I am not married. He said we follow procedure. Okay good to follow procedures.

After basic finger tips sense of touch and condition of the skin plus arm movement, the MO said most unlikely I had broken anything. It was before the xray. Then after the xray, he said with confidence, no fracture. I was given a nerve and painkiller pills. That's all. I left the hospital with pure relief as nothing was broken.  I thought.

The next morning I was called by the hospital and was informed that there was a fracture and was asked to immediately come back. I went there and was again xrayed. This time an Orthopeadic Dr saw me and he advised that I might need an immediate surgery. They put me into a temporary cast and was given an appointment to meet the ortho specialist on Monday. What kind of surprise was this. I was devastated hearing about the possible surgery.

So I went, again was xrayed. And the Dr confirmed the need of surgery to put a plate for the fracture. My operation was scheduled on next Friday, 1st July'16. I was nervous and freaking out. It cost me RM2,010.00 to put on the plate (and this is a government hospital). They gave me a quote and details of bank account to pay. But I can't straighten my arm and it's painful. So I decided to go ahead with the operation albeit many doubts and financial difficulties. 

First time in the 42 years of my existence, being hospitalised. So, it's like a big deal to me. 

Wearing the ugly but comfy hospital uniform. Not so bad. The doctors and nurses were nice and courteous. So I feel well looked after. Kind of a resting period for me, though. 

The surgery went off smoothly and I left hospital only after 3 days. Enough time to celebrate Eid in another 3 days. My hand looks good. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Pictorial Desa Diary Farm

I think I am feeling lazy to write anything. Let the photos do the talking, ya. Enjoy!

Desa Dairy Farm, Kundasang, Sabah

The ticket to Desa Dairy Farm
Hello sunshine!

The diary cows are here folks! Black and White, I like. It's a hot hot day. 
The barn. It's very high tach, i.e automatic faeces removal and cleaning. Systematic food and water distribution. Awang got so fascinated by it. Me feeling, it's very hot out hear.  
The farm has a section where visitors could play with the calves and the billy goats.
A lot of scenic spots for taking photos folks :) 
Mountainous view covered by the clouds 

Mount Kinabalu at dusk, a view from a roadside leading to Kundasang
Still on my last trip to Sabah. We had our community programme in Mantanani on 8th -11th Sept'15. We finally decided to head out earlier from the island to spend some precious available time to explore Kundasang. Our plan is to go to the dairy farm and to witness the magnificent Mount Kinabalu from the most beautiful point we could.

12th Sept'15 (Sunday): We woke up as early as possible before the sunrise. Such a breathtaking view from Crystal Hill. We checked in on the weekend, not many tourist after the earthquake and the remnant of the quake can still be seen on the road tarmac and the side of Mount Kinabalu from afar. In order to boost up the tourist arrival, many resorts and homestays were offering special rates. As in our case, Crystal Hill Resort is just opened for guests. The rate was RM120/nett per room without breakfast for a Deluxe Room. It was a good deal so we took it with a smile. 

A gentle reminder to all tourists; Dress properly folks. You are in the sacred ground of the Sabahans. 

Morning in Cyrstall Hill, Kundasang
Kundasang is a highland paradise situated in the district of Ranau, Sabah. It;s pretty much like Genting Highland and Cameron Highland in Peninsular Malaysia. The climate is cooler and therefore the weather allows vegetables and beautiful flowers to be cultivated successfully over there. Lots of beautiful vegetation can be seen along the way as well as the majestic Mount Kinabalu. Kindasang is the nearest town to Mount Kinabalu. We were there to see it from the nearest point without climbing it. Hahaha!

A view to die for - I took this with my handphone from our breakfast table.

Sometimes all you need is your handphone. See the background of the majestic Mount Kinabalu. Still supreme even after the legendary earthquake.

We had our breakfast quickly to go to Desa Diary Farm. We heard about it from our friends. They have a New Zealand's diary cattle and it has been praised to be really beautiful with Mount Kinabalu as a background. I wouldn't want to miss this opportunity. So off we go. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Igal Igal Kids of Bajau Ubian

One for the album, the day we went away - Picture courtesy of Abdul Rahman Osman

I can't get enough writing about the people of Mantanani. Their hospitality was superb, one of the best that I've ever had. Saying good bye was really hard. Everyone I met on the island was friendly and nothing but praises for them. 

The Igal Igal Dancers. So cute!
These are the Igal Igal Dancers that I had the opportunity to get to know. They were cute little princesses. I can't get enough of them. Chirpy, full of life and smart too. Mwah! Mwah!

Mantanani Supermodels! 1, 2, 3, pose. 1, 2, 3, pose. They got it right!
Children of Mantanani are extremely smart, friendly and fabulous with cameras. They know how to give the best poses. Saying good bye to these lovelies was the hardest. They sent us to our boat. Lots of hugs and kisses. I was touched. May one day fate brings us together again. You all will be all grown up and fabulous. Mwah! Mwah!

Mantanani Island - Homestays

Dried fish in the making

8th-11th October 2015: 2nd visit for Sharing & Caring Programme

We came back to Mantanani, this time for Sharing and Caring Programme for the adults. Our programme was brought by Shell to create and educate the community about alternative and sustainable livelihood. Since their main source of income came from the sea, we gave them a bit of soft skills and opportunities to generate future career/income. I won't go into details here. 

What I am going to show is the experience and how many of you could be of help to this Bajau Ubian community. There are many ways we could contribute to their economy, i.e. by going there itself would help the community. If you go there, please choose to stay at the homestays instead of the resorts. It's not just way too cheaper, it is also a good deed. Homestays there are certified by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia under the 'Program Homestay Malaysia'. Their rate is reasonable, i.e. RM100 per day per person. That is a full-board rate inclusive of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between as well as supper. Please call En. Muhammad, the homestay coordinator @ +01125319022 for reservation.

One of the homestays, how they looked like.
As for guides, you can hire any of the teenagers over there to show you around and about the island. They are really friendly people and they are eager to be of help. But ensure to pay them for their effort. For our trip, we pay all our helpers and guides RM50 a day. We treated them to all meals and refreshments that we had as well. The task was like carrying our things, introducing us to the right people and guiding us to interesting places. 

Those who want to dive or snorkel can still do so while staying at the homestays. Some of the resort accept walk-in guests. We did just that with Mantanani Dreams Resort. And we had a karaoke session over there as well. It was a wonderful experience.

Activities around the island can be planned together with the homestays as they could also provide a boat ride to Mantanani Kecil and Lunggisan Island for a picnic or just island hoping. You can easily customised your trip any time you like with an extra budget of course :)  

This is the receiving hall to welcome guests. It's still under construction when we were there.
In the future guests to homestays will be hosted at the Receiving Hall that they are building it right now. Interestingly, the hall will be built using recycled bottles filled with rubbish. It's an effort of one of the NGOs that are based over there to reduce the rubbish found on the beaches. Please be aware that rubbish are found in abundance along the beaches because of two things, (1) it was washed ashore from the mainland and (2) it was from the locals themselves as they do not have a proper garbage disposal system. 

A few NGOs have been championing this issue. The locals are acceptable and cooperative towards all the efforts. From how I see it, we just need the government to lend extra hands in transporting the garbage out of the island via regular boats as this is very costly for the community to do it themselves. Other than that, they are pretty much self sufficient. Water source is from the ground. They pump out their own water from the earth. Electricity is generated from a big generator centralised for the whole island about 6-hour a day. Yeah, please bare in mind that during day time, there will be no electricity until 6.00 p.m. Don't just stay-in during these time, go out and explore! 

Igal Igal Bajau Dance performed by children of Mantanani
On our first visit, the homestays owners threw us a BBQ dinner with charming performance of Igal Igal Dance by the children. It was really cute and quite festive. However, on our second visit, we had to go out of the island earlier than planned, so the homestays had the Igal Igal Dance performed in the morning of our departure. As we can see, these children are really cute. The custom was for guests to slit small notes in between the dancers' fingers as a token of appreciation of their dance.

The monsoon session just about to start usually from October onwards

A day before we were about to leave, it was started to rain. Strong wind and pouring rain cats and dogs at the wee hours. I was awakened by the sound and took the photo at around 3.00 a.m. from my bedroom window. It was beautiful to have rain after awhile not having it in Kuala Lumpur. I love rain. Hehehe...

Okay, the posting is too long. I don't want people to scroll to much. To be continued.

Lunggisan Island - Hidden Treasure of Mantanani

6th September 2015: Lunggisan Island Escapade

After our successful first programme in Mantanani Besar Island, it was time to go home. Around 10.00 a.m. we took the opportunity to explore Pulau Lunggisan which was only less than 15 minutes  boat-ride away. The island was round in shape. It has no human habitation. At one side of the island, there's a huge cave that kept a hidden treasure. The precious cave holds the most sort after bird nests. 

Introduction to Lunggisan Island - Superb crystal clear water, impressive white sandy beach, feels like in heaven.
There were a lot of charming side to Lunggisan Island, one was the breathtakingly crystal-clear water. High visibility that you can see through the seabed even as when it was really deep. The shape of Lunggisan Island itself was charming. Like a big green bun, protruding round-half-circle. The beach we landed was like a small bay. We were anchored on the almost perfectly white-soft-sandy beach. A hidden paradise, the sand felt gentle to my bare feet. Instantly I forgot about the UV rays. 

The Panaromic view of the secluded bay in Lunggisan Island
It was just a short pit stop for us. Our flight back to Kuala Lumpur was that same evening. We were there just about 30 minutes. I took the panaromic picture of the entire beach before we hopped on our boat and left the beautiful little paradise. 

Little charming things you could find in Lunggisan Island
As much as dead corals are beautiful, they are not a good sign. I hope Mantanani Islands could preserve its natural habitats. Humans tend to destroy their surroundings for survival but educational programmes by the NGOs and government is hoped to make the difference. On a bigger picture, I would rather address the welfare of Bajau Ubian community more than anything else. They needed to be helped in terms of alternative livelihood, education, basic amenities and most importantly effective rubbish/sewage disposal system. They shouldn't be left out to fend for themselves at a place that could be a future popular tourist attraction. But I don't agree that we should sacrifice them in the name of tourism either. Their ancestors were there before the era of Japanese occupation, so why would they be transferred out just so that we could turn the islands into main tourist attraction. It doesn't feel right because it's wrong.

In Lunggisan Island, you see lots of blue hues. Magnificent! 

Okay, back to Lunggisan Island, it's a worthy trip to make. Lots of blue hues high up above and down below. No kidding as you can see it in all of my photos here. If you happen to go to Mantanani Island, don't miss the opportunity to go there. Be it a diving trip, a community programme, or just curious to have a look, just do it! 

Like all my travelling activities, I recorded almost all here in my blog, so does this one in Mantanani. I will write some more because it is not even near finish yet. Stay tuned folks :)


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