Saturday, 29 November 2014

A DIY Science Party (Pt. 2) - 23 Nov 2014

There're 2 parts to the science activities - the water experiments facilitated by Jin and Mind Challenge games with daddy. I'd let the pictures speak for themselves.....





A DIY Science Party (Pt. 1) - 23 Nov 2014

What better way to spend the last day of school than taking a day away doing something different! For us, we organised our own Science party. We have loads of fun and play with our friends and 16 students from a Myanmar learning centre. Even before the party, we prepped the kids for the D-day. The Myanmar students prepared for their performances and posters on their homeland. My boys planned the experiments and science activities with their daddy. It surely felt good that mummy could delegate all the 'work' and start to fret as the Day got closer.....

BEFORE 'Ice-Breaker Games' they were sitting together in their own groups.... most of them were very shy cos they're really not used to mixing around in this manner.

"Rock Paper Scissors Ice-Breaker"
Even a simple, simple game like this could go beyond language and culture and bring all these kids from different backgrounds together.

I've prepared spaghetti bolognese and some dessert for lunch. It's a first for some of the Myanmar students and it really took them a long time to get used to the meaty bolognese sauce. Lun Kang, one of the students, even prepared a Myanmar delicacy to share with us -  the 'Tea Leaf Salad' - it's made with fermented tea leaves from Myanmar and mixed with tomatoes, beans, nuts and peas, shallots and garlic - like a salad of pickled tea leaves.


We have a good variety of performance - singing and dancing from the young to older kids, some were jolly sporting to perform on the spot.


Lu Lun, a Myanmar student presented us with the 'Zomi' traditional costume. Each ethnic group and sub-group has their own traditional costumes, along with own languages and culture, so it's a 'rojak' mix of people in Myanmar.

Younger boys were so fascinated with the waveboard. Amazingly, a few of them could pick up the skill so fast. It opened my eyes to see that they may not have that much opportunities like our kids, but their drive to learn surely surpassed many of our local kids here.

Older boys went straight to the football field and have a BLAST.

The girls were not left out as they have their own crafting activity, the Rainbow Loom, with our special invited coach, Chloe Wong. :)

Priceless Smiles!! Almost moved me to do another round of Party!!! Hopefully, it would leave the kids with fun, happy memories of their experience that they would take with them when they go.

Some interesting information about Myanmar in a nutshell...
"Lung Dam"

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Nuts and Bolts - 15 Nov 2014

Posted by Xian Jin

My father and I have the opportunity to join a woodworking workshop in KL. At first, the place looked uninviting and I felt like turning back. We were one of the first to arrive and I feared it was going to be boring.

The camp is run by a non-profit organisation who helps build houses for the indigenous people living in Selangor. I was surprised that there were people who cared so much for those homeless and poor.

We were given a task, that is to build a window from scratch. They provided the wood and tools, but we had to cut them ourselves. This window would be used in the houses they build.

Before starting, we have to learn how to use the basic tools and equipment. It was important to know the correct posture and method to handle different types of tools, eg. hammers, saws, drills...

My first time using a drill alone. The vibration and weight of the drill was enough to deter me from driving the screw into the concrete, but I was determined to drill my first screw. 

As easy as it looks, it actually takes a lot of concentration and accuracy to drill a hole. I wondered how the other participants managed to complete the task so quickly.

It wasn't easy climbing a scaffolding too, with the wobbly structure. Imagine how the builders climb up storeys of scaffolding everyday, when one was hard enough. They don't even wear harnesses!

Of all the tools in the workshop, I disliked electric saws the most. Not only because it was very sharp and dangerous, but also because the sound was horrible.

We were divided into two teams and started crafting the window by measuring the length of the wood. We acted as a team and that made our progress faster.

Me using the chop saw. It's rather simple if you follow the steps to cut the wood.

Everybody in the team was busy. We all had different jobs to do, from measuring to cutting, drilling to hammering nails.

Knowing how to use a tool is different from actually using it. We can read and watch the method to hammer a nail, but what's important is if you do it. Only then would you learn the skills and ways to improve.

Now that we have finished with the woodwork, it was time to assemble them together.

A few more planks for us to nail and...

...TADA!!! Our mission has completed. There it was, our beautiful window made by carpenter wannabes.

I felt sad that we couldn't keep the window, but at the same time happy because we had contributed something to the homeless. I had a great time at this camp. I had achieved a new milestone, that is woodworking. Next time, a house!!

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