Monday, June 29, 2009

Hadi and Gang’s Visit

My favorite students visited me at the College today. They came to fill in their official withdrawal form and to get a verification letter that they were our students. The letter is needed to be sent to their prospective university where they want to further their studies. We played a round of ping pong after I got off work. At night, we went to have dinner at one of the nearby restaurants. Danial, Hannah, and Najla came along.

Haris, Hakim Zaki, Hadi, and Danial

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fruit Eating Galore

Durians, the King of the Fruit
Sometime during the week, my mom called to let us know that the durians have already started falling and she had gathered a lot for us to eat. Since Steve and I love durians so much, we didn’t need to be persuaded more. Friday night (26 June), Yasmin and Danial had “qiamuallail” at their school so Yasmin could not go to her art lesson that Friday. Steve made arrangement so that Yasmin and Hannah could attend the art class on Saturday morning. Coincidently on that Saturday (27 June) our piano lesson was moved from 9am to 11.30am. So Hannah and Yasmin went for their art class from 10am to 12 noon. I had my piano lesson at 11.30 and Hannah had hers at 12noon right after she finished painting and drawing. After “zuhur” prayer we all went back to my mom’s kampong to enjoy the fruits – “durians, rambutans, manggis, duku, nona, rambai, jambu air, and kundang”.
Yellow Rambutan
Limau Kasturi
Durian, just fell
Wow! Steve tried hard to get those manggis
Yummy manggis
Poor jambu. Too much competiton! They just rot...
What a big durian!
Red rambutans
Najla's always excited in the kampung
Not only fruits are in season, flowers are too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Report Card Day

It’s that time of the year again! Report card signing day for all our kids at Al Irsyad school. Since Steve’s students are on their summer vacation, he was able to take that day off. We went to see our kids’ report cards at lunch time so I didn’t have to worry about getting special permission from my boss to go out of campus. First we went to see Hannah’s. Her performance really went down from the previous term. She is not too serious about her studies lately. We are not too serious about pushing our kids studying either. I think she got the fourth place from the last in her class. Steve always said “let them play and enjoy being kids”. The most important thing is to get them interested in learning through reading, not necessarily stuff related to their school. I guess we have succeeded doing that because our kids love reading (other than their school books that is). We spend a lot on buying novels through Scholastic Book Club. In fact we are waiting for the new shipment to arrive in a few weeks.
Then we went to see Harris’ classroom teacher to get his report card. He performed much better than Hannah. He has changed a lot from last year. He is more disciplined according to his teacher.

Yasmin got the first place in form one. I thought she would get 2nd or 3rd because I hardly saw her doing homework or reading school books. She prefers reading novels, drawing cartoons, or writing something in my notebook, but never let me see her masterpiece! Currently she’s rereading the Twilight novel (again!). Danial got 2nd place. He’s the same as Yasmin. He keeps on rereading all the novels he has read until we get him new ones. But then, as soon as we bought him new books, he would finish reading them in a flash! If we keep the pace we are buying books now, we will have to build a huge library someday. Najla is still asking whether she could enter regular school next year. She’s supposed to start schooling in 2011. She wants to be with her brothers and sisters at Al Irsyad. One of the teachers informed Steve that Najla could join the 1st grade next year but she would not be able to take “UPSR” at the age of 11. That means, she has to be in grade 6 or two years because the state of Pahang doesn’t allow skipping grades anymore. We have to really think about it before we make our decision. Well, there isn’t a need to rush her.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

Last weekend was busy but wonderful. On Friday night (19 June) Danial and I went to Chung Ching School in Tanah Putih to watch the Kuantan Amateur Ping Pong Tournament. Only four of us from the College entered the competition: Azah, Hisham, Mus, and I. Although I wasn’t playing that night, I went to see my two friends playing in men’s doubles. They tried their best but they lost. They didn’t wait until the end but Danial and I decided to do that. After the matches were over, I took Danial to Taj Restaurant in town. I had “roti nan” and Danial ordered fried noodles. We came home at midnight.

The next day (20 June) Hannah and I had our piano lesson as usual. At 2 pm I had to attend the officiating ceremony of the “OPKIM”, a social service operation, which was organized by the KPTM Student Government. The ceremony was held in Kampung Ubai near Pekan. The program was officiated by the Deputy Minister of The Rural & Regional Development Ministry. It was over around 4.30pm.

I rushed home, thinking that I could rest before I had to play in the women’s singles at 8 pm that night. Unfortunately, as soon as I got home, a mountain of clothes were waiting to be folded. To avoid being too nervous, I went to the tournament hall early. I took Danial with me too. The other kids were not interested in watching so they stayed home with Steve. The first round I played against a Malay lady and I won 3-0. The second round I had to play with a Chinese lady and I was whipped 3-0. I tried my best but she was better. Anyway, it was a good exposure for me. If I am still in a good shape as I am today, I will enter the competition again next year. I also signed up for a short course to be a certified ping pong referee which was announced that night. I hope there will be enough participants so the class will be offered soon. Danial and I stayed until the end of the night matches to watch men’s singles. Two of the pairs were playing really great and it was worth waiting for.

On Sunday morning, Danial had a futsal tournament in Indera Mahkota. He went with his friend Khairi. In the afternoon, I asked him if he wanted to go to the ping pong tournament with us but he was too tired from playing footsal, he declined. Yasmin and Harris decided to stay home too. Only Steve, Hannah, Najla and I went to see the final games for men’s doubles and singles. Around 5.30pm, Steve, Hannah and Najla went home to get the other kids so that we could go to Teluk Chempedak beach. I decided to stay at the hall to see the prize giving ceremony and of course to take some pictures of the winners. Perhaps someday I will be one of them.

Around 6pm we all went to the beach. As usual, the beach was packed with visitors bringing their loved ones to relax and enjoy their weekend. Since everyone was hungry, we hurried to the food joints. Najla, Yasmin and I went straight to the restaurant while Steve was far behind, entertaining the other kids who were distracted by the play ground. As I was busy looking for a table to sit, a very nice man offered his table to us and he moved to the nearby seat. I asked him where he was from and invited him to join me. He said he is from France and on a 3 month vacation in Malaysia. He brought with him a mobile home, so that would make it easier to move around and much cheaper to stay. Since I took a few French subjects while studying in college, I blurted out a few French words to him and boy he was really excited by that. He gave me his web site address, which is written in French. Mon dieu! Je n’ai pas comprend! I wish I could understand what is written. The good thing is, I am all excited to relearn my French so I registered in one of the free sites on learning French on the internet. Messieur Parez, one day I will write to you in French.

Messieur Parez, Steve, Yasmin, and Danial

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sukan MARA & Balik Kampung

I got back from “Sukan MARA” (I will write more in my other blog) in Johore last Friday and decided to go back to the “kampong” to visit my mom. So after attending my piano class and two friends' weddings we left Kuantan to go back to Ulu Bendul. We haven’t been home for quite sometime because either the kids or Steve and I had activities going on for the past few weeks. It’s always relaxing being in the kampong and of course our favorite pastime there is sleeping. I hope in a few weeks time, the rambutans and durians will be riped. I can’t wait to go back again.

Some scenes during Sukan MARA in Johore

Our tennis star
MARA greatest bowler
Pingpong champs (for 2011 games)Our favorite past-time

Baini's wedding

Trinkets we received at Baini's wedding
Kak Ani's son's weddingMy good friend Sam Choy with his wife and 2 cute girls whom I met at Kak Ani's son's wedding

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cool Sunday

I felt so good after my 4 km jog alone. My regular jogging friend Faridah got up late and Elly went back to visit her parents. Then I tried Kathy Smith Latin Rhythm cd. It reminded me of my college days when I hang around with bunch of Hispanic friends. Since my tajwid class was cancelled this morning, I took advantage of the free time cooking rendang. Then Steve, Najla and I went to 2 weddings near my house. After “zuhur” prayer Steve drove me to town to get the t-shirts for our ping pong team. Each player will get two shirts, 1 red and 1 blue.

Some of us might practice for the last time before the tournament this evening. Tonight there will be a briefing for the games at “Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi MARA (KKTM)”. I heard we will get sports shoes, another shirt, and track pants. Previously, we were given jackets too. I wonder if we will get one this time around. I guess I just have to wait and see. As time gets nearer I am beginning to feel jittery. I hope my team will win. I still haven’t packed my stuff yet. I will probably do it sometime later tonight.