Archive for February, 2009

London.

February 17, 2009

I know I say this every post but I’m really really REALLY backlogged now! I had no idea I’d be shooting this much in Miri….so…here’s the shots from London – short and sweet. nothing else to say, gotta get working on Holland pics…

My short siblings...so obvious they're related...

My short siblings...so obvious they're related..

Linzhis Canon 350D vs. Guan Yees Nikon D3. Taken with my Nikon D80.

Linzhis Canon 350D vs. Guan Yees Nikon D3. Taken with my Nikon D80.

I came. I Saw. I consumed.

I came. I Saw. I consumed.

Tabletop Presentation

Tabletop Presentation

We even had name placement cards so we knew where to sit!

We even had name placement cards so we knew where to sit!

Starters consisted of Salmon nad some other stuff...

Starters consisted of Salmon nad some other stuff...

Christmas Eve dinner. Just arrived in Heathrow 20 mins ago...

Christmas Eve dinner. Just arrived in Heathrow 20 mins ago...

Christmas Day. Check out the influx of relatives!

Christmas Day. Check out the influx of relatives!

Group photo of all the cousins!

Group photo of all the cousins!

Group photo of the extended family.

Group photo of the extended family.

We crossed the English Channel via the Eurotunnel.

We crossed the English Channel via the Eurotunnel.

Apparently this horse is famous or something...you can see it in Google Maps if you search the Eutotunnel.

Apparently this horse is famous or something...you can see it in Google Maps if you search the Eutotunnel.

The Eurotunnel departs from Dover. There was a long wait because of the traffic jams. I thought this was appropriate, haha..

The Eurotunnel departs from Dover. There was a long wait because of the traffic jams. I thought this was appropriate, haha..

…and that that. Off we were back to Holland…

SINGAPORE.

February 13, 2009

Captains Log

Day 10: 22nd December 2008.

Still in Kuala Lumpur. Just arrived back from Cambo in one piece. This is where we split. Stephanie left to Kelantan, Pastor Yew Meng + family stayed in Kuala Lumpur for a while. Aaron came to the airport and we had the best 15 mins ever! Jason, Will, Patrick, Seng Yee and Andrea stayed in KL a couple days too. Ben, Edna, and myself continued onto Singapore. In the airport we met a lovely lady, Mrs Kate Cheah.

Credit Ben for taking the picture

Credit Ben for taking the picture

We later found out that Mrs. Cheah was the owner of Polar Puffs and Cakes, Singapore. She also does missionaries to prisons in Thailand. She details this in her book Sweet Memories Sweet Success.

I sat across the aisle from her as she was flying back to Singapore after her attending her son’s wedding in Malaysia. We arrived in Singapore at night and Edna had plans to meet up with her friends for their annual new year party. Just a couple of them who are best friends. I only took one photo the whole night. This is it.

kjh

As you can probably tell it was a costume party. You can see Edna in the pink shirt...she didnt dress up coz we just got out of the plane and came straight.

No, this is NOT how they normally dress. They changed back into “normal” clothes almost right after the shot. I did enjoy myself though…particularly the bed…as we’d been sleeping on hard mattresses in Cambodia…and this particular place was a 5 star service apartment.

Day 11: 23rd December 2008

We spent the day roaming around Singapore, visiting the Merlion among other things.

I like the lines in this shot.

I like the lines in this shot.

Me and the Merlion. Credit to Ben for taking the picture.

Me and the Merlion. Credit to Ben for taking the picture.

Got these ideas from Anderson

Got these ideas from Anderson

Ben loves Singapore.

Ben loves Singapore.

this guy looked funny as he was trying to take a picture...I wonder how many of these there are of me?

Ok ok, heres a proper picture of the Merlion.

Ok ok, heres a proper picture of the Merlion.

sd

from the Merlion, you can see bunches of these spherical bouy-like things floating in the water...any idea what they are?

There were many cranes right opposite the lake/big pond thingie which faces the Merlion

There were many cranes right opposite the lake/big pond thingie which faces the Merlion.

Eye of Singapore...? thats what they call it in every other city!

Eye of Singapore...? thats what they call it in every other city!

That night, we decided to go to the Singapore Night Safari. Its basically an extension of the Singapore Zoo thats only open at dusk til midnight. Its an amazing experience viewing all the nocturnal animals. By the way, it really pushes your camera (whatever you have) to the limits. I was shooting at HI 1.0 (ISO3200 equiv.) on my Nikon D80 wide open on my 50mm f/1.8.

The Night Safari, Singapore.

The Night Safari, Singapore.

The otters demonstrate the importance of recycling garbage as these items can suffocate such animals and kill them.

The otters demonstrate the importance of recycling garbage as these items can suffocate such animals and kill them.

Big snake

Big snake

Tribal dance

Tribal dance

They also breath fire...

They also breath fire...

Of course there were animals too...lions...

Of course there were animals too...lions...

A babirusa. (direct translation means Pig Deer)

A babirusa. (direct translation means Pig Deer)

cant remember the name but its the largest rodents on earth.

cant remember the name but its the largest rodents on earth.

Perhaps the coolest thing is in fact the toilets. At first glance its just a normal looking toilet...beautifully designed, elegant, and posh.

Perhaps the coolest thing is in fact the toilets. At first glance its just a normal looking toilet...beautifully designed, elegant, and posh.

...but upon further inspection, you'll notice the outer wall is missing!

...but upon further inspection, you'll notice the outer wall is missing! Its actually really cool! without the flash you wouldn't notice the wall outside. This is the less packed one. At the main entrance theres a better one with fake perpetual rain that really enhances the ambience.

Even the table surfaces match the theme...

Even the table surfaces match the theme...

After roaming around the entire park we decided to relax by soaking our feet in fish infested waters. Its called Nibbles and basically you stick your feet into the water and the fishes eat away the dirt…perhaps the pictures will tell a better story…

Nibbles, Once bitten, Twice Shine.

Nibbles, Once bitten, Twice Shine.

Tickles!

Tickles!

Finally after an awesome but exhausting day we were waiting for the last bus...look at Bens black shoes...so gay right? who agrees?

Finally after an awesome but exhausting day we were waiting for the last bus...look at Bens black shoes...so gay right? who agrees?

Day 12: 24th December 2008

New Years Eve.

-and what am I doing? …travelling…travelling half way round the world to London to be exact.

Good news is I got to sit on the A380 and it is DEFINITELY WORTH THE HYPE!

Singapore Airlines SQ318 Airbus A380 Cabin

Singapore Airlines SQ318 Airbus A380 Cabin.

This is my seat. I started off with a single pillow and blanket. There were so few people on the plane that by the time I arrived I had easily 12+ pillows. This is about half way.

This is my seat. I started off with a single pillow and blanket. There were so few people on the plane that by the time I arrived I had easily 12+ pillows. This is about half way through.

I love it that they actually decorate the cabin…you can see the chrismas deco hanging on the cabin walls.

BY THE WAY!!! I noticed my pictures in all the previous post were all soft and blurry…I thought it was because of my theme but I realised I was just resizing them too small and WordPress had to stretch the pictures…heres an example:

xdcf

Before.

Credit Ben for taking the picture

After.

…and another example…

Before

Before.

After.

After.

If you look closely the difference is actually quite obvious…another thing, I realize a photographers blog is supposed to be where they upload their “GOOD” shots where as I’m using it to upload my “CRAP SHOTS” and happy snaps with flickr still being the main showcase on the internet…so after I finish this series of posts from my summer vacation I’ll change it around and use my blog onto for good pictures. I will probably change the theme as well to suit the motive…until then, please don’t judge my skills from this blog…cheers!

Mission Trip to Cambodia

February 1, 2009

My travel holiday officially started on the 13th December 2008. I’m pretty sure this is the best holiday ever! …and the best part: ITS NOT EVEN OVER YET!!! too bad Steph is in M’sia…would be nice to have her company :(

Anyway, so my holiday goes like this:

BRISBANE – KUALA LUMPUR (13 Dec ’08)

KUALA LUMPUR – PHNOM PENH (17 Dec ’08)

PHNOM PENH – KUALA LUMPUR – SINGAPORE (21 Dec ’08)

SINGAPORE – LONDON (24 Dec ’08)

**drove back to Holland: LONDON – FRANCE – BELGIUM – HOLLAND (28 Dec ’08)

HOLLAND – ABERDEEN via EDINBURGH (27 Jan ’09)

ABERDEEN – LONDON (04 Feb ’09)

LONDON – KUALA LUMPUR – MIRI (05 – 06 Feb ’09)

MIRI – KUALA LUMPUR (18 Feb ’09)

KUALA LUMPUR – SINGAPORE (dunno…unbought)

SINGAPORE – BRISBANE via DARWIN (19 Feb ’09)

sort of complicated but you get the idea...

sort of complicated but you get the idea...

*Phew* thats a heck of an itinerary huh? now you know the backlog of my blog posts, haha…and so, I present the Captain’s Log.

Day 1: 13th December 2008

I am embarking on my journey around the world in 70 days. Weather is calm, flight departure is on time. Stephanie is accompanying me for the first leg of the journey. No events to report.

Day 2: 14th December 2008

Safely arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Retrieved luggage and proceeded through immigration. Upon exiting the terminal, taxi driver with my name is present. Two hours drive to Ipoh to visit my grandmother and relatives, as well as little 1 year, 8 month old Eanne.

Grandma and grand daughter

Grandma and grand daughter

Fumbly hands ...check.

Fumbly hands ...check.

Dudgy feet ...check.

Pudgy feet ...check.

Girl talk ...check.

Girl talk ...check.

Headshot 1

Headshot 1

Headshot 2

Headshot 2

Head and Shoulder

Head and Shoulder

test

my failed attempt at hi-key...too lazy to photoshop...

Mother & Daughter 1 (My Auntie Chritz)

Mother & Daughter (My Auntie Chritz)

Father & Daughter (My Uncle Ming)

Father & Daughter (My Uncle Ming)

...and finish it off with a family portrait.

...and finish it off with a family portrait.

Day 3: 15th December 2008

Took train back down to Kuala Lumpur. Roamed around the city for a bit. First stop: NANDO’S CHICKEN!!! No events to report.

Day 4: 16th December 2008

Today we were scheduled to meet up five more of the people that would be accompanying us on the mission trip to Cambodia. However, they were only to arrive in the late afternoon. Therefore, Steph and I decided to pay a visit to the Bird Park in Lake Gardens. Unfortunately, on the way there the cab driver convinced us that the butterfly park wouldve been a better place to visit …and so, we went to the butterfly park instead.

taken by Steph at the Butterfly Park, Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur.

taken by Steph at the Butterfly Park, Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur.

This is kinda cool...not exactly a butterfly but who cares?

This is kinda cool...not exactly a butterfly so what is it?

Sigma 10-20mm @ f/16 + ND8 Cokin P154

Taken with Sigma 10-20mm @ f/16 + ND8 Cokin P154 (I love wide angles!)

Day 5: 17rd December 2008

Today we venture into the uncharted territories of…*drum roll* …CAMBODIA! *thunder in background*

We were on a mission trip to Phnom Penh where we would be ministering to three small villages as part of an outreach by New Life Fellowship (NLF), the organization which allowed us to come. They have been building the community for a couple of years now. They are basically a church that have provided the community with a place to worship and learn about God. Besides that, they also provide English lessons as well as computer training to the locals which greatly increase their chances of getting a decent job…and they’re VERY good too! Our translators were taught by NLC and are proficient in both English and Cambodian (obviously!)…Not only that but they provide medicine and first aid medical treatment to the locals. SO much so that the government has actually recognized their contribution to society and are actually funding them in some parts as their own hospitals and clinics are inadequate to meet the demand. Seriously, they’re very very good so if you are reading this I urge you to continue to pray for this organization and that Gods hand be upon them.

Upon arrival we were greeted by Pastor Kim and made our way to our accomodation by tuk-tuk.

Very dusty and my nose is very sensitive so I used my hanky to cover my face, hehe...

Very dusty and my nose is very sensitive so I used my hanky to cover my face, hehe...

Townview Hotel, our accomodation for the first 3 nights.

Townview Hotel, our accomodation for the first 3 nights.

Below is our first dinner. You can see the team from our Mission Trip. The first three on the left is Pastor Kim, an Australian pastor that moved here a couple of years ago. The two beside him are his wife and daughter.

From the Left side of the Table

From the Left side of the Table: Pastor Kim, Nicole, ?, Pastor Yew Meng, Seng Yee, Jason, Patrick, Andrix, Edna, Ben, Stephanie, and Auntie Elena.

IF SOMEONE CAN REMIND ME WHAT PASTOR KIMS WIFE’S NAME WAS PLEASE LET ME KNOW YA!

As you can see they've already adapted to the local culture, hehe...

As you can see they've already adapted to the local culture...

Day 6: 18th December 2008

This was an awesome day! We went to a local program thingie where they look after small children including first aid medical attention and washing of their feet. However, the main purpose of the program is to expose these youngsters to Christ and Christianity. We had a blast, we were humbled, we were amazed, we were so blessed that day…and…

erm…

*sniff*

*sigh*…

…I…forgot…to…bring…

…my…

…CAMERA!

Lousy stupid friggin #%#@%!!!!!!!!!

In my defense, I didn’t actually forget, it was that I woke up late for breakfast so instead of walking back to the hotel and taking my bag I had to go straight to the church from the restaurant…

…at least I managed to get some pictures of what we did at night. I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

wsed

We visited this house sort of like a boys hostel which housed quite a lot of them. We were invited for dinner and got to know some of them.

sdfg

You can see me in my "relentless for Christ" shirt...the guy to my right is Si Hua, the guy I met and got to know a little bit better. Credit to Steph for taking the picture.

After that, we prayed for them and took a nice group photo. (the houses in Cambodia are such that they're great for taking these kinds of group pics)

After that, we prayed for them and took a nice group photo. (the houses in Cambodia are such that they

sedrftgh

Even though we were only there for an hour or so we felt that we had really bonded. However, it was time to bid farewell and it was really quite touching.

Day 7: 19th December 2008

Today we had a day off…a day completely to ourselves. What normal people do on such an occasion is to visit the Angkor Wut…one of the 7 wonders of the world! …but instead we go to a museum of torture and the killing fields where a regime that took place was so cruel and so merciless that their exploits made Hitler look like kindergarden.

aesfdg

Toulsleng Genocide Musuem

dfg

Read it. Seriously. Read it.

asefg

Pictures too small to see...but basically what they do is hoist the prisoners up by their hands which are tied behind their back. They automatically hang upside down. The torturers interrogate them until they pass out. Then, they are lowered so their head go inside the pots which are filled with some smelly fertilizer thing. This causes them to immediately regain consciousness so the interrogation can continue.

dfghj

This picture depicts how they kill babies. The first torturer throws the babies in the air. The second holds a rifle up towards the baby. On the tip of the rifle is a knife. The baby falls on the knife which pierces it before the torturer flicks the baby onto the mass pile of bodies of previous babies. Some babies do not immediately die but because of blood loss.

This was just the beginning. There are many more but I’ll stop there. Theres more gruesomeness to come…Next, we paid a visit to the killing fields, where thousands of people were slaughtered to death and left to die in mass graves which are all over the place.

dfgh

Choeungek Genocidal Center. Credit Will for taking the photo. (I think)

fgtyh

The Killing Tree. Another form of how babies were killed. The executioner would hold the baby by thier feet, swing their head against the tree so that they crack open their skulls, and thrown into a pit (which is just to the right of the tree which I didnt picture).

2345

See those indents in the ground? Each one holds the remains of over 100 bodies.

fdgh

This monumet was erected to pay respects to the people who were killed during this time. The centre is housed with thousands of human skulls which have been excavated from the killing fields and placed on shelves.

xsdcfg

Will decided he should start giving money away...nah, just kidding, but thats what we thought!

dfgh

The Royal Palace - at least the gate anyway.

After a full day out around the town we went back to Pastor Kims “Healing Home” The healing home concept is hie brainchild where a set of decentralized houses act as a sort of nursing home or clinic where they can take care of the less fortunate and people who cannot afford to stay in private (or public) hospitals. Instead of having a single hospital like building, his plan is to have at least one healing home in ever province and eventually in every town or village. Below is the first healing home. They provide basic ammenities free of charge and at present can accomodate 4-6 people.

fghjk

This is one of the rooms where patients stay. On the bottom right you can see a door. That leads to the attached toilet.

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This is the toilet. Its basic but sufficient.

In case you’re wondering, they don’t simply give medicine to the patients. If the case is severe, they will have the patient examined beforehand by a certified practitioner before following carefully their treatment procedure. They employ certified nurses to administer the treatments.

ghyju

After that we had dinner at a nice little coffee shop. Our group was so big that we took the entire upstairs area! lol...Credit Ben for taking the picture.

Day 8: 20th December 2008

Today we checked out of Townview Hotel on our quest to the remote parts of the country. We visited a place called Kampong Thom, some 3 hours drive North (I think) of Phnon Penh, the capital city.

frtgy

On the way there we stopped at a petrol station for a toilet break. This is an interesting petrol station. Scroll down to find out why.

sd

There are four steps to the operation of this technology. It really makes you appreciate what we have.

Step 1: Put the nozzle into the petrol tank of the vehicle.

Step 2: Push the flap so that the petrol flows into the vehicle. This is done by something called gravity.

Step 3: Watch the measurement on the side of the cylinder to see how much petrol was released. This calculates the cost of the petrol.

Step 4: Rotate the lever so petrol pumps up into the cylinder once again and stop when the measurement hits zero “0″.

Simple as that.

ui

When we arrived for lunch beside the hotel which we stayed at we were greeted with the sight on deep fried crickets. Needless to say I tried it. ...can't say it tastes like chicken though!

After our lunch (which did NOT consist of insects) we had a little bit of time to unwind before heading to our first destination in Kampong Thom.

hyjuik

This is the church where the first celebration took place. The house in the background in the church and they erected a stage outside to accommodate enough people.

gtyhu

While they were setting up stage we played volleyball with the local kids! Thanks KEC otherwise I'd be uber crap.

yhuj

When the celebration began it was already dark.

gtyh

They had singing...

hyuj

They had breakdancing...

gh

...and as you can see there was a lot of people!

ghyuj

Finally, it was our turn. We presented 3 songs. Credit to Auntie Elena for taking the picture.

You cant see it from the picture but at the time there were bugs flying all over our heads and it was so difficult to try pretend that it wasn’t bothering us! After we finished our presentation we headed back straight away because it was already late and it wasn’t exactly a “friendly” neighbourhood.

Day 9: 21st December 2008

The very next day we were to visit a small local church. By small and mean REALLY small. Our pastor was set to preach today. Of course there were translators there too.

yui

The wide angle lens literally got the whole church in this shot. Is a small zink hut with a zink roof.

ghy

We wore our C2C shirts today. Can anyone guess what it stands for? It says "R U C2C?".

gh

Heres a shot of the congregation from the front.

ghy

This is the pastor of the local church.

gbhj

We also did half the praise and worship. We did actions with our songs and got the congregation to join in as well!

ert

Needless to say we were quite thirsty after that.

werfg

After the service we gave all the little children gift bags which had different things ranging from Koala key chains (see pic.) to Australian candy bars!

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Group photo of the whole church.

sdf

Pastor noticed a motorcycle that belonged to the pastors wife who gave him permission to ride it. According to his wife (on bike) he used to bring her out like this when they were dating...over 20 years ago! Good times!

That night was our third and final appearance as we did the same thing as the first celebration but in a different church. Needless to say I won’t dwell into the details.

hj

This was funny: Steph saw this cure little girl and wanted to take a picture with her. The other kids are like insects who are attracted to the light from the camera flashgun. After I took this shot Ben said he also wanted a picture with her but when the other kids noticed they quickly gathered around to be in the photo as well.

fgth

As the other kids crammed into the frame they ended up squishing the little girl (see pic) while Ben was still happily smiling to the camera. ...poor girl.

asdf

Later on in order to entertain them Jason thought of leading with the song "Christ is the Vessel" and its actions and the kids followed on...the kids follow everything you do...and so...that gave me and INGENIUS IDEA!

rt

Thanks to Andy I started singing "MAKING MELODIES IN MY HEART"!!! ...and everybody followed! It was awesome!

sd

As you can see once again this christmas celebration did in fact draw a huge audience!

And that was it for our mission trip. We were done. Finitimo. Habis. Kaput. The next day we were to catch our flight back to Kuala Lumpur (and for myself, Ben and Edna, straight on to Singapore).

Day 10: 22nd December 2008

The last day in Cambodia…and what do we do?

SHOPPING! We had a couple hourse to kill before we had to be at the airport.

dfg

They sell clothes, souvenirs, bags, ornaments, electronics, etc...

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They also sell food and drinks!

To the Cambodians, this is the Russian Market

To the Australians, this is like the Sunday market.

To the Malaysians, this is like Petaling Street.

To the Dutch, this is like Hobbyma.

To the Scots, this is like Primark! haha!

frty

back at the airport and all in one piece! The last group photo before we went our seperate ways.

tyui

Flying back to Kuala Lumpur.

After this, the three of us flew directly to Singapore. Thats Captains Log Day 11…and we’ll save that for another day.