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NZ: Milford Sound, Te Anau 

3 Feb

My father generally drives the long distances while I drive around town.

This is because mother prefers father to drive and so I can take care of the kids at the back.

We booked a tour to Milford Sound as soon as we arrived in Te Anau for the next morning.

The above is a famous site for LOTR. I’m not a fan so can’t say much except that it was indeed gorgeous. Again I wished we had time to bask in its beauty while the kids could run around.

The rainy weather made the place look different I think from photos we gave seen of the bus trip to the cruise. It made beautiful waterfalls most of the way though. It rained almost all of the trip to and from Milford Sound.

Our first rainbow in NZ! 

Couldn’t decide I wanted more of the clouds or the grass to accompany the rainbow.

Some glaciers. Apparently they did not receive a lot of snow the last winter.

The husband and ds1 were sitting comfortably in front of the cabin. My mother and ds2 were safely in the cruise at the seating area. My father and I were right in front in the open end of the cruise admiring the beauty of the Stirling falls. When the captain announced that the cruise was entering the falls and only stay there if you want to get wet, I didn’t budge. My father was undecided so he stayed on. When father decided to go back up into the safety of the cabin so he wouldn’t get wet, the door was shut so he was stuck outside and got drenched too. I stood there stumped, thinking to myself ‘ what did I get myself into?’ I’m all drenched again. Being drenched in the cold is no fun. I just like to try new things and I yearn adrenaline rush so I decided to stay put…it was nice actually. 

MasyaAllah yhe rocks shaped by the water over the years, just beautiful! 

We had some alone time because father was carrying the baby while Ds1 was sleeping in the bus.

Ds2 watching the keas with grandpa.

This must be on our way to Queenstown from Te Anau.

Follow us to Queenstown next!


Challenges at the beginning of motherhood

28 Jun

I’m still trying to find the balance of me time and baby time. Amidst learning how mother this little boy of mine – his sleeping and feeding patterns are not fixed yet and I’m not sure if it will fix on its own or it’s up to me. Im just thankful when he sleeps longer because it means free time for me and that he grows better if he sleeps more. When he is awake I find activities to do with him to maximize learning. I’m doing my best but there is more to do however i hope it’s enough for now at least.

I’m certain of one thing, it’s a pleasure watching him sleep!

FSC Seminar 2013

15 Mar

I had a good time listening to lectures on community building. Lots of wonderful stories of how connectors in the community can do wonders to the people in the community.

I’m tired from the long week I had otherwise I would share some of the amazing stories I heard from this guy from Ireland, Cormac Russell.



The Arabic Language

23 Nov

As quoted by Lesley Hazleton on TED. She is agnostic, used to be Jew.

I just love the Arabic language :))

” the Quran is really in Quran only in Arabic. Take the Al Fatihah, the 7 verse opening chapter, its just 29 words in arabic but anywhere from 65-72 in translation. And yet the more you add the more it seems to go missing.

The Arabic has an incantatory, almost hypnotic quality that begs to be heard, rather than read, felt more than analyzed. It wants to be chanted out loud to sound its music in the ear not on the tongue. The Quran in English is a kind of shadow of itself ”

Exam welfare pack

1 Nov

It was a heavy welfare pack. Usually I’ll just get the social work welfare pack which is much smaller. The queue for this pack is usually very long but this time it was quite short so I decided to queue for less than 10 minutes. This time they had an online survey which should be done before the collection date so that they get a feedback and perhaps explains the not too long queue.

I wasn’t too pleased to discover that all the instant noodles were not halal so I had to give them away. The other stuff were really great like the whole box of Lipton lemon ice tea mix, pack of chips (halal), samples of Nescafé rich and white coffee, some vouchers and 2 stacks of foolscap and a notebook.


Project Rebuild: Grief and Bereavement (dialogue)

22 Oct

This time, i dragged Mr Q to the dialogue session since it is a Saturday 🙂 I think there is no harm in learning more about matters so close to any of us. Of late i’ve been feeling that taking Social Work is the best thing because its so related to LIFE. During my lecture, the lecturer discussed about the issue so close to heart about housing and the HDB rules; watch a Get Real episode on how there are people falling through the cracks of the social safety net. We learn about relationships, about dealing with emotions; grief, loss etc.

i’m lovin’ it!


Project Rebuild is a series of dialogues which is focused on providing as much information and linking the various resources aimed at this group of people who might be experiencing grief and/or bereavement.

The first speaker was the most entertaining for me because she shared about her experience in Hong kong. She was a Singaporean but moved to Hong kong and is practicing there now. She shared her PLAYON model of working with bereaved kids. Very informational and useful definitely.

Patient with process

Leveredge non children’s potential

Acknowledge feelings

(Wh)Y is this an issue?

On with life


She left us with this,

“Remember to play after every storm.”

and this

“Birds fly, fishes swim and children play”

The second speaker was from HELP FSC, an agency which works with single parents and bereaved families. I think she covered alot of what i learnt in my Social work in medical settings lecture on the different effects of grief and the task of mourning. Interesting too of course.

The third speaker was a Palliative care physician who spoke of ‘composure tactics’ and caring for the professionals who have to deal with dying children and watching them suffer.

Q and A segment had an interesting question, ” Why do children repeatedly asks about the same issue? like where has daddy gone? Why does daddy have to die?”

The professionals said that narrative therapy was a way to make meaning and come to term with the loss. A lady who said she was a grieved mother shared about the culture of Boswana people and how they deal with death.

When there is a death amongst them, the community will share the pain of the grieving person when the person tells her story over and over again. After many repetitions, the person will come to terms with it and the community helps the healing process by sharing the pain. (it was a lot more clearer than how i am telling it because i remember only parts of it as my eye is almost closing as i had a few long days in a row and am exhausted).

Last words; grief doesnt go away, it remains with the person their whole life as they manage their emotions and regulate them.

Poem by Michael rosen

Sad is a place

Sad is a place that is deep and dark

Like the space under the bed

Sad is a place that is high and light

Like the sky above my head

When its deep and dark,

I dont dare to go there

When it’s high and light

I want to be thin air

The buffet included the mango pudding:)






Here is Mr Q’s art work. I was clearing out some of my school papers so that we’d have some space for the new books we bought.


Uni life can be so rich if…

21 Oct

…i had more friends to accompany me to events, seminars, dance workshops, all sorts of crazy workshops they have at NUS.

Currently, i am at the stage of my life in which friends and family are important people but i wont stop myself from doing what i like even if i do it alone. Similar to the stance i took when i was in Finland for exchange, something was up with the girls i travelled to Finland with so i didnt let it bother me and plan my journeys alone. If i were to wait for others, i would have not met the wonderful people on my journeys and witnessed the beautiful places (Masyallah).

Back to the matter at hand, rich university life if i had company to attend all the wonderful events. I signed up for a few to date just because the topic interest me and now i had the time to attend them.

Today’s event was a dialogue session; the Second China-India-Singapore Dialogue on Higher Education held at University Hall.

I was quite excited for it because education in the western world has received so much attention and recognition for as long as I’ve studied, besides education in Singapore of course. Of late, I have been reading and hearing on higher education in India and the richness of the Indian culture intrigues me.

There were 3 speakers in the first half of the session which i attended. I left after lunch as i had a lecture to attend.

The first speaker was the President of South University of Science and Technology of China. He spoke of challenges of setting up a new university and bringing it up to 1st class standards in the shortest possible time through the use of a different education model from the west. As science and technology is continually evolving beyond just the single discipline and employment opportunities are looking at not just the depth but breadth of knowledge as well, they are looking at abolishing department and having research institutes instead.

The second speaker was Professor Pankaj Chandra from an Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore) He discussed the higher education framework from a very macro perspective with regards to governance. Interesting point to note was that universities are around for hundreds of years and the difficulties of self-regulating and improving, moving forward. There are multitude of opportunities for the sector to grow, change and improve.

Lastly, Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, President of NUS.

Firstly i must comment on how he looks, very young! I imagined the President looking like the President of Singapore; matured with white thinnning hair. The President of NUS looked like he was in his 30s and really tall. I think many students dont know the Presidents/ Chairmans/ Deans of their school/ institutions like i didnt know how the Head of NYP School of Business Management looked like till perhaps the day of my graduation.

He shared alot of stuff i didnt know and it happened right here in Singapore like the corporatization of NUS in 2006 and what it involved and still going on.

After which, a Q and A followed and i quite enjoy some of the questions asked and comments made. One thing i took away was what Prof Zhu from China said when asked why are they trying to redesign the university model when the world’s best universities in the west have the model which is most used now througout the world? According to international rankings, you (China University which is aiming at a different model) wont score so well because the ranking system is according to a different education model. He also spoke of Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton who were drop-outs and so what is all the fuss about competing to be better in higher education?

I dont know if the Prof answer was to the point but i still liked it.

China and India have existed for so much longer than the west and have very rich cultures and long heritage thus they look at the world as a whole but the west breaks the world into many pieces and then try to put them together piece by piece.

I think he is trying to mean the different disciplines and how we have to look at them together.





Arts and crafts

14 Oct

We had fun with the nine grains and the various spices by decorating our names in Tamil!





The one on blue is mine 🙂

The rest were done by my classmates. CLS 10 is the one done for Centre for Languages Studies 10th year anniversary which was celebrated today but I couldn’t join in the fun because of other commitments.

He is too distracting

14 Oct

The past week was a roller coaster. It’s not totally over yet as I have assignments to complete. My list of things is getting longer by the hour. I really wonder why I feel more stressed out this semester despite taking 3 modules instead of the usual 4-5 modules. Perhaps because I have to go to school 5 times a week? Plus all the other commitments I have is weighing me down.

It has unfortunately come to a point where I have to go to school to complete work because the home is too distracting with little Mukhlis. He was born 2 semesters ago but it has not affected me that badly till now. Of course I feel sad, it’s not just he comes looking for me but I will seek him out, watch as he sleeps, carry him so I can hug him *sigh* hope my mother understands and doesn’t think I’m just running away from babysitting.

First trip to U town!

15 Sep

I was like an excited kid when I took shuttle bus D1 into u town for lunch at Koufu. (I had my doubts about it’s halal food only after eating there because the plates were placed together with other plates unlike in other canteens)

Anyway I took a few shots if the place which looks really nice and spacious. Definitely conducive study environment. Nice views from the labs too. Can you believe there is a lab just for Mac users? There is the other one for non-Mac users as well.20110915-094412.jpg