An overwhelming sense of peace came over me as I set foot on the black sandy beaches of Telok Assam. With waves lapping softly at my ankles, I stood rooted there, admiring God’s work. Huge sandstone cliffs rose up from the ground like a solemn cathedral, weather-beaten to reveal fluid lines on its flat iron […]
As city dwellers, we are used to demanding for things to be done “yesterday.” We are so used to listening to the scripted customer service dialogue at fast-food counters that we’ve learned to tune it out. We are used to the mass-produced “nutrition” in polystyrene boxes. And no matter how much we “communicate” on our […]
The first time I caught sight of Gunung Stong and its seven-tiered waterfalls, Jelawang Waterfall tumbling down from it, I thought, die lah like this. It was this massive, imposing granite rock that looked like a hard-core adventurer's dream, and my worst nightmare come true!
White water rafting is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Since I survived to tell the tale, let me share with you the excitement of rafting in the Kampar River surrounded by the greenery of the Gopeng rainforest.
Greeted by a dozen ducks, quacking a cacophonic welcome, is a pleasant surprise as one sets foot on dry land at Pantai Suri Village. Goats and sheep wander aimlessly, chewing on small shrubs. Everything seems peaceful and very laidback.
The silent whisper of ripening paddy fields swaying gently in the wind greets visitors, as they step into Kampung Seterpa. Running barefoot, a small boy pushes his small tricycle across the beaten footpath at the edge of the paddy fields. A rooster crows loudly, breaking the deafening silence.
A waft of freshly cut ketupat fills the air. On the stove, the chicken curry simmers slowly in the pot. Even the beef rendang has been cooked to perfection.
The plates, cups and utensils are neatly arranged and small jars filled with crispy cookies. The cookies are made early as these can be stored in airtight containers.
The house is spick and span, and new with a fresh coat of paint. Everything is new (or almost new!) and neat and tidy to usher in Hari Raya Aidilifitri.
"When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future." -- Dian Fossey
I have idolised Dian Fossey, the zoologist ever since I watched Gorillas in the Mist on television. She was the champion of the gorillas in Africa and had dedicated her life to preserve and protect the great apes from extinction. Without her painstaking research and groundbreaking studies, we might never have known or cared about the primates’ existence.
I may not have the single minded devotion that Dian Fossey had for the majestic mountain gorillas of Rwanda but I am passionate about the conservation of wildlife. Although I’ve made a practise of donating money to various wildlife organisations, I have never participated in any conservation programme.
So, I believe it was fate that brought me all the way to Matang Wildlife Centre in Kuching, Sarawak, last July. I was in Sarawak for a holiday but a friend had invited me to attend the launching of a conservation programme called Heart2Heart with Orangutan at the rehabilitation centre.
‘It is World War II. Bombs fall as hungry villagers raided warehouses for food.
Amidst the mayhem, a villager named Ah Ham spotted a melon-shaped teapot on the ground. As he bent to pick it up, he heard a piece of shrapnel whizz just above his head. The melon teapot had saved his life!
For many years, the teapot was Ah Ham’s constant companion. He used the teapot daily and often entertained his guests with his wartime story and his miraculous brush with death.
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