Moral Angels

Volunteers of Moral Home

Archive for July, 2009

Work and Play at Moral Home

As I stepped into Moral Home last Sat, the elderly were already busy working. Yup, working. Well in this trying time of recession, I guess no one is immune. Dun believe? Here’s the proof…

Their ‘work’ is to 拔豆芽 for dinner that night, very important one leh, dun play play :)

While some choose to ‘work’ for a living, the smart one choose to play. As recommended by our beloved government to promote the golden industry that will save our jobs, the smart elderly were busy honing their skills at the MJ and BJ tables. Can’t wait for the IR.

Dinner was especially sumptuous with chilli prawns, but most elderly were having problems peeling them. No fear, for the prawn deshelling angels are just around the corner ready to pounce on any trouble making prawn. Thank god for angels.

National Day is just around the corner and this year we will be celebrating on the 15th Aug 2009. So mark your calender angels. Jojo and Ah Kiat are the organizers. Email them if you wanna join in the fun. Hurry seats are limit.

Another event that is just as fun is the annual ESN carnival, happening in YJC on 5th Sep 2009. The IC from MH are Ah Xian and Ah Hua (thanks Ah Quan). We will be setting up 2 stalls (1 game and 1 food) and hopefully will be bringing some elderly to join in the fun.

Cheers to a great week ahead.
Jin Xiong

‘By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.’ -Confucius

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  • Sabah Trip – Mount Kinabalu Part 4

    20th June 2009 (Saturday) – Bright, Sunny, Hot

    0730hrs – one by one we started waking up to have our breakfast as well as preparing our final activities.. which was….. white water rafting at Kiulu River!!! After our breakfast at the nearby coffeeshop.. (oh my.. the ‘Baos’ were really big and filling… haha.. :) ), we were all ready for our next challenge…

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    Breakfast at nearby Kopitiam

    The bus came to pick us up at around 0915hrs… In the bus, we met a few group of Singaporean and a family from Hong Kong… It was a 1 to 1.5 hours to our destination… Upon reaching Kiulu River, we were greeted by our guide who briefed and taught us the equipment we would be using, paddling technique and safety measures.. After a short 15 minutes of lesson, we were on our way to the river water… :) Jin Xiong, Brendan, Rico and Uncle Loi were in one inflatable rubber boat while SK, Auntie Mona, Uncle Poh Yan and Quan were on the other boat..

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    A group photo before our river extravaganza

    Water at Kiulu River came from the nearby Mount Kinabalu.. the river is very clear and clean… Due to the dry season and minimum rain, the water level at Kiulu River was not high and thus we were needed to paddle at certain parts of the river.. The best time to visit Kiulu River is at November and December where the water level is high and the rapids and current are strong and exciting… Kiulu River is classified under grade 1 or 2 where it the current and rapids of the river are mild and less dangerous.. The guide even told us that a mother eve brought along a 10 month child for this white water rafting activity… True enough, we saw many families bring their children (around 5 to 8 years) to have fun and exciting experience at Kiulu River…

    Water fight started the moment we got into the river… Using paddles to splash water and pushing one another down to the river were common sight to be seemed… Even the children also joined in the fun… Along the river, it was another magnificent sight… We saw cows and buffaloes by the side of the river.. some of them even got into the river, cooling themselves against the warm weather… village people playing and swimming along the river.. sampan or bamboo boats used by the locals.. ropes bridges that you never come across… There were even guides taking pictures and videos while we were paddling down the river… These people really know how to do business…

    Pics taken by guides

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    Our groups were known to be aggressive and vicious when it comes to water fight.. There was this father telling his children, “This group cannot play. They are very dangerous.. Sure loss.. Come, we go and attack another group.” haha.. :) Upon saying that, they quickly break away and engaged water fight with the weaker side.. :)

    During our short break along the river, all of us began to behave like young children… jumping into the river, engaging in furious water fight, swimming and enjoying the coolness of river water… Even the small children also involved in our fearsome water fight… Our FON SK did something disrespectful to the river… He ‘pee’ or ‘fart’ in the river… haha.. :) (no la.. just joking).. And because of his act, Quan Quan and him fell into the river when they passed by a rough rapid… whahaha.. :) It was a hilarious scene especially when SK was pulled up to the rubber boat.. It was liked pulling up a big tuna from the big vast scene… His whole head went into the side of the rubber boat…he looked pathetic… haha… so funny… :)

    Uncle Loi was not spared too.. He fell into one of the fast flowing rapids too… But luckily, the guide immediately jumped into the river and brought him up to the rubber boat… Upon seeing that scene, the rest of us especially SK and Quan started to grip tight on the side of the rubber boat so that we will not fall as well… :)

    We took about 2 hours to finish the 8 km ride… After washing up, we rewarded ourselves with a marvelicious buffet lunch…. :)

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    End of Moral Angels’ Adventure Expedition.. Mission Accomplished!

    It was free and easy after white water rafting… However it did not stop us from exploring the city… This free and easy period was what the women liked best… SHOPPING TIME!!!.. Therefore upon reaching our lodge, we immediately went out again to explore the city of Kota Kinabalu.. Jin Xiong, Auntie Mona, Uncle Loi and Quan went for an hour of massage while the rest went to Center Point Shopping Center to start their shopping spree..

    After our massage, we came upon a handicraft market.. that’s it.. we were stuck there for about 2 hours.. Those that went to Center Point Shopping Center also came to join us.. The women were shopped like nobody business.. The guys who were waiting outside basically chatanything under the sun.. chat until no topic to talk about.. Uncle Poh Yan even went to the extent of taking photographs at the locals playing international chess near the handicraft market.. Uncle Loi went to hurry them but to no avail.. Even though they said they will be out within 10 to 15 minutes.. in the end they shopped until the market closed at 1845hrs.. Well you know who they are… haha… :)

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    Serious shoppers at Handicraft Market

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    Guys posting for pics while waiting for the shopping queen to finish

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    There you see.. Uncle Poh Yan nothing to do, taking photographs of locals playing international chess while waiting for the shoppers

    That’s not the end… we went back to Center Point Shopping Center and the ladies were off again to do another round of shopping spree… Rico also ended up getting her first mp3 player at an electronic music store… it was a white mickey mouse mp3 player… Xiong managed to get a pair of addidas shoe and auntie mona.. whahaha.. it seemed like she had bought all the T-shirts, souvenirs and food from Kota Kinbalu City… :)

    We reached our lodge at around 2230hrs.. but that was also not the end yet… as we were craving for ice kachang and chendol… we went back to the street hawkers to have our ice kachang (also known as ABC something) and ice chendol.. Uncle Poh Yan as usual went around taking photographs like nobody business (even when SK was peeing at the toilet) haha.. :)

    21st June 2009 (Sunday) – Bright and Sunny

    Cling, clang, ping, bang… 0530hrs… these noises woke some of us up… The moment we looked through our windows, we could see the whole stretch of street was immediately turned to a huge bazaar… The guide told us there were weekend morning bazaar market along the street where our lodge was located..

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    Scene at weekend morning market

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    Jinxiong: What should i buy for H** H**? Oops

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    His g** symptom is back.. Why do you pick a dress?

    Without any hesitation, our instinct told us to get down for another shopping spree… by 0630hrs, the place was crowded with people… There were street performances and stores selling almost everything… pets such as hamster, puppies, kittens.. souvenirs.. shirts… stamps… tongkat ali.. food… porcelain… vases etc.. And of course, the ladies shopped till the very end when our transport came to pick us up to airport at 0945hrs.. :)

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  • Sabah Trip – Mount Kinabalu Part 3 D-Day

    19th June 2009 (Friday) – Sunny but very cold… Arrggghh…

    We woke up at around 0130hrs… tired and sleepy… After our final preparation, we made our way to the common area to have our breakfast… Soon after, our mountain guide arrived… With great anticipation, at 0220hrs, SK, Jin Xiong, Rico, Uncle Poh Yan and Quan began their final expedition to the summit. Despite feeling unwell, Uncle Loi, Brendan and Auntie Mona also purposely woke up very early to cheer us up… :)

    The route was dark and steep. We weren’t know where are we heading to… just basically follow wherever the guide went… Soon after, we were joined by hundreds of climbers eagerly to see the sunrise at the summit… If you looked around, you could see a row of climbers with their head lights or torch lights.. slowly moving up towards the summit of the mountain… The scene was simply amazing and magnificent… It was the scene of a movie in Indiana Jones where a group of African tribes moving up the mountain towards their tribal council with their fire torch.

    The first 700m was full of rocks and steep steps… The next 2km of the climb to the summit was on granite rock… Some paths required the aid of ropes… but subsequently.. most climbers decided not to use the rope as the route ahead was safe but yet steep… :) At the 7km mark, we passby a small hut which operated like an immigration office. We were required to show our ‘passport’ which was our name tag before we could proceed on… Guess what? There were telephone booths near the ‘immigration office’, about 1.25km away from the summit… :)

    The last 1km was tough and harsh.. We were physically pushed to the limit… We could feel the aches on our calves, knees and legs… We took a lot of short rest in between… It was now our mental and endurance that kept us going… Soon, we got to see the summit of Mount Kinabalu, the Low’s Peak, situated at 4095.2km above sea level… The last 300m was liked a never ending journey.. The summit was near but yet so far… Finally, we were just below the summit… however.. to reach the Low’s Peak, we had to use our four limbs to overcome the gigantic granite rocks…

    0530hrs… the sun slowly rise to our horizon… the ‘yolk’ becomes brighter and clearer… Yes!! We had made it!!! We reached the summit!!!.. We felt like hugging one another.. but we never do it… perhaps the place was too cramped and many climbers were rushing up to see the sun rise.. or perhaps we were too tired… The sun rise was indeed stunning and beautiful… it was a breath taking moment… rays of the sun which shone on the harsh terrains of Mount Kinabalu… No words can describe this magnificent scenery which still laid vividly in my mind…

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    A very scenic view of sunrise at Mount Kinabalu Summit Low’s Peak

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    What an amazing view! – the ‘egg yolk’ is getting brighter and brighter

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    An emotional moment – Great take.. Oh my.. She looks beautiful in this pic

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    Sunrise at Mount Kinabalu Summit Low’s Peak 1

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    Sunrise at Mount Kinabalu Summit Low’s Peak 2

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    Sunrise at Mount Kinabalu Summit Low’s Peak 3

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    Sunrise at Mount Kinabalu Summit Low’s Peak 4

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    Sunrise at Mount Kinabalu Summit Low’s Peak 5

    We took lots of pictures and were proudly to stand around the summit taking our pictures with our Moral Angels banner.. Rest of the climbers were looking curiously at us.. wondering where are we from… Aiya.. should have brought our name cards along and spread our volunteering service at moral home internationally.. haha.. :)

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    Standing at the peak of South East Asia Tallest Mountain – Mount Kinabalu Low’s Peak 1

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    Standing at the peak of South East Asia Tallest Mountain – Mount Kinabalu Low’s Peak 2

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    Standing proudly with Moral Angels’ Banner

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    Look at this amazing pic.. Shadow of the mountain

    At 0630hrs, we began our descending to 3,800m to do our walk the torq via ferreta… Walking back to where we came from, it was unimaginable that the route that we took was unbelievable steep and tough… but we made it after all… As the surrounding became brighter and clearer, we began to take every opportunity to take pictures at almost everywhere… from sun and clouds to the settlements below the mountains…

    Pictures of Mount Kinabalu when descending

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    At 3,800m ,walk the torq activity, we were greeted by our ferreta guide… Not knowing what was all about, we put on our harness, caribinas and happily passing all our barang barang including our water supplies to our mountain guide… Until we saw how the Caucasians did the walk the torq, we realized how naive we were.. haha.. It was honestly very fun and challenging but we did not expect to take about 2 hours to finish the circuit… :)

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    Advance Level of Walk the Torq – Via Feretta

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    Before Walk the Torq 1 – Fantastic View of Mount Kinabalu (F4 and Shan Cai – Singapore Version)

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    Before Walk the Torq 1 – Bird Eye View of Settlements (F4 and Shan Cai – Singapore Version.. Low Budget so can only firm at Sabah, Malaysia)

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    Taking a nap before the actual activity

    Half way of walking the torq activity.. we were so tired and thirsty (never had this kind of thirst in my life) that we resorted requesting water from our guide.. Oh my god.. the scene was so funny… four men sitting side by side sucking the water from our guide water bag… except our garang Rico which did not take any drop of water… That idiot SK even asked me whether there was any smoking smell in the water.. haha.. :) (FYI, the guide puffed a smoke before leading us the activity).. come to think of it… is a bit disgusting… Our photographer, Uncle Poh Yan was simply impressive.. he could take the pictures at almost any angles and at any positions while walking the torq.. I bet he could have taken all our disgusting and funny positions.. :)

    Interesting Positions by angels when walking the torq

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    We reached Pendant Hut at around 1030hrs.. After having our second round of breakfast and packing of our leftover stuffs, we checked out of the room and made our way down at around 1200hrs.. On the way down was so much easier… We encouraged those ppl who were making their way up to Laban Rata Rest House and ironically we were complaining and whining among ourselves on our way down to Timpohon Gate… haha… :) We reached the Timpohon Gate at around 1630hrs… Uncle Loi, Auntie Mona and Brendan went off earlier and had reached the registration counter at 1500hrs… :)

    Upon reaching the registration counter, Uncle Loi, Auntie Mona and Brendan quickly helped us to collect our bags from the counter and load up to the transport… Thank you very much… During our 2 hours journey to our lodge at Kota Kinabalu City, most of us were so tired that they slept but surprisingly and to our relief, there wasn’t any symphony orchestra… haha.. :)

    One thing very funny, as we reached the registration counter at Kinabalu Park, Uncle Loi secretly told us that he was going to treat us for seafood dinner as it was his wife, Auntie Mona’s birthday.. He excitedly went to find out from the tour guide on where the good food was at Kota Kinabalu City while waiting for us at Kinabalu Park. He wanted to give Auntie Mona a small surprise… oh so loving and romantic.. :)

    Therefore upon reaching the lodge, we quickly changed to our clean clothing and walked to a restaurant selling live seafood… The food was simply marvelicious and fresh… Some of us even had beer for dinner.. This meal not only serves as a birthday celebration for Auntie Mona, it also celebrates our unbelievable feat at Mount Kinabalu… Thank you Uncle Loi for the sumptuous meal and a very happy belated birthday to Auntie Mona… :)

    Celebrating Auntie Mona’s birthday

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  • Sabah Trip – Mount Kinabalu Part 2

    18th June 2009 (Thursday) – Bright, Sunny and Cooling :)

    0630hrs… We woke up and started to do our final packing and preparation. We left our dormitory half an hour later and headed to registration counter to check in our bags. We then headed to the Balsam restaurant to have our sumptuous breakfast buffet before we met our mountain guides and porters at 0800hrs.

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    On our way to meet our mountain guides and porters

    We had a total of 2 mountain guides and a porter following us to the summit. The porter is only 17 years old and his name is Freddy. He’s in-charge of carry Uncle Poh Yan and Quan Quan barang barang which weighed an astonishing of 12kg… whahaha.. The other 2 mountain guides helped Uncle Loi and Auntie Mona to carry their stuffs… For your information, the cost of the porter is RM8 per kg with a maximum of 10kg… :)

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    Summit Trail of Mount Kinabalu

    We boarded up the bus at around 0830hrs which brought us to Timpohon Gate (1866m above sea level). We then started our journey to the summit of Mount Kinabalu.. The 6km up to Laban Rata Rest House or base camp, which is situated at 3270m above sea level, is neither easy nor difficult. For the first 500m, we were rewarded with a small waterfall… For the next 1km to 4km, we were greeted with hundred species of flora and ferns…The last 2km to Laban Rata Rest House, it was the scenic view of Mount Kinabalu and the bird eye view of mountainous terrain of Sabah that captivated us.

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    All smiles at Timpohon Gate, our starting point

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    Uncle Poh Yan at Timpohon Gate

    On our way up , we got to witness the locals carried tons of foods and even gas cylinders to and fro from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata Rest House. We were full of admiration for these locals who carried food and gas supplies daily to the rest house. We also got to meet new friends, encouraging and motivating one another up to the rest house…

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    Look at that porter that transport food supplies to Laban Rata Rest House

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    Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 1

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    Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 2 – Taking a rest

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    Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 3

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    Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 4 – Uncle Poh Yan

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    Our climb to Laban Rata Rest House 5

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    Uncle Poh Yan and our 2 mountain guides and porter. Red color is Freddy only 17 years (Porter)

    There were rest points or shelter hut along the way to Laban Rata Rest House. These sheltered huts allowed us to take a rest, a short nap, have our packet lunch, refill water that comes from the mountain and we got to see little animals especially squirrels running around the sheltered hut. Uncle Loi also got to leave his ‘poo’ behind at a toilet located 500m away from Laban Rata Rest House. Whahaha.. :)

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    One of the sheltered hut

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    Brendan at 3km mark

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    Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 1

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    Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 2

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    View of Mount Kinabalu Summit

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    Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 3

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    Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 4

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    Beautiful scenery at Mount Kinabalu 5

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    Amazing Cloud Cover – We are on top of the world

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    A camel?

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    A km away from Laban Rata Rest House

    We arrived at Laban Rata Rest House at around 5pm (about 8 hours). We were greeted by Rico and SK who arrived earlier (at around 3.30pm) to help us to check in to Pendant Hut (our dormitory at Laban Rata). They cheered for us by waving our Moral Angels’ banner which we took a day to decorate it at Moral Home…

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    Majestic View of Mount Kinabalu – taken from Laban Rata Rest House

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    A hot coffee at Laban Rate Rest House – Oops it turns cold

    After our buffet dinner at Laban Rata Rest House, we made our way to our dormitory where we spend time packing our stuffs for the final push to the summit on the next day morning. The weather was so cold that some of us began wearing winter clothing and stuff ourselves with heat packs to keep our body warm and comfortable… Even though the surrounding was cold, it did not stop us from going down our dormitory to witness the beautiful sunset… :) Furthermore, the icy water also discouraged some of us from taking bath or even brushed our teeth… haha…

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    A very beautiful sunset taken from Pendant Hut

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    A beautiful sunset with fantastic view of cloud cover 1

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    A beautiful sunset with fantastic view of cloud cover 2

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    A beautiful sunset view at Mount Kinabalu.. A romantic scenery

    Before we headed for bed, we got to attend a briefing on via ferreta, walk the torq… meaning walking around the mountain with the support of harnesses, ropes and carabinas… sound dangerous??? Haha… it was indeed pretty dangerous… but somehow or rather we did not think that much and went ahead with it… crazy ya!!!

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    Briefing of Walk the Torq Via Ferreta

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    Gearing up for Walk the Torq Rehearsal

    Finally we got to head for our bed at about 2000hrs… We had 8 angels in a room…This time round.. besides the well coordinated musical symphony orchestra (snoring from Xiong and SK), we also got military band (snoring from Uncle Loi) and Chinese symphony orchestra from RICO… can you imagine??? Our Rico snored… If you don’t believe, you can ask Brendan who slept just besides her or Quan who slept just on top of her (ehh…by the way… don’t think too much or think dirty.. is a double decker bed.. okay)… It was a simply ‘wonderful’ piece of musical play by all of them.. better than Beethoven or Chopin… haha.. :)

    Well, through this trip, we were impressed by how loving and united the Loi’s family is. They constantly encouraging, motivating and support one another during the journey to the base camp even though they themselves were wondering whether they can make it or not… Despite the minimum training they had in Singapore, they were able to make it to the base camp which is 3270m above sea level… For this, we salute them… Well done!!! :)

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  • Sabah Trip – Mount Kinabalu Part 1

    17th June 2009 (Wednesday) – Cloudy, Drizzling

    Eight of us touched down to Kota Kinabalu City Airport at around 11.25am and were greeted by our tour guide Mr. Allen. The weather was cool and cloudy. As we were famished, we requested Mr. Allen to bring us to some good local delicacies. He brought us to a food house which was famous for their home made noodles. We had the noodles as well as ordered some of their ala carte meals. Our dear Uncle Poh Yan then started his photographs shooting.. (FYI, he had taken 600 over photographs during his Sabah trip).

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    Famous Home Made Noodles

    After a very satisfying lunch, we then made our way to Kinabalu Park where we would stay a night before our climb. It was a 2 hours ride. Though the journey was long, we were treated with fascinating scenic views of mountains at Sabah, including the majestic Mount Kinabalu (the highest in South East Asia – 4,095 meters above sea-level).

    Upon reaching the registration counter at Kinabalu Park, the weather was so cold that some of us began wearing wind breakers or jackets.. Facing the scenic view of Mount Kinabalu facing right in front of us, we could not resist but to bring out our cameras and video camera and start taking pictures and videos of the mountain…

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    View from Kinabalu Park 1 Auntie Mona & Brendan shivering with cold

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    View from Kinabalu Park 2

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    Kinabalu Park Registration Office

    At the dormitory (Sutera Sanctuary Lodges), we began to start packing our stuffs for the next day climb… And of course, lots of funny things happened inside our dormitory especially when you had SK as your bunk mate… :) (Check out the videos) There wasn’t any air-conditioner but the weather was so cold that we would wish to have heaters at our dormitory. Luckily there were water-heaters at the toilets. After a very warm and comfortable shower and wash up, we then made our way to a nearby restaurant for our dinner. Some crazy angels even had ice-creams and ice drinks for their dinner despite the surrounding temperature was around 10 to 15 degrees… :)

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    Dinner at restaurant near Kinabalu Park

    After our dinner, we had card games and action games such as ‘ultra man’ and ‘Gu Ke Chuan Zhang’ (Captain Hook) at the common area. In the midst of our game, everyone started to flock towards the kitchen with our cameras and video camcorder on hands. The kitchen was transformed to a mini moth exhibition. There were many different species of moths turned up at the kitchen… Those moths were very beautiful and they knew how to camouflage themselves and blend in with the surroundings…

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    Angles playing action games

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    One of the species of moths.. isn’t it beautiful

    We turned to bed at around 2230hrs where Uncle Poh Yan and Quan Quan were treated with highly coordinated musical symphony orchestra… Korrr..Gorrhhh.. Snozzz… Well done SK and Xiong… And Rico must be drooling that night as she was mesmerized by an ‘ang mo’ guy which she met at the common area of our dormitory. whahaha.. :)

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