Taking action. Small boy, big impact.

I was really impressed by what I read in the news today… The idea itself is not new for I have heard quite a few people say they want to start collecting recyclable items in their blocks… but how many have actually started to do so? Most times, I would hear a lot of arguments for & against such an idea, and then all goes quiet…
This little boy wakes up at 5am (wow), goes to different apartments to collect recycling bags (wow wow), puts them in a recycling bin which his dad wheels are him (wow x3), sorts out the items (wow x4), have breakfast and head off to pre-school (he is only 6!).

He may be small, but he is making a big impact! Check out this link – he has inspired 9 other children in his estate to pick up recycling items; a flea market where neighbours sold items to one another; and got many people talking about the project.

link to Straits Times news article

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Coastal cleanup & rescue of horseshoe crabs

A most awesome evening at Kranji mudflats! Caught up with fellow nature enthusiasts & made new friends.

My team removed a couple of long abandoned fishing nets. We ended up spending much time trying to rescue horseshoe crabs that were entangled in the nets. Many of the horseshoe crabs were still alive, but they could not move because the knotted strings got into their feet, carapace & mouth parts. I am thankful that we rescued at least 20+ horseshoe crabs. Some of the rescued hsc were in such hurry to get away, they moved away really quickly when placed back on the sand!

Being nature people, my team did opportunistic bird watching too. ‘Snow Tern. From the North Pole.’ said Sunny, my team mate for the day. The terns dived into the waters occasionally, such a beautiful sight.

Utter joy to be out in nature :)

Before the coastal cleanup at Kranji mudflats. Kerry from Nature Society (Singapore) giving a brief.

Before the coastal cleanup at Kranji mudflats. Kerry from Nature Society (Singapore) giving a brief.

Awesome day – A day of flow, courage, appreciation, inspiration!

Awesome, awesome day. So much to give THANKS for!! :)

Appreciate myself for making a self-empowering decision to do a presentation today, to a good size crowd of clients, colleagues & random conference walk-ins. It is not a topic that I’m an expert in, but I was scheduled to speak on it yesterday, and for a myriad of reasons, yesterday’s talk didn’t happen.

After the last scheduled talk for the day, a lady who strolled in asked, “So, what’s the next talk?” With immense clarity and courage, I announced to all that I would be the last speaker, even though it wasn’t in the schedule. Was so totally delighted when the random walk-ins shared their personal interests & backgrounds – they are so totally in line with my chosen topic, which is a really niche one (and different from the previous presenter). I got really good feedback after – am really glad!!

Things just seemed to flow today… Caught up with former colleagues (feels like family!), old connections… Met the “random walk-ins” randomly much later – we had such good conversations, we felt it was fate! Oh, and how my colleagues & I ended up at the same cafe after the event, even though it was not in our original plans.

I came home feeling inspired after attending a pre-geohackathon workshop. Totally recharged by listening to the challenges that volunteer organisations need to overcome, and how aspiring programmers and general people in the street want to form teams and create apps that make a difference! In like 48 hours too.

Formed an impromptu team with poly students – our goal to create an app that will really help Food for the Heart. We don’t have the skills to create a really professional one. But what we have – loads of it – is the readiness to do something, learn from one another, and a desire to make a real difference :)

Mini harvest at community’s edible garden

 

Spent the late morning at my community’s edible garden. We had our second mini harvest, this time of sweet potato & lettuce leaves!  One of the neighbours kindly taught us how to cut the plants so that they can continue growing, and also how to cook the harvested leaves. :)

Learning how to harvest sweet potato & lettuce leaves

Learning how to harvest sweet potato & lettuce leaves. Photo credit: Lydia

Christmas dinner with St. Vincent’s Home residents

St. Vincent’s Home, a small sheltered home for the very poor elderly who have to rely on public assistance, but are otherwise able to manage their own daily activities and independence. I first went there a couple of years ago with my boyfriend, and have been back a couple of times since as the elderly are really friendly & nice. It’s also at an most unexpected place! It’s located at the roof of an old HDB that’s just behind the art museum.

Went this evening with the intention of giving them a simple Christmas meal and the gift of time and presence. As always, I leave feeling that I will come again, and I will come back soon.

It was really a small group of volunteers this time. Vivian, who’s done monthly group visits for the last 7 years. Alice, my dear PP friend. Iris, who messaged me in the evening that she’s bringing her keyboard & can sing some carols (I love her vocals!). Her husband, Raymond. Her friend, Gracy, who also came by at last minute notice.

The number of elderly in the home is also much smaller since my first visit. A reminder that time is of essence… Felt sad to learn that the oldest resident I met, Jane, who kept telling us she was 99 (she was really 100), has passed on. And also sad that Jane’s best friend, Peter, has also moved out to a nursing home. Amidst the smiles, there’s a layer of hidden sadness that no one really talks about.

But I hope in the 2 hours that we were there, we brought them some joy, laughter, music and hope. And I know I will be back. For the residents :)

Apparently, the residents love wanton mee. I was taking public transport, and wondered where and how I was going to buy 13 bags of wonderful tasting wanton mee, and deliver them to the home so that they are piping hot and tasty. My intuition told me to go to Tiong Bahru market. Found a stall that looked like it sold yummy food. Bought them, and felt "mission accomplished!"

Apparently, the residents love wanton mee. I was taking public transport, and wondered where and how I was going to buy 13 bags of wonderful tasting wanton mee, and deliver them to the home so that they are piping hot and tasty. My intuition told me to go to Tiong Bahru market. Found a stall that looked like it sold yummy food. Bought them, and felt “mission accomplished!”

Iris playing beautiful Christmas music on her keyboard. She has really beautiful vocals! Her friend, Gracy, and I later joined her in singing "O Holy Night"

Iris playing beautiful Christmas music on her keyboard. She has really beautiful vocals! Her friend, Gracy, and I later joined her in singing “O Holy Night”

blowing out the candle, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and everyone in the room!

blowing out the candle, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and everyone in the room!

 

 

 

Pavilion’s edible garden creation – 9 Nov

It’s been quite some time since my last update. I have been busy!

But there’s something I would really, really like to share on this blog – and that is…

On 9 Nov (Sat), one of my long-time dreams came true :)

9 months after I first shared my dream of creating an edible garden with neighbours to my estate’s neighbourhood committee, we have secured the necessary approvals, gotten the support of the residents, and started creating the garden.

It’s a lot of hard work before the garden can be fully created, but it is part of the process :)

Here are some photos – but for the details, do check out my other blog: Pavilion’s edible garden in the park.

Moments  before the garden creation

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A music video for Bukit Brown – Ukelady meets Ukebaba

It started off as a dream.

A dream to create a video where one or more musicians play beautiful music as they explore the ‘invisible’ gem of Bukit Brown. Music interpersed with quiet moments, with the lens zooming in on the happy people who use the place, the beautiful forest that grew back over the years, the animals that are sometimes easy to spot (if you know where to look), and of course, the tombs (some of which have the most intricate decorations).

“Why Bukit Brown?”, you may ask.

Well. There’s so many reasons, how do I even begin? But to keep it short, Bukit Brown is this “invisible place” that’s very close to my heart. Even though I may not be there every other weekend, I end up talking about it somehow to friends and anyone willing to hear about the place and why it is special to me. Because it is more than just a cemetery. I first went there to learn more about the plants at Bukit Brown, and the birds… I got to meet & befriend various wonderful people from all kinds of backgrounds… I also learnt more about Singapore’s history, how it really was 200 years ago, and how it all links back to my own search for my family’s ancestry. I also got a chance to conduct my own walks for friends, conquer my fear of public speaking & improve my Chinese-speaking skills! And there’s so much more…

The dream seemed unattainable for I’m no great musician or a video editor. Until, I shared my idea.

One thing led to another, and soon, I was in a cafe with a few other Brownie friends. And a new friend who happens to play the ukelele. We decided there and then that our intention to create this music video was to share our love & appreciation of the place to everyone, especially to all who may not have heard or stepped into Bukit Brown.

For we would like the “invisible” place to become visible.

Here is our work of love. A music video, entitled: Ukelady meets Ukebaba.

Come explore with us. Enjoy.