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Showing posts from May, 2014

Korea 2013: Busan Chapter 2

UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea We awoke the next morning for a delicious breakfast provided by the hotel. By the time we managed to settle the boys and travel by taxi to our first destination, the UN Memorial Cemetary, it was already lunch time. But we were at once awestruck by what we saw.  The Korean national tourism site provides some background information on the burial ground: The UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea honors UN soldiers from 16 countries that were killed in battle during the Korean War from 1950-1953. This serene park spreads across a grassy plain area of 135,000 m2. Some of the sites and memorials include: Memorial Service Hall, Memorabilia Hall, 2 Turkish Monuments, Greek Monument, Australian Monument, British Common Wealth Monument and 2 ponds. The Memorial Service Hall and the Memorabilia Hall were constructed in 1964 and 1968 respectively. The citizens of Busan dedicated the Main Gate in 1966. There are many annual events held here, some of the key events i

Spotting Differences and Celebrating Commonalities - A Review of the I Theatre Production "Spot the Difference"

A review of the I Theatre production, “Spot the Difference” written for Little Day Out, a Singapore-based website that provides information and updates on the best of Singapore for families with young children. “ There are ten differences between these two pictures. See how many you can find.” Just like the picture puzzles we are all familiar with from our childhood, “Spot the Difference” proved irresistible to its young audience, leaving them spotting the differences between the characters, and, as a result, themselves, all the way to the closing scene.  The plot is a simple one, actually. Scene One opens with two neighbours searching for a new home - the bubbly and vivacious Soo, and the straight-laced and proper Vik. The former settles into a home “all curvy and swervy and topsy-turvy, my home sweet home”, while the latter determinedly moves into his home made of squares and straight lines, because “straight lines guide you upon a straight path!”  "All curvy and swe

Korea 2013: Busan Chapter 1

Return to Busan It was a rather sad departure for us as we had grown fond of our hosts Mr and Mrs Park, as well as the lovely Bellus Rose Pension, not to mention the charming and quaint city of Gyeongju. Mrs Park was particularly kind and offered to drive us to the KTX train station for a small fee. As we did not want to endure the one-and-a-half hour bus journey with two small kids, we took up her offer gratefully. The return train to Busan was thankfully uneventful, and our younger son E slept through the journey, allowing us to tend to our older child Z, who spent most of his time looking out of the window and enjoying the scenery. Upon arrival in Busan, we transferred to a taxi and was swiftly transported to our final hotel for the trip, the Sunset Business Hotel. Our decision to stay at this hotel was not without its reasons; the previous hotel had the peculiar distinctive of installing a rubbish chute in the shower area and we were just not prepared to stay another nig

Of Singing Cats & Operatic Ogres - A Review of I Theatre's "Puss in Boots"

A review of the ACE! 2014 Production "Puss in Boots" by I Theatre, written for Little Day Out, a Singapore-based website that provides information and updates on the best of Singapore for families with young children. Our little son Z was clearly enthralled by the friendly cast! Imagine a French countryside resplendent in rolling hills, rushing streams and delightful mountains. In the glorious sunset you can almost catch a glimpse of a magnificent castle which boasts of wealth beyond measure. Enter a poor miller’s youngest son, a talking cat in boots and two obnoxious ogres. That sets the stage for the I Theatre production Puss in Boots . Producer Brian Seward provides an interesting twist to the classic French tale Le Maître Chat , or “The Master Cat”, which spins the story of how a cunning cat helps her master win the heart of a princess through the use of lies and trickery. Seward’s version is decidedly more positive, and while he acknowledges the role of the cat

The Education of a Child

Quote of the Day: Education is something very close to our hearts. As educators, it always warms our hearts to see young people growing in stature and contributing towards the society at large. However, there are some who choose the wrong path and make one bad decision after another. These "lost children" have a special place in our hearts and we still desire to help them make decisions that will change their lives in a positive way.  Each person has the power to make the right choices in life. It is our hope and prayer that our children will make decisions that will set them on the right path. Our deepest desire is for them to know and experience the love of God, and to influence the world through their actions and deeds.

Art Appreciation and Book Review: Harvesting Dreams (Hundertwasser for Kids) by Barbara Stieff

One of the things I have really been looking forward to doing when the kids grow older is art appreciation. I have always appreciated works of art; though from the completely amateurish perspective of one who failed Art in secondary school and never thought I could draw. I can, however, enjoy and appreciate, and I hope to give our boys plenty of opportunities to do so as well. Wandering around the  Musée d'Orsay in Paris or the Met in New York was one of the major highlights of the trips I had the privilege of taking during my student days, and I could spend days poring through the collections and wishing I could come back for more... Harvesting Dreams by Barbara Stieff Z has been given the privilege of joining an art class in HeART Studio for a term, and this term they are studying the art of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, whose work I must confess I had never heard about till now. I was pleasantly surprised to find "Harvesting Dreams (Hundertwasser for Kids)"

Called to be Faithful

Quote of the Day: There have been so many times when I have felt inadequate as a father. I hear of so many fathers who do amazing things with and for their children, and I wish that I could be one of those amazing men.  I wish that I could do more physical activities with my two active boys, or spend more quality time with them; I wish I did not always have to be so strict when I discipline them, or always repeat the same things when I try to get them to obey me. Yet I was reminded today that my role as a father is not to be extraordinary. I would of course be happy to be an extraordinary father. What I am supposed to do, is to be a faithful father; one who brings up his children in the ways of God and teaches them to love God, to love others and to love themselves. I am also called to be a fruitful father; that my children will grow up to become individuals who will make a difference and change the world. Indeed I am blessed to receive this special calling as a father.