Thursday, October 29, 2009


Yesterday, twenty nine days after the earthquake, I travelled with Ebu Sastri, a board member of the Indonesian Red Cross West Sumatra Chapter, to monitor relief distributions to affected people in Kota Pariaman. Pak Arifin and Wayne Ulrich, my ops manager came to. We visited schools, homes, villages to see if the aid we are delivering was what the people needed. We needn't have worried because the people were generally pleased with the array and quality of relief items.
It is a great learning experience for me to travel with Ebu Sastri for she is from this area and has such empathy with the people affected. I learn about the culture, the habits, the humour which is never far from the surface, and the needs of the people. She tells me in West Sumatra, it has one of the few matriarchal societies left in the world. By the respect people show to Ebu Sastri, I am now calling her the 'Queen of west Sumatra." When I returned to Padang, Ebu Sastri showed me round her office where she is secretary to the Parliament. Many parts of her building have collapsed and the rest have major cracks. Anxious women wait in her office to discuss their problems. So many show signs of trauma having lost many familiy members in the quake. Her days are long as she holds down a full time job and gives another 4 or 5 hours a day to Red Cross.

Ebu Sastri (left) and me leaving the preschool which is housed in a tent. Photo: Wayne Ulrich.

Young children sing and dance in a pre school tent at Rauahatul Jannali. The school has 25 students who parents pay US$ 2.5 a month. Some parents cannot afford to pay. The teacher receives a salary of US$ 10 per month. Getting schools operating quickly in tents supplied by PMI have played a vital role in gradually alleviating stress and trauma. Two weeks ago many children spoke of having recurring nightmares when they sleep and dream their parents have been killed. Now the PMI PSP volunteers who visit schools and communities on a regular basis, say the nightmares experienced by the children are dissipating.

Kemisah sits on a wall outside her destroyed home. The Red Cross have given her a tent to live in. Photo: Wayne Ulrich

Ebu Sastri right, and Pak Arifin 2nd from right, listen to Kemisah, who lost her home and all belongings in a village outside of Kota Pariaman. To date she has received a tent, sleeping mats, jerry cans, family kit, hygiene kit and mosquito nets. Photo: Wayne Ulrich

Landslides triggered by the earthquake, are starting to move again, threatening villages below on the shores of Lake Maninjau in Agam . We inspected this remote mountain area yesterday by helicopter Photo: Bob MCKerrow
Due to heavy rain, there is a continued concern that many communities living around the crater lake of Maninjau in Agam will continue to face the threat of renewed land and mud slides. Many villages have already been destroyed by landslides triggered by the earthquake. Now with the rainy season is approaching the government (fearing the landslides will continue to destroy the remaining settlements) has moved more than 3000 people to safer locations. These people may later return once the risks have reduced or will move to more permanent dwellings away from the danger areas. Tents supplied by the Hong Kong Red Cross to the PMI are being used to provide immediate shelter relief to these vulnerable families. Photo Bob McKerrow,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One month after the west Sumatra earthquake

It's now four weeks since the earthquake struck. The Red Cross has delivered crucial relief items to over 9,000 families. Medical teams have treated over 5000 people in remote areas. We are now starting building 10,000 temporary shelters. Today I travelled with Red Cross colleagues to monitor the relief distribution so far. Here are a few photographs

Pak Sudir sits in a chair one month after the earthquake on the site where nine of his family were killed "What can I do, I lost everything. " In the sub village of "Paramancu, Padang Pariaman district, 76 people were killed in this village alone when a huge mudslide engulfed them . Less than a few hundred metres away, two other villages were hit too, killing an additional 149 people. Photo: Bob McKerrow Pak Arifin director of the DM dept at the PMI headquarters whom I travelled with today. Photo: Bob McKerrow
Pak Sudir with his neighbour Ahmad who lost four members of his family. between the two, they lost 13 family members while they were in nearby fields working. Photo: Bob McKerrow
Today we visited the very remote village of Selangan Tinqqi and had a good talk to the villagers about the helicopter distributions of food, tarpaulins, kitchen utensils, clothes, tool kits and hygiene kits we have delivered in the past two weeks. They were also pleased with the mobile medical teams we have sent in. Here Wayne Ulrich our ops manager discusses the situation with villagers. Photo: Bob McKerrow

Monday, October 26, 2009

Google Mobile App for iPhone

I juat installed this app on my iphone and so far I can say that this has been very useful to me..

As you can see from the screenshot, almost everything is in this app.
Email, notes , tasks,news,docs, calendar and my most fave part is the gtalk chat. :)

Chinese Garden @Jurong East Singapore

Chinese Garden (Chinese: 裕华园), also commonly known as Jurong Gardens, is a park in Jurong East, Singapore.

The garden was built in 1975 and designed by Prof. Yuen-chen Yu, a well-known architect from Taiwan, the Chinese Garden’s concept is based on Chinese gardening art.

The main characteristic is the integration of splendid architectural features with the natural environment. The Chinese Garden is modelled along the northern Chinese imperial style of architecture and landscaping. It is located next to Chinese Garden MRT Station and connected to the adjacent Japanese Garden by a bridge.

Opening Hours

Main Garden 6.00 am - 11.00 pm (daily)


Bonsai Garden & Garden of Abundance: 9am - 6pm (daily)

Getting There: The gardens are a 5-minute walk from the Chinese Garden MRT Station
[edit] Admission

Admission to Main Garden - Free

Admission charges to Garden of Abundance SGD 2 adults, SGD 1 children (3 - 12 years), SGD 1 senior citizens (55 years and above)

Admission charges to Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum SGD 5 adults, SGD 3 children (3 - 12 years)

Admission to Bonsai Garden is free.

Bonsai Garden

Opened in June 1992, the Suzhou-style Bonsai Garden cost an estimate $3.8 million to build. This 5,800 sq metres garden with Suzhou-style buildings (incorporating a main hall of 50 sq metres) and landscape houses a collection of over 2,,000 bonsais imported from China and other parts of the world.

The Bonsai Garden has since taken on a new look. Newly revitalised, after spending an estimate of another $500,000 - the Bonsai Garden is a beauty that must be seen to be believed. It is designed as a largest Suzhou-style Bonsai garden of its kind outside of China.

A Bonsai Training Centre has been launched. The public are encouraged to sign up for the course, which will be taught by our resident Bonsai experts from Shanghai and Suzhou (China). They will teach on how to prune and care for Bonsais and how to appreciate the beauty of this unique artistry.

Justin Bieber "Love Me" BRAND NEW SINGLE!

Justin Bieber Love Me

Water Fountain in Japan

mmmm..another techy and futuristic way of advertising..
Wish I could see this on my trip to Japan by next year. HOPEFULLY.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Universal Studios Singapore Opens Next Year

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is one ride that I am not going to miss when
Universal Studios Singapore opens next year.
Getting sooooo excited!

When it opens next year, Universal Studios Singapore will debut 18 all-new attractions. Here's your first look at all the stomach-churning thrills


Batam Indonesia Trip (Part 1)

Batam is an island and city in Riau Islands Province of Indonesia, known for its free trade zone area as part of the Sijori Growth Triangle, is located 20 km (12.5 miles) off Singapore's south coast. The 715 km² (276 miles²) island has a population of 965,062 (Jun 2009).[1].

The official language on the island is Indonesian, but due to the sizeable Chinese population, Chinese languages including Teochew, Hokkien and Mandarin are also spoken.

We were so hungry that we need to take breakfast before boarding the ferry.

Now off to the ferry boat. Yes! Batam here we coooome!

Cool and happy faces aboard!

Wrong port of arrival. We weren't supposed to alight in here.
But good thing, Harris hotel staff was kind enough to fetch us and safely
send us off to their hotel which is just 15mins away from Kedatungan.

(To be continued)

highlights: Our Batam Tour Package at Harris Hotel