Flowers in San Fransisco

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Chicago Architecture

Once upon a time in 2012, I got an opportunity to visit Chicago as part of International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). During our free time we were taken for a Chicago Architectural Boat Tour, which enables us to admire Chicago’s architecture.

We set off from Navy Pier, which offer great view.

And here are the building and architecture pictures. The tour guide explained each famous building and land mark, but I was too busy taking pictures so I did not remember any of it.

All these pictures were taken with my old Sony Cybershot digital camera. Looking at the pictures again, the neck pain that I got after looking up to take them is all worth it.

Set it All Free via Sing

We really love the Movie Sing. The story itself is simple, but since my two girls really love animals they get really excited to see them sing. The plot is so relevant since there are so many so talent competition on TV right now. There are also a lot of lovable characters. Buster the Panda that own a teather, Gunter the over-excited Pig, Rosita the over-worked Mom of 25 piglets (this itself get them giggles), Meena the shy elephant, Ash the punk rocker porcupine, Johnny the Gorrila, Ms. Crawley the devoted chameleon and many more.

For me the most interesting thing is the brilliant song choice! We can immediately recognize “Firework” by Katy Perry…but some of the songs are from a different year and even different era. I learned about Beatles’ Golden Slumber because Nana Noodleman sings it in the opening scene. Then there is Elton John’s I’m still standing, Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing. Not to mention the songs from the audition. While I wont introduce the entire Crazy Town’s Butterfly to my girls, the movie cut to the perfect part. The fishes singing Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and the Red Panda girls that sing Kira Kira Killer are spot on. I think the writers really did a good job scouring and picking the songs and matching them with the characters of the movie.

The icing on the cake for us is the only original song in the movie. Yup, Set it All Free by Ash. My girls see her as a really cool girl. So, we really love to watch her sing it. After watching the movie we resort to youtube to watch Ash’s part. But, we came across the cover of Set it All Free by Sam Tsui & Madilyn Bailey. While Scarlett Johansson’s vocal is perfect to capture Ash’s strong and feisty character, we really enjoy the softer take of Sam and Madilyn 🙂

 

Why Change is So Hard?

As a human we don’t live in an empty space…We live in our environment. Unless you are an exceptional human being, most people tend to conform with their environment. It does not mean that we are happy with it. Most of us just don’t wanna face the hardship of changing. We fear the unknown. Its a natural trait.

Last year I had an opportunity to teach Change Management course. One of the book that I used is  Cadle and Yates. One of the things that they proposed is a Change Equation that goes as follow:

D x V x F must be greater than R

This equation means that for a change to happen the Dissatisfaction (D) of current situation times the Vision of what could happen (V) times the achievable First Step (F) must be greater than the Resistance to Change.

Lets take an example. Say that you are unhappy with your current job. But, you would not change to another job if the level of your dissatisfaction of your current situation is great enough, or if you don’t have ideas whether other jobs would be better (more beneficial) for you, or if you do not think that the first steps on the way to get the new job is easy enough.

Now, that is only you against yourself. Consider if the change involve several people, an entire organization or even an entire country. We can now see, why Change in a certain environment would be difficult. Some people may be dissatisfied with the current situation, but then again some might not. Some may have different visions. Finally, some may willing to go the extra miles to get to their vision. Some may not.

But should we do nothing?

One of my lecturer once said, you probably cannot build an entire wall by yourself. But you can certainly help by putting one brick.

I guess, if we cannot change others, at least we can change ourselves. For the better of course.

Stay positive!

 

Batur Geopark Museum

One of the most famous tourist destination in Bali is Mount and Lake Batur located in Kintamani, Bali. Most tourists were taken by their tour guide to Panelokan, Kintamani, where they can enjoy the view of the mountain and lake with all its grandeur. I have passed this place many many times, but I am still at awe.

I have noticed several times that in Penelokan there is a building called Batur Geopark Museum. But, we never really got a time to visit it because we were always in a hurry. After all, the building looked lonely and deserted.

But last time, we passed the place on our way home (Songan)…and we are not in a hurry as we usually did. So, we stopped by to visit the Museum.

At that time, there were several cars and a tourist bus in the car park, which means that there are actually visitors inside! We were greeted by a front office staff when we entered the museum. She politely asked one of us to fill in the Guest Book. Once I finished, I expected that she would me the entrance fee. But to my great surprise, she said that there is no entrance fee. Yup, its totally free!!

We started our tour. There were a machine where you can take a picture of your groups. We took some time to snap ours.

The first exhibit is about the formation of the Universe and Earth. The explanation were in both Bahasa Indonesia and English. Its a bit high up, so my two girls just asked me to read them out for me while they went over the illustrations. Next to the exhibit there were an audio visual where you can watch a video and hear more about the galaxy.

Next to it, there were a big globe…the girls tried to locate some of the countries that they have heard. Indonesia (of course), then Thailand, then England 🙂

Moving on, we came to an exhibit about volcanoes. At this point, I am finding myself pleasantly surprised to how genuinely interested I am reading all these stuffs. My mind went all the way back during my school years where Geography was really the most intimidating subject to me. If only there were this kind of display to help me through those years. I might not turned up to be a Geologist or geographer, but it would really help me to get interested with the subject!

The exhibit showed the most phenomenal Indonesian volcanoes. First is Mount Merapi as the most active volcano in Indonesia. Then, there is a description of Mount Tambora that erupted in 1815 and recorded as the the largest eruption in the history of mankind. In another part of the exhibit we can also read a description of Mount Krakatau eruption that cause enormous Tsunami. Finally, there is a description about Mount Toba which erupted 75000 years ago is the largest eruption in the world has seen during the past 2 million years! In front of the exhibit there are volcanic rocks from Mount Merapi and Krakatau. Seriously, how good it is to have that much information within a single exhibit.

Next up is more description about Volcano in Indonesia. It mainly repeats some of the information from the previous exhibit, but the map shows the chain of 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia that form a big part of the Ring of Fire. It also shows some of the fact such as the tallest, lowest volcano in Indonesia and the world.

The next exhibit is on development of Bali Island. Unfortunately, it is described only in Bahasa Indonesia. There were 19 stages in the development starting over 23 million years a go, which the exhibit called as Oligo-Miosen period. A quick google search did not find Oligo-Miosen. But instead found Miosen and Oligosen…so, please don’t quote me on this one (a real amateur here). It described in detail how the volcano activities and sedimentation over the period of the Miosen, Pliosen, Plistosen, right through 5500 ago  formed what we now know as Bali island. I would love to describe each step in more detail but the technicality really is quite challenging. Perhaps one day T.T

I attached here the exhibits courtesy of Batur Geopark Museum. Sorry for the blurry pics, hope it is still readable.

Having learned about Bali, we moved on to the next segment of the Museum. Here we can learn more about the formation of Ancient Batur Volcano, volcanic rocks of Ancient Batur, formation of Batur Caldera I and the ongoing development of the Batur Volcano.

At this point, I got overwhelmed with all the information. Plus, we did not expect that it would be chilly inside the museum so we were all just wearing our normal clothes. So I just took the pictures and skip through some of the exhibits, as the girls start to complain that they feel a bit cold 😦

*I would recommend you wear warm clothes so you can enjoy all the exhibits inside the museum*

It is quite ashamed really because the rest of the exhibits are really equally interesting. First is a large exhibit describing the distributions and Lava Forms of Batur followed by the grace and disaster of Batur Volcano.

We then move to the second segment of the Museum that describe the biodiversity of Indonesia. My two girls got really excited because there are some exhibits on animals. I particularly love the picture of the Reindeer 🙂 There is also descriptions of biodiversity in Bali Island and more specifically on the environment of Batur Geopark.

Next exhibits are about Balinese: plant and the Balinese, Balinese Culture, artefacts and history of Bali, interaction of human and nature: the Balinese people, and the concept of Mountain in culture. If you really wanna know about Bali, it is really a good place to start! One of the most intriguing is exhibit about diversity of cultural expressions in Balinese society. The cultural concept of the relationship balance between people, nature and God called Tri Hita Karana.

Finally, our tour end with three exhibits about potential and preservation of geological heritage, wise man and sustainable nature. The last exhibit convey a very important message:

Equilibrium in the use of Nature is the key to Biodiversity

Wow. By the end of the visit, I felt overwhelmed with all the information inside the museum. Then, I felt its such a pity that this museum is not promoted enough…and also we found that the facilities (toilets) are not well maintained. I will wanna comeback again one day to have a more thorough look at all the exhibits. In the meantime, I truly recommend this place for you and your kids to learn while around Kintamani!

 

Hita’s First Day at Elementary School

My second girl, Hita, reached an important milestone today.

She is now a first grader at Elementary School.

We put her in kindergarten a little too early… at that time whenever her big sister went to her kindergarten she cried and wanted to join her. She would watched and hung around her kindergarten so we decided to enrol her…But, it turned out she just wanted to be with her sister and not really joined the activities :(( She did not socialise much with other kids too. There were times when she just did not want to turn up to her playgroup. It really was a bad decision on our parts. Thankfully, with the support from her teachers, she gradually grew…She is naturally shy to others. Being a the youngest in the family, she also had a penchant of having things her ways. But now, she listens to others more, trying hard to understand and a lot more responsible.

Last year, Hita was 6 years old when the kindergarten year finish…Some of her friends opted to ”graduate” from their kindergarten and enrolled straight to elementary school at the age of six (and over). But, her dad and I chose to let her stayed another year in kindergarten. First and foremost because we want her to be ready to go to elementary school. There are also other consideration. Hita wants to go to public school that her sister went. Public school in Indonesia has a strict rule that children must be at the age of 7. Children at the age of 7 or more will be guaranteed a place in a public school. Younger children will be ranked according to their home location (within the same neighbourhood and district with the school) and their age.

She started her day very early. I told her that I would wake her up at 6 because she should be by her school at 6.30. But, when I woke up at 5.30 she jumped right off her bed. I asked why she woke up very early. She said that she was so excited that she could not sleep well 🙂

Then, she ate her breakfast and get ready. I can see that she was really excited. Ratih joined me to take Hita to school. She was assigned to class 1B with 31 other students. As she entered the class, she opted to sit alone in the back. But her teacher was quick to react. She asked her to sit with another girl.

Ratih and I watched on from outside of the class as her teacher started the lesson with introduction. The teacher called out each student and asked what the child’s nickname. Then comes Hita’s turn.

Teacher: Kadek Erahita

Hita: shyly raised her hand…

Teacher: what is your nickname

Hita: Hita

Teacher:…who…

Hita: started spelling her name…H..I…T…A

good girl 🙂

Then, we left her at school.

I came back at 9 to pick her up. Her face beamed as she saw me…As I took her hand, she proudly mentioned that she made 1 new friend. All the way home in the car she could not stop talking about her first day.

Congratulations on reaching this important milestone Hita. Hope you will enjoy your school years!