Thursday, 30 October 2008

Trent Pen-Pals...



Hey everyone...

Sorry for taking so long to update this blog. Have been extremely busy with my midterms (Thank God, all over!) and alot of other work.



In my university, there is this project called the 'Trent Pen-Pals'. If you're thinking it is a project where we write to our peers around the world to share experiences, well, it's not that. This project sees university students from various disciplines (but mostly education-students, I heard) are paired with elementary students from schools around the area.

So, we basically write to children!




My envelope to her.



My pen-pal is a 7 year old girl called Natalie (all other information is private lar, k?). She wrote me the cutest letter with coloured leaves, but for privacy reasons, I'm afraid I cannot show you a picture of it as it has information about her and family.

I tried to keep my reply to her as simple as possible (we have a lot of 'rules' we have to follow, like number of sentences, and yet we need to answer all the questions they ask).





She said her sister likes to bug her, so I thought oh well, I'll play along. My brother is pretty cool though. =)



This project is quite cool, huh? I think it's pretty interesting...






The drop-off box for letters...





And inside!




It's just so relaxing to write simple, plain English. I had a really nice time using my colour pencils too! My friend Eva, who helped me draw since I can't draw to save my life, was laughing the entire night as I coloured my time away.



She said this is the happiest she has seen me doing any 'school work'. Usually (while working at assignments), my face is very intent and serious, but while colouring, I had my tongue stuck out and eyebrows perked! Hahaha...




Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Awww, Come On...Snow Already?!?...




Real snow...No kidding...



Come on...


It's only the 21st of October, and already it is snowing? Come on...


Only one month of Autumn (which officially comes on the 20th of September, or so I was told)? Most of the trees still have leaves!



I was walking towards the hospital to hand in my volunteer work police clearance forms when it started to rain on me. Since it was so cold, I hurried into the nearest entrance.


And when I arrived at the main floor from some jalan belakang, someone remarked: "It's snowing", and I was thinking: "Yeah, right, I was just out and it was just rain"...



But when I got out 10 minutes later, IT WAS SERIOUSLY SNOWING...

I went: "What?!?!" out loud...

And 3 old people around me turned to me and said: "Disgusting, eh?"




It snowed the whole of yesterday, and there were even traces of snow on the ground. Not all turned to water...Some people even made a tiny snowman, I heard...

But today, yes!!! The ground is clear! Whoopee! I'm going out to soak in the sun!


Please don't come so soon, winter...I still want to play in the leaves...I promise to enjoy the experience of winter as much as possible when I'm done with my Autumn...;)



Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Of Thanksgiving and Plenty of Food!...



Ah...



Bilen and I brought some flowers to our host-family...



Now I know what the fuss is about Thanksgiving! It reminds me very much of our Chinese New Year reunion dinners back home, just with different types of food...





Two excited people who've never experienced Thanksgiving...



Anyway, I was very lucky a Canadian friend of mine invited me back home with her to celebrate Thanksgiving. My friend Bilen (who comes from Kenya) and I were guests of Kathleen Simpson and her lovely family.

The lovely family, by the way, also consisted of 3 very well-behaved dogs who go by the name Smore, Bo and Sebastian. They are huge in comparison with the dogs we're used to seeing in Malaysia. Smore looks like a black bear (if she's sitting upright and I'm sitting, we're the same height), and Sebastian is a Labrador-Great Dane mix, so figures he's the largest of the lot...





By the lake: Me, Bilen and Kate...



The Simpsons have a lovely cottage by the lake, and we managed a quick stopover to have a look at that as well, on the way to their home...The water was ice-cold, needless to say...But we've been invited to spend time there during the summer if we so choose! =)




First Night Dinner...




Second Night Dinner...



Dinner was a wonderful time. It's been a while since we had proper home-cooked food, and it's been a while since I saw my favourite fish, the SALMON! Oh gosh...It was gooooood...I didn't even mind that there was so much parsley and mint on it, which I despise (in the words of my cousin Ee Lynn, 'despise with passion')...





Turkey! No picture of the person carving the turkey as I didn't ask for permission =)



The turkey was of course a huge hit. They didn't carve the turkey at the table as it was too messy, but I managed to sneak my camera in as Kate's uncle (I won't mention names as I don't know if he would mind) did the carving. Turns out, he was (retired a while back) a world-renown Pediatric Nephrologist who has travelled round the world and was professor at the University of Toronto. He even treated some very-important royalty in Brunei...He sure had some interesting stories to tell, and I had a great time chatting with him after dinner...



We also got to try their traditional pumpkin pie, and being guests, we got the portion with the most whip cream! Haha...





Fake snow! ;)



And one of the mornings, Kate took us to meet her friends, and we had a very good breakfast together at a place called Fresco. My whole meal of a huge plate of toast, eggs, sausages and fries (and coffee) cost me about $6, which I would say was a good deal, considering the size of it.






Newfound friends (clockwise from left): Bilen, Me, Sam, Alex, Robbie, Breanne, Erm-Can't-Remember, and Kate...




All in all, I had a great time! My tummy was very happy (the hips and waist not though!), I was very happy, and it was a great experience...

Next stop? Halloween!


Hey, anything for chocolate man...Now, I better go figure out if that uber-cool Psychology professor of mine has drop-in office-hours for candy...;)



Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Toronto's White Night~Nuit Blanche...




Halloween came early? Nah...People dressing up for 'White Night'...



Oh dear...I have been neglecting this blog, haven't I? Sorry everyone, but have been immensely busy here...That and the fact that it's getting so cold I feel like hibernating with the bears...;)



I actually wore 4 layers the other day, with gloves. By the time I was done, I looked like I had put on 5 kg's overnight. Such a dent to the ego!


I managed to take a trip down to Toronto to see my aunts, uncles and cousins over the weekend though. It was a VERY necessary trip as besides missing some family-faces, I was also desparate for some good spicy food, and in dire need of warmer clothing, all of which were sitting in my Aunt's basement (Thank God for very generous family who have clothes I can wear)...

I was very lucky as that was the night where Toronto had the arts and cultural festival called the 'White Night' or 'Nuit Blanche' in French. The city was alive throughout the night, and the subways ran till 7am in the morning! We visited some interesting sights, and even had a chance to attend the 'Deja, Presque, Jamais' presentation at the University of Toronto (U of T) Music School. They played some lovely jazz music, opera performances etc...



Here are some pictures...Sorry for the quality though...My flash is no good when things are all so far away...




Some building (Sorry I can't remember the name of the building) which did a 'presentation' using light-formations. It was actually really cool to watch!




A mime doing her statue-ish depictions...She reminds me of Bjork, in her famous tutu...





A musician from Japan playing a few instruments simultaneously...





Some people from the circus vowing the crowd with fire-play...





A 'fountain' made from recycled material...I believe it was a U of T initiative...





Rubber duckies in a pond, by York University! It was a big hit, although I have no idea what the purpose was...I managed to get a ducky too ;)





House of Leaves...I must say it was a novel idea! It challenged people to experience books from a different perspective...






People in the House of Leaves...


Phew...It was a tiring and cold night, but worth it to see Toronto in the dark...And worth the trip to see my aunts, uncles and cousins, and to have good old Malaysian food...



As for the weather, now I know what people mean by 'seasonal depression'. It's hard not to get depressed when there's so little sun and so much cold air...Hey, just wearing so many layers of clothes and feeling very heavy all of a sudden isn't that great either...

My Senior Tutor, whom I work with every Monday night (I volunteer at the office, and he is the only one on duty on Monday night) was telling us this year's Autumn has the chill of Winter...And Autumn is barely a month old!


But...I'm getting a little more used to it...I even managed a 25 minute walk from Tim Hortons in temperatures of about 8 degrees! Yippie!



Anyway, I'm going to Ottawa (capital of Canada) this weekend for Thanksgiving with a friend who has invited us home. It's gonna be my first Thanksgiving!


And I just got accepted to volunteer (yeap, passed the interview) with a Puppetry Troupe that travels to schools in-and-around Peterborough performing for children in Grades 1-6, on issues like bullying, divorce in parents, feelings, epilepsy etc. I'm really looking forward to this as I love kids, story-telling and puppets...They're life-sized (about 3/4 metres tall) too!


So, more later!


Friday, 3 October 2008

Welcome to daphneling.com!...



Ah-ha! I bet you didn't notice anything different when you came to the blog today...



Well, http://www.daphneling.blogspot.com/ has now officially become http://daphneling.com/.


Yeap, I got my own domain name *Syiok Sendiri*! Hehe...Which means, this domain now actually belongs to me, although it still will be hosted by Blogger.com (so thanks Blogger!)...

In case you're wondering how come I can suddenly afford to buy my own domain, well, I didn't! I'm being sponsored by a Malaysian Web-Hosting company called Surf Seven Network. You can visit their website here...So thank you to Surf7.net as well...=)



You don't have to change your settings or edit your Blogroll as typing the old URL will automatically send you here anyway...

Gotta go! Have a good weekend, everyone!