Archery

  1. Assalamualaikum wrt ….Recent Sunday (6 Feb) was another new experience for Aisyah and me.  After much pressing from her, I signed her up for Archery co-co at school and at 4 on a lovely sunday afternoon, off we went to UPM stadium for her first class.
  2. Getting to the stadium was quite tricky but with the help of the good ol’ security guard, we managed to locate it.  Alhamdulillah, the weather was kind, albeit a bit hot, that day.  I was quite worried if it were to turn for the worst as I wasn’t looking forward to her sulking and complaining as she was really looking forward to her archery lesson.
  3. We thought we were late but apparently there were many more latecomers than us.  Thirty children altogether, quite a large number I thought to myself.  Would there be enough equipment to keep all 30 of them occupied?  Else, many will be left idling and to keep them focused and attentive for the entire 1.5 hrs will be challenging.
  4. From the name on the brief note given by her school, I couldn’t tell the gender of the class instructor nor his / her nationality (it sounded French to me).  When I first saw her & her ‘Borneo’ T-shirt, I thought she must  be from East M’sia.  When she introduced herself, she said she’s from Perak with a mixed parentage of Chinese and Siamese.  That explains the unusual name!.
  5. First lesson was all theory and no shooting target.  I was a bit concerned at first if Aisyah could focused for the next 1.5 hrs as she thought she’d be shooting targets today.  Surprise! Surprise! The next 1.5 hrs sure went on fast and before we both knew it, it was already over.
  6. 1st leasson done … we’ll see if the ‘passion’ continues next week :)

Public speaking

  1. Assalamualaikum wrt….When I gave her my usual evening call yesterday, Aisyah excitedly said tht she’d voluntereed to do public speaking at school.  She’ll be talking in front of the entire school after Zohor prayers tomorrow  on the topic ” I Love Malaysia’ in English.  It’ll be her first attempt at public speaking and she’s all very excited!
  2. She tried to read out the text to me.  With the line not very good, I couldn’t hear clearly what she was reading out.  But the excitement in her voice and the pride in the way she read it out, made me so very proud of her.
  3. I reminisced at her age.  Yes, I had done public speaking before during school assemblies …. but I was selected by my class teacher or headmistrees to do it then. I had never volunteered to do it and would never had thought of doing so!
  4. But Aisyah’s different.  Unlike the way Abah & Mak had raised me, I brought her up the opposite way.  I exposed and encouraged her to try new things & take the challenge just to see if she can do it.  It doesn’t matter if she isn’t good at it or even if she fails, as long as she tries and gives it her best shot and enjoys herself in the process.
  5. So far, she’s been just fine.  Day by day I see her confidence building up.

Abah’s organic farm …it’s a good start!

  1. Salam, I’d said earlier tht my trip to New Era Organic Farm gave me a fresher insight on how an organic farm looks like.  Both my parents are into gardening even during my younger years.  Abah (my dad) was more into fruit trees (he planted durian, mango, rambutan, pulasan, guava, dukong, mata kucing, etc. while mak (my mom) is crazy about orchids, flowers and herbs (aloe vera, misai kucing, kunyit, lengkuas, lempoyang, serai, etc.).
  2. To pass his time and to break some sweat, abah has planted 4-5 bende (lady’s fingers).  Harvest has been great (we’ve been eating bende practically everyday – she’d made asam pedas, rebus, goreng, lemak, kari, etc, till mak ran out of recipes.  It’s absolutely true what theysaid “If you’re kind to the soil, it’ll be kind to you”.  Whenever he gets tired, abah will take a break to watch the birds (we got a variety of them) and squirrels that roam freely around our house and ocassionally snakes, turtles and tortoise will also pay their visit.
  3. See the variety of flora & fauna we hv around our house. Come to think of  it, it’s sure a good start for our organic farm / garden project, don’t you think?

Abah & his bende plants

Terong

Bende seedlings

Lovely bende from Abah’s garden
Frangipani
Lily

Shopping @ ‘Purelife Organic’

  1. Salam, my first organic grocery shopping since my journey started took me to ‘Purelife Organic’ store at Jln Reko Kajang last sun.   I was feeling ‘lost’ like a girl in candy store when Liew, the proprietor came over and asked if I needed help.  So for the next 2 hrs or so I was given a persoanl tutorial on what he has in his store – the fresh produce, brown rice, eco rice, beans, sea salt, mountain salt, etc. .etc..etc.  The products are colour-coded labelled – ‘green’ means they are organically certified, ‘red’ means they are organically grown but not certified (organic farmers usually run a small farm and can’t affford to go for certification) and ‘yellow’ means they are grown / supplied by the ‘kampung’ folks.  Nevertheless, he assured all products in the store are free from pesticides / chemical fertilizers and not GMO cultivated.
  2. His suppliers are mixed locals and overseas.  The fresh products came mostly from the locals wherelse the packed / dried ones came from China, Australia and New Zealand.  It’s easy to differentiate which ones are locals / imported he said.  Those that are not common to Malaysia like lemons, apples, oranges are imported while the vegies are mostly local.  They came from organic farm nearby like GK (Bangi) and Titi Eco (Negeri Sembilan).  He even has ‘Pasar Pagi’ something like ‘Pasar Tani’ I suppose where whatever available from the suppliers will be put on sale.  Most of the baskets were empty though.  He’d cleared them away as they’ll be closed tmrw (store opens daily except mon).  It was very obvious that Liew is very passionate about what he does.
  3. Besides food products, Purelife also has a cafe, small section selling other organic-related stuff and a cosy library.  I think the place is run by the family coz I saw teenagers and some elderly ladies working in the cafe.  One of the setback of living organically is the pricey items.  I suppose good things don’t come cheap!  My shopping spree cost me RM107 but then again when I think of the ‘splurge I had on other things’, I’m comforted.  The dent in my purse motivated me even more to start growing our own vegies fast in order to save.
  4. As I was about to leave, my eye caught the sign ‘Organic Roti Canai’….mmmm that sounds interesting I thought.  Curious to taste if organic roti canai tastes different, I decided to have my lunch there.  But after browsing thru the menu, I switched to Tom Yam fried noodles instead and a Vege Tonic Juice.  Service was good –  waiter was helpful and soon after my food arrived.  It was very tasty (unlike an expensive organic meal I had at an upmarket Bangsar area before!).  Liew explained that the tonic juice was made using a special blender (ingredients were pressed slowly) and it was a mix of vegies and fruits.  The juices change everyday depending on what they have in the store so you’ll never get the same juice if you come in everyday.  The colour didn’t look very appetizing though (more like the colour of teh tarik actually) but the taste was surprisingly palatable.  Had another pleasant surprise when the food bill came; it was only RM15.  Not bad at all!
  5. So if you’d like to pay Purelife Organic a visit , here’s the address :  Purelife Organic – No 7 Jln 1 Taman Desa Billion Off Jln Reko 43000 Kajang S’gor (opposite PETRONAS Station)  Tel : (03) 8733 6109 / Fax : (03) 8733 8109.  Email : organicpurelife@yahoo.com.  You can’t miss it – it’s the last house on the block with the straw Balinese roof and ‘Urut Tradisional’ signage at the entrance. 
  6. Services offered : Selling Organic & Natural Food, Pasar Pagi, Organic meal, Organic farm tour & Health Talks & Info sharing.
  7. Btw, make sure go before 4pm.  Liew said their operating hrs are like the market’s.  They open at 730am and closes early so that they can also have a life.  So you see those into organic also live a holistic life …it’s not just about making money and no life at all.
  8. So far since my organic journey started, I was quite disppointed to see no Muslim / Malay organic farmers or retailers.  Some had websites but unfortunately the pages were no longer available.  If we were to think about it, there should have been more Muslims / Malay into organic coz it’s truly an Islamic way of life!!

Step 1 – Research

Salam, now that I’d set in my mind to go organic, first thing I did was to do research on the Net.  So excited was I about this new ‘discovery’, I woke up at 4am and went into the world wide web of organics.  Surprisingly, there was quite a fair bit of resources on organic in Malaysia.  Here are some good links that I came across :

Organic …new way of life! Visit to ‘New Era Organic Farm, Janda Baik’

  1. Salam, I want to make this 1432H different. I’d made a pledged to take better care of myself and my loved ones. I’ve been feeling ‘yucky’ for quite sometime now …lethargic, body aches, blurry vision, headaches, and the list goes on.  Dr Mazidah been telling me tht I MUST lose some weight and the dietitician (can’t remember her name now) that she connected me with ‘threatened’ to prescribe a stricter diet if I don’t have self-control. 
  2. So to kickstart this new year’s resolution, I signed up Aisyah and myself for an organic farm visit to Janda Baik on Awal Muharram day.  Woke up groggy-eyed Aisyah very early to meet the group at Lara’s Place by 7:30am as Hawlinn had advised us to.  Lucky thing I’d familiarised myself the way to get there and the traffic was very kind to us that am.  We got there just in time and at about 7:40am we were already on our way to Janda Baik. 
  3. ‘Apple’ our guide was very ‘edutaining’, sharing all sorts of info on organic and her travel stories (how I envy her!).  Before we know it, we were already at Genting Sempah rest area to pick up others who’ll be joining us. Another 40mins of slow ride (thank you Mr Bus Driver for being careful with your cargo), we arrived at New Era Organic Farm, Janda Baik. 
  4. Since the road to the farm was too narrow for the bus, we had to get off and walked a bit to the farm.  It was quite funny to see some reactions of the ‘city kids & their parents’.  We passed by a pond of ducks and was welcomed by the friendly Chong, the caretaker of the farm.  
  5. He ushered us all to the hall area, settled us down before the activities started with Jackie (the lady boss of the farm) did her story-telling about the ‘life cycle / ecosystem at the farm’.  Her engaging style sure was educating and entertaining not just for the kids but the parents as well.  She even managed to get the city kids to part away with their iPad and PSPs for the day.
  6. We were then told to walk barefoot (I can just imagine atok & nenek ‘screaming’ to Aisyah if she were to do that at home!!) through the farm and ‘introduced’ to the mulberry, stevia, pudina, tomatos, bayam, daun hijau / merah, kucai, passion fruit, sesame seed plant, sweet basil, four angle beans, etc, etc.  According to Jackie, walking barefoot is one way to get rid of your body’s ailments. 
  7. And what do you know? She sure was right!…at first we were all very squirmish (orang bandar lah katakan!) but it wasn’t long that we all became naturals! Aisyah had a blast picking veges and passion fruits.  She weeded, prepared salad, learned how to make enzyme and had a funtastic time in the stream.  We bade goodbye to Jackie, her hubby and Chong and made our way back to smog-filled concrete jungle KL (sigh!).  The clean healthy air & the full day of activities knocked Aisyah off that she slept all the way in the bus till the next day. 
  8. The visit was an eye-opener.  The farm wasn’t what I imagined it to be.  I expected to see rows and rows of vege beds just like what you see at Cameron Highland.  Nope, didn’t see that instead what I saw was grass / weed everywhere in between the vege plants.  Made me realise tht you don’t need big plot of land and fancy / complicated equipment to start an organic farm. 
  9. Come to think of it abah is already into organic farming with his ‘bende‘, ‘terung‘, ‘cili‘, etc. plants.   I salute Jackie and her hubby to make that turnaround change in their life.  Well done Jackie …am so jealous of your life :( 
  10. And when I ponder abt it further that nite exhausted from the ‘clean air’, organic is a VERY Islamic way of life.  Just think about it – no wastage, ‘halal & toyibbah’, respect for the environment and HIS other creations, natural just like HE intended it to be, etc.
  11. So I told myself ‘what else are you waiting for Jan’ …make that change before it’s too late!!  With so many health problems nowadays and people just ripping off the environment to get fatter profits, it just makes absolute sense to go organic, don’t you think?

School hols are here again…yey & sigh!

Salam, the long school break’s here again!!….what am I going to do to keep an active 8 yr old girl occupied for 6 long weeks?  I thought I want to be more prepared this time (compared to the previous breaks where by the time I got around to planning her activities, school hols are halfway thru’ not to mention the programs were already over!).  So this time around a month before school’s out, I’ve already started my research on the Net.  I have to tell you what a frustration it was looking for activities organized by Muslims / for young Muslim children!.  Sure there are many non-Muslim centres offering all sorts of fun activities for kids throughout the 6 wks.  They have hot air balloon workshop, archery, organic farming visits, nature trails, theatre / performances, arts & crafts, cooking / baking, etc, etc..I wonder then what would the Muslim kids be doing thru’out the 6 wks? ….. stay at home watching TV? playing video games? Internet surfing / FBking? I’m thinking maybe I haven’t been using the right search engines…or maybe they are closed groups out there who don’t share their activities with the whole world.  Surely there must be somebody out there who organizes fun activities for young Muslim kids in KL or vicinity area.  Or come to think of it, rather than complaining about it perhaps I should be organizing some…interested to join me anyone?

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