Friday, December 31, 2010

Into the Wild @ Werribee Open Range Zoo

Semalam kami 2 keluarga (dgn Niza & Rizal sekeluarga) telah berjaya menjelajah Werribee Open Range Zoo. Trip terakhir ke zoo di Melbourne ni adalah 2 tahun lepas, masa mula2 tiba di bumi Melbourne ni. Aliyah & Uwais pun masa tu kecik2 lagi, tak berapa nak menghargai semua ‘hayawanat’ di Melbourne Zoo tu. Melbourne ada 3 Zoo utama. Werribee adalah salah satu drpnya. Memandangkan skrg cuti sekolah, dan cuaca pun dah mula stabil, budak2 pula dah lemas dok dlm rumah, jadi elok sgt lah bwk berjumpa & berkenalan dgn mamalia2 lain ;-)

Werribee Open Range Zoo terletak dlm 45 minit dr rumah. Utk tiket masuk, eloklah bwk kad pelajar utk dptkan harga consession. Kami bertiga, termasuk babah budak2 ni pakai kad pelajar, maka dpt lah harga tiket dlm $19 utk dewasa, dan $12 utk kanak2 yg berumur 4 thn ke atas.

Zoonya lebih besar drpd Melbourne Zoo, tetapi haiwan2nya terutama mamalianya kurang drpd 20 jenis. Jadi sebenarnya semua exhibit2 utamanya boleh dihabiskan dlm masa kurang drp 2 jam.


Pada awalnya kami rasakan zoo ni agak membosankan sebab dr pintu depan tak nampak sebarang exhibit pun (kecuali exhibit gorilla, yg masih dlm proses utk tahun depan). Tp disebabkan konsep zoonya menekankan suasana habitat asal haiwan2 tersebut, maka mmg pada pandangan pertama tidak sama dgn zoo2 lain yg pernah kami pergi. Tambahan pula cuaca tengahari tersebut agak panas sedikit dan kami tak terus melawat. Kami berhenti makan dulu dan menunggu kononnya ‘show’ meerkat berdekatan dgn pintu masuk zoo. Rupanya bukan ‘show’ pun, lebih kpd ‘meet the keeper’ di mana meerkat tersebut diberi makan dan sedikit penerangan diberikan mengenainya oleh penjaga mereka. Tp budak2 mmg suka lah tgk meerkat yg comel2 tu.


Meerkat Weeribee lebih comel drpd the ones in Meerkat Manor yer :-)
Selepas tgk meerkat kami tour bhg tengah zoo dgn bas yg disediakan pihak zoo. Setiap pengunjung diberi satu sesi ‘tour-guided trip’ selama lebih kurang sejam dgn bas secara percuma, melihat kebanyakan haiwan2 ‘in a more natural setting’. Konon2nya mcm di Afrika lah lebih kurang..he..he..he…


Tp kalau mahu ‘tour’ yg lebih African safari style, dgn lori pickup kecil, maka perlu tambahan dlm $60 seorang dewasa, dan $50 untuk kanak2 (yg berumur 8 thn ke atas shj). Mahal dan rasanya tidak berbaloi berdasarkan jumlah haiwan yg ada di bhg savannah zoo tersebut, tp tour guide akan membawa anda sehampir yg boleh dgn haiwan2 di situ. Boleh main tepuk tampar lah, kalau nak ;-)


Ada beberapa haiwan yg kita tidak akan nampak secara dekat ketika tour dgn bas. Masih perlu kepada sesi penjelajahan secara berjalan kaki. Ada 3 ‘walking trails’ di Weeribee Zoo. Yg paling pendek 500 meter, kemudian 1000 meter dan yg paling panjang 1500 meter. Kalau rajin dan cuaca ok, bolehlah usahakan ketiga2 trails. Tp kami hanya jelajah keseluruhan Pula Reserve Walking Trail (1000 meter) shj, sbb yg itu lah yg paling utama.

Just stick to this trail & you'll have lots of fun with the children (& animals, of course). Right ahead is the projected Gorilla enclosure for next year

Di sepanjang trail kita boleh tgk haiwan2 spt singa, cheetah, hippo, wild dogs, meerkat, velvet monkeys secara ‘bersemuka’, dipisahkan dgn kaca setebal 2 inci shj. Sungguh teruja dan menggerunkan! Lebih2 lagi melihat cheetah berjalan mundar mandir hanya dipisahkan dgn kaca setebal itu shj. Aliyah & Luqman sgt suka!! Uwais jer kecut perut sikit tgk ha..ha..ha..

Both of them showering the cheetah (or is it the glass) lots of kisses ;-)

Keseluruhannya zoo ini mmg menarik dan sgt bersih (for a zoo). Susun atur kawasan exhibit2nya pun teratur dan kreatif. Kemudahan2nya pun byk, ada BBQ & picnic area, salah satu drpdnya dibina seolah2 perkampungan ‘African Hut’, playground termasuk satu yg hippo style, dan ada byk tempat yg boleh menjadi adventure grounds utk kanak2. Dicadangkan pergi awal pagi atau lewat petang kalaulah tak mahu seharian di situ, kerana kebanyakan haiwan2 ‘menyorok’ drpd panas pada waktu tghari dan awal petang. For us, it’s highly recommended for a nice family outing, weather permitting, that is :-)


Well, at least these 2 really enjoy their day together :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Changing Mode

Berangin sungguh di Williamstown - mcm nak terbang semuanya

Our windy escape to Williamstown Beach last week has certainly gave Luqman a positive ‘boost’ :-). Although our original plan for the children to get some sand action failed to materialize, because of the weather, but at least we got the children out of the house.

Isn't he adorable? muwahhhh :-)) - and that macho brother of his!

Luqman is now changing his mode of ‘transport’ from crawling to a ‘few steps upward & forward ’;-). I think by this time next week, walking will be second nature to him. At the moment, he still prefers crawling as his main mode of ‘transportation’, and that is very much fine by me. By the end of the first week of January next year, he’ll be growing at the speed of light. So the longer I can hold on to his ‘babyhood’ the better…

Here is him trying out his 'new' pair of feet ;-)


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Penyejuk hati, Pengubat rindu


Video lama abang dan adik, ketemu kembali, buat penyejuk hati, pengubat rindu...:-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Irreplaceable Loss

Our deepest condolences go to our friend Jaffri & family who lost his/their beloved brother/son, Afzal due to cancer last week. His last blog's post simply brought tears to my eyes. As a mother myself, I know no amount of words can ease the pain of losing a very dear part of you. But I believe Allah has other plans for kind Afzal. May his soul be amongst the chosen ones, Amin.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Secret

There are secrets in your lives you only share with your other half. Whilst perhaps there are secrets you'd prefer your other half never finds out. All sorts of secret, the worst kind can't even shared with others, only Allah!

But I learnt some secrets to a Phd journey especially mine, revolved around at least 3 things; that I must always keep in mind:

1) Open up my mind - to suggestions & criticism;

2) Throw my ego out the window - most of the time ;-); &

3) Prepare to be suprised - by a lot of things, factors, people, elements - good & bad & brace yourself to respond the best that you could!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Graduan Kecil

 
Aliyah with her certificate after the graduation ceremony...  
 

Minggu ini adalah minggu terakhir persekolahan utk Term 4 tahun ini. Perkhabaran utk majlis graduation utk pelajar2 Prep (mcm pra-sekolah, tetapi lebih formal di sini kerada di dalam sistem persekolahan yg sebenar) sudah lama diwar2kan. Majlisnya berjalan ketika perhimpunan pagi hari Isnin, semalam. Tapi aku tak sangka pulak majlisnya seolah2 macam di Malaysia pulak, siap berjubah dan ber'mortar board' he..he..he.. Aduh, mcm mana ni anak grad dulu drpd mamanya...Ini satu 'challenge' ni :-D

Apapun, tahniah buat Aliyah! It was indeed a challenging year for her, trying to adapt to 2 different schools this year. She still have some social interaction issues (well, ke mana tumpahnya kuah kalau tak ke lantai kan? ha..ha..ha) But she's doing excellent in reading, writing and calculation. Semoga tahun depan akan membawa lebih banyak kebaikan buatnya utk meningkatkan her 'self-esteem', Insya Allah. Please pray for her. Thank you.

With mama..



With Class teacher Miss Hargrove

With her classmates..


Monday, December 13, 2010

Something about Cherries and Mount Dandenong...


It's the cherry season yet again. So this time around we decided to ignore those cherries selling at Preston market and try get some on our own, picked fresh from the farms :-) Off we drove, with Niza & family to the Chappies Cherry Farm in Silvan, about an hour drive from home. The weather has been unpredictable lately, but I have decided against postponing the trip, because the season will be over soon, and I've got other plans. In fact, the day trip was interluded with showers several times throughout the day.

At Chappies we paid AUD 7 entrance fee per person for adult only, and were driven in a coaster bus to a nearby rows of cherry trees at the side of the farm's main entrance. We concluded at the end of the day that perhaps this is how they controlled the overzealous tourist from ruining their cherry farm - by allocating specific spots for the tourist and left the rest for the pro pickers, and market them elsewhere. Anyway, Chappies also sell prepacked cherries and berries at their entrance shed at a slightly higher rice depending on the types and size of the cherries. For those picked ourselves, we paid only AUD8 per kilo. Cheaper than some of their competitors around the area.

But the summer weather had been witnessing too much rain lately. Cherries are susceptible to rain. They tend to absorb too much moisture and split or even if they don't, they became tasteless. Comparatively, I think last year's cherry was definitely sweeter than thiis year. We ended up tasting from one tree to another, trying to find the best ones :-). They were several different types and colours too, different shades of red, some not even red. But the ripe ones would be very dark, almost burgundy like. Finally, I think we just had too much cherries, to even care how much we picked to bring back home..ha..ha..ha..

Luqman admiring the cherries ;-)

This two picked up where they left off at Buller. So cute they are :-)

Since we were in the area, we decided to drop by the National Rhododendron Garden for lunch. It's actually all the way up on Mount Dandenong. I did not know that. We thought we were lost initially because we were driving in the thick of the forest for quite awhile before finally reaching the garden. I guess the GPS was also lost too :-D.


The garden is beautiful and huge! But time and weather was not permitting us to venture more than a few hundred meters from its entrance. We had our lunch nearby a pond and left soon after.



But the Dandenong ranges are really fascinating, the last time we visited was for the Tesselar Tulip Festival. There are many other interesting places one can actually encounter there, including the Puffing Billy train ride, the other fruit & flower farms, for instance lavender. Perhaps, we will give these places a visit some time soon. For now, let's enjoy the cherries!!

The awsome view from Skyhigh Mount Dandenong Lookout
A/T: Who knew, my PJT could actually climb a mountain ;-) and safely reached home, Alhamdulillah.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Summer Time Choo Choo!

It's summer everybody!! Slip, slap, slop and come out & play! weeeeee... Well, that is until I remembered about my PhD hu..hu..hu...


So last Sunday we all went on mini train rides kat Diamond Valley Railway, in Eltham, a 15 minutes drive from home. Dekat betul dgn SAVERS kat Greensborough yg kitaorg selalu (selalu ke?) pergi. Tak sangka pulak ada sesuatu semenarik ini he..he..he..


Eltham, cantik tempatnya, rasa mcm country gitu, rumah2 nya beso2, jauh2 antara satu sama lain dan park2nya, which are many, looks so serene dan siap ada sungai2 kecil (creek). The Diamond Valley Railway is situated at the Lower Eltham Park.


The day was beautiful, slightly warm by 2 pm, but ramai lah yg picnic, play cricket dsbnya. We all went for two trips on the mini trains, on two different type of trains' coaches. Bestlah, mcm budak2 gitu. The children really enjoyed it, except for Luqman, yg not so convinced this is a safe activity for him ha..ha..ha..so he stayed very close to me :-)


On breaks btw the rides, Aliyah even sempat naik pony. Seronok lah dia. Anyway, maybe some other time boleh pergi lagi, sbb dekat dan train ride tu only cost AUD3 person for a 15 minutes ride. It was a whole lot of FUN! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pupil of the Week

Pupil of the Week, last week :-D

Having fun after school...


Akhirmya Aliyah berjaya gak dapat her Pupil of Week ribbon last Monday, 2 minggu sebelum cuti Summer. Itu pun lepas mama dia dok hint2 yg dia tak dapat lagi, sbb balik M'sia hari tu..ha..ha..ha..Aku pun tak faham apa lah susah sgt nak baginya, ada berpuluh2 minggu dlm setahun, students dlm kelas pulak takder lah sampai 30 org pun, so kalau ikut logik, setiap pelajar mesti dapat at least sekali, kan, kan!...he..he..he emo plak. Alaaa...saja nak bagi increase her self -confidence, which is giving me headaches sometimes...Anyway, tahniah my dear! I'm sure you'll get more of those ribbons next year ;-)

Aliyah @ Latrobe

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Musang berjanggut...


As my transcription process is drawing to a close (but not close enough), I am suddenly feeling like I am being put in the shoes of Puspawangi, facing the test of Tun Nila in 'Musang Berjanggut'. But Puspawangi was brilliant, she eventually sorted out the bag containing a jumbled up mix of rice, salt, chilli, onions, garlic and spices  and was able to cook something out of them. 

It's that kind of brilliance in sorting and organizing I’m wishing for right now!! I am just so overwhelmed with information, I feel like going into hibernation. Where (and when) do one start…when looking into 100,000 words worth of interview transcripts!!!!  I really need one of those CSIs machines…;-)

Time flies when you are trying to transcribe and organize all this data. I could not find the time to update the blog. Even Hari Raya doesn’t feel like raya to me. But anyway we did manage to join one of the Aidiladha Gathering at Edwardes Park last 2 weeks for a while. Then back on transcription, duh…ooo cepatlah habis…can’t wait to get myself into a ferry to Williamstown :-)