Sunday, March 25, 2007


Singapore is beautiful, it reminds me exactly of Cincinnati in the summer--just more languages and a much better transportation system! Posted by Picasa

Guys and their cobras...

 Posted by Picasa

Asian Civilizations Museum

Singapore -- no comment.... Posted by Picasa


Bill's group -- for vocal veterans, they sang "Lord, Lovely Hast Thou Made My Dear," and "Drunken Sailor". No surprises there! Quite a departure we gather from their former repetoire, but very well received at the Convention. Posted by Picasa


These are some of the famous Singaporean shophouses on Emerald Road. They are being gentrified after a period of neglect all over the city. Each was quite different and the inhabitants quite like DC folk, they know they are "local color" and are friendly and patient with the hoards of gawkers on their residential street! Posted by Picasa

Orchid Nirvana

One of the most vivid memories I will ever take back with me, these orchids in the mist house. I can barely keep an orchid alive for a month in DC, but here they thrive, and Bill's orchid mania means we have already bought several in Taipei. They last up to four months, which is astounding given that the best care seems to be rather benign neglect! Posted by Picasa

Mist House at Singapore Orchid Gardens

Absolutely the most breathtaking gardens I have seen anywhere in my life. This is part of the extensive and famous orchid garden section, the colors of the orchids were not like anything I have ever seen... Posted by Picasa

SAS schoolyard

THIS is what the SAS students look at outside their windows in March, I seriously don't know how they get any studying done as all the views around the campus are like this -- simply breathtaking. Much more like an American high school in attitudes, behavior, etc..... Posted by Picasa

Solo and Ensemble Contest Southeast Asian Style

Here are the kids who went. Strings, piano, choral, band, and art. They have four days of adjudication, workshops, and performances with international artists. Bill was glued to the school the whole time. Singapore is so easy to negotiate that even though I was alone the whole time, I had no trouble at all getting all over the city--albeit at a dead run to take in as much as I could, guidebook and camera in hand! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Camp Taiwan or Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head!

For the CELP week trip, I got to chaperone the Outward Bound - style Camp Taiwan up in the mountains north of Taipei. It rained brutally for 2 1/2 days and was freezing cold to boot, but we did everything in the rain anyway, including Capture the Flag over several acres, zip lines, giant swing, rock wall climbing, orienteering, major hikes, no sugar, caffeine, or mod cons. After several hours of sleep and a hot bath at home, I have to say it really was fun and the kids were great. I was feeling really good about my physical adventures until I talked to my sister Pat and discovered she had already done most of them!!!!


 Posted by Picasa

Cooperative ladder

This is one of their challenges and much harder than it looks! The bars become progressively further apart and wobble as they are not fixed, but they have to find a way to the top helping each other. Happily, although it can take 30-45 minutes to do so, all our teams made it up, which several groups didn't, and one set of girls and one set of boys set new time records.... Posted by Picasa

So like Saba

One of the wonderful things was the scenery, it is truly a RAIN forest, but that is exactly what makes it so lush and beautiful. GREEN, and then the occasional surprise of the azaleas in every color which are blooming now. Posted by Picasa

Giant Swing

 Posted by Picasa

Home Sweet Home

Counselors' tent aka The Cocoon, others were Crustacean Corner, Magpies Roost, Squirrel Nest, Bee Hive, etc....toilets and showers harbored various beasties and slitheries, but overlooked a beautiful stream and had handmade pottery sinks, you couldn't beat the view -- when you could see it through the rain! Posted by Picasa

On the way up....

About this time I was thinking unkind thoughts about the chaperones sipping coffee in little Italian cafes, or watching jungle animals from nice safe jeeps! Posted by Picasa

Carol makes it!

I still can't believe that is me at the top -- you know how I feel about heights -- but my trusty belay team gave me confidence. However, I then had to rappel down..... Posted by Picasa

the Happy Hippos--Really!

This is my camp group, known as the "Happy Hippos"! I loved them all, and will happily invest money in any future ventures they start -- are they smart! Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 23, 2007

Some websites relative to our life this is the hotel we are going to stay in during our Cambodia visit to AnkorWat near the town of Siem Reap Cambodia. We have a driver and guide for 4 days with Bangkok on either side. Check this site for the sea kayaking I enjoyed after Phuket. Make sure to look at the video clips. A huge site that has info and photos of Ankor Wat. Here is the intro they provide:

For hundreds of years, the lost city of [Map] Angkor was itself a legend. Cambodian peasants living on the edge of the thick jungle around the Tonle Sap lake reported findings which puzzled the French colonialists who arrived in [Map] Indo-China in the 1860s. The peasants said they had found "temples built by gods or by giants." Their stories were casually dismissed as folktales by the pragmatic Europeans. Yet some did believe that there really was a lost city of a Cambodian empire which had once been powerful and wealthy, but had crumbled many years before.Henri Mahout's discovery of the Angkor temples in 1860 opened up this `lost city' to the world. The legend became fact and a stream of explorers, historians and archaeologists came to Angkor to explain the meaning of these vast buildings. The earliest of these scholars could not believe that Angkor had been built by the Cambodian people, believing the temples to have been built by another race who had conquered and occupied Cambodia maybe 2,000 years before. Gradually, some of the mysteries were explained, the Sanskrit inscriptions deciphered and the history of Angkor slowly pieced together, mainly by French scholars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Legends still remain. This once great city which had slept for so long still posed many questions. The foundation of the original Kingdom of Cambodia, Funan, supposedly came about by the union of a fairy princess and an Indian brahmin. The kingdom went through many changes in the first 1,000 years of its existence. Funan was added to Chenla and eventually became the Kingdom of Kambuja under King Suryavarman I (c. AD800 to AD850). The way in which Suryavarman became king is told in the legend of Zagab. It is about a wise Indonesian king who chose Suryavarman as Kambuja's new ruler in order to replace his boastful predecessor.Some of the individual temples also have legends attached to them. The Phimeanakas Temple, built by Rajendravarman (AD944 - AD968) was said to be visited every night by a snake princess, on whom the prosperity of the kingdom depended. Local guides and villagers will undoubtedly tell visitors more about the legends surrounding the once lost city of Angkor.

More later!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lantern Festival

 Posted by Picasa

Lantern Festival at CKS

We celebrated the Lantern Festival by going to the CKS Pavillion in downtown Taipei. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, wall to wall people but fun. Instead of sending up thousands of paper lanterns with fire in them, in Taipei, they erected a huge park of fixed lanterns like these. Posted by Picasa

Cherry Blossoms

Not quite Door County but we do have cherry blossoms in the park. Posted by Picasa

Just another park

This is part of a small park between roads. The bridge has nine angles with a pagoda on each turn. Posted by Picasa

My Beauty and the Pigs

Year of the Pigs---we are Golden Pigs! The gardens around the Shilihn residence of CKS are filled with pig topiary and decked out for Lantern Festival. Wonderful. Posted by Picasa

Beauty and the Pigs

The children are so beautiful and tender I could photo them all the time. Family is the most powerful force in this society. Posted by Picasa

Pig Family

 Posted by Picasa

Pigs at Lantern Festival

This corner is just left of our park and apt. Posted by Picasa