Thursday, November 26, 2015

Father And Son Bonding Trip To Myanmar

And so, our Lions Club wanted to do a charity trip to Myanmar and Max asked if I wanted to go. After contemplating for a long time, I decided not to go as I was suffering from sweat induced rashes and it will be a trip where I will likely sweat alot.

Max asked me then if we should let Ace go and I thought it will be a good chance for him to see how other people lead their lives in different parts of the world... and also a good chance to understand how lucky he is to be able to be born in Singapore.

And so, I stayed behind in singapore and attended my workshop while my two men woke up at 4am to travel to the airport.

I woke up and hugged them goodbye... and went back to bed...

WHen I woke up again later to get ready to go to my workshop, I found this sweet note pasted on my bedroom door:)

I figured this will be a really good bonding time for Father and Son...

And because I need not worry about Ace or Max at all.. it is the first time in many years I really had a few days of ME TIME :)

I only had like 3 days of ME TIME.. I spent the first one at workshop and having dinner with friends... the second one I spent going jalan jalan and eating nice food with friends and finally stayed at home on Day 3 to iron the clothes and clean the house:) hahaha...

So what were Max and Ace doing? I found out when I read their FB posts and sometimes they will send me pictures through whatsapp..

They took an early flight and so had a whole day to spend there...

Early morning, they went to this war memorial place.. I think Max was more impressed than Ace. Max says that place is very tranquil..

I was not aware there are so many christians in Myanmar.. I thought most of them are buddhists..

They had their first meal there and it did not look too different from what we were eating in Singapore so I heaved a sigh of relieve....

Sometime before a trip, someone told me that the cleanliness conditions there are found wanting and the food is not nice at all and so when she did a mission trip there, they did not bring children along as they found children may not be able to adapt.

So before the trip, I decided to preframe Ace. I told him that this trip is really a working trip to check out what the people there may need help with... so first two days, there will be totally no fun things to do and no shopping and the main aim is to just go visit the various people we want to help to check out what they may need... so he is not to whine or complain if they do alot of walking and alot of work...

Plus, I also reminded him one of the days they are having a meal there.. he should expect the meal to taste different and may not even taste tasty to him... but as a gracious guest, have to eat with a smile:) And also, take it as a good chance to try out food from a different country..

And on the last day, Uncle Linus said he will bring them to the touristy places and so he will finally get to walk walk and MAYBE can find something to buy...

Salad... I dunno how you eat brinjal raw with sauce.. Ace did not eat this.. only Max did... I wonder how it tastes like.. hahaha

This is just normal fried veggies and Ace says the egg fried with corn is nice:) Maybe I can try to do tat at home too:)

After that, they were supposed to visit some village and went to the market to buy some things before going over. Max says the market is very sad story one.. just those few stalls selling a little bit of everything...

Even though Ace did not get to shop or play with toys.. I think it was an interesting experience for him.

I am so glad my son is finally understanding that the purpose of a trip is not to watch cable TV in the hotel room or to just keep playing or buying toys.. he finally understands that going on a trip is really to enjoy a different experience you may not have a chance to enjoy if you were at your own home:) Previously, whenever he travelled with us, it was always about playing or watching TV (and in an extreme case, about his OMAN BED.. hahahaha)

Here is Ace with a chicken coop  that has a "RUNwAY"... hahahaha

Max asked me how I will like to cook in this kitchen which takes 30 min just to start a fire.. I told him it looks like those Love On A Plate kithen where the famous chefs go to ulu villages to cook. Hahahaha.. No thanks.. though my current kitchen is super small and I am always complaining about how small it is, I prefer tat over the one in the picture anyday.. ;)

When he came home, I asked Ace what was his favorite part of the trip.. he said it was meeting this really cute, friendly dog and being able to pet it.. Usually he likes to see dogs but dun dare to pet them.. but because this is a puppy an according to Ace, it looks super cute.. so that is why he enjoys petting it..

Rare chance for Ace to be so close to nature.. where he can see docks.. and cows... (in the background)...
And even free range chickens!

Ace told me that the roads there are super bumpy so they perpetually feel like they are sitting in a roller coaster and Max said one time they were going uphill, the roads were so muddy after rain that the van got stuck and they had to all come down and help push the van out of the rut..

Ace told me that when they went to the people's homes, they drove past this plot of land with lots of FREE KANGKONG! All around is kang kong lor.. if you hungry, just come and pluck some to bring home to cook:) hahaha...

Then they visited this orphanage where our friend previously had raised funds to help them build a mushroom farm. Apparently the mushroom spore bags closer to the floor grew more yield cos they used cheaper material where moisture and light will escape for the roof of the "farms">...

After visiting the various places.. it was time to head back to their hotel and apparently, they were living in UPTOWN hotel.. hahahaha.. Ace says it reminds him of Uptown Funk:)

At night, the boys sent m a whatsapp picture.. Max is having his fav drink and Ace took a picture and decorated it as how he thinks his dad feels about beer:) hahahaha

Next day was also an exciting and interesting day for Ace...

It was the first time I think that he sat in a motorbike.. He looked a little scared.. hahahahaa.. Even max said he was afraid the bike will topple over.. times like this I am glad I did not go.. cos I dunno how I going to squeeze in with someone else on the bike lor:)

They also took trishaw lor:)

So this is how it looks like.. Max was seated in the front and Ace at the back. I asked Ace if he was feeling scared sitting at the back and he said the vehicles were moving rather slowly.. so he was not that scared but it was a little unsettling for him..

This trishaw also got story one lor..

Apparently it was  a very hot day and Max only had one cap which he gave to Ace. Midway in their trip, the trishaw man went to a house and gave Max an umbrella. End up actually the umbrella is need to pay one and actually only 50 cents more. However, as he did not ask permission, it was a matter of principal and the guies chose not to pay him..

Very suay for the man also tat they were actually on their way to finish a well our Lions Club had built there with some money pledged by our members and one of the persons who helped out was a former police chief or something.... so tat poor trishaw man kenna left, right and centre from the ex police chief... Max said he heard a fast and loud tirade and asked the guide what that meant and the guide just smiled and say it is BAD WORDS... I guess very similar to our Singaporean KNNCCB type of colorful language bah..

Max says if his bum slightly bigger cannot sit in the trishaw I really have to think whether I want to go when they get here in March cos I am sure my bum is bigger and cannot fit! hahahahah

The wells already built and now we just to complete the process and hang banner on it:) The blue things you see are manual water pump to draw the water...

They also went to recee other well sites.. and found one old well tat was built and left alone and had all the parts stolen... :( So one of the places tat the ex police chief suggested was to build it opposite the police station.. so tat benefit the policemen and they can help to look after the well:) hahahaha

Another of Ace's favorite moments.. Petting a goat.. Maybe it reminds him of the Petting Zoo we visited in Dubai..

Probably first time Ace saw puppies drinking milk from their mum's breasts...

Their next visit is to an orphanage and they had lunch there that the host made..

Ace brought along some of his pocket money... He recently had a red packet from Yeye and Godma so he had $100 to spare... he wasted some when he had to replace his mrt card... so he actually brought more than half of watever he had left to donate...

He used $25 to buy instant noodles, soap and shampoo for this home...

Next, they travelled to another home that was build across a muddy river that has a creaky bridge...

Ace felt a little sad that they did not even have a rice cooker cos they needed long time to cook for so many... and so he donated another $26 to buy a rice cooker for them and that was his most touched moment he said.. cos he says how can people not have rice cooker and use charcoal to cook.

I told him charcoal cooked food really tastes better!:) hahahaha Just tat it takes alot of time for them to cook alot of rice i think.. hopefully electricity is not too ex there and they can make good use of this rice cooker not just to cook rice but also to do soups and braise food...

Night time liao.. they went to have dinner at a cafe that was opened by a fellow Singaporean..

While the adults were happily chatting while waiting for the food to be served, Ace sent me picture of his 7 Up and his dad's beer....
I think he was very bored cos he messaged me and told me that he missed me and kept asking me why didnt I go with them to Myanmar..

Then while the adults were bz having their meetings, Ace was bz doing this...

He made a sign for the Cafe.. hahahaha:) Cute hor.. I one look know he made it.. so his style.. I think he go find all these things and put them together to make this.. Uncle LInus was quite impressed and says Ace will likely grow up to be an inventor or an engineer:) hahaha

The next day was R and R day and they spent a long time walking around the one and only shopping mall and Ace only finally cheered up when he found this ONE THING he liked and can buy...

It is yet another camou bag:)
Before they were due to go home, Aunty Dianna said Ace is such a well behaved little boy she will like to reward him with a limited editoin LEO PIN from Hong Kong :) We as parents are very proud that Ace behaved ewll and had such a kind, generous heart:)

A few more pics before boarding the plane..

Finally on the plane home:)

The two boys came home and never rest well lor.. by Saturday, both were not feeling well... sigh. heng it was something that a good rest and lots of water can undo:)

I guess this will be a super memorable trip for Ace :)

Max says it is a complete change in perspective towards life cos Ace now sees the value of things in the unit of each "Rice Cooker" and Max sees them in the unit of each "Water Well"!

Max asked Ace to write a REFLECTION of what he is grateful for after the trip and here is Ace's list...

Ace's Reflections of our Myanmar trip:
1. I am grateful to live in a nice house.
2. I am grateful to have such smooth roads in Singapore. (he says the roads are so bumpy there he wants to vomit.. plus they had to get out to push the car cos they will get stuck in the portholes...)
3. I am grateful that I have my family with me. (cos he visited a few orphanages)
4. I am grateful for clean drinking water.
5. I am grateful that I have a bed.

Glad that Ace is given this exposure and that he learnt alot from it:) 

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