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A Break to Bond Part 1: Adeline’s Villa

Our family took a holiday to Malaysia together.

First, we drove up to Gopeng and stayed at Adeline’s Villa for 3D 2N. It was a wonderful place to rest and relax and also to allow the children to enjoy nature.

A shot with the lovely folks at the resort, Ashley (first from the left), Adeline (second from the right) and Andrew (first from the right).

We met Ashley, a very nice and warm lady, who always made sure that we were comfortable where we were – whether it was food or stay or play. Then there was Adeline, the owner of the resort, who made sure that little Li-Ann got a bowl of porridge even when she had to take breakfast late. Finally, we were introduced to Andrew, the guy who answered all my emails and told me what the resort could offer me. Have you noticed something in common? Their names all start with ‘A’!! Of course my curiosity prompted me to ask if they were related – there were no blood relations, just good working colleagues.

Beautiful reception with interesting mix of sculptures and furniture.

We all LOVE this yellow swing and will fight for it. So COOL!!

Haha..I beat you to it!

The reception area was cozy, nicely decorated and sculptured with a mix of furniture for the different personalities; they were carrying out improvement works when we were there. It doubled up as a place for supper at night. We also spotted two cats that would hang out then. This inspired Rebecca to write  2 Kittens. There was usually music playing – to suit the day and night. We particularly liked this swing (yellow colour) near the slope – although there were 3 of them; it was really enjoyable to sit in and swing around. We would all fight to sit in it.

Pink beauty

That was our room, nicely set on a slope amidst the greenery with sufficient privacy.

Enjoying a sumptuous buffet spread

The dining area was huge but had its comfortable corners to allow free flow of chit chats to continue even after food ran out. The makan was superb!! Although the different dishes were placed on modest serving platters, they were SCRUMPTIOUS, especially the crunchy vegetables – they were fresh and lightly stir-fried. The spread for the dinners were EXCELLENT too. There was a good balance of meats, seafood and vegetables. Seafood and meats could also be done BBQ style and most compatible with the rustic feel of the resort. We all LOVE the bamboo soup; very sweet and interesting flavour. We miss your soup, Aunty Adeline!!! The chilli was shiok!! And it was homemade. You have to try it to know….O…O…am I drooling??!!!

Yummy dinner!

You should see us lifting our heavy tummies after the dinners…and then there was supper…..never ending food ah…..All meals were served with piped-in music, perhaps to help increase appetite (now you know why our tummies had to be supported) and digestion….so we would be ready for more yummy food the next day…HURRAY!!

Adeline’s Villa offered many activities. We picked 2 activities we felt would be more suitable for our family- a night walk to a palm oil plantation and a day trek in the jungle.

We began our night walk after dinner and we had 2 Malay guides with us. They were locals and were very familiar with the area. With a mixture of excitement and apprehension and a few relatively powerful torch lights, we ventured forth – our first adventure in the dark, not certain what to expect. We began our ‘exploration’ as soon as we stepped out of the resort.  After walking for some distance, we reached the palm oil plantation. We heard many sounds, saw some fireflies, interesting insects and spiders, marvelled at fungi that glowed in the dark and even spotted a few small durian plants. Li-Ann was afraid of the dark and we had to take turns to carry her. It was on our way back that she was more warmed up and motivated, especially after she spotted a few insects herself. She continued to shine her torch for us as we proceeded back to the resort for supper and shower.

Graceful flutter

Big bunch of bananas

After a good night’s rest, we were eager to go jungle trekking the next day. Thankfully LA cleared her bowels before we left. A satisfying breakfast gave us energy as we followed one of the Malay guides, Ari, who also took us for our night adventure, on the jungle trail.

Daddy – our official photographer

Thank you Kor Kor Ari

The dreaded leech

He led us on paths which were safe and passable. He had made a point to check them out prior to our hike. Ari offered to take care of LA as he walked ahead of us. We were grateful that LA was willing to let the young man take her hand. This poor guy ‘attracted’ leeches but didn’t removed them properly, hence there was some bleeding. Many occasions when LA froze, he correctly assessed that LA was uncomfortable because she noticed the blood on his toes. As soon as he wiped it away, LA was ready to go. I praised God for his sensitivity which had not only allowed us to enjoy our trek, but also in motivating LA to move forward. John wrote a poem about Lousy Leeches.

Our LONG and ‘leechy’ walk was rewarded with a quick ride on a truck to the waterfall.

Cool truck ride!!

Our picnic lunch

Lovely lunch ‘basket’!

We were greeted by the sound of the refreshing waterfall and a most beautiful and appetizing picnic lunch. I was very impressed with the unique way it was put together – a simple fare yet so elaborately presented. Truly an Asian affair out in the country. Such a bliss! The food was so delectable that my mouth waters even now as I recount this. My favourite was the spicy squid (I don’t usually fancy squids but this dish had a unique taste); I believed hubby and I were trying not to fight over the last bits of it. I had wished that I could sit there the whole afternoon and slowly savour my meal. Unfortunately, I did not have four stomachs like the cow so I had to call it quits after I had my fill.

Can you hear the waterfall?

Two heads are better than one 🙂

We LOVE the waterfall. It was a picturesque sight – huge sturdy trees towering above lush greens as a waterfall sat majestically in its midst. Torrents of water roared thunderously as it dipped rapidly over the edge, forming cool splashing pools before finally settling into an inviting meandering river. Butterflies fluttered freely as the waters chorused in a melodious rhythm that soothed even the most fatigue soul. The heat and stickiness we felt disappeared almost instantly even as we behold this. All these prompted John to pen his thoughts on the Royal Rajahs.

See! It’s on my hand!

Firm bedrock

The children were cautious at first but got braver and slowly inched themselves to the foot of the fall after a while. They played in the water, on the rocks and had fun on the natural water slide too.

Excellent water massage

YEA!!

Even LA was persuaded to move around in the shallow areas when she saw her siblings splashing gleefully in the clear water. After spending a whole 2 hours frolicking and relaxing in the waters, we had to leave. Everyone was reluctant to part with the heavenly hangout.

Beautiful urn

Adeline’s Villa was a wonderful resort for a family holiday. It’s one place we all hope to go again.

Now, on to our next destination…Ipoh…

PS. Read about our whole holiday…
A Break to Bond Part 2: Ipoh
A Break to Bond Part 3: Penang
A Break to Bond Part 4: KL/Seremban/Malacca

Enjoy the children’s writings here…
2 Kittens
Lousy Leeches
Royal Rajahs
Fantastic Malaysia

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Reflecting on ARISE 2012

ARISE this year, for the first time in history, connected with every time zone to fulfill the vision of continual praise and worship across the globe. I know a friend whose 3 children were also involved in ARISE in another Asian country. It was exciting to know that we are praising God together although we are in different places. For Singapore, ARISE happened on 14 April in 2012 at 3pm at Paya Lebar Methodist Church.

Beautiful stained glass in the church

Ushers ARISE!! and take your place

This is the second time that the girls joined the ARISE choir. The first time they participated, they had a great time. God was faithful and He continued to show Himself trustworthy. Read more in my posts ARISE! and Give Thanks! and ARISE! to the Perfect Love. I am grateful for those who came to join us in praising the Lord. I’m also thankful for many who prayed for the Lord’s name to be lifted up. It was most gratifying to see the girls fully engaged for all the practices – we tried not to miss any, and on the actual day. John and daddy would capture the memorable moments whenever they could.

Rebecca enjoying the fellowship at one of the practices

Li-Ann smiling in spite of her weird tummy at practice

Happy children with Aunty Cathy at ISOW

14 April was a long and busy day for all of us – the girls were in the choir, John and CM were the photographers while I helped with the ushering. Both girls lasted the practice session, breaks and the actual worship concert from 10am till 6pm. After that, we adjourned for dinner with the family as my niece came back from overseas. And LA didn’t sleep till about 10pm that night!! She took a couple of days to recover but I was really amazed at her stamina. God showed me that those LONG hours of standing, shaking and singing were excellent therapy for her gross muscles!! Her muscles were given a sweaty workout and I had good reports from all her teachers the week right after the worship concert.

Rebecca worshipping the Lord

‘R’ is I really do believe!

‘S’ is the Son who sets me free!

Immediately after the concert, at my brother-in-law’s place, she asked my mother-in-law in Mandarin,”婆婆,你为什么没有来?“(Why didn’t you come?) My in-laws responded that they did and told her they saw her dancing and singing. Having been presented with the evidence, she was convinced that they were there although she didn’t see them. That was a very encouraging conversation as she spoke in a complete sentence in her second language to my in-laws whom she didn’t see very often! Her Sunday school teacher said LA repeated the date after her. Her Mandarin tutor was happy that she was more spontaneous during her lesson. The music teacher was excited when LA, along with Rebecca and John, tried to teach her the actions of one of the ARISE songs. LA’s swimming coach reported that she has shown improvement as well.

ARISE!! as a family

With us, she seemed to have another ‘growth spurt’ of sorts and broke out into ‘verbal diarrhoea’, showing greater dexterity and maturity in her cognitive processes. I’ve also noticed that all the actions and signing has helped LA remember other songs with the same words better. She is then more inclined to sing those songs.

She LOVES the ARISE songs and will listen to them often, doing all the actions and teaching them to her imaginery friends. Even a month after the concert, she remembers where the worship concert was – and she says ‘Paya Lebar Methodist Church’ in one breath, and asks when we are going for ARISE again. She sounded disappointed when I told her ‘next year’.  Regardless, I’m thrilled at her motivation!! I pray that as she goes before the Lord and sing to Him, she will want to know who God is and will express her desire to accept Jesus as her personal Lord and Saviour.

Would you pray along with me?

Thank you 🙂