Royal Rangers Selangor #6

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Land Before Time...Melaka!

Hello friends...

Yup...guess its time for me to finally share with you the joys and good times we've had during our latest E-rangers outing to the fascinating and enchanting Melaka! No matter how many times you've gone there, seen the places, tasted its goodness, there's always something new to do and experience.

And so, as the story goes, 20 of us made the trip down in 5 cars. After a late start in the morning, everyone was in good spirit and raring to go. Basically, there were a few things we wanted to accomplish:

i. Have really good food..and I mean REALLY good!
ii. Ride in a trishaw...haven't done that before, honestly...
iii. Visit places of historical value and importance!
iv. Just chill out together with our fellow rangers and friends!

And yup, I'm proud to say we managed to accomplish all the above during our compact 8-hour outing! Loads of fun along the way, lots of good food, greats sights and sounds, and most importantly, lots of smiles...

And now, let's cross over to the pics to do the talking!

After about 2 hours on the road, this was probably the best signboard ever!

Ah hah! As expected, we headed straight to the ever famous chicken ball rice! Or is it chicken ball rice? or ball chicken rice? Ahh..watever! That's Shaun making some quick progress on the food. Its basically 'siapa cepat, dia dapat' policy!

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting you...the World's Most Desirable Man! (at least that's what he told us...) Not sure who this fella is? Just ask around...

Yup...just to prove to you fellas that we really did go to Melaka...:)

That's Shaun, Laura and their wodden friend. Noticed how Shaun really looked similar to that dude??? Frightening...

Ahh...the rain didn't stop us from moving about! Thank for umbrellas! Here's part of the gang stopping by for a quick shot. The rest ran ahead, looking for cover from the rain...hehe!

"Mmmmm....sedap!" Thumbs up from Sheila! Cendol with gula melaka...the stuff of dreams!

I'm telling you friends, this stuff is illegal!

Wow, Zhi Fung's got a handphone! From left: Zf, William, Khang Teik, Andrew and Thomas. I can imagine Thomas looking at Zf and saying in his mind, "This guy is weird!"

The eating never did stop. From one shop to another...from rice to cendol to kuih-muih and noodles! Jason and Nicholas leading the way forward!

Good food, good friends, good time. What could be better? From right to left: Andy, Kevin, Simon, Edmund 'World's most Desirable Man' Chee Lup Yan, Nigel, Charlotte, and Kyleen!

Here's Kech aka Kenny Chin. Armed and dangerous...with his bowl of Assam Laksa and Cendol!

Here's the reason why Malaysian footballers don't go very far...Shaun with his 3rd bowl of gula-melaka-filled cendol! Stuffed himself full of that stuff, man...

Andy with his double-story cendol!

Sheila staying true to her roots. Looking all oriental...

Now we all remember the dude from 'Madagascar', dont we? Or even the koala bear from 'The Wild'? Here's Andy with his version of movie....

Jason, WMD, and Kech checking out the goodies in a local craft shop...and if you're wondering what's WMD? Well, its not 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'...its 'Worlds Most Desirable'!

The group posing at the staircase of the Stadhuys building.

"My friend, can you please sing me the song 'Speedy Gonzales'?" Reuben asked. "Sorry brother, I dont really know that song. But I'll sing you Quando Quando Quando" he replied. And so, he did. I'm telling you friends, this dude can sing! And for Rm1, this was a bargain!

He didn't stop there...he carried on mesmerizing the crowd with a couple of Hokkien songs that really caught the attention of some old aunties nearby...and also Zhi Fung's!

St. Paul and whackos from Klang! God rest his soul in peace....:) If you noticed the statue, his hands aren't there. Many have asked why. Here's my version of the story. As we all know, many missionaries came to our land a long time ago to spread God's word, just like St. Paul. And because of their actions and works, we are the fruits of their labour. And in honour of him, a statue was built, without hands. Why? Because we are called to be the hands! To continue the good works, to spread His word wherever we go, and to be the hands of God that will move this nation and make an impact!

Moving on...Imagine Zhi Fung being a soldier in the Portugese's one reason why the Portugese didn't last very long in trying to defend Melaka! :)

Magnificent sight, friends. A picture paints a thousand words. A monument speaks words and tells the story through the ages.

Ahh yes! Our trishaw-race took place on that day....imagine this, 7 trishaws carrying 14 jokers from Klang parading all over Melaka town! The lovely couple, Kevin and Nigel! Wooo hoo!

Its always nice being able to ride on of these vehicles around town! Brings back the whole...nostalgic feeling!

Here's Grace together with her 'Visit Malaysia 2007' balloon! And that's her trishaw partner just about to pop in...

Hehe...noticed how Simon and Andrew were trying so hard to avoid body contact with each other?? Haha...

And yess..the race is off! The best part about some of these trishaws were their sound system! From the moment you begin your ride, the sound system kicks in and you'll be entertained by techno versions of 'My heart will go on' and Dr. Bombay's 'Taxi Driver' music...

Sheila and Charlotte looking all cute and cuddly in their ride. This is Malaysia's version of 'Pimp My Ride'! hahaa...more like 'Pimp My Becha'!

Even the rider looks like a character from the wild wild's Kenny and Kyleen in their mobile flower garden.

The balloon, Shaun and Grace sharing better moments in their convertable.

And when its time to go, you gotta' go. Here's Kenny saying, "Why? Why do we have to go home??"

Well, I must say...even though the stay was short, it was thoroughly enjoyable. The rain came, but that didn't dampen our spirits. In fact, it was fun at time...walking under the rain, stopping by at every shop for shelter, just being together. And after all that's been said and done, we finally made our way home at about 6pm.

When I think about this trip, I'll always remember it with a smile...

Bon Voyage - A Tribute (Part 1)

My dear rangers,

As we all know by now, Klang will never be quite the same as it used to be. Gone were the days of chaos and riots, gone were the days of sheer noise and the breaking of silence just by the sound of his voice...yes, its true. Those days will long remain in our memories for as long as we live. From one nation to another, from Asia to Australia, the legend lives on forever...and with deep sadness and sorrows in our hearts, surpassed by the joyous celebrations that followed, we'd like to officially bid our fellow ranger 'Adios', 'Sayonara', 'Selamat tinggal'...

To our beloved Kevin Wong...we bid you farewell. On behalf of the rangers, we'd like to thank you for all those moments of sheer madness you've given us, not forgetting those precious moments of silence which came less frequent than blue moons, and most of all, for being a big guy and playing a special part in our world and our lives. And we pray that once you're over there in Australia, continue to spread the 'fever' and passion for God all over that land. And most importantly, drape that Malaysian flag proudly outside your room window, and give your neighbours a taste of your very own secret recipe of pure irritation by belting out our beloved 'Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku...' at 7am every morning.

And if I could find the words to describe you, or rather how we feel towards you, or think of a song that best describes the way we, as your fellow rangers, think of you...this would be it. And I hope that we'll all take the time to read the words from this famous oldies tune. One thing I can promise you...whenever we hear this song over Light 'N Easy, we'll have a drink or two...thinking of you, bro.

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

So on we go
His welfare is my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

If I'm laden at all
I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart
Isn't filled with gladness
And love for one another

It's a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we're on the way to there
Why not share
And the load doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

He's my brother
He ain't heavy, He's my brother

Yup, when we're together, he ain't that heavy after all...

He's the one in the front right, smiling...the big guy...yea, that's the one...

Australia, be warned. He's wild and dangerous. A real threat to your peace and serenity. :)

My prayers for you, bro...

"God, bless Kevin. But most of all, save Austraila, Lord!"

Stay original and most of all, you'll always be a part of our life's story. We love you, man!

*stay tuned...another runaway story coming up soon...*sob*sob*

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

2nd Central District Pow-Wow pics!

Hi friends!

Finally, the official 2nd Central District Pow-Wow pics are available for public viewing! Hundreds of photos available for viewing and downloading. If I were you, grab them all! Lots of good memories in there, dudes. Just click on the link and start viewing! Photos are courtesy of Cmdr. Andrew of Sel#7! A big thank you to him...

Have a splendid time! Dont forget to spread the news, rangers...

God bless!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Final Chapter...finally!

Good day' folks!

Well, now that Christmas has come and gone, all the hustle and bustle of the season over, life's slowly but surely returning to its normal routine pace... what there to look forward to? Well, let me tell you. For those of us who know about it, 2007 is going to be 'de' year to declare God's favour in ourl lives and in our community! So many things in store for us this year, and I just can't wait to see what God's gonna' do through us! Many times we're afraid of the unknown...but friends, as long as we cling on to our God, its going to be an amazing year of adventure and journey with Him. Keep the faith, people! And always build your faith on the One who brought us thus far...

As promised, I'm supposed to finish up the final part of the mission trip. Yes yes...I know. I was supposed to get it done last year...but too many things happened along the way. Activities, work, camp, pets, know the story. And also, thank you to those out there who have constantly reminded me to update the blog. Anyway, I'll stick to my word and finish up the final episode. To all our faithful blog readers, hope this post puts a smile on your faces!

After our 5-day longhouse ministry trip, we finally headed back to Betong, for a time of much needed rest and re-tuning our surroundings to the city life. Once you've left the longhouse, funnily, you start to miss it. Everything about it, hate it or love it, its been a very memorable trip so far. The faces we've seen, the people we've touched, the meals we've had...

After a good nap for all of us in the afternoon, everyone was up and ready to go and as we prepared for the church prayer meeting that night. And now, as always, its back to the photos to tell the tales. Have fun!

Here's the ladies having a scumptious home-cooked meal at the church. Its good to be back home...

Kenny, together with Ali and Laura...noticed their red/darkened faces?

Everyone is good spirits before the prayer meeting began. Have you ever seen cmdr. Gid looking this bright and radiant? With technology, anyone can. Including myself...:)

Cmdr. Gideon making sure nothing falls off...and out of place!

Not too sure what Daniel was up to during this shot...

Daniel and the boys leading the church in a time of good ol' Iban praise and worship!

Praising and worshipping God never felt so good...

Our amazing Grace sharing her testimony. Good stuff!

He thought he could escape...Kevin's turn to share his side of the story!

Reuben sharing the Word during the prayer meeting.

Asher doin her '20 cents' face thingie for the camera...kinda kesian looking eh?

The congregation responding to the Word and worshipping God...

Lighter moments after the prayer meeting. Laura and Asher doing thier thing. If you zoom in close enough, you'll be able to see the hair in her nose! Haha...btw, that's Shaun smiling in the background.

"Young man, why...why do you always do this to me?" Cmdr Gid asks in agony...

The group packing up the goodies and stationaries for the Children's church...I have to say that along the way, lots of Choki-Choki went missing!

Vincci's latest Christmas 2006 shoe designed by Grace and Kyleen! Good stuff, wei...

Amy, as always...going all crazy and nuts over stuff like these...

Now, I'm sure we all remembered the legendary Capt. Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean eh? Remember the scene where he paints a pair of eyes over his eyes? Well, here's Amy with her very own version of that scene...

Early the next morning, the group gathered together for a final time of prayer in the Betong Church. This place has been our home and base throughout the trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay over there. And before we left, we prayed a special prayer for Pas. Leslie and his wife, that God will continue to use His servants in a mighty way to do His will, to call His people out of darkness into His marvellous light. Many of us were deeply saddened to depart from this place, and when we finally said our goodbyes, we left in tears. Lord, bring us back one day!

The incredible trio that will always be in our hearts and minds. Here's Pas. Leslie saying a few words that deeply touched and encouraged all of us, just before we left.

From our group to Betong, its goodbye for now.
By God's grace, we'll be back in 2007!

This pic was taken just before we began our 4 hour van ride to Kuching. This was just at the start, no wonder still can smile...:) 4 hours down the road, its a different story!

Stopping halfway for a quick lunch and toilet break at the famous 'Lachao Restaurant'...

I must say that the food in Sarawak ain't too bad after all. Here's cmdr with his konchos...

More pics of the group during lunch...

Here's my favourite part...we went to this nearby native craft and souveneir shop and...boy, we were amazed at the stuff they had there! As usual, the guys were charmed by the cool blades and weapons that were on display. Some of these knives...can qualify as mini-swords! Are these stuff even legal to carry??? Anyway, we all had a good time posing and reliving our childhood dreams...

At least the ladies (and Daniel) were better behaved...resorting to items that adds that extra touch of beauty and elegance. Again, Daniel included...:)

Some of Genghis Khan's weaponry on display, as seen here. Man, this was one cool blade to own! Daniel, as always...drama King!

After our never-ending journey, we finally reached Kuching town. Here's the ladies just before they set off for their shopping escapade! Suddenly all so happy eh?

Sis. Ruth giving out orders on the sleeping rooms for all of us at the Kuching Baptist church!

Sis. Ruth looking all happy and worn out...its been a really good and tiring trip for her. She's been our translator for all our mission trips throughout the years, and we pray that God will continue to bless her and use her to minister to her people. Many times people can be deceived by her small size and looks. But let me tell you, she's a real pocket dynamite!

Here's Cmdr. Gideon preaching to the congregation during the Sunday service in the Baptist Church. I'm telling you, friends....powerful!!

Pics during the ministry time...

The group having a final briefing session and a time of testimony. Many of us had the opportunity to share with the group what's in our hearts and what we've learnt over the past week. Through this sharing, we saw how God's hand of protection and guidance was upon us all the way, right from the very start.

The ladies looking oh-so-good in pastel colour. This was taken during our trip to the airport. Its time to say goodbye soon...

Its airport photo taking session time! Reubs, Win Li, Dan and Asher...I noticed that Asher always seem to have a Choki-Choki with her throughout the trip. Hmm, could it be that...hmmm...

Thank God his bag was small...and thank God that the airport doesn't allow passengers to bring in live fishes and animals! If not, haih...

The boys..and men...Mr. Kong, Jason, Shaun and Reubs!

Reuben and his buddy, Samson! Dont you think they make a great combination??? This is love in action...

More from the ladies, together with a couple of friends who popped by at the airport.

Laura and the guys...

Reubs, Dan and Shaun with the sleeping bag and fan! All the while the pics were about the its time for us men! Hahaha...

Laura and Asher...this time without the Choki Choki! Surprisingly...

Asher with Sis. Ruth...

The time has finally come to say goodbye to Sis. Ruth. She's been with us throughout our entire journey, and she's always been one of us...sama kaki. We'll definitely miss her and her midnight 'parties'...

Still got time for one more group pic...

Its either he's really sad...or he's having a bad case of tummy ache!

I've come to realize something...girls and cameras...or basically anything with a lense, cant be separated for too long! They're like...meant for each other!

Ahhh...our final picture! Yes friends, with AirAsia, everyone can fly! And its good to be going home. I guess all of us did miss home dearly. Strangely, all the songs that spoke of 'going home' started to play in my mind...Michael Buble's 'Home', the everfamous 'I'll be home for Christmas', Engelbert Humperdinck's 'Green Green Grass of Home', the classic 'Take me home, country roads to the place where I belong'....

I missed home...dearly.

With that, we've concluded our virtual journey of the adventure we've had in Sarawak. Its been my pleasure to able to take you back in time and share with you the experiences we've had over there. And truly, when we ask ourselves...what's the one thing that we've learned through this trip? Well, what I can say is, our God is forever faithful and true. In the stillness and quietness, He was there. Through our ups and downs, He was there. And through the storm, He carried us through it. Friends, He will never leave us nor forsake us. He's our God for all eternity!

God bless!