Thursday, June 7, 2007

VS SOAS Exchange Day 5- Mount Tasek, Project Presentations and Museums

After all the good food and makan, it is finally time to do some hard exercise. Today, VS and SOAS boys went on a trek up Mount Tasek.
We were led by one of the Senior PE teachers from SOAS and began with warm-ups to get everyone up and pumping.

Both our principals, Pengiran Zahari and Mr Low were rearing to go! (But we soon lost sight of them somewhere after the first slope.. hee hee) Going upslope was tough and as we struggled up panting, we saw the senior PE teacher who led the warm-up sprinting upslope to reach the vantage point ahead of us. No videos of his agile feats as I was busy trying to keep pace with the rest of the,.
At the top, we were treated to a nice view of the surrounding area before heading downslope towards a natural waterfall. Going downslope proved to be as much a challenge as you can see:

But when we reached the waterfall, it was all worth it!

Being such a picturesque location, I made sure I took some 'emo' shots for the Wushu boys.

After a good rest, we headed back to SOAS for the formal presentaion of the boys Ecological Field Study of Tongkat Ali.

There were a total of 4 groups and each group was given 10min to present, followed by a Q&A session.

The delegation from VS was very impressed with the rigour and thoroughness with which the organising teachers planned this field trip- it wasn't just a 'for show' activity but one that really with very clearly defined learning outcomes for the boys. There were 4 groups that presented Ixora, Karamunting, Kuduk-Kuduk and Simpur- Their projects can be found at the following hyperlinks

In the afternoon , we toured the Malay Technological Museum which showcased traditional Malay indigenous crafts, skills and culture.

At the lobby, were interesting logic puzzles made of rattan:

There were various dioramas showcasing traditional malay arts and crafts- such as silver-smithing, sago tapping, etc.

Next we visited the Brunei Museum, which had an entire section on Islamic Art that was donated from the Sultan's own person collection:

Being a martial arts enthusiast, this collection of swords captivated me. Mind you, these are not decorative blades but real, 'live' historical swords and the etching and inscriptions on them were simply breath-taking.
As we toured the rest of the museum, we found yet another interesting fact between SOAS College and Victoria School. I've mentioned many similiarities between both our schools in the past posts and also that the Sultan has studied at SOAS- but I bet that few people know that he studied in Victoria as well!

Well okay, maybe that's stretching it a bit as Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur is totally unrelated to Victoria School in Singapore but it certainly is a nice and pleasant coincidence to have both SOAS and VS tied to each other (and to royalty!) even though it's just a naming coincidence :)

The boys enjoyed themselves touring the museum, but being boys, tend to look for fun whenever we can find it:

One display that definitely tickled the boys was the one showing traditional customs and rites of passage:

They were all so curious about circumcision and its process. Well, sinced I've learnt Traditional Chinese Medicine as part of my training in Wushu, I've got a pretty good knowledge of how to handle sharp objects like scapels and needles. So seeing their great interest in the subject of circumcision, I've kindly volunteered my medical and martial experience to any student wishing to experience it.
For those wishing for 'surgery' Doctor Siow will be in tonight. (muahhahaha....)
Don't worry, all the SOAS boys who've been through it say it's like an ant prick.
So who wants to be first? I promise it won't hurt.....much heh heh.