Mgs-ians who are dedicated to save the environment

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Hey guys, sorry I haven't updated much!

Courses and lectures we've had have been pretty interesting and fun. We had an AWESOME session with the talented Indian-Filipino siblings Shanna and Lakhi Siap on Theatre and the Arts as well as Effective Communication; which was basically a theatre and drama session, and then a public speaking session. they are so much fun and so energetic, I absolutely LOVED their session. We also had sessions on journalism and the official SEAYLP blog is now up and running! Follow the excitingly intense programme of SEAYLP at

Well, on the theme of 'Water is Life', so far we've done water tests at 3 rivers; Bubbly Creek at Chicago River, Kishwaukee Lagoon and the Fox River. Water tests are really fun, really dirty, and really COLD. My partner for the water tests is Gabriel from Singapore, and it's been really fun. We got to go into the actual microbiology lab here at NIU and study fecal coliform colonies from the water samples we took at Bubbly Creek. It might have been a little too scientific for some of your tastes but it was FUN doing it all together with the fun people on the SEAYLP program!

You know what has been the most fun? For the past week, I have been staying with the Overhaug family, my HOST FAMILY! YUP, I am staying with this wonderful and fun-loving family for about 10 days, and I'm getting a firsthand experience of American life; from the food to the TV, to racing dirt bikes and four-wheelers to attending church service. I absolutely love my new family; mom, dad, grandma, sisters Teagan and Rhyan and brother Lukas!

Oh, and this program would NOT be complete without my new roomie and a wonderful friend, GENE PNG from Singapore! I absolutely love Gene, and we are having so much fun!

I've got to go now, cause it's like really late right now, but I will update when I can! If I can't, though, just check the official SEAYLP blog okay? It'll be a lot more comprehensive than my harried typing here haha.

Love you all, I MISS MGS!

Marina :)

I Love Living Life

Nick Vujicic and his attitude serve as a great example of the celebration of life over limitations. The human spirit can handle much more than we realize.


Think you've got it bad? Need some encouragement? Fallen down? Can't find the STRENGTH to get back up?
"If I fail, I try again, and again, and again..."
If YOU fail, are YOU going to try again?

It matters how you're going to FINISH
Are you going to finish STRONG?

We are put in situations to build our character, not destroy us.

The tensions in our life are there to strengthen our convictions, not to run over us.

Nick is thankful for what he HAS.
He's not bitter for what he does NOT have.
I have never met a bitter person who was thankful.
I have never met a thankful person who was bitter.

In life you have a choice: Bitter or BETTER?

Source : DailyMotivation

SEAYLP, Illinois!


Marina here, and I'm currently in Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois in the United States of America! For those of you who don't already know, I was selected as one of five participants from Malaysia to participate in the South East Asian Youth Leadership Program, or SEAYLP. SEAYLP is a program jointly organised and fully sponsored by the Northern Illinois University and the Department of State of USA. 

SO.. We arrived in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on the 27th, and took the bus to DeKalb, which is one of the major counties in Illinois and is not too far away from Chicago. This is an extremely intense program, so we've got numerous courses on Media Training, Journalism, Theatre and the Arts, Effective Public Speaking, Civil Society and even Water Testing at 5 rivers here in Illinois! We are going to get to go to the Mississippi River, the largest in the U.S., Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and so many others. We'll have so many exciting activities lined up, and I promise to keep you guys posted!

Today was our first real day of lectures and programs, so we had a session on Media Training and Journalism. We were each assigned a news report to do during this program, and mine will be on our trip to the beautiful historic town of Annapolis in Maryland, and our BOAT TRIP on the Chesapeake Bay! I am so excited; I simply cannot wait! We also had a course on civil society, exploring the importance and roles of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in policy-making and nation-building.

After all the lessons, we took a bus to Sycamore for the Pumpkins on Parade display and the Teen Carnival! The pumpkins were so adorable and some were really impressive. The carnival was fun, with all sorts of typical American fair food, like candied apples, cotton candies, cinnamon roasted nuts and root beer! I think I'm going to come back two jeans sizes bigger, oh NO! :/ haha.

The autumn colours here on campus are simply beautiful. I am just so in love with the panoramic tones of red, gold and brown! Of course, I have been taking (and posing for) many photos as the scenery here is just irresistible.

Oh, and it's cold.

Understatement of the century! It is FREEZING. Everyday, the weather has been simply freezing! The highest temperature we've been in is 12 degrees Celsius. TWELVE. And the lowest: negative four degrees. BRRRRRRR. I couldn't feel my fingers for the whole night at the teen carnival!

I'll keep you all updated, and I miss MGS! =) Love you all, byeee! Photos are on Facebook, by the way.

Love from Illinois,

Green Paper bag

Go green
Be environmentally friendly
Use paper bags instead of plastic ones

Takakura Home-composting Method (Part Three)

The officers are back!! Let's check the containers of soil mixture. We are ready for the final step.
Prepare to line the baskets with recycled cardboard.

This is how you do it. Open up a used carton. Line the basket like this. Cut the flaps so that they can go over the rim neatly. Be careful with the knife, though. You do not want to hurt your fingers. Then punch some holes and secure the cardboard with raffia to prevent it from moving out of place.

Pour a container of soil mixture into the basket.
There. Nice and neat.
Wear gloves or some used plastic bags.
Loosen the soil with your fingers.

Break the pieces of food such as bread crumbs, leftover food or kitchen waste into the basket.

Phewwww!!! What a stench. Did something die in here?
Mix the leftover food into the soil. Ensure it's thoroughly incorporated into the whole basket of soil. 

Finally, cover the baskets with some trash bags and leave them in a shaded area. Poke some holes in the trash bags with satay sticks for ventilation. The compost will be ready in one month. This will make wonderful fertilizers for the school or home garden. All natural.

2 Biru's attempt at the culinary arts

Exams coming soon. We need to eat healthy meals to stay fit and alert to do our revision. Now, what shall we cook today? Oooh, are we on AFC? Smile for the camera.
Add in some vegetables to ensure it's healthy!

And now add some cooked pasta

Fruits! Wow...everything is healthy!! 
Loaded with natural enzymes.
Ooh! Fruit kebabs! 
Make sure you don't poke yourself with the stick!
Let's all peel potatoes.=]

mash, mash, mash potatoes...

We need the tatami mat to roll it tightly
Do I spy with my little eye... some sushi?

And now, we give you the finished products. 
Taa daaa!! Drum roll.....
Potato salad
Croissant de la Sausage
Cheers! Fruit cocktail. So refreshing
Josephine's home-made sandwiches
Gourmet sushi anyone? It's to die for
Oooo, arigatou gozaimasu. Yum yum

Fruit kebab platter. 
Don't they look spectacular?
Salsa and nachos with cheesy mashed potatoes

Pasta salad
 2 Biru girls are definitely great chefs. 
Look at all the yummy food we made!

Of course we don't just throw away our 
leftovers and vegetable refuse. 
What kind of people do you think we are?
Environmentally friendly.
Leftovers for our school compost!!

Girl Power

Exam season.
When the books pile up too high, and the gigantic tower of coursework and assignments seem insurmountable, what do you do?  You feel as though you are under siege.  
Look at them in the face. Start working. One step at a time. Put one foot forward, and the next foot. Move forward. Tackle one subject at a time. Face your worst fears or foes, be they add math, physics, chemistry or history.

Don't take your eyes off your target. Don't slumber or be slothful.
Or you'll end up like this. Flat on your back.
Face the challenge.
Have some faith in yourself. And a lot in God! Teamwork. Group study. You can do it. All the best to those taking exams.
Girl power.

Solar Cooking

Solar Cooking!! This is a great way to save gas and electricity. It helps the environment and also our pockets.
These are some simple things we need. Ask the Rangers and Pn Loke how to do it. Their cooking tastes super yummy.

Takakura Home-composting Method (Part Two)

Here's the second exciting episode of Takakura Home-composting Method. Let's check our jars from last week. Ooo, what have they become?? Looks hairy!!

Eeeks, it's ALIVE!!
What's that black hairy stuff doing in the jars?? Is something moving inside there?? Heelppp!!
Are these the Ali Baba jars of oil? Hehe, let's hear from them. Hello, anyone in there?

Are the girls keeping far away from the jars in case they explode?
Looks more like dancing to me
Ok, here goes. Get a bag of garden soil.
Pour the bag of soil into the container

Weigh the soil
The girls are putting the bag of soil into another container. Good work

Now weigh the paddy husk (sekam). 2 parts soil to 1 part husk.

Mix the sekam into the container of soil

Here comes the interesting part.
Pour the jar of fermented enoki mushrooms, cabbage leaves and orange peels into the soil-husk mixture
Mix them thoroughly. Good work, Yinqi!
This is what it looks like now. A bit like your breakfast muesli.

Then add the jar of tempeh and brown sugar

Look at my hand. Anyone for an invigorating face scrub?

We want to have some fun too
Yehhh, meeee too. Me tooooo.
Nice texture. Now you can make little cookies with this stuff. hehe. kidding
Close the containers and put them away in a shady corner until next week.
Check out our muscles. We're strong

Clean and dry all the used jars
Now let's wait for next week's exciting final episode. Be patient. No peeking into the containers. You'll never know what you may find inside them. Escaped wildlife?? Pythons? Iguanas? Anaconda? African tortoise? Wait and see.