Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Last Minute School Holiday..

Holiday can be quite unexpected, but I am the kind a person who would take a leap to make a holiday a worthy and well-deserved one.. ;-)

On the last day of school, Ariq caught the chicken pox. It was quite understandable as a few of his classmates caught it during the semester, especially during the exam period.

Ariq was fine within a week, but then, Aza and Kyra caught the chicken pox from Ariq, so we had to stay home longer.. We ended up staying at home for three weeks, out of the four weeks school holiday..

Bored? Of course.. Sad? Of course not! .. We just made a pledge to make the final week of the holiday worth the whole four weeks! How? Well.. this is how we do it!

School holiday started on the 13th of June, and will end on the 16th of July. On Wednesday, the 4th of June, all the chicken pox scars on Aza had disappeared. I quickly decided that our holiday just started!

The Saturday before that, Ariq had accidentally broke my Acer Tab LCD screen, when a piece of wood he was carrying hit the poor tab that was laying on the floor, while being played by Aza and a friend's daughter.. Ariq insisted to have the LCD replaced using his saving. So, when the ordered LCD arrived and the service centre staff called me, we needed to go to the service centre right away. There was a long line up for the LCD, and if we didn't claim one within the week, the service centre had to give it to another customer.

I took the opportunity to take the boys on a modest city tour the next day (Thursday, the 5th of July).. We took public transport, all the way from our home to the Acer Service Centre. We had to change transportation three times.

From the local public transports, which are called 'angkot', short for 'angkutan kota' (city transportation)

To a medium bus, a particular one called 'Metro Mini'

Then, to a 'Trans Jakarta' bus. This is a big express bus, which runs on a separate lane on the streets, so that it doesn't get caught in traffic. This bus is also called the 'Busway'.

On the trip to the Acer Service Centre, Ariq felt tired and uncomfortable during the first half of the trip. I could understand it, because he had been staying indoor for three weeks. However, as the trip went further, the boys started to enjoy the trip better, and we had a great time!

Ariq and Aza were having the best time during the trip back, when several street musicians (pengamen) went on and off the Metromini we were on. Some of the street musicians were actually pretty good, and Ariq admired one of them who had a pretty coarse voice which sounded like two people singing duet.. :-)

At the bus terminal, we saw a poster of the Mummy Exhibition which was going on around the bus terminal. Since it was already 5.30 p.m. and we were still about 2 hours away from home (by public transport), we decided to visit the Mummy Exhibition on Saturday.

The next day (Friday, the 6th of July), my nephew, Irfan -who is the same age with Aza-, called my mobile phone. He caught the chicken pox at the same time with Aza and Kyra. So, he just got better too, and he wanted to have a holiday together with Ariq and Aza. I agreed to meet him at the mall near my parents' home.

I quickly asked Ariq and Aza to get ready, and, we headed to 'Pondok Indah Mall', where we were supposed to meet Irfan and my parents to play in 'Fun World' and have dinner together.

As can be expected, the three boys were having the time of their life! Especially because they haven't been out for more than a couple of weeks! Not as much 'raw' adventure as the day before, but, it was just as much fun for them, and I just love watching them having fun together.. ;-)

The next day (Saturday, 7th July), we decided to stay at home and rest. My husband suggested to go to the Mummy Exhibition on Sunday, instead of Saturday> I agreed, believing that the boys would need the rest after two busy days..

On Sunday, we went to 'Blok M Square' to visit the Mummy Exhibition.

The Exhibition was pretty good, especially for Primary School Children. There were guides dressing up like the Pharaoh's guards who explained to visitors the highlights of the exhibition. There were five areas of the Mummy Exhibition.

The first was the modern mummification process documentary. The film was about a group of researchers, trying to recreate the mummification process on a donated corpse. The researchers were not using the highly sophisticated lab or equipment, instead they were using a room and equipment that are similar to those at the time the real mummies were mummified. They were also using the same mummification technique that the ancient Egyptians used. They wanted to prove that the ancient writing of the mummification process was accurate and could be done in the modern time with the same result.

The second area was where a few statues of ancient Egyptian gods and pharaohs were displayed. The guide corrected visitors about the most common wrong perception that people make:

1. Pharaoh (Fir'aun) is not a name of a King, but a title equivalent to King.
2. There are not only one or two pharaohs. There are at least a total of 40 pharaohs in the ancient Egypt, because that is the number of pharaoh mummies that have been found in pyramids or ancient sites in Egypt.
3. King Tut was not the pharaoh that ruled Egypt in prophet Musa's time. The pharaoh ruling Egypt in prophet Musa's time was Ramses II and Ramses III, who were the descendants of the King Tut's wife, after King Tut's death. King Tut was the youngest and shortest ruling pharaoh, as he was crowned at the age of 9 and died at the age of 19. He was married when he died but he didn't have any children.

After the display area, we came to the main area, which was where the modern mummy was displayed. The mummy was placed in a large glass box. Dried flowers were sprinkled on the top part of the glass box.

I asked the guide if the mummy was the one being mummified in the presentation film. The guide said that it was very possible. There were several corpses donated for the mummification research, and those mummies were the ones allowed to travel overseas for exhibition/education purposes. The real pharaoh mummies are now resting in museums and they are not allowed to travel to maintain their condition.

Another lady asked the guide why the mummy was covered in linen cloth. Why not just let them stay open so people can see the skin that was mummified. The guide said that the condition of each mummy is different. Some of them are perfect, but some others aren't. The ones that are in perfect condition can be displayed without the linen cloth wrap, but the ones that are not perfect must be kept wrapped, to avoid further damages. These damages could be caused during the mummification process, or by injuries or deformities during the pharaoh's life time.

Another visitor asked if the mummy has an odor. The guide said that mummy is basically a corpse, so it does have a smell. It can also break. That is why, besides the linen cloth wrapping, the lighting and temperature in the room where the mummy is stored or displayed must be maintained and closely monitored.

When all of the questions had been asked and answered, we were taken to the next area, where we had to walk through a labyrinth to reach the exit door. The labyrinth had many turns and dead ends. At any hidden corner, a mummy could be hiding, waiting to jump at us. Sometimes, the mummy also jumped and scared us from above the labyrinth wall.. One mummy was walking right behind us, making Aza grinning all the way through the labyrinth.

Aza, my 5-year-old, loves everything about the ancient Egypt. Being able to 'interact' with a 'live' mummy just made his day... If the exhibition area was shaped like a pyramid, Aza probably wouldn't want to go home.. :-D

The fifth and last area was the mini photo studio, where we could have our picture taken with a prepared background. After a few shots, the photographer team finally had one that they considered good for printing.

This is the one the photographer team printed for us

This is the one the photographer team thinks was not good for printing

Ariq and Aza asked if they could come back before the exhibition ended. I hope we can go there one more time before it ends on the 17th.

Monday, again, was a rest day. My husband went to work and Kyra's nanny was having a day off. So, we were just having an easy day.

Tuesday, was a different story, though..

Last week, a mother of Ariq's friend at school was organising a camp for kids between 9 and 16 years old. Ariq was supposed to go on the camp. However, since the quota for the camp was not met, and a member of the committee had a road accident, the camp was cancelled.

My husband and I were originally planning to stay around the camp area the whole day Tuesday, because it was going to be Ariq's first camp. Therefore, my husband requested two days off work. Tuesday to come to the camp, and Wednesday to pick Ariq up.

When the camp was cancelled, my husband and I decided to go to the camp area anyway. We thought it would be fun. Especially my cousin and a mother of Aza's school friend, recommended the place. We went there, and it was just amazing! A great adventure for the whole family and we came home with a decision that we had to make a 'part two' trip there, and next time, we might stay overnight there, either in the cottage or in a tent in the camp area.. ;-)

The place is called Kebun Wisata Pasir Mukti and with a good traffic, it is only about one hour drive from either Jakarta or Cinere/Limo.

The entrance fee and individual activities in park was very reasonable, which was between Rp 10.000,- and Rp 15.000,- , while other activities can be pre-arranged in groups, such as paintball skirmish, outbound, etc.

As it was a Tuesday, the park was quiet. We almost had it to ourselves!

As usual .. Aza had lots of fun with his 'friends' ..

Nice little lamb.. Can I be your friend?

(1)Can I sit on your back? .. (2)Whoops .. (3)Sorry! Didn't mean to startle you .. (4)Go ahead, eat! .. (5)Yes, we're friends

Hi, there..

Let's pretend that we're swimming together.. 

Kyra is finding out new things..

Paddy field path is a nice place for a picture

That little bird is pretty.. like me..

Sometimes, there's nothing in the cage

Dad is cool

Mum is mine

Big brothers are fun

(1)I'm cool .. (2)I'm sweet .. (3)I'm cute


I'm afraid of the buffalo who is having a mud bath!

Last but not least.. Ariq is doing his 'big-brother' thing..

See, Kyra.. Baby lambs don't bite..

Don't worry, I'll get you across safely..

I won't let you fall..

Pull your jeans up.. See my pants are dry..

And.. we were all having a great time..

That's our Last Minute School Holiday.. I'm sure now that the timing can be pushed to the last minute, but the fun, the great holiday, should not be pushed to anything less than great.. ;-)

I hope all of you had a great school holiday.. :)