Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Post-First Sessional 1 - GOA


First sessional was indeed a hectic and mind-blowing experience. All the facts, pure solid facts we were forced to memorise, plus all the jitters we encountered during Viva-Voce, just for the sake of not failing for the exam. Praise God, I managed to persevere for that 3 agonizing weeks. And guess what, my hard work and determination paid off, I managed to score Distinction for both Physiology and Dental Anat/Histo! I was so surprised to see my results, truly it was God's bountiful favour upon me! I haven't got my results for Anatomy and Biochem yet. But whatever the outcome is, I am already truly thankful for what He has done. :)

Right after my Viva-Voce for Physiology on Saturday, I rushed back home to pack my stuffs, preparing for the much anticipated Goa trip. Before leaving for Manipal (took the bus from Manipal), I managed to catch up with my KTT ex-housemate, Mark, who is also a dear friend to me.

So I took the 7pm bus from Mangalore to Manipal with Kai Sze (from AB Shetty Uni). And oh boy, the bus was packed with people! Carrying such a bulky luggage and another big bag on my back (my DSLR was inside), I had to squeeze through the passengers to reach the middle part of the bus, because there was space for me to put my luggage there. So I stood for the next 1 hour, and that was when I started to feel nauseous and I couldn't help but to sit on the dirty floor of the bus. Thank God I didn't throw out. Phew...

Took the bus to Goa at 11.45pm (supposed to leave by 11pm, but you know, it's India). Took a motion sickness pill and slept throughout the whole journey till we reached at 6.30am.

Checked in at the guest house, then went to the nearest church, a Catholic Church. But the service was in Konkani, the local language spoken in Goa. Said a short prayer, then went back to Guest House. Cleaned up and off we started the adventure.

Though our stay in Goa was just a day, yet we managed to fully utilized our short time here by visiting several tourist spots.

We had our breakfast in Infantaria Restaurant. We had the opportunity to savor Goa's famous Bebinca and also the delectable Cheese and Chicken Croissants. Talking about it makes me drool!


Fort Aguada is one place one must not miss when one comes to Goa. We managed to visit Fort Aguada and its lighthouse. It is a well-preserved 17th century Portugese Fort standing on Sinquerim Beach. Apparently the fort was constructed to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas.

The Lighthouse

We also went on a cruise to see dolphins in the sea near the Sinquerim Beach, untrained dolphins! We got to see the fort from there, which houses the Central Jail and adjacent to it was the Millionaire's Mansion. A breathtaking sight to behold.

Central Jail On Sinquerim Beach

Then we proceeded to Old Goa, known as the historical and religious place in India. Goa has large Catholic churches and Cathedral, as majority of the people there are Roman Catholics. We got to see the largest church in the country, Se Cathedral. And also Basilica of Bom Jesus, which was packed with believers when we visited because there was a celebration going on, The Feast Of St Francis Xavier.

Se Cathedral

Tibetan Markets are a common sight in Goa. We saw Tibetans selling exquisite silver jewellery, with its distinctive fine and delicate designs.

Handmade dainty craftworks and fashionable clothing are also being sold along the streets of Goa. However, they love to jag up their price so as smart consumers, remember to bargain! :)

We were so fortunate to reach Baga Beach, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Goa, before the sun set. So I managed to capture some beautiful sunset moments at the beach. The light radiated by the sun definitely added spices to the happening atmosphere. The beach was crowded with tourists in their swimming suits, enjoying the glistening white sand and the variety of water sports available there.

Baga Beach

After the sun set, we strolled along the busy street of Goa, stopping by shops by shops, bargaining prices of goods (Lawrence's style was simply amusing), just taking pleasure in the freedom of exams, no more cramming facts into our saturated brains, life was so stress-free at that very moment. We had our dinner at a Chinese Cuisine Restaurant, and we relished in the scrumptious Chinese dishes, which made us missed home even more.

It was indeed a brief yet a trip worthwhile. In the end, what made the trip even more memorable was definitely the good old friends that I spent the time with together.

Lovely friends

Lectures resume their hasty pace again. But for the meantime, I'll stay relax and indulge in the post-exam, tension-free season.

Click here to view more pictures.

Monday, October 17, 2011

If singing is all that we need to do...

I like singing. To be more specific, I like to sing songs of certain genres and songs which do not bring out wrong messages.

Back in Malaysia, I used to perform song presentations in church with my brothers or with the youths during special celebrations such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, Church Anniversaries.

Retrospecting back the times I sung on stage, especially the first few times, remembering how nervous was I when hundreds of eyes were staring at me; now knowing that I actually managed to overcome that fear miraculously, again and again, I couldn't thank God more for His World Class training skills.

I found a video of me performing a love song during a competition in Tampin. Sarah and I performed a duet together. Do pardon me for my slightly off key at certain parts, I'm not a professional. Like DUH, if I am, I wouldn't have stuck here carving. -.-

If singing is all that we need to do, we would only have Youtube and nothing else.
Kan best? Don't have to waste so much time Tweeting like birds and Fb-ing.


Monday, October 10, 2011

If there is a God, why does he allow suffering?!?

It’s a huge question, isn’t it? Hardly a day goes by when we don’t come across suffering. Devastation caused by earthquakes and tsunamis… millions living in poverty… children being abused… family breakdowns… bullying… people suffer. We suffer. So it’s right to say to God: “God, if you’re there, why don’t you do something about it?”

Well, imagine we could actually tell God what to do. Where would you suggest he starts? How about God gets rid of the terrorists and the murderers. That would mean a lot less suffering for many people—but suffering hasn’t been eradicated yet. How about God deals with the paedophiles and the drug dealers and the thieves? We can see the world’s getting a much better place, but it’s still not perfect.

How about God gets rid of the unkind, the gossips, the liars, the selfish—oh, but that’s actually me.

You see, when we ask God to get rid of suffering, we’re actually asking him to get rid of us. We do suffer, but we actually cause loads of suffering ourselves. That time when we lost our temper with someone… when we trod on someone to get to where we wanted to… when we ignored our kids because we were just too tired or busy… when we gossiped about a work colleague… when we were just plain nasty to someone. We cause much suffering.

So if we demand that God throws suffering out of this world, we’re actually demanding that he throws us out too.

God is delaying the day when he will deal with all suffering so that we can realise that we’re part of the problem, and we can ask him if there’s any way not to be thrown out of his world.

That’s an answer—but the Bible offers us much more than that. I don’t know you—and maybe you’ve clicked on this video because you’re really struggling with something at the moment. When I’ve struggled in the past, what I need more than answers is hope – I need to know that I’m going to get through this suffering, and I need to know that there’s something beyond this suffering.

And the amazing thing is that God knows what you’re going through when you suffer—because he himself suffered. God lived on earth as a man, Jesus, and Jesus suffered and even died in agony on a cross. He promises to be with those who trust in him, comforting them and helping them through their suffering.

But even more amazing than that promise is that God promises that one day he will put an end to all suffering. Those guilty of causing suffering will one day have to answer to him, and justice will be done. He promises that he’ll make a perfect world, a world of “no more death or mourning or crying or pain”, for those things will be gone forever. And God says that because Jesus died you, me, anyone, can ask for a place in his perfect world instead of being thrown out of it.

You know, when I’m going through suffering, knowing that God is with me, and that one day I’ll live with him in his perfect world, are two amazing hopes that keep me going.

Well, this is a huge and really emotional subject, and I’ve only had a short space to talk to you about it. But why not go along to a good local church, and there you’ll find some people who’ll be able to help you practically, listen to you, and answer any more questions you may have. You know, churches are just full of people who’ve suffered in the past and who may still be suffering now. But they know the promises of God—that he will be with them, and that one day they will live with him forever in a world with no more suffering.

Found this article. It answered my question, has it answered yours?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Updates in Manga!

September has just gone by. Now living in the month of October, carving seems to be part of my life; assignments are a norm and increasing amount of reading awaits me (even more to come).

Veron, Brendtha, Jing Ju and some others have already left India and are now in Malaysia. In just two brief months, I learned so much from them and there were so many memories to be treasured and cherished. I just wanna wish them all the best in Malaysia and I believe they will be great Dentists for Christ! :)

Stress kicks in, of course la, having classes till Saturday. New topics are being introduced everytime when there's Anatomy class. And we have 3 Anatomy lectures per week. So that makes it 3 topics per week, and yes you counted it right, 12 new topics to learn every month. (+-3) And yes, that's only Anatomy.

Oh ya, VIVA. It is an oral test and it's important as some marks are allocated for the University exam results. You know, I panic easily especially when it comes to talking FACTS. You can ask me to lead a worship service of a few hundred people, you can ask me to crack a lame joke, you can ask me to act a skit out in front of a crowd, but answering questions about the reactions of Monosacchrides?The different aspects of a Mandibular Central Incisor? My mind often goes blank and "what I'm gonna say, what I'm gonna say". The facts are all scattered and to put all the pieces of the puzzle together in such a definite short time? Susahnya. However, praise God nowadays Viva is much better than the first time. (because I literally hafal every word before Viva, lol)

Good thing stress is there to draw my attention away from unnecessary naps (looong naps) and keeps me focused when I mug. Not to the point of driving me crazy, yet.

Sometimes when I wake up on Saturday mornings, I get very angry because there's class on Saturday, although it's Biochem Practical which I really enjoy. I'm sleep deprived, even on Sundays I have to wake up early for church service at 8am. Uni life in India is really not fun, but again, it's still the beginning.

And if you think church is the most comfortable place to go, it's not so here. It's no big church, it's a small hall, no AC just fans, packed with 100+ people, singing and worshiping on the top of their lungs, exhaling significant amounts of carbon dioxide. Imagine the heat one has to endure for the next 2 hours in that small enclosed room on the highest floor of a corner shop lot. Well, if you are one who keeps complaining about your church not having this, not having that, think again.

It's good to improvise the church building with the addition of facilities for the convenience of the church members. But when it comes to the point of not feeling like praising God because of the absence of such facilities, that is the problem. Our belief is not based on convenience but based on His word. In fact, we should all the more rejoice in what we do not have, than what we have. When we learn to praise Him in unfavorable situations, we will eventually get to enjoy what we already have to the fullest.

In Church

Yet always have to be reminded, I have 4 years and 10 months to go. No complaints, just make the best out of my life here. I do not know His plans for me, but it is surely going to be something amazing.

Now I understand how it feels to be homesick.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

God In The Ancient China

For people who are interested with Chinese History, this 1 hour sermon gives you a clearer picture of it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Broken To Be Blessed

If you are really good with your hands, you would love 1st year BDS. Because you have to make impressions, making cast, dealing with Plaster of Paris, carving tooth and not to forget, lots of drawing too (Histology, Dental Histology & Dental Anatomy). All these would be a piece of cake for you.

If you aren't, then you would end up like me. It's not that I don't like to draw and carve, but I just couldn't come out with a good masterpiece.

Last Tuesday, I was doing the finishing of maxillary central incisor. I was polishing the root, without using much force, absolutely acknowledged the fragility of a wax block. However, somewhere out of the blue the root just broke off from the base! I shrieked.

I was discouraged. Not merely due to this incident, but because of the other times when I couldn't carve a proper tooth within an hour (yes, in exam it's only an hour!). Till now, I could not get my mandibular impression correctly. And not to forget, lectures are going so fast till I couldn't catch up with their pace. The accumulation of these disappoinments wore me out.

You wouldn't know how tough it is especially studying a course that you like but the course is continually instilling 'hatred' in you. Bear in mind, the toughness increases in intensity. I guess only my course mates understand how I feel.

Above all these struggles I am currently facing, I know God is there moulding me, shaping me to become a stronger person. I love a line in the song "Stronger" by Mandisa, it says

"Try and do the best you can,
Hold on and let Him hold your hand."

and also this line,

"He knows that this is gonna make you STRONGER."

"Sounds so cliche, it's just a motivation quote to make you feel better," you may think. But I tell you, it is true that God is Emmanuel. He is always there for us, to keep a close eye upon our lives. God's promises never gets old-fashioned.

So I was quite down on Tuesday and the next day, I felt a little better. On Wednesday night, I had dinner with my pastor and his wife and my seniors. And at that time I received a sms from my junior Lynton telling me a super junior of mine in KTT had said the sinner's prayer. Instantly I felt joy in my heart. What an awesome news to brighten my gloomy, bleak days!
Had cell just now. It's great to get together as Malaysian Christians, reading the Word of God and grow together spiritually. Even the makan time is something I always look forward too! My seniors are really talented cooks, their pork ah, chicken ah, sayur ah, rice ah *slurps*, sedap hingga menjilat jari!!!

So see how blessed I am!

Mangolore Malaysian Cell Group

By the way, these 4 will be sent to the court. Hopefully the verdict will at least let 2 of them be released la...

Please ma'am, just say YES!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Eager to be Korean, a sudden urge, lol

No more spikes starting from tomorrow. Guess how long will that last? (I really love spikes!)

Gonna make myself Korean, though how impossible it would be, and though you readers are rolling your eyes at the moment you read the word "Korean". I'm gonna do it anyway.

Malaysian Indians (most of my friends) think Korean guys are gays, what about Indian Indians? I wonder...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New members in the house

Finally the laptop came yesterday, 29th AUGUST 2011. (I will remember this date always and forever)

No matter how much dissatisfaction I have against the Manipal admin for giving me 'pseudo' info, yet I'm still thankful to the university for giving me a free laptop.

Lenovo L420, dull design but specs/features not bad. :)

And of course, if you're a BDS/MBBS student, you cannot don't have this good friend to accompany you throughout your first year.

Say HI to my new friend!

Anyway today's Raya in India. At the same time, it's Merdeka. So double celebration here! Will be celebrating later with all the other Mangalorians in some place. Yay, Malaysian Food!

And also at the very same day, friends from Devangere, Manipal and Karad coming down to meet up with us. So excited!!!

Don't know when I will be as fat as that, haha. Good Day everyone. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where's the laptop!?!?

From the title of this post,I guess you should know that I am laptopless. That's not the point actually, the point is I supposed to get my laptop from Manipal Uni on the first week of my arrival in India itself, AS PROMISED via that phone call which I will remember for the rest of my life. Come on la, if you can't give us the laptops on time, then just say so, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIE to me. It is already a month now and it's so inconvenient to go online using phone. Can't right click, can't view pics in new tabs, time wasted, energy wasted. Anyway, I am so thankful that I bought a smartphone before reaching here, or not I'll rot to death here without connecting to the outside world.

So, back to whoever you are, I feel cheated, seriously. I trusted your words and left the laptop in Malaysia despite friends telling me
not to trust you. But I chose the road not taken, all I can say is my oh my, Edwin is just too naive. Or dumb. Yea, dumb is a more suitable word.

Guess I shouldn't trust so much of your words. Because I realized the tone of voice can be very deceiving too. A message may sound so promising, but in turns out to be an empty vessel.

Hope you don't mind me venting out my frustrations here. I don't have a personal room to scream like a cuckoo you see.

Just an update of my life in India. I'm doing good here, with great friends. Awesome seniors, couldn't be thankful more. Cell groups are informative, being fed with spiritual food and of course yummy edible food! LOL

Wanna post some pics but I'm blogging thru my phone, so I can't upload them now. So you see why I need the laptop so much!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Away from home

I suddenly realized that I'm no longer a kid, living under mum's apron spring anymore. Here I am, for weeks here in the Land Of Spices which previously, has always been a stranger to me. A different culture and lifestyle altogether, I felt the chills when I first stepped into this land. However, I chose to divert this pessimistic mindset of my mine to something positive instead, and guess what it worked!

Where should I start? Okay, let's start with the food here. Mess food, I guess everybody knows about it. It started off okay, but then it became boring. The same food again and again, potatoes, potatoes, potatoes! Haha... However, compared to other universities' mess, mine is actually considered much okay.

But the AWESOME thing here is, we have restaurants everywhere!

Hotel food is quite cheap, around 200+ rps for western food. And the serving here is really BIG! I ordered Chicken Briyani Rice and I was so full till I had to flex my body anteriorly. (haha, using anatomical terms)

Cafe Coffee Day, a famous cafe in India

Dosa (Thosai) in Ocean Pearl Hotel

We get cheap cakes here as well (but not as tasty as SR, *slurps*)

Come to mode of transportation. Auto rickshaw. You can't get to your destination without an auto. It is the most convenient and economical mode of transportation here in Mangalore. A bit scary, but I got used to it already. Just anggap it as a roller coaster ride you'll feel much better. Haha...

Campus Life. The first time I saw my uni, I was shocked. Guess why? Look at the pic below.

As we walked further in, I finally saw my hostel. And that sight gave me the biggest of the biggest sigh of relief. A pleasant sight at least. Overall, the hostel facilities are good. At least it's worth the 97900rps for an AC room.

New Bejai Boys Hostel

Water dispenser on every floor

Our uni bus

Studies. We had orientation on the first day which lasted for hour? Then the next day classes started. Lots of things to read, a lot to memorise. It is not easy at all. For 1st year BDS, there are 3 exam-going subjects, 1)Anatomy 2)Physiology&Biochemistry 3)Dental Anatomy & Oral Histology. There are also 2 non-exam going subjects which are equally important, Prosthetics/Prostho and Dental Materials. Dentistry deals a lot with hands, as we need to carve and make impressions. However thank God the lecturers here are really good.

Entertainment. YEA! You can find lots of entertainment here. We have 3 shopping malls here (or more, I have not explored everywhere yet!). Bharath Mall is about 5 to 7 minutes walk from my hostel. Basically, you can get your necessary stuffs there. There's a cinema in the mall too.

City Centre Mall is the biggest and the most happening shopping mall in Mangalore. About 3km from my hostel. Here we have Reebok, Puma, United Colors Of Benetton, Nike, stuffs you think India doesn't have they have it here. And KFC, but the food seriously indianized already. Haha... Want some adrenaline flowing through your spine? This mall has a Scary House! I haven't tried it yet, will try it one day.

We can find lots of eager shutterbugs here in India. But not the locals, they're all Malaysians. Spread the photography virus around!

In India, you need umbrellas. It rains everyday and the surrounding is damp. Thus you need thirsty hippo and a dry box if you have a DSLR, for your lenses. And Milo, if you can't live without it. And a pair of Crocs, because your shoes/slippers will get dirty and wet during the monsoon season.


Miscellaneous pics...

And here it ends my blog post but now begins a new chapter in my life being away from home. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Journey of an 'ex-bracesed' kid

I recalled the first day I went for an appointment with the dentist regarding fixing a pair of braces for me. It was in June 2003. I went back home disappointed because the dentist said my jaw was too small to have braces and I had to wait for another year.

I had bad teeth. Whenever I looked at myself in the mirror or in pictures, my teeth would always stand out somehow. One of my maxillary central incisors protruded out and my two canine teeth looked dracula-ish. Whenever I tried to lick my teeth with my tongue, I couldn't reach that particular tooth which was way too front. I looked at my brother's teeth and honestly, jealousy gripped me as he could smile with so much confidence, and he looked really nice in pictures. I too gave my best smile in pics, but in the end I felt my smiles weren't so appealing. Due to the disorderly arrangement of my teeth, food often got stuck in between them. I had so much trouble dealing with them.

So in August 2004, I managed to get myself registered in the government hospital to fix my braces. Only then I knew that I wouldn't get them straight away as there was a long list of other poor people like me who had bad teeth and wanted to get braces too. And so I waited and endured this crooked teeth for another 4.5 years. After SPM, I finally put on my braces.

This journey of wearing braces have been bittersweet. I miss those moments of showing off my coloured bands, enduring the come-and-go and come-and-go-again pains, brushing teeth almost after every meal, 'toothpicking' food stuck in teeth (esp green leafy veges, hate it) and many more. Well, as much as how I miss them, I would not want to go through it all over again. I prefer them to remain as memories treasured in my heart.

I'm thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to experience ugly teeth. Only then, I got to experience what it was like wearing metals for 2.5 years. And only then it reinforced in me the interest to do dentistry. It was all planned so beautifully. Like a piece of Sonatina, the ups and downs of life helped me perceive life a different way. I'm now all ready to India!

(Nevertheless, beauty is skin deep. I still hold on to the belief that physical appearance isn't as important as our inner beauty)

QUIZ: WHO HAS THE BEST SMILE???Yup, you guessed it right!

Yea, you guessed it right again! LOL

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Apostles' Creed

I've heard of the Apostles' Creed, but my church doesn't practice reciting it. Because of that, I didn't take the trouble to memorise the whole creed, but just the first few lines.

Until I attended a Methodist church service last year, I finally read it out aloud at the end of the service.

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

After the service, I was rather confused, or you can say troubled at a statement in the creed. I wonder whether some of you had the same doubt as me.

Thanks to dad and the book "Hope Again", I finally understood what it meant.

My deepest concern was the statement "I believe in the holy catholic church." I knew Methodist believers are not Roman Catholics, so how could they say they believe in the holy catholic church?

Later I realized that "catholic" (small alphabet c) meant "universal", so what they were really saying was "I believe in the universal church." So no contradiction.

Lastly, I hope our belief goes beyond any creed...FAITH. Without faith, it's still just a creed. It is a statement of our faith!

The question is, do I believe the truth of that statement? Do you believe it? If yes, there is hope for you beyond the creeds. And that hope is a heavenly home reserved for you and I. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

She's a blessed woman indeed

It's mum's birthday today.

Thanks for everything, not because I don't know what to say, but because it's everything!

You are blessed like Mary for these 3 reasons:

1) For having 3 obedient, not to mention good-looking sons.

2) For having the opportunity to eat your favourite Vietnamese cuisine.

3) For getting the chance to indulge in all time favourite Chocolate Banana cake.

And the list goes on and on...

The conclusion is, Happy 52nd Birthday Mum! We love you!