Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Moving On

Today Jacob had his Moving On ceremony as ISB. The ceremony is a sort of graduation ceremony, where the kids move on from Elementary School to Middle School.

The ceremony was very nice. The ninety minute event included some remarks by school dignitaries, each of the 154 5th graders receiving their certificate, obligatory thank yous and a nice slide show with photos of the kids.

Tim and I arrived about twenty-five minutes early, just in time to find two seats in the center front row. I brought my camera and 70-200 lens (the big lens), so I had a great spot for photos. Actually, I did move a bit when they handed out certificates so that I could get a better shot of Jacob and some of his friends.

While the kids no doubt enjoyed the ceremony, I think they really were looking forward to the pool party afterwards. Today and tomorrow pretty much consist of one big class party. Not a bad way to close out elementary school.






Wednesday, May 25, 2011


_MG_1348 by ebvImages
_MG_1348, a photo by ebvImages on Flickr.

I like how Aleena's hair almost looks blond with the sun behind it. For a few seconds, I guess Tim had her wish and had a blond haired child.

Single Bound

_MG_2141 by ebvImages
_MG_2141, a photo by ebvImages on Flickr.

During the Panther Paws Track & Field events, Aleena had the chance to jump the hurdles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yes We Can Dance

This past weekend, Nalin and Aleena participated in the ISB After School Dance performance titled Yes We Can Dance.  Both girls and their fellow dancers did a great job.  Its really amazing to see how far they've both some in the last two years of dancing.  Two years ago, Aleena watched the assistants for her moves during the show.  This time, she knew them herself and did well.

Nalin really impressed me.  She was so much more confident and performed so much better this year than she had in year's past.  It was really great to see her improve.  At the beginning of the year, Nalin had signed up for jazz and tap dancing.  She stopped tap after the first semester.  She was so excited about this year's performance that she says that she wants to sign up for three different sessions next year.  For some reason she seemed surprised when I told her that it was fine.  My guess is that when it comes down to it, she will sign up for jazz and street funk, but pass on ballet and tap.

I worked the right door backstage for Friday's performance.  It was actually fun to see the girls getting ready for their big performances.  They practice all year, and this is their one big chance to shine.

Before the show, I snapped a few photos of the girls sitting and listening to instructions.  Of course the light wasn't great and I didn't use my flash.  I was going to toss them, but then I played around a little and was happy with how they came out.

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After the show, I grabbed Nalin and her cousin Pam for a few photos. Aleena came along and I got her with the two, but I didn't see their cousin Pinkie, who had also performed.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Khao Yai

This weekend we went on an overnight trip to Khao Yai with some friends. We stayed in the Bonanza Resort which is operated by a friend of one of our friends.

We had rain on Saturday, which put a bit of a damper on the day. Still, the girls were pretty happy, as all they had plenty of playmates due to the fact that all the families had first grade girls. Jacob had it a little rougher, as the only other boy was a third grader. They got along well enough, but the girls were sometimes a bit much for Jacob.

The weather was a lot nicer on Sunday. The kids got to do a lot of activities, such as horse back riding, zip lining, and more. Below are a few photos from the trip.




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Young Poet Society

Today was the Poets Celebration in Aleena's first grade class.  Parents were invited to come and watch as each student read a poem that they wrote.  Aleena's poem was title Wiggly Tooth.  Ironically, the wiggly tooth that inspired the poem came out later in the day.

In addition to the individual poems, the class performed "If I Weren't a First Grader".  I had heard Aleena recite this before, and I made my own version. Unfortunately my version was  unappreciated by the six and seven year olds.

The kids all did a great job.  After the poems, they enjoyed snacks brought by the parents.  The celebration was well timed, as today was a Thai holiday, allowing more parents to attend.





Monday, May 16, 2011

Tech Rehearsal

On Friday, Aleena's first grade jazz class held their technical rehearsal for their upcoming show. Parents were allowed to attend and take photos. I attended and took a few photos. I did not make it to Nalin's technical rehearsal that took place today.





Thursday, May 12, 2011


Approximately a year after the red shirt protests and riots, the Thai people are going to elect a new Parliament. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Ahbisit announced the dissolution of the House an set an election day of July 3rd.

Even though he was removed during a coup almost five years ago, former PM Thaksin will play a big role in this election. Supporters are counting on his good name to help them win the election, while critics say that he is directly involved in controlling the Peau Thai Party. If true this could violate the five year ban on his involvement in politics, and potentially cause the dissolution of the Peau Thai party.

The consensus seems to be that in order for Peau Thai (red shirts) to form a government, they are going to have to win a majority of votes. Observers think that it will be difficult for them to form a coalition government. Even if the red shirts do win, that doesn't mean that they will be in power long. The previous two red shirt controlled governments ended with the PM's being removed by the courts. So I guess even when its over, it ain't over.

.Jiuzhaigou National Park

Our fourth day in China was my favorite as we visited Jiuzhaigou National Park. The park is very beautiful, with multi colored lakes and some beautiful reflections of the surrounding mountains.

The park is very large and we were not able to bring our rented van inside, so we used the public buses that operate in the park. The buses themselves were fine, but our fellow passengers seemed more than willing to knock over anyone in their way to get a seat. I managed to make a few Chinese guys unhappy. The first starting saying something to me in Chinese when I blocked him from getting on before me. More precisely, I held my arm against the bus so he couldn't shove his way through and knock over my kids who were standing right in front of me and between him and the bus entrance. At one stop, there was a man who was trying to reserve a seat for his friend with his jacket. As there were no other seats, I indicated that Nalin was going to sit there. He shook his head to tell me no. At that point our guide started berating him a bit, and he relented. It was a good thing for him, because I was more than willing to sit on his coat and put Nalin on my lap.

Despite my lovely fellow site seers, the park is very nice. We could have probably spent a few days there, particularly if it were just Tim and I.   In the morning we drove by this beautiful lake that reflected the mountains named Rhinoceros Lake.  I really wanted to take some photos there, and the guide said that we would return later in the day. As the time approached, he told me that the reflection might not be there as it is often more windy in the afternoon.  I was a bit annoyed but hopeful.  Rhinoceros Lake was one of our last stops, and fortune was with us, because the reflection was really beautiful.  I spent about thirty minutes taking photos.

Another fun part was when Tim, the kids and Sine rented Tibetan costumes for photos by one of the multi-colored lakes.  I think the cost was four or five dollars each, and we used the costumes for a good twenty minutes.

At the end we were doing some shopping.  Jacob found a Tibetan blade that he wanted to buy.  It was surprisingly cheap, about $30.  I mentioned something to the guide about it, and he told us that we would not be able to take it out of the country.  The Chinese government doesn't allow the exporting of Tibetan blades.  I'm just glad that we found out before he bought the thing.

Below are just a handful of the photos.  I was really happy with the shots of the lake with the Tibetan flags in the foreground.  Most people were taking photos on a wooden deck about seventy-five yards to the right of me.  I found a path with a ton of the prayer flags and followed it.  I was able to use some of them in the shot.  Its nice to get a shot that's somewhat different than every other shot.




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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Family Portrait

_MG_9295 by ebvImages
_MG_9295, a photo by ebvImages on Flickr.

I took advantage of the photo background that I purchased to take a few family photos. My plan is to try to do this once a month. I suspect that it is an ambitious plan.

Panther Paws Track & Field


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