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Friday, July 31, 2009

Justin is Homesick

Justin is already 6 days old (as of Friday, 31 July 2009), but he is still at the hospital as he has jaundice. Justin's delivery was assisted by vacuum and as a result, he has the characteristic swelling on the head with some accumulated blood. We were informed that this extra blood is not easily processed by his yet-to-be-fully-efficient liver (or is it spleen?) and this is likely to be causing the jaundice to linger.

Angie was already discharged last Monday (27 July 2009) but she is lodging at the hospital to breastfeed Justin. She is obviously much more mobile than when she was recovering after Julian's birth via Ceasarean section :o).


Justin with Mummy
[Justin with Mummy]

Justin with Daddy
[Justin with Daddy]

Angie feed
[Angie on the way to the feeding room]

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Justin's Arrival

We are happy to announce the birth of our second child - Justin, on 25 July 2009. At birth, Justin weighed 3.32kg or 7lb 5oz. He is 47cm in length with a head circumference of 32cm. He was delivered spontaneously at 39 weeks (1 week early).

Baby Justin and Mummy Angie are fine. Justin is the second grandchild for Angie's parents, and the third for my parents... so far all boys.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Baby2 Updates: 38 Weeks

We are now 38 weeks pregnant. We visited our gynaecologist on 16 July 2009 and baby weighs about 3.2kgs. All is fine.

Angie at 38 weeks
[Angie at 38 weeks]

Monday, July 20, 2009

Baby2 Updates: 37 weeks

Angie visited the gynaecologist on 8 July 2009, alone. I was still on my return flight home from Egypt, probably somewhere over India.

Baby2 is fine at 37 weeks and weighs approximately 2.9kgs.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Egyptian Exodus (Day 2)

My students had their presentation late on Monday morning (6 July 2009). It went well. The numerous practice sessions paid off. Results would only be known the next day (7 July 2009) during the World Festival (closing ceremony).

So, after lunch we all went on a tour to the Sakkara Pyramid. Nine of us in the group paid USD20 each. Sakkara is located about an hour's drive out of Cairo. The famous Sakkara Pyramid is also known as the Step Pyramid because it is made up of 6 "steps".

Sakkara pyramid
[The Sakkara Pyramid]

In the same area, we also visited a "mastaba" tomb, i.e. the top part of the tomb is flat. Inside, the walls were adorned with beautiful hieroglyphics drawings, some of which are in colour (although faded).

Mastaba tomb
[The "mastaba" tomb]

A third attraction was a visit to the burial chamber inside another smaller pyramid. For this we had to crouch down (this reminds me of our visit to the Chu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City) to walk through a narrow declining passage way into the burial chamber where a now empty tomb is located. The ceiling of this tomb had drawings of stars. It was cool inside, a relief to the scorching and blinding sun outside. Here, we were also extorted by someone who appeared to be the caretaker. They were also a few peddlars trying to sell souvenirs.

Smaller pyramid at Sakkara
[A smaller pyramid with its burial chamber adorned with stars on the ceiling]

On the way back to the city, we stopped at a perfume shop called Royal Perfumes Palace. The perfumes consisted of those originating from a single flower such as lotus, rose, jasmin, papyrus, gardenia, etc., to blends with names such as Isis (for ladies), Ramses (for men), Christmas Night, etc. They also have aromatherapy oils such as mint, eucalyptus, lavender, aloe vera, etc. To help us "forget" the smell of a preceding scent, we were given a small cup of coffee powder to sniff. I bought a bottle of lotus flower perfume (LE150), apparently favoured by Cleopatra :o).

Royal Perfumes Palace
[The Royal Perfumes Palace lounge where we sat down and had our hands dabbed with different perfumes]

The tour ended at 5.30pm, after which I headed to Spinneys for some souvenir hunting.

Date palms
[A date palm plantation near the Sakkara Pyramid]

Developed part of Cairo by the River Nile
[A more developed part of Cairo just by the River Nile]

Not so developed
[A shot of a not-so-developed part of Cairo. But no TV aerials please... only satellite dishes :o)]

Watermelon man
[A watermelon-man. Although there are much newer make of cars in Cairo, cars like the one in the foreground are not uncommon]

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Egyptian Exodus (Day 1)

While the chosen people of biblical times fled Egypt, I did the reverse in a very last-minute trip to Cairo, Egypt for the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2009. My students were finalists for the Design for Development Award.

My EgyptAir flight was rather eventful as it was delayed by about 1 hour 15 minutes and only left KLIA at about 1.00am early Sunday morning (5 July 2009). The flight touched-down at 8.30am local time and I only managed to clear all the formalities at 10.00am after a very long wait for my checked-in luggage. I arrived at the competition venue, Intercontinental Cairo Citystars, at 10.20am.

Pyramids from plane
[Pyramids: Some pyramids were visible as we approached for landing]

As the programme for 5 July 2009 did not involve my students, I took the opportunity in the afternoon to visit the Egyptian Museum with another member of the Malaysian delegation. Entrance fee is LE60 (1 Egyptian Pound (LE) = RM0.65, or RM1 = LE1.55). Lots of ancient Egyptian artifacts on display. Particularly interesting were the artifacts found in King Tutankhamon's Tomb. There is also a Royal Mummy Room (with a separate entrance fee of LE100) with 12 mummies on display.

Egyptian Museum
[Egyptian Museum]

After the museum, we wondered around a bit trying to find a place to have a drink. We settled for what appeared to be a coffee-shop. It was a noisy place with many of it's patrons talking loudly. Many of them were also seen smoking water-pipes (or "sheesha"). I ordered hot fenugreek tea (LE1.25) and an iced hibiscus drink (LE1.75) which tasted something like ribena except that it appeared more reddish.

[At the coffee-shop: The guy in the foreground was not happy that I used the camera flash]

My first day in Cairo ended with dinner at the Citystars shopping complex. We headed for Fattoush, a Lebanese fastfood outlet, and I ordered a mix-grill. In Citystars, there's also a supermarket called Spinneys... very convenient.

Lebanese mixed-grill
[Fattoush Lebanese Mixed-grill]

One thing I learned is that it is better to carry US dollars and exchange it on arrival. Rates in Malaysia were bad... RM1 = only LE1.17.

Also, communication with taxi drivers is not always easy as few of them speak English. In Cairo, the yellow taxis appear to be more reliable as they had meters, and were generally newer and in better condition than the more common black and white taxis.

Cairo taxi
[Black-and-white taxi]