Sunday, July 05, 2015

Fan Ling to Sha Tau Kok Run

It is not a particularly difficult run from Fan Ling to Sha Tau Kok along Sha Tau Kok Road.  It is a straight road, very easy to follow.  But it is really hot today.  Hence the 10 kilometres feels more like 20.  

The first half of the road is heavily built-up.  

As it moves away from Fan Ling, there are more open spaces, and live seems to slow down a bit.  

There used to be a checkpoint near the junction with Luk Keng Road.  

The area beyond that check point used to be restricted.  Now we can enter freely.  

At one point, I saw a big lump of black on the sidewalk.  For a split second, I thought it was a huge cow pie.  It turned out, however, to be an actual cow.  

There are some rather nice scenes in the former restricted area.  

The checkpoint is now very close to the border with Mainland China.  

There isn’t much to do besides having a bowl of toufufa.  Then I had to turn back. 

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Motorbikes on steroid

The motorbikes in Vietnam carry amazing and amusing things. 

They do similar things in Cambodia.  But there are also some distinctive practices.  For example, here they seem to use bags more, in a more systematic way.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Little Charity in Vietnam

I was waiting to cross the street at the junction of Pham Ngu Lao and Do Quang Dau in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday when I saw a young lady on a motorcycle bent down to   her right to put something down behind a bush.  At the same time, a young mother on another motorcycle to her left passed something to the young lady.  

I was quite intrigued and stayed at the corner to try to find out what was going on.  Moments later, a handicapped man emerged from behind the bush.  Apparently, the young mother passed some money to the young lady, who gave the money to the handicapped man. 

I saw similar scenes repeated at other street corners. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Making Pineapple Bun (菠蘿包) in Vietnam

A group of students from HKPolyU is teaching students in a hospitality school in  Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, how to make “pineapple bun” (菠蘿包).  The HK students are taking a service-learning subject offered by PolyU’s famed School of Hotel and Tourism Management.  

The Vietnamese school was set up less than a year ago by a Vietnamese director who escaped from Vietnam in 1975, spent 35 years in Germany and then returned 5 years ago.   

The school is actually set up in the bishop’s house. It targets young people from the countryside and the streets, who obviously cannot pay the fees.   They studied and live in the dormitory at the school.  The school is funded by donations from Vietnam and Germany.

While I was having tea with the director, a young woman came in and gave a small donation to the director, for the special need of one of the students.  

It is hard not to be touched by the story.  You want to celebrate the human spirit.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Stop Motion Animation in the Making

Here is one of the stories created by the local students.  It probably does not need explanations or dialogue.

We teach digital story telling for two reasons.  Firstly, story telling is a key element of learning.  A person makes sense of the world by integrating observations and experiences into stories.  We feel we understand something when they form sensible stories.  We also remember stories much better than facts and data.  We communicate better when the story we tell is compelling.  

Secondly, in the digital age information technology can enhance our story telling with photographs, videos, music, sound effects, and more.  

And above all, it is a lot of fun.  

Our students started by teaching the Dagon University students how to do it.  

And then they team up to teach the high school students.  

Today the high school students present their final product.  It has been quite an enjoyable week.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A sweet moment

Between two dogs in the wet market near Dagon university, Yangon, Myanmar. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Digital Story Telling Dagon

We have two sub-projects in Myanmar this year.  One team of 10 PolyU students conduct a workshop on writing mobile phone apps using AppInventor for Dagon University students.  Another team of 10 PolyU students team up with 10 Dagon U students to conduct a workshop on Digital Story Telling for students at local government Number 2 High School.  Actually the 20 students divide into 2 sub-teams to run two classes in parallel.  

The students write a story, sketch the frames to make a story board, take still photos of individual frames, and link the still frames to make a movie.  

At Number 2 School, we offer a workshop to 20 x 2 = 40 students in the morning, and another 40 in the afternoon. So all together 80 high school students are attending our workshops.  

Whenever there is a break, the other students would crowd our windows and doorways to catch a glimpse of what is going on.  It does cause interruptions to our classes.  So their teachers would chase them away.  But they would soon come back.  

Since we are here on a goodwill mission, everything is done in a good-natured way and we do not take it too seriously.  Occasionally we tolerate our students taking selfies with the students crowding the windows, as long as it is controlled and limited.  

The background of these workshops is that Dagon is starting a credit-bearing academic service-learning program of its own this year, and we are offering our help.  I offered a workshop for Dagon staff last year.  We invited some of their staff to attend our International Conference on Service-Learning last year, and we invited their staff to attend Barbara Jacoby’s workshops in early June.  

Our partnership is progressing well.