Adeela Concept

19 April 2015 – Moving And Still Life

Sat & Sun: a blissful weekend at the farm observing life in all forms and shapes, reflecting on thoughts from the past week…


Domesticated life


Wild life



Beautiful and colourful still life in lush green surroundings with a nice shady spot for the car where I can vision a tree-house there in the future :-)

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Quite amazing looking at the ariel view to learn that the whole farm (100+aces??) was virgin jungle a year ago. Denis & Leonard cleared it, setting up the farm and living quarters (blue roof area) with minimal machinery and a few helpers to just pour concrete for the flooring in this unbearable heat. Total admiration and respect to them as I sit under the shade by a powerful fan hoping that cool words are not burnt in the fried brains…


The Adeela Concept has much potentials combining a sea-bass hatchery, and nursery for the students from the fishery and agricultural school as attachments. Eventually a full fish farm will be the result when the ponds are ready to sustain the mature fish. The teething period is always painful but that too shall pass…


Nidzam and Yashreen are here on attachment and so far they are attentive, cooperative and willing to ask questions – good signs. Also they are eating whatever I cook, another better sign :-) Training and disciplining them to learn the daily chores and responsibilities of other life than their own and also to handle the mundane monotony of cleaning tanks and feeding fish. Time will tell when the novelty wears out…


Plans and visions are to build some shelters by the ponds and the Danau River. Sometimes visions will have to wait as the priority has to be the reality! More important for now is to set up a reputable sea-bass hatchery and nursery to cover cost and preferably with some profits for improving the facilities. Focus on the present to give future its turn when the time is right to move on.


With Leonard running this place, there is no doubt that things will move forward in good time. Disadvantage is that this country is packed with bureaucracies and red-tapes!! Good luck and may the Force be with all who are involved here at Adeela – a just and worthy concept to pursue.



Provision stalls and eateries within 5-15mins walk from the farm.

Sight is about what lies right in front of us. Vision is what lies ahead – TH Church

Bandar Seri Begawan

17 Apr 2015 – Brunei’s Capital

Thu: Yashreen, one of the attachments had to make a presentation at school in town. Took the opportunity to see a bit of the capital, app 70km and an hour drive on the highway from the farm.

These 2 mosque were on my list to see.


Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque locally known as the Kiarong Mosque, built in 1992 and is Brunei’s largest mosque is to celebrate the 25th year of the current sultan’s reign.


I wonder how many tons of marble is used for the entrance stairs and the 30+outdoor benches??


A mosque that is indescribable! The architecture is amazing! There are 29 gold domes, all of 24K gold-plated! Boy, do they ever shine in the sun! The fence posts are 18k gold. The fountains are beautiful.


The long hall to hold shoes is unbelievable. If you go, ladies must have a scarf for her head. No shorts. Pix not allowed indoors.


Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is an Islamic mosque, considered as one of the most beautiful mosques in the Asia Pacific, a major landmark and a tourist attraction of Brunei.


Built in an artificial lagoon on the banks of the Brunei River at Kampong Ayer – the ‘village in the water. The mosque has marble minarets and golden domes, a courtyard and is surrounded by a large number of trees and floral gardens. A marble bridge leads to a structure in the lagoon meant as a replica of a 16th Century Sultan Bolkiah Mahligai Barge.


The barge itself was completed in 1967 to commemorate the 1,400th anniversary of Nuzul Al-Quran and was used to stage the Quran reading competitions.


Kampong Ayer, or the Water Village is situated over Brunei Bay. 39,000 people live in there, roughly ten percent of the nation’s total population. All of the Water Village buildings are constructed on stilts above the Brunei River.


Not much time to take pix, just these 2 random shots by the mosques.


Fri: found this beautiful bug dead outside my bedroom door Mallotus Harlequin Bug Cantao parentum, commonly known as Jewel Bug.


Tkx for the visit Kay (an English teacher here) and a pleasure to meet her. Way to go Nidzam and Yashreen for a good demonstration to the guest.

61By action life may become both paradise and hell;
This creature of dust in its nature is neither of light nor of fire.

Brunei Kuih/Kuey/Kueh

15 Apr 2015 – For The Sweet Tooth…



Tue: 5-10mins drive to the mouth of the Danau River on one side and the S China Sea on the other side. Oil-rigs could be seen from a distance but was too early for sunset shots. Sad to see litter and garbage all around.


Tkx for the drive, Nidzam and Yashreen



Wed: Pumba the tom-cat was waiting for me outside my bedroom to ride with him this morning. To his disappointment, I went for a solo walk around the farm.


Kuih (also spelled Indonesian: kue, Hokkien/Teochew: kueh or kway; from the Hokkien: 粿 koé) are bite-sized snack or dessert foods commonly found in this area. Kuih is a fairly broad term which may include items that would be called cakes, cookies, dumplings, pudding, biscuit, or pastries in English and are usually made from rice or glutinous rice. Kuih stall in Brunei and kueh stall in Miri.

Tkx to Husna for the 4 varieties of kuih for breakfast this morning.

Kuih Lenggang: these green Spring roll-looking literally means Wiggle cake! It’s a pandan crepe filled with sweet dessicated coconut

Cucur Ubi: deep-fried shredded sweet potato.

Egg tart: on the rich side and the filling is more eggy.

Blueberry tart: similar to the Western ones.


Leonard bought these a few nights ago and always fun to taste new food.

Kuih Penyaram or kuih UFO! main ingredients rice & corn flour, coconut milk, palm sugar/gula melaka known in Malaysia, but here in Brunei it is call gula anau.

Kuih Denderam: sweet snack resembles a mini doughnut but is made from palm sugar.


Not easy here with daily cleaning and feeding. Leonard and the crew hard at work and deserve a good rest at the end of the day.



Sunset and starlight from the farm – Mother Nature at her best. Starlight pix credit to Leonard.


The Grand Old Lady

14 Apr 2015 – And A Grandmother!



Sat: emptying garbage at the dumpster and saw this man taking pix near by. Decided to ask what he was taking pix of was blessed to meet an ex-teacher who showed me where these amazing wild pitcher plants are growing. The one by the flower is Gracilis. The others from left: Rafflesiana, Nepenthes gracilis, Nepenthes rafflesiana and Nepenthes hookeriana. Tkx to YZ Siaw for the names.

Grocery shopping in Tutong. There is this fantastic market/function center before you get into Tutong when we were and only a few stalls were open. Justin had a bowl of mee soto – nothing to really write home about! We were hoping for some kind of farmers’ market so that we do not have to go into Tutong – but no such luck. Was later told by the locals that this is a Thu market!!!


Still had to go into the grocery stalls for our produce passing by the bus which was making a toilet-stop from Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan heading to Miri. Took a pix of this guy trying out some exercise chair store, and no, the general population do not usually dress like him :-)


Delightful alfresco dinning to welcome the principal of the school Zai who sent the 2 attachments and to NurAnne who is involved in the agricultural and fishery department in Brunei. Appreciations to Leonard for the yummy sea-bass and to NurAnne and Zai&family for prawns, fish balls, cheese cake and satay. A great time was had by all.



Sun: on the road bright and early back to Miri for Justin to catch his flight in time. Justin’s mom has a green fingers. Custard apples, passion fruits, buah dongdong, chillies and longans. Tkx to TingTing for some of the names to these.


An early breakfast of Kolo mee at Merryland cafe again. The Sunday market was quite something where one could almost find all kind of wild produce and meat! Being me, I could not resist the hand-made basket.


The ginger were attractively presented that I had to take a pix, even when it is common to most of us! My favourite fern, midin and bought some rosette to make tea. The red colour is bright and beautiful and I like the refreshing sour and tart taste. Made 1litre and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Drank the whole bottle and had to make toilet-calls twice, but thank goodness I fall back to sleep easily. The locals use rosette to make jelly and jam but add tons of sugar!


Amazing bougainvillea up the tree at the Vistors’ Information Centre. First sighting with such an elaborate round-about! Miri Handicraft Centre with horn bill wall mural.



Situated on top of Canada Hill, the Grand Old Lady is the first oil well in Malaysia with a good view of Miri


The Petroleum Museum with no AC and it was way too stuffy to be inside, especially when there was such a lovely breeze outside on Canada Hill.


Miri City Fan, a unique fan-shaped (when viewed from the air) 10.4-hectare (26-acre) park in the heart of the city.


The Lian Hua San Temple is one of the more worthwhile places to visit which is reputedly the largest Taoist temple in SE Asia. The newly-not quite completed Buddhist temple has 2 giant dragons at the entrance – 海龙寺 literally means ‘Sea Dragon Temple’ costing RM1.6 million in the making; with the pair of majestic dragons (108 ft long x 30 ft in height) costing RM500K. Upon completion in July 2015, they will be the most expensive and biggest ‘dragons’ in Malaysia!! Tkx to LuLu for the info.


The Miri laksa is good but my favourite is still the KCH laksa. Tkx to Lulu for being such an excellent tourist guide. Would not have seen much of Miri if not for her.

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends – Maya Angelou

Chicken Or The Egg

10 Apr 2015 – Does Not Really Matter, I Will Eat Both :-)


Thu: tank cleaning instructions by Leo  to Nidzam and Yashreen who are on attachment here. These young men are lucky to have Leo, my computer guru as their instructor. When he can teach someone like me to do what I can do online, then he must be a good teacher!


Fri: lovely view from my bedroom window this Fri morning. Fri being Jumu’ah صلاة الجمعة for the Muslims – their prayers seem extra long and loud over the speakers!

The moment I wake up
Before I put on my makeup
I say a little prayer for you… – Bacharach


Simpoh Air, Shrubby Dillenia, common wild jungle plant with large leafs and yellow flowers. The flowers open at 3 am and last only a day. The ripe fruit splits open also the same time into pinkish star-shaped segments. The plant blooms from age 3-4 and can live for 50-100 years! Sends out very deep tap roots to reach underground water sources. The tree is used to detect water as it always grows near water.

The special thing about this useful plant is that the leaves can be used to wrap food and can also be used by tailor birds to make nests. Also used to staunch bleeding wounds and the fruit pulp may be used to wash the hair…


Healthy farm life with lush greenery. Melastoma malabathricum with purple flowers opening in the morning for 1day. The seeds stain the mouth when eaten, and is sweet and slightly astringent. The leaves and roots are used in traditional treatments of diarrhoea and dysentery. Powdered leafs may be sprinkled over wounds, roots used for a mouthwash for toothache. It is even used to treat elephants! The fruits may also be used to obtain a black dye, while the ashes of the plant is used to fix dyes.


Acacia mangium is a species of flowering tree in the pea family. Just love those pods and used to collect them when they were dried. Spray-painted them for jewellery and decorations. First time now encountering a fresh greens pods. So beautiful. Appreciations to Bian for the names of these delightful local wild plants.


Fresh eggs and chicken for our meals. Memories of childhood when we had our own chicken coop. Thank goodness I remembered that the chicken had to be blanched in hot water making the feathers easier to be removed…


One of the chickens was bullied by the others before this coop was ready. Tried to rescue it but the poor thing did not survived. Would have preferred to have her eggs than her meat. Leonard chopped the head off to drain the blood.

Some humour with eggs since I am eating them nearly daily :-)


A Fish Story

9 Apr 2015 – Asian Sea-bass

Wed: Calcalifer (Bloch) is commonly called the sea-bass or giant sea perch. It has been cultured in Southeast Asia for 10+yrs. Rough est as I have been informed –  out of the 1mil eggs laid by the female fish, the hatching rate is up to 70%. The lave stage follows lasting app 3-4week.


Sea-bass fry and fingerlings should be reared in concrete or fiberglass tanks up to the size 2.5 cms or 1 inch, takes roughly up to a month. The survival rate for the nursery period would be 60 to 80%, depending on feeding, aquatic environmental conditions and the expertise of the fish farmers.


Another month and the fry are ready to be sold to other fish farmers who will then raise them for the consumption market. Not easy to take pix of a shoal of them at this stage as they are easily frightened and can swim really fast! At present in this location they are only doing the hatchery and nursery. The farming part will be included with time.


Today a fish with an infection in the eye was taken care of but sadly we lost some mature fish, app 32″ 7kg. Poor fish were  splashing away last night during a change of water – old age and under stress conditions are not good combinations. The first day for some young students here on attachment to learn about this stage of the sea-bass’s journey.


Thu: an early morning walk to the main highway, app 900steps from the hatchery.


The morning  traffic was heavy with all the commuters heading to work! The mosque had their prayers on the loud-speakers at 04.30hrs. Have been warned, thus sleeping with ear-plugs and so far have not been wakened by them but do hear the loudspeakers going 4times the rest of the day! Another life time ago, I have questioned as to why they are unable to worship discreetly and quietly and today I am still wondering why?? At the junction of the of the main highway and Jalan Keramut Telisais is the nearest convenience store from Adeela عدیلہ نام = noble in Arabic/Urdu


Delightful tree with a swing made from an old tyre and a hammock. Felt like a kid again and wanted to go on them, but of course feeling and wanting to do so may not be a good idea. Alas if this is the result of age and wisdom – I might want to be otherwise :-)


Found this cicada lying on its back with red ants crawling around. Thought that it was dead but to discover on turning it around, was still alive. The question, do I leave nature to take its course? But it was on the concrete and not in nature. Moved it back to Mother Nature for her to decide it’s fate. Lived at the foothills of Mt Faber, Temenggong Rd/SIN in the 1950s and have heard their sounds thru’out childhood. Only today did I meet with a cicada whose sounds have been such a comfort to me.

Japanese haiku poets found something morose in the sound, an omen of the cicada’s short adult life. In the cicada’s cry, … no sign can foretell how soon it must die – Matsuö Basho

Borneo To Brunei

8 Apr 2015 – Jalan Keramut Telisai


Mon: met with Lawrence for late breakfast at the airport as his flight to KCH was taking off an hour before mine. Looks like the Easter bunnies are still around at Changi :-)


SIN-MYY just over 2hrs on AirAsia, with a slight delay for takeoff due to late incoming flight. The few back rows were not too packed and was glad to be placed there where I had 3 seats to myself and could take pix during the descend.


Appreciations to Justin for picking me and putting me at the Tropical Inn smack in the middle of town, a stone-throw from Merryland Cafe with  good Kolo mee. No WiFi at the inn or the cafe, but Starbucks is just around the corner and a perfect location for for morning coffee. There is a mall with Parkson with Meritx Hotel too.


Tue: Central Market at 0700hrs where one can still double, parallel, vertical park at the same time :-) Breakfast noodles costing MYR2.50/US .65cents, OK but the one at Merryland Cafe taste better.



YuLan Plaza in the background is one of the few skyscrapers here. A delightful taxi stand and part of the sidewalk all app 5mins walk from the Inn.

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Drove by much greenery. After the boarder into Brunei were some controlled burning to prevent wild jungle fires on the way due to the very dry season.


App 90k east of MYY at Jalan Keramut, Telisais, another dirt-road Simpang 44 (app 20k from Tutong) leads you to a Sea-Bass hatchery and nursery belonging to Justin and manage by Leonard. Looks like I will be in for a new adventure and some real fishy business the week ahead :-) Will share the info bit by bit as I learn…


Satay dinner at Tutong where the guys decided to have their hair cuts and a shave for S$3 per person. S$ and BN$ are exactly the same exchange rate and the S$ is accepted here.