First Day of School……

On our first day of school, we did something different……instead of cramming into a classroom full of same-aged kids, we took them out for a swim with their friends of various ages 😊 – sunshine, fresh air and exercise are always good for the body, mind and soul – and doctors can’t recommend it enough!


And being with friends, exchanging holiday stories, making bubbles in the air, and just hanging out together after weeks of not seeing one another, is the best way to start the school year, me thinks! ☺️ It’s also called socializing 😉 something that our kids do very well, thank you!

We also did something new – a few of us moms decided to translate a story from Chinese to English – to be read to the children visiting the residents at the Valley of Hope this coming Sunday.

Here is our unofficial translation of the book “Nian” å¹´


Do you know what is “Nian”? He comes from the coldest winter and evolved into a lonely monster.

Long long ago, there lived a lonely monster named “Nian”. He lived in the tall mountains and had no one to play with.

Every time when winter approaches, he feels even lonelier. He doesn’t understand why, but he kept getting angry.
So he rushed down from the high mountain to scare the people down there.

“Help, help!” Cried the frightened folks.

So from that day, everyone would gather together,
To place the crackling firecrackers,
And hang up colourful buntings,
And carry brightly lit lanterns,
And prepare table-full of delicious dishes,
And wear fire-red costumes,
Celebrating the New Year with merriment.
“Nian” had since not appeared.

Year after year, the folks would celebrate the New Year happily.
And after a long time, everyone had forgotten about “Nian” the monster.

New Year is very merry,
But there are also those who are lonely.

“Nian” would catch hold of these lonely people by suddenly coming out and entering their hearts.

“Nian” would engulf them in the darkness of loneliness filled with resentment and fury.

Not long after, they are swallowed up by “Nian”.

“No! This can’t be. This ending is too frightening! You definitely do not agree to this.”

If you want to escape from “Nian”, it’s actually very easy.

Firstly, you need to have the colours of New Year. You need to have lots of red!

Even if you had quarrelled in the past, you need to say “sorry, let’s become good friends again”.
Wishing everyone “Happy New Year!”
You also need to forget about sadness. Call up everyone you know and wish them “Happy New Year!”

Leave no one out—not even one!
“Nian”, Happy New Year to you!

Hence, even “Nian” feels embarrassed and blushed profusely, and changed into an adorable new “Nian!”
A happy new “Nian”.

Happy New Year!

Now, every child looks forward to the arrival of the New Year!

The End.

(Translation team: Lees Low, Laura Lee & Wai Leng)


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