The Aquarium

the Dumbo Octopus

This Monday, my family and I went to the Aquarium in U.S.A. At the aquarium, I saw many interesting fishes and aquatic animals. Besides looking at the sea otters, seahorses, jellyfishes, hammerhead sharks, tuna fishes, starfishes, penguins, octopuses and many other fishes, we also went to the touch pool and listen to a talk in the auditorium.

Among all the things I did at the Aquarium, my favourite three is listening to the talk, looking at the seahorses and the jellyfishes.

At eleven thirty, we went to the auditorium for the talk. First, the speaker told us that there was a research centre near the Aquarium, showed us what was going on in the ocean at that moment. There was a machine that was used to test the percentage of gases in the water, but since there was nothing much going on in the ocean at that moment, the speaker continued the presentation. She told us that the Earth is 90% water and so far scientists have explored only 1% of it! In fact, we know even more about Moon than we know about the deep sea.The speaker then showed us videos, pictures of different fishes, like the Tripod fish that has three long fins, which pierce into the sand to keep it from getting washed away by the waves. This makes it look like a tripod stand; therefore it is called the Tripod fish. There was also a long jellyfish that had long tentacles whish hang down to shock small fishes. The tentacles would then bring up the food to the jellyfish. My favourite fish the speaker showed us is the Dumbo Octopus. It is small, cute, and beige in colour. Unlike other octopuses, the Dumbo Octopus has no tentacles.

At the Aquarium, there was a separate section for looking at seahorses. We walked through it, looking at the different kinds of seahorses. They had small fins on their backs to help them to swim, and the fins moved so fast they were vibrating in the water. I also found out that seahorses twine together during mating. My favourite seahorse that I saw is the leafy seahorse. To camouflage with their surrounding habitat, the weeds, they grow “leaves”, even on their mouths!

Do you know whether jellyfish are a kind of fish? Well, before I went to see the jellyfishes, I considered them to be fishes. But, when I went there, I saw a sign that said that jellyfish are not fishes because they do not have fins and gills. There were different types of jellyfish there, like the egg yolk jellyfish and the moon jellyfish. An interesting one that I saw was a jellyfish that gave out lights, making it look like a toy run on batteries. The egg yolk jellyfish is a mess of tentacles, and is a slight shade of yellow, so it looks like an egg.

During this trip to the Aquarium, I have learnt many interesting facts, and I wish that I can come again!

My Cousin

I have spent a week in U.S.A.with my four and a half year old cousin, Louis, and during this period of time, I have got to know him better.

My cousin is about one metre tall, has rosy cheeks, a button nose, large round eyes and short punky hair. He is always cheerful and has a smile on his face. Since Chinese is his first language, I take this opportunity to speak Chinese to him to improve my spoken Chinese. He told me that his favourite cartoon character is Spiderman, and has two Spiderman piggy banks at home. I also found out that his favourite food is Chinese sausage. Whenever he sees one in the dish, he would want to eat it.

Louis is very clever and hardworking – I brought many books that I read when I was his age for him, and he always wants to read them whenever he has the time. I enjoy playing hide and seek with him in the house, playing LEGO with him and drawing the pictures in a book.

Louis is also very active. On one of the days in my trip, we went to climb a mountain. Once we reached there, he enthusiastically started running up the slopes, and then rushed down again. We used the benches they provided along the way as landmarks. By the time we reached the second bench, we were already quite tired. To our surprise, Louis still wanted to continue climbing! Louis really is so active and has a lot of energy! He ran a larger distance than I did, because he ran up, and then came down again. Furthermore, his legs are much shorter than mine, so for every step I take, he needs to take almost four steps!

One of Louis’s favourite activities is flying a kite. Today, we went to a field where grass was very green. We first went to feed ducks, and then went to set up the ladybug kite we brought along. After setting it up, Louis excitedly grabbed the roll of string and ran across the grass patch next to us, releasing the string as he ran. We explained him that that was not the way to fly a kite. My uncle went over to him and took the roll from him, and taught him how to fly the kite. After seeing how to fly the kite, Louis tried to fly it immediately, with my father helping to hold the kite. Unfortunately, the kite could not fly as there was no wind today.

I wish I can play with Louis often. Since I would be back to Singapore next week, I will try to keep in touch with him using Skype.

An Inspiring Event That Has Changed My Views About Scouting

From the 12th of November to the 15th of November, I went with ninety over scouts to Mawai Eco Camp, which is located in Malaysia. Some of them were from my unit, the Pelican Cub Scouts, and others were from Anglo Chinese School. We assembled at Henry Park Primary School, and I was selected to be the sixer of my group.

Where on earth is Mawai Eco Camp? Well, it’s situated by the Sedeli River, at Mawai Lama, north of Kota Tinggi town. It is built over a freshwater swamp and entirely of materials from the nearby forest. What is unique about the camp is that there are no walls to obstruct your view of the surrounding forest!

Throughout the camp, I participated in many fun activities, and I felt that the most memorable and interesting one was climbing Gunung Arong, which was just an hour’s drive from the campsite. Although Akela told us that Gunung Arong was 300 metres tall, I had no inkling how tall a 300 metre tall mountain really was, because I had never seen a mountain before. When I got off the excursion bus, I got a shock of my life - the summit seemed like it was touching the clouds! We got into single file and started climbing up the mountain.
The climb up Gunung Arong was dangerous, challenging and tiring. There were obstacles along the way, like enormous fallen tree trunks, mossy rocks and slippery mud. One could slip on the mud and roll off the side of the mountain without warning. My knees trembled as I grabbed onto tree branches to prevent myself from slipping down. Just then, I remembered Scout Law number five - “A Scout has courage in all difficulties.” I mustered up my courage, dispelled all my fear, and focus on climbing the mountain. Somehow, that tactic worked. I felt more confident, and helped Zachary, the smallest boy in my six, to climb up those higher steps. Finally, we reached the summit of Gunung Arong after an arduous trek. I enjoyed the magnificent sight of the coast, which was shaped like a “C”, and the incredibly blue sea. My six and I then sat in a circle to enjoy our lunch cooked by our camp chef.
After our lunch, it was time to head down. The climb down was equally dangerous, and at some points, we were assisted with ropes for safety. Although it was less tiring, the path had more obstacles, and irritating ants biting us along the way. At one part, we had to abseil down a giant rock. Although it was difficult, I felt that it was fun. An hour later, when we reached the ground, I felt a great sense of achievement.
Before I came to this camp, I thought that the activities would be easy to complete, as almost all the activities we normally did were well controlled and not very challenging, especially for cub scouts.

Why is this event inspiring? I managed to conquer Gunung Arong with my own pair of hands and legs! The climb was dangerous and challenging but through it, I learnt that I must have courage when I am faced with difficulties, and not forget to help other people along the way.

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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.