Sunday, July 5, 2015

Allamanda and my God family, the Chews



Here in August 2011, with my KAI/ adopted mum Mrs. Chew Tien Kui.









Here in June 2015 when I made an impromptu visit tp Wellington,  Behind us, is Lynn Wong, I call her Ah Leng.






When I finished high school in Borneo in 1974, I had a gap year and became a teacher before I went to university in Canada. The kids adored me as I was just a kid myself at 19, not much older than some of the students who have come from Chinese schools.

That school, Kai Chung school in Binatang aka now as Bintang, divided the students into houses named after flowers. I was in charge of the Allamanda team. This yellow trumpet like flower is very potent, the sap is poisonous.


The Chinese has a nice tradition. It is called "KAI" To explain simply, if I like a certain family, I might go to "KAI" myself to become one of their daughters. It is an affectionate or endearment. I do not physically become their daughter.

When I was teaching in Kai Chung school, the first day I arrived in the little town, the principal left me in their house. There was no prior arrangement of where I was to sleep that night. Mrs. Chew thought her husband was approached by the principal if I could sleep the night. She offered me a bed, and the rest was history.

I often visited them and just before I went to Canada, I stayed a month with them. You couldn't ask for a better family.

In 2011 August, I went to Christchurch and met up with most of the family. I told Mrs. Chew she was now my KAI mum. Lynn/ Ah Leng asked if I remembered this Allamanda flower. She was a member of the Allamanda house, and she remembered I was cheering for this house with her. A LA MAN DA.

This post is for the Late Chew Tien Kui family. Ah Leng, this flower will always link us.

This flower from a shrub I found on the Gold Coast of Australia is slightly different to the Borneo ones. They have those extra petals in the middle.
Common Name: Stansill's Double, Flore Pleno Allamanda
Botanical Name: Allamanda cathartica 'Stansill's Double'

The Borneo ones are look like a trumpet and have a hole in the middle.




1 comment:

Nick V. said...

Very unusual flower, Ann. I have seen the single form.
Thank you for taking part in the Floral Friday Fotos meme.