Friday, November 11, 2011

Macro flowers: Allamanda.

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

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.

This 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.

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lazyclick said...

Great shots.

Kim, USA said...

This looks very familiar to me. Term of endearment is common to us Asians. The other day I explained to my hubby about what it means and I guess he understands it, hehe. ^_^


Lui said...

That was special! Flowers and your reminiscing!

Ginny Hartzler said...

So nice you could meet up with her, you will be friends for life.

Luna Miranda said...

a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it with us. we all need a "kai" in our life. i love yellow allamanda.

enzo said...

This flower is also found in Philippines and also here in Thailand.

Jama said...

Allamandas are more commonly grown here too, despite the sap being poisonous, they can be found everywhere!
btw, those purple passion flowers were taken at a Bottle tree park in Yishun, Singapore while the white ones were from Johor, Malaysia.

Unknown said...

beautiful post!

Liz said...

Beautiful shots.

I played too. Mine is here.

Maia said...

I just came back from voting your article; what a sad story.

This one is a beautiful post too and a lovely yellow flower.

maiylah said...

what a wonderful story!
yes, the sap from that plant is poisonous but nobody really minds much (it's even used in some public areas) because it's such a beauty. :)

The JR said...

Very beautiful flower.