Practicalities

Pay Penang Parking Ticket online

Once again, I’m revisiting an old post from years ago.  Times change and things improve.  Years ago I wrote about paying for the different parking tickets downtown.  Since that time, the City Council of Penang Island, started a new scratch-off parking coupon system.  (Recently the City Council’s Malay acronym changed from MPPP to MBPP because of a status upgrade from a municipality to a city).  When the new parking ticket system went into effect, the payment window was only in Georgetown, in KOMTAR.  Now, the tickets do list other payment options, like mailing in a check.  What it doesn’t list is the online payment options. So here they are for your information.   Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - January 27, 2016 at 9:41 AM

Categories: Practicalities, Recommendations   Tags:

Banking For Foreign Expatriates In Penang

If you’re looking to explore the opportunities of making Penang your next home, you’ve probably heard about the amazing reasons why a foreign expatriate should consider Living in Penang. However, you will definitely want to know more and compare the various personal banking products and services that are available to you.

banking in penang - 2

So whether you’re looking for a bank with a global reach, to have easy access to ATMs, or looking for personal financing options to help you explore the sights and sounds of Penang, we’ve compiled some of the best choices for you in this quick guide to banking for foreign expatriates in Penang.

First up, we’ll take a look at the foreign and multinational banks, followed by our choice of the best local banks to help you get your personal finances in order when you first arrive in Penang.

 

The Foreign and Multinational Banks

Citibank Malaysia

Citibank is part of the Citigroup and offers global banking services for foreign expatriates in more than 160 countries worldwide. There are over 11 Citibank branches in Malaysia, and Citibank is the only foreign bank to be rated AAA for 15 years in a row. In Penang itself, Citibank’s main branch is located on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Penang and they also have another branch which is located in Bukit Tengah, Seberang Prai.

HSBC Malaysia

HSBC bank is one of the largest banking groups in the world, and HSBC Malaysia is also the largest foreign bank in Malaysia with over 40 branches nationwide. HSBC also has a network of over 6,100 offices in 72 countries across the world. If you are looking for Sharia-compliant banking services, HSBC also offers Islamic banking services via HSBC Amanah.

In Penang, HSBC has three branches with its main branch located on Downing Street being one of the oldest bank branches in the country.

Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered is also one of the oldest foreign banks in Malaysia and its first branch opened its doors in 1875 in Penang, on Beach Street. Today, Standard Chartered has three branches in Penang with over 40 branches located nationwide in Malaysia. For Islamic banking services, you can also choose to open an account with their subsidiary, Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad.

banking in penang 1

The Local and Regional Banks

Maybank

Maybank is Malaysia’s largest financial services group and is the fourth largest bank in Southeast Asia. It has a global network of 2,200 offices in over 20 countries and in Malaysia; Maybank has over 400 branches with 2,600 ATMs and self-service terminals across the country. In Penang, Maybank has over 32 branches and over 90 ATMs across the island and Butterworth.

CIMB Bank

CIMB Bank is one of the largest banking groups in Southeast Asia and has over 1,080 offices across the ASEAN region with more than 290 branches, plus over 2,200 ATMs and self-service terminals in Malaysia. CIMB also operates in 17 global markets and there are over 30 branches and 59 ATMs for CIMB Bank in Penang.

Public Bank

Public Bank is one of the largest banks in Malaysia, with over 180 branches and 1,800 ATMs and self-service terminals. Public Bank’s presence in Penang is spread out over 21 branches and more than 50 ATMs across the state.

There also other banks that offer their services in Penang, such as UOB, OCBC, Scotiabank, Kuwait Finance House and the Bank of China that you may want to consider during your time here in Penang.

 

Online and Mobile Banking

If you’re not keen on having to brave the seemingly endless queues at the bank, online or mobile banking is a great alternative that gives you the option of hassle-free banking at your convenience.

In Malaysia, there are over 18.8 million online banking (31 banks) and 6.6 mobile banking (13 banks) subscribers* who enjoy the convenience of banking on the go or from the privacy of their homes via the Internet.

The number of online banking subscribers in Malaysia has grown over 90% in the last five years and the banks in Malaysia have made it even easier for you to settle your bills, transfer funds and apply for credit cards and personal loans online.

*Source: Bank Negara Malaysia: “Malaysia’s Payment Statistics – Internet Banking and Mobile Banking Subscribers”

Whatever your final choice might be, we’re confident that you’ll come to enjoy the amazing lifestyle that only Penang can offer you in Southeast Asia. Selamat datang and enjoy your stay!

This guest post by Michael Vincent Mislos.  Find him on twitter @mmichaels_21

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - November 16, 2015 at 6:45 AM

Categories: Expat Talk, Practicalities   Tags:

HypnoBirthing in Penang

There are many expats in Penang who have had babies while they were living here. We’ve had one, and we’re about to have another. There is a Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner who works in Penang. Her name is Jaye Chan. She agreed to an online interview to help us understand what HypnoBirthing is and where in Penang we can find her services.

It is a pleasure to get to know you, Jaye. Let’s get started.

1) What is HypnoBirthing ® and how is it better than conventional birth practices?

HypnoBirthing ® is as much a philosophy of birth as it is a technique for achieving a satisfying, relaxing, and stress-free birth. Unlike conventional birth practices, which often marginalize the mother by distrusting her natural birthing ability and usher her into an anxious and restless mode by being so highly dependent on machinery and drugs and relying on unnecessary protocols and practices that are less effective and less humane, in HypnoBirthing ®, we see birth as natural, normal and healthy, with a natural rhythm and flow. When a healthy woman, carrying a healthy baby, experiencing a healthy labour, trusting birth, is free of fear, is undisturbed and is appropriately relaxed, her body will function normally without pain or incident. HypnoBirthing ® teaches you to release all prior programming about birth, to free yourself of limiting thoughts and emotions, and embrace the amazing ability of your body to birth your baby naturally, easily and comfortably. The techniques you will learn allow you to stay in control and calm during labour and birth and works very effectively with all types of birth – natural or surgical.

2) Am I giving up control when I am under hypnosis?

Although there are many misconceptions and misinformation about hypnosis, you are definitely not unconscious during self-hypnosis. When giving birth with HypnoBirthing ®, you will be conversant and in good spirits – deeply relaxed, but fully in control. You will be able to decide the extent to which you feel the sensation. You will experience your birthing calmly and relaxed, with your body’s natural anesthesia (endorphins) replacing the stress hormones that cause pain. When it is time for your baby to be born, you will be fully awake, aware and involved.

3) What is the process for having a HypnoBirthing ® birth?  How far in advance do I need to prepare?

It is always better to prepare yourself as early as possible to ensure a positive outcome. When opting for a HypnoBirthing ® birth experience, your body and mind need to be optimally conditioned, so that when the time comes, you can effectively enter into a deep relaxation state, which will bring your body into harmony with the birthing rhythm and the orchestration of your birthing hormones, making your birthing calmer, safer and easier. Hence, it is important to attend a HypnoBirthing ® course to increase your chances of having a successful HypnoBirthing ® birth. There are special breathing, relaxation and visualization techniques, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body toning exercises that can be learned. Most importantly, it fosters an air of mutual respect for the birthing family, as well as the health-care provider in a conventional health-care system or an alternative setting. All this knowledge can help you in your preparation to have a beautiful HypnoBirthing ® birth.

4) Where can I read more about HypnoBirthing ®?

For more information on HypnoBirthing ®, you can visit the official website www.hypnobirthing.com, or you can grab a book “Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method” authored by Marie F.Mongan.

5) How can I find you, Jaye, online to ask more questions and to hire you?

You can find me through my website www.gentlebirthmalaysia.com, or you can also contact me through my Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/jayechan, or through the Hypnobirthing in Malaysia Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/hypnobirthinginmalaysia.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - February 2, 2015 at 10:27 AM

Categories: Birth, Health, Kids, Practicalities   Tags:

US Consular Officer coming to Penang

This came in from the US Embassy Kuala Lumpur. 

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The U.S. Embassy in Malaysia is pleased to announce that a Consular Officer will be traveling to Penang to provide limited service in the area on January 28 2015 from 9am to 12pm.  During this visit, the officer will be able to provide notary services and take U.S. passport applications back to the Embassy for final processing.  Appointments are required.  Please email [email protected] to schedule your appointment.  We will provide information on the venue and required fees for each service when we confirm your appointment.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - January 20, 2015 at 5:47 PM

Categories: Documents   Tags:

Appointments needed for American Consular Services

Americans take note

There is a new online appointment system for the American Citizen Services unit at the US Embassy in KL.  The new system kicked in at the start of 2015.  This is for non emergency services.  Those include

The exact procedure is on the Embassy website.  Also included is a list of things you can and cannot bring in.  Finally there’s a link at the bottom to the online form that you can fill out to get an appointment.   There’s also a online form to fill out to cancel your existing appointment.

You can also contact the American Citizen Services section during normal business hours.  Phone: 03 2168 4979 or 4997.  I’ve found that they are very responsive on their email line [email protected].

I’m excited about the change.  I think this will speed up the wait time when we go to register our next baby’s birth.

Anyone used the new system yet?

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - January 5, 2015 at 8:31 AM

Categories: Documents, Practicalities   Tags:

Labuan Offshore Company work permit renewal

It’s been some time since I wrote an update about how it has been going having a Labuan Offshore Company.  The first one was my How to article for incorporating a Labuan Offshore Company.  And I wrote one about Why you should have a Labuan Offshore Company.

I’ve reached the end of my first two years of my work permit and it was time to renew.  This is the work permit visa that is pasted into my passport and the dependent passes that are pasted into the passports of my wife and children.  And here’s what happened.   Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - December 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Categories: Documents, Labuan   Tags:

List of International Schools around Kuala Lumpur

As a service to friends looking for information about International Schools in Kuala Lumpur, here’s the results of several hours of research. I am quite shocked at the number of schools I was able to find.  There are 45 on this list, and growing.  The largest list anywhere else on the web doesn’t even get to 30.  I want to keep this list as complete as possible, so if there are any schools not listed, please let me know by plugging your school in the comments below. I will be sure to add your listing to the main list as well.

The list of International schools in Penang can be found here as well.

Alice Smith International School

Primary
No: 2 Jalan Bellamy 50460 Kuala LumpurSecondary
3 Jalan Equine, Taman Equine,
43300 Sri Kembangan
Primary
Tel: +603 2148 3674
Fax: +603 2148 3418Secondary
Tel: +603 9543 3688
Fax: +603 9543 3688

 

Alnoor International School

No. 6 Lengkok Bellamy
Bukit Petaling, 50460 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2142 4473
+603 9226 0873
Fax: +603 2142 4473

Asia Pacific International School

 

No. 1, Jalan Persiaran A
Off Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang,
47200, Subang
Tel: +603 7847 1000
Fax: +603 7847 1001

 

Australian International School, Malaysia

22 Jalan Anggerik
The MINES Resort City
43300 Sri Kembangan
Selangor
Tel: +603 8949 5000
Fax: +603 8949 5100

 

Baseerah International School

Lot 1815, Jalan Lintang
Sri Gombak Heights, Taman Sri Gombak
68100 Batu Caves, Selangor
Tel: +603 6185 9560

 

Beaconhouse Schools

Beaconhouse Sri Lethia
Jalan Limau
Off Jalan Istana
41000 Klang
Selangor Darul EhsanBeaconhouse Sri Murni
Batu 9, Jalan Cheras
43200 SelangorBeaconhouse Sri Inai
No 1098, Jalan Jejarum Off Jalan SS 23/6
Taman SEA, 47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603 3373 3771 / +603 3373 3758
Fax: +603 3373 3758Tel: +603 9075 1662 / +603 9075 1663
Fax: +603 9076 1507Tel: +603 7804 5403 / +603 7806 6025
Fax: +603 7804 4604

 

British International School, Kuala Lumpur

No 1 Changkat Bukit Utama
Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya
Selangor, 47800 Malaysia
Tel: +603 7727 7775

 

Cempaka International School (CIS)

Persiaran Awana
Taman Cheras Permata Dua
43200 Cheras, Selangor
Tel +603 9076 8400
Fax: +603 9076 8194

 

Cempaka International School Damansara

19 Jalan Setia Bakti 1
Bukit Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2093 1740
+603 2093 1741
Fax: +603 2095 2660

 

Eaton International School

Jalan Jade Hills Utama 1/2,
43000 Kajang,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +6017-382 6965

 

ELC (Excellence-Loyalty-Commitment) International School

Lot 3664, Jalan Sierramas Barat
Sungai Buloh, 47000 Selangor
Tel: +603 6156 5001
+603 6156 5002
Fax: +603 6156 5003

 

Epsom College in Malaysia

Persiaran Kolej
71760 Bandar Enstek
Negeri Sembilan, Darul Khusus
Tel: +603 6211 4488
+603 6211 4555
Fax: +603 6206 3243

 

Etonhouse Malaysia

No.9, Persiaran Stonor
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2141 3301
+603 2141 3302

 

Fairview International School

4178 Jalan 1/27D,
Section 6 Wangsa Maju
53300 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 4142 0888
Fax: +603 4149 0222

 

Lycée Français Kuala Lumpur  (French International School)

34, Jalan Dutamas Raya
51200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : +603 6250 4415 Ext 33
Fax : +603 6250 4552

 

Garden International School (GIS)

16 Jalan Kiara 3
Mon Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 6209 6888
Fax: +603 6201 2468

 

Deutsche Schule Kuala Lumpur (German International School)

Lot 5, Lorong Utara B, Off Jalan Utara,
46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +603 7956 6557

 

Global Indian International School

Primary
55 Jalan Thamby Abdullah, Brickfields
Kuala Lumpur 50470Secondary
242, Lorong Sultan Abdul Samad
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2630 5780
Fax: +603 2273 0757

 

Havil International School

21, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad
Brickfields
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2276 3338

 

HELP International School (HIS)

No 2 Persiaran Cakerawala,
Subang Bestari, Seksyen U4,
40150 Shah Alam
Selangor
Tel: +603 7809 7000

 

IGB International School (IGBIS)

Jalan Sierramas Utama, Sierramas
47000 Sungai Buloh
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +603 6145 4688

 

International Islamic School

Batu 8, Jalan Sungai Pusu
53100, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 6188 4400
Fax: +603 6188 3300

 

International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)

Ampang Campus
Jalan Kerja Ayer Lama,
68000 AmpangMelawati Campus
PT3350 Jalan Melawati 3
Taman Melawati,
53100 Kuala Lumpur
Ampang
Tel: +603 4259-5600
Fax: +603 4257-9044Melawati
Tel: +603 4104-3000
Fax: +603 4108-4166

 

Japanese International School of Kuala Lumpur

Saujana Resort Seksyen U2,
40150 Shah Alam
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +603 7846 5939
Fax: +603 7846 5949

 

Kingsley International School

Kingsley House. 2, 12, 12A & 16
Jalan Putra Mahkota 7/8E
Putra Heights
47650 Subang Jaya
Tel: +603 5191 9808

 

MAZ International School

No.1 MAZ House
Jalan 20/19, Paramount Gardens
46300 Petaling JayaShah Alam Campus
Lot 2, Jalan Kristal 7/64, Section 7, 40000,
Shah Alam
Tel: +603 7874 2930, +603 7874 8515
Fax: +603 7874 0727Shah Alam
Tel: +603 55101511, +603-55102933 and +603-55102934
Fax: +603 55101716

 

Methodist Boys’ School (Kuala Lumpur)

Jalan Hang Jabat
50150 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 20782293
Fax: +603 20341346

 

Mont’Kiara International School

22 Jalan Kiara,
Mont’Kiara 50480
Tel: +603 2093 8604

 

Mutiara International Grammar School

Lot 707, Jalan Kerja Ayer Lama
Ampang Jaya
68000 Ampang
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +603 4252 1452/ 4257 8678
Fax: +603-4252 3452

 

Nexus International School

No.1, Jalan Diplomatik 3/6,
Presint 15
62050 Putrajaya
Tel: +603 8889 3868
Fax: +603 8889 4828

 

Nilai International School

No. 3, Persiaran Universiti,
Putra Nilai,
71800 Negeri Sembilan
Tel : +606 8502 188
Fax : +606 8502 189

 

Oasis International School Kuala Lumpur

Scheduled to open in August 2017

Rafflesia International School

Persiaran Sierra 2
Bandar 16 Sierra
47100, Puchong, Selangor
Tel: +603 8953 9088

 

R.E.A.L. International School (Kuala Lumpur)

Suria Campus
Lot 217, Batu 13, Jalan Hulu Langat
43100, Hulu Langat
SelangorCahaya Campus
Lot No.5, Jalan Merah Saga U9/5
40250, Shah Alam
Selangor
Suria
Tel: +603 9021 3601
Fax: +603 9021 4319Cahaya
Tel: +603 7842 3228
Fax: +603 7842 3980

 

Sayfol International School

No. 261, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : +603 4256 8781 / +603 4256 8791 / +603 4256 9541
Fax: +603 4257 9464

 

Sekolah Indonesia Kuala Lumpur

No 1 Lorong Tun Ismail
50480 Kuala lumpur
Tel : +603 2692 7682
Fax : +603 2698 8422

 

Sri Emas International School

Lot 1214, Seksyen 40,
Batu 10, Lebuhraya Persekutuan,
Off Jalan SS7/2,
47300 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Tel: +603 7865 5787
+603 7865 3482
+603 7865 5563
Fax: +603 7865 0774

 

Sri KDU International School

No. 5, Jalan Teknologi 2/1 Kota Damansara
47810 Daerah Petaling
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +603 6145 3888

 

Sri Kuala Lumpur

No. 1, Jalan SS 15/7A,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Tel: +603 5634 3491 / 5634 3493
Fax: +603 5634 3489

 

St. John’s International School

Lot 145, Jalan Bukit Nanas
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2034 1288
Fax: +603 2034 1588

 

Sunway International School

No 3, Jalan Universiti, Bandar Sunway
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +603 7491 8070
Fax: +603 7491 8071

 

Tanarata International Schools

Planters Grounds
3 1/2 Miles Kajang-Serdang Road.,
43000 Selangor
Tel: +603 8737 7366
Fax: +603 8734 3848

 

Taylor’s International School

No. 9 Jalan 1/7SC Off Jalan Pria
Taman Maluri
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 92009898

 

Tenby International School Setia Eco Park

No. 1, Jalan Setia Tropika U13/18T
Seksyen U13,
40170 Shah Alam, Selangor
Tel: +603 3342 1535
Fax: +603-3344 2292

 

The International School @Park City

No.1 Jalan Intisari
Desa ParkCity
52200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 6280 8880
Fax: +603 6280 8749

 

Time International School

No 2, Jalan Udang Harimau 3
Taman Sri Segambut
52000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 6242 5544 / 6243 55 44
Fax: +603 6243 5533

 

UCSI International School

Lot 4891, Jalan SS13/4,
47500 Subang Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +603 5637 7108
Fax: +603 5637 7110

 

Utama International School (UIS)

Lot 27, Jalan Usahawan 5
Kawasan Perindustrian Ringan, Setapak,
53200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 4021 2490
Fax: +603 4021 2553

 

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - August 22, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Categories: Kids, Kuala Lumpur, Practicalities   Tags:

How to use the MPPP Parking coupons in Penang

After a few false starts the MPPP (Municipal Council of Penang ) is finally in operation.  As Penang Momma put it, I hope you enjoyed your one month of free parking in Georgetown because the officials are out there looking for parking violations now.  Tweets were going the first day of operation warning people to get the coupons on their dashboards.

 

Here’s a quick How To guide for using the system.

Buying the cards

I stopped in the Caltex in Tanjung Bungah and they said “Yes we have them, but the guy who sells them is not here.” I was told that most 7-eleven outlets would have the cards. That was bad information, as I popped into two different 7-elevens and they did not. Fortunately, the Happy Mart next door did have them.

The first time I bought them they came in packs of green and orange tickets for RM 6. The Green coupons are worth RM.40 and are good for 30 minutes of parking. The Orange coupons are worth RM 0.80 and are good for an hour.

The orange and green MPPP Parking Coupons

The second time I bought these tickets it cost me RM 4 and it had 10 green tickets. I think that’s actually better for most people.

Scratch the date and time

Using a coin or a key, or if situations warrant it, your fingernail, scratch off the year, month, day, hour and minute. The card says that if you make a mistake during this time you forfeit that particular card. I have made a mistake with my card once. I scratched the wrong hour. I risked it and scratched off another hour mark. Now I didn’t get a parking citation, but perhaps I should have been wiser and thrown away that particular card.

If you are using multiple cards, scratch off times that are appropriate. So, if you are parking at noon, and you’ll stay for 2 hours, scratch off 1pm on the second card.

Place MPPP Parking Coupon on the dashboard inside the car

Placement of MPPP Parking Coupon

Once you’ve scratched off the right times and dates on your parking coupon, put them on your dashboard in front of your steering wheel, where the parking attendant can come by and inspect it. If you have more than one parking coupon make sure they are all visible from outside. Then lock your car.

When the time is up on those coupons, they are done; invalid. You can’t reuse them. You’ll just have to throw them away.

If you forget and get a citation

The fines are paid at KOMTAR in Georgetown. The cost of a single parking citation is RM 30, but someone told me that you can get it down to RM 15 if you show up in the first seven days of the ticket.

Since the cost is both time and money, it seems like it would be better to just use the RM 0.80 parking coupons rather than have to go downtown to settle a violation.

Anyone had to go pay? How was your experience?

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - March 28, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Categories: Practicalities   Tags:

Kidland Penang Field Trip

We went to Kidland Penang with a large group of homeschoolers this week.  It was an incredible place for fun, adventure, learning, and fun.  Our community of homeschooling families has periodic opportunities like this.  Interested in joining us some time, like the Living in Penang Facebook page and let me know that you want to be included in the next outing.

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Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - February 6, 2014 at 3:16 PM

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Field Trip: Serba Wangi Rice Mill in Kedah

31 days of Living in Penang

I’ve mentioned it before that we are a homeschooling family.  Our kids aren’t enrolled in any of the (many) international schools in Penang.  We are hooked into the Distance Learning Resource Centre at Dalat International School which is a great opportunity for anyone who is homeschooling in Penang.  One of the big benefits to this program is the opportunity to connect with the other families that are registered with DLRC.  This past August one of the moms organized a field trip to Kedah and we were grateful to be part of it.

This post is being linked up to the Hip Homeschool Moms link up party.  They are collecting field trips around the world that homeschoolers can find.  Readers who have found this post through that website might also be interested in our field trips to

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Daniel - October 14, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Categories: 31 days, Activities, Field Trip, Kids   Tags:

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