Goodbye Singapore

Our last university visit was at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM). I was really impressed with their school partnerships, study abroad programs, and internships available. They’re also affiliated with our GAC curriculum.

In all, I am really pleased with our school selection for the students to view during this trip. It felt like a crapshoot at first, but it was really well rounded and diverse.

After the school tour we had Mongolian BBQ, and then head to the airport. Now we wait… And although we should land in Jakarta around 6:00, with traffic, we’ll most likely not make it home until 10:00. It’s gonna be a long day…

Some final thoughts before I head home. I realized this afternoon that I haven’t seen a single ant in the 4 days I’ve been here. (It’s SO clean here!) I have however been completed insulted by and frustrated/appalled with most Singaporeans I’ve encountered. There have been a select few (namely at La Salle and SIM) that were super friendly, but that’s about it. Maybe I’m used to the constantly smiling/passive Indonesian culture? Or maybe Singapore is incredibly clean and efficient due to the strictness and rules it feels it must enforce? Is this some where I could live? It’s appealing in some ways, many ways, but it definitely has its drawbacks.

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Maritime Museum and Waterpark

Today was our free day in Singapore. The typical big ticket entertainment item is usually Universal Studies, but we went next door and visited the Maritime Museum and Waterpark.

I made the best of it: rode all the slides, did the lazy river twice (with sting rays! So cool!), ate at Chilis for lunch, and took a nap on a bean bag on the desert island in the afternoon. The students and I met up for dinner at 5:00, did a little more shopping, and we’re now calling it a day.

Hard work, I know. Tomorrow we visit one more university and will most likely find a way to squeeze in more shopping before our afternoon flight. Looking forward to going home to my family. Indonesia? Not at all.

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I Heart Singapore

Oh. Singapore. You are the Germany/Las Vegas/Disneyland of SE Asia. At every turn I am impressed.

We started the day visiting a technological university that was a little too sterile for my students’ taste. After a Chinese lunch, we visited La Salle, an art university. The campus is outstanding and the buildings a work of art. It was fun to see how much the school inspired my students. They could see themselves there and got really excited about the programs offered. Hopefully this visit will motivate them to work harder in class and to start building their portfolios.

After the school tour we went to Orchards Road to do some shopping. That place is like Las Vegas on steroids! The streets look normal and upscale with stores like Gucci, Coach, and Prada, but there are thousands of stores under the street, and you travel through underpasses to cross. I got lost a few times, but each time I stumbled across an even cooler store (like UNIQLO) and splurged a bit.

Then after dinner (Chinese again) I rocked the bazaar Bugis. A little shopping and a pedi…

Tomorrow we’re going to a waterpark. I mean… Really. This is a pretty sweet job I’ve got. Enjoy the pictures!

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Singapore

Day #1 of the 10th grade class trip included a 5am meet up at the bus station and sitting in Jakarta traffic til 9. We waited an additional hour and a half at the airport and made it to Singapore by 2pm.

I thought herding 20 teenagers around Singapore would be challenging but it’s actually quite easy. All they want to do is take pictures, so I let them, and they’re happy. When they’re happy (and listening to me) then all is well. I actually got some alone time today to explore the Gardens by the Bay, which is beautiful and highly recommended! Check out the pictures below…

Tomorrow we plan to visit a few universities and shop on Orchards Road. Looking forward to it!

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On on!

So we’ve been to six hash runs since moving to Indonesia. The family hashes are usually the last weekend each month. We’ve missed the last few because of travel to Thailand and Krakatau, so we were happy to get in on this one.

After five runs you get a hash name. Ellie was donned Princess Slow Poke, as she usually brings up the rear. However today we were the second group to finish! We hiked Rainbow Hill in Sentul City and naturally the pictures don’t do the view much justice.

On on!

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Birthday parties

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but birthdays are really different here in Indonesia. Gifts are expected both ways it seems. Naturally I’m the jerk who gives a kid a book (hello, teacher!). Yet Ellie will–without fail–come home weekly with bags of food and personalized accessories because some kid at school had a birthday.

The food is almost always crap, packed with sugar and really excessive. The gifts range from little pencil cases and toy boxes to incredibly thoughtful and custom made gifts.

Today? An embroidered backpack! Is a thank you card expected? Cause if so I’m in some hardcore debt…

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Shark!

by Seth

Shark!

So, our local friend Tika brought us a shark for dinner, whole.

I was cleaning it when I found a surprise. Curry for 4.

I was cleaning it when I found a surprise. Curry for 4.*

*Update: the baby sharks didn’t go to waste… they were shared among the kittens for dinner. A bit poetic, don’t you think?