So today was a bit of an adventure. SAS 1st- sorry guys this is the best picture of the lot. There were quite a few NHS members present so I couldn’t get them all in the picture. It was great to see them and meet Christina Popowski the NHS sponsor. They have been great to H & H and came through for us when we had some financial difficulties last year. Hopefully I helped inspire them to keep going!
I headed onto the MRT- train downtown. For those of you familiar with Singapore there are a lot more MRT lines now which makes it easier to get around and less expensive. It reminds me a bit of Paris as there is a lot of walking between train lines. I forgot just how hot and humid it can be but I missed the rain which usually hits in the afternoons. Good thing as I forgot my umbrella. Tonight I am meeting a few more potential volunteers at the Terror Club- There is a story behind that name. I believe it used to be a Kiwi base at one time now it is home to the US Navy.
I wanted to tell you about a super book I just read written by a Cambodian who was 18 during the Pol Pot times. He tells the story of the poor in the rural villages and the tremendous changes in their lifestyle- broken trust and their loss of community. He is Meas Nee and the book is Towards Restoring Life. I will post it on the link page. Very helpful for NGO’s working in the rural areas. He lives in Battambang and his NGO is Krom Akphiwat Phum (the group to develop the village). I am hopeful that I may be able to meet him while I am there.
I made it after 22 hours in the air arrived at 2am. Whew- other than spilling an entire glass of wine all over myself on the 13 hour flight I have no complaints except for the pain in my knees after being squished for so long. It is a good thing I am not tall. It is so good to be back here! I am staying in Sembawang with Barbara Rinehart. She has been with H & H for a long time and is a great resource for us here. Unfortunately she is moving soon so part of my work here is to find a volunteer to keep us going in Singapore.
It is hot and humid a welcome change for me as it is freezing in Atlanta- we even had some snow over the weekend. This is good preparation for Cambodia as March and April are the hottest months there. I remember my clothes being soaked with sweat after just a few hours. No AC except in hotels. We have fans at the Center and the children will take 2 baths a day to cool down this time of year.
So today is a pre work day. I swam to get my legs and arms moving again and got myself a sim card for the phone I borrowed. Barbara and I will sort through all the donations we got from Blessings in a Bag, friends, and neighbors here in Singapore. I brought an entire suitcase of great stuff I found from Goodwill plus toothbrushes and tooth paste from Dr Silvan my dentist (thank you!) We had to book extra bags for our flight to Cambodia and I hope 4 will be enough. Tomorrow I will give a presentation to the National Honor Society students at Singapore American School. They have supported us for 6 years. It will be exciting to see them- hopefully I will get lots of questions. I would love to take a group with me on my next trip. Then in the evening I speak to the Sembawang Spouses Assoc. In between there will be lots of time for food- nasi goreng, pineapple fried rice, chicken rice, spicy stingray- yum. My fondest memories of Singapore are eating and of course my wonderful Singaporean friends. I will be seeing Dr Fong on Wed. I first approached him 10 years ago to do a medical mission in Cambodia- he is a true humanitarian and still liasons with Hope hospital in Phnom Penh.
Please take a look at the attached link for Rose Charities, a group from Canada that is funding a beekeeping project for the community at the daycare center! We are so pleased to be partnering with such a great organization enabling the community to be more involved with the center!