Thanksgiving in the Tropics

Well we thought that we would miss Thanksgiving this year.  We believed that a holiday that is usually packed with family and a feast on the table that would just pass us by. However, we ended up having a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with some of our Singapore family members. 🙂 After working all day, cousin Katelyn and her roomies at the Sail condo invited us over to have a lovely dinner with an amazing view.

We had chicken, sweet potato fries, squash, salad and pasta – it was a real feast and we loved every single bite of it. It made for a fantastic Thanksgiving in the Tropics. Thank you Katelyn and the ladies of the Sail! 🙂

Yesterday was a pretty easy day for G & P. They spent the day with Kelso – had a leisurely lunch, a little wander around the shops on Orchard Road. We then met up after I was finished work (yes I had to work on the first Saturday of our holidays! boo!). We sat and watched Kelso’s soccer game together and then headed home to get ready for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Today, we all got up and started to get ready for our departure to Cambodia in a few hours. The real holiday begins today (well for me at least!) I am really looking forward to heading back to Siem Reap. It has been a few years since I was last there and I haven’t gone around to see the temples in 9 years, so it should be very interesting to go back and see them again.

And, we’re off! Next Stop Cambodia!

 

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Jet lag? What jet lag?

It’s like they have been here for weeks. G & P have really settled into life in Singapore (and the time zone) like they have been here forever. I’m seriously impressed. I struggle so much with jet lag sometimes, but they have really pushed through and I think that after today their internal clocks must be on our SE Asia time zone. Well done!

They had a busy, busy day today. They were up bright and early by the time I departed for work in the morning and spent the early morning catching up on emails etc before venturing out to the Gardens By the Bay. It was a bit of a rainy day in Singapore so they spent most of the time in the two indoor domes that are there. The Flower Dome replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy. The Cloud Forest dome that is host of the cool-moist climate that showcases plants that you would find on a tropical mountainside. They said that they really enjoyed the Gardens and ate a wonderful lunch at the bistro at the Gardens – “Pollen” (albeit an expensive one with a Tiger beer for $18!!!)

02 Gardens by the Bay, Bay South [Singapore] (Large)

From there, they crossed over to the Arts and Science Museum to check out the National Geographic 50 Greatest Photographs  exhibit. They said that they really enjoyed this exhibit and it was interesting to see the various photos – many of which they recognized and remembered seeing as it came across the covers of the magazine over the years. (The Arts and Science Museum is the white “lotus-shaped” building in the foreground of this picture.)

So – they have been to Singapore for just over 24 hours and already they have been to 2 places I have yet to visit! I’m going to have to get out and start sightseeing in my own home more often it seems.

From there, they came out to the school to join us for a last BBQ Fundraiser for the trip to Cambodia. This was a great opportunity for them to meet my friends, colleagues and fellow builders while enjoying a few drinks and some food. We spent a couple of hours just hanging out and meeting people and I also gave them a little tour of the school. I sometimes forget what a giant place our school is in comparison to what schools look like back home. It is a pretty amazing campus.

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From there, we came home to drop the car and for me to pick up some of my medication so I could head back to the doctor for some new medicine. I needed an upgrade and hopefully the higher dosage of drugs will help me to kick this ear infection before Sunday’s flight. I am really worried that flying is going to be very painful and have read online (probably not always a great idea to refer to my online “specialists”) that it can cause further complications like vertigo, ringing in the ears and worse, hearing loss! It is time to get rid of this thing and I am running out of time to do it! Fingers crossed this cocktail of drugs will do the trick.

After a quick stop in to see the doctor (at 9pm and my visit took a total of 15 or so minutes – my parents were impressed!) we walked around Holland Village and found a place to sit down and have a bit of food. It was nice and relaxed and Kelso also joined us too.

A fantastic end to a fantastic first full day in Singapore! Way to kick jet lag in the butt, Mom and Dad!

The ‘rents have landed

Like a well oiled machine, my parents made it to my house unscathed. I anticipated that their arrival into Singapore may not have gone as smoothly as I had hoped, but in the end everything was perfect. The driver we hired to pick them up at the airport was waiting for them with a sign with their name on it, a smile on his face, and a wealth of information about the history of the country to explain to them on their taxi ride to my place. My friend, Nora very graciously helped us out by waiting for my parents to be able to help them get into the condo as well. Thank you so much, Nora! 🙂

So they arrived, unpacked a bit, showered and had a bit of a snooze on the sofas waiting for me to get home. Not a bad start to a vacation at all. When I got home, we chilled out a bit before heading off to the boxing gym to meet Rey and watch us train a little bit. I wasn’t in my finest form due to my ear infection, but I think they got an idea of what this whole thing looks in real life. 🙂 It was nice to share the experience and I was really happy that they got to meet Rey too! They brought him and Hazel a little baby gift for the future boxing baby champ.

From there we headed to “Moosehead Kitchen” for some grub. I was really looking forward to this dinner as Kelso had really sold it to me over the past few weeks, but when we got there is was pretty disappointing. Bad service, it was so noisy we could hardly hear each other speak, and the food selection was minimal. I didn’t love it, but Kels has assured me that the lunch menu is a different story altogether, so maybe I’ll have to give it another chance (but with so many good restaurants in Singapore, I am not sure if it will get it!) I think it might be “better luck next time, Moosehead Kitchen” 😦

However, the best part of dinner was being able to hang out with my parents and my cousin Katelyn, and friend Aynsley. It was nice to catch up (as best we could over the soon-becoming-inebriated ladies dinner next to us). For that, it was worth all of the negatives of the dinner side of things as this was the real reason we were getting together anyways.

We were pretty knackered by the end of dinner and came home to head to bed. Not a bad first few hours in Singapore. Here’s hoping that they have beat jet lag a bit by staying out a little later and they can sleep through the night.

Until tomorrow, Singapore! G’night!

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And they’re off!

It’s official – they are in the air and on their way. The beauty of technology actually allows me to track exactly where they are in the world right now. Currently – they are just starting to fly over Greenland. Check out their first leg of the journey here (flight CX829) That’s pretty cool thing to be able to do, I have to admit. I wouldn’t have even thought that was possible 10 years ago!

Since they are up in the air and relaxing (and hopefully sleeping!) this is the perfect time for me to fill you in on how they will end their time in Bali. After spending 3 fabulous days in Ubud, we will head down to the south west cost to Seminyak. This area is known for its wining, dining and shopping! The perfect place to end a fantastic couple of weeks together in SE Asia.

While we are in Seminyak, we will be staying at Villa Arta. This a 3 bedroom private villa and I am very much looking forward to just chilling out, reading and relaxing by the private pool. (What’s the extra room for? Well, nothing really – it was just a better deal than the 2 bedroom villas I was looking at!) It is right off the main shopping area and a very short walk to the beach as well. Heaven!

While in Seminyak, I don’t have too much planned. I was waiting to see how we were feeling and what we wanted to do. Perhaps we will just want to relax a little together, maybe have a mooch around in the shops, lazy afternoons with Bintang beers in hand perhaps? All sounds very, very fabulous.

If we want to squeeze in one more thing, we may head down to Uluwatu temple (about an hour drive from Seminyak) to catch the sunset and watch a Kechak performance. Kechak is a chanting style performance made up of about 150 performers and through their chanting they reenact the Ramanyana (a famous Hindu epic). I have seen one of these performances during my first trip to Bali and I really enjoyed it and the setting over the cliffs of Uluwatu sounds absolutely perfect.

Essentially, while we are in Seminyak we will be winding down, reminiscing about all the amazing things we have done for the 2 weeks of travel, and probably crying because it is the end of our holiday. 🙂

On the Saturday we will fly back to Singapore to be reunited again with Kelso (unfortunately, he can’t join us on the Bali part of the holiday) and we will enjoy some of the last sights of my home away from home.

Looking forward to welcoming my parents tomorrow – I hope I can sleep 🙂

 

Let the Anniversary Asian Adventures begin!!!

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Eat, Watch People Pray, Love!

Did you think that our trip was finished in Cambodia? No way! We have a whole other week together and we are going to be taking off the day after we arrive back to Singapore to Bali, Indonesia for 6 days. So – as I am nursing a really nasty intense ear infection at home today, I have been able to write out our next leg of “Gwen and Pat’s Anniversary Asian Adventure“.

Our first stop in Bali will be to Ubud (for 3 nights). Ubud is a favourite place of many, many, many of my fellow teachers and travellers. It is known as the arts and cultural centre of Bali. You know, the “love” part of Eat, Pray, Love and all that goodness (though admittedly I have never seen the movie and I never finished the book but I’ve heard that it’s based on Bali…)

Here are some reasons why Ubud is so well loved by many….

The Scenery – the rice terraces are absolutely stunning. Like, majestic. Like, woah.

The Food – I know that this sometimes may seem like a food blog, but I’m not joking… the food is really, really good! So many options as well to try food from Indonesia and all over the world. Warungs (restaurants) aplenty!

The Temples – it’s not known as the cultural centre of Bali for nothing!

The Monkeys – ok, sometimes they scare the crap out of me, but I have to admit it is an interesting thing to go to the Monkey Forest and walk around with them so close. This definitely doesn’t happen in Canada!! Just hold on to just about anything that the cheeky little buggers might be able to snatch. Touristy as sin, but hey, sometimes ya gotta do it!

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The Art – Batik, painting, masks, shadow puppets, sculptures… an art lover’s paradise.

art market

art market

The Spas – aaaaahhhhhhh! Known for yoga, massage and other spa delights!

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During our time in Ubud, we will be staying at Rouge Bali Villas. Again, I haven’t stayed here before, but it had wonderful reviews online. It is a new resort and the location in town was what really drew me to wanting to stay here. It apparently has a fabulous jazz lounge with amazing cocktails and a fabulous spa as well. The pool is lit up with red at night as well – fun!

rouge-bali

So, our plan is to eat, watch people pray (at the temples) and love every second of our time in Ubud.

Doesn’t seem too hard to do at all!

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Weekend Fabulousness and Phnom Penh Plans

This weekend was fantastic. You know, the start to finish, awesome kind of weekend. Friday was a nice and relaxed evening with my hubby. Saturday, I hosted what may be the first-ever Boxing Baby Shower for my boxing coach, Rey and his wife Hazel and ate tons of delicious food made by my friend Nora and her good friend Emma.

Sunday, I hosted the first-ever Bootcamp in the Botanics Fundraiser that raised over $1000 (thanks to an EXTREMELY generous donation of 100% of the bootcamp fees from all the trainers at LEVEL Fitness!!!) Amazing stuff and it was great to have such wonderful weather and an amazing turn-out.

Bootcampers before the Workout started

Bootcampers before the Workout started

And then on Sunday evening, we celebrated Thanksgiving a week early with the Canadian Association of Singapore and enjoyed a fab turkey dinner with all of our friends.

It’s been a great weekend indeed!

Now that the weekend has passed, it’s time to really start preparing for my parents arrival. There are many things on my ‘to do’ list before they get here on Thursday. Unfortunately, I am now sick with a nasty chest cold and middle ear infection! Ain’t nobody got time for that!! But I will have to take some time to rest and get better before their arrival. Fingers crossed that I’ll be back on track in no time.

But before I rest, I need to fill you in on the rest of our Cambodia plans.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

We will be arriving on the Tuesday evening from Siem Reap and heading straight to our hotel. During our 5 day stay in Phnom Penh we will be staying at the White Mansion Boutique Hotel. Again, I haven’t stayed here before, but this time the recommendation came from a friend of mine and she had many wonderful things to say. Very excited about our stay.

We’ll maybe go out for dinner or may just hang out at the hotel that evening. The next morning we’ll be heading off to some of my favourite places in Phnom Penh. A bit of shopping, eating and seeing the city is scheduled for this day. First stop – my favourite dress shop, Ambre. I love this shop and it is always my first stop. I hope that my mom finds some beautiful items as well to take home with her and I hope my dad has a bit of patience to wait for our shopping for an hour or so! 🙂

From there we will be heading to the Tabitha office for a briefing of our build with founder, and fellow Canadian, Janne Ritskes. This is a really important part of the house build as she gives everyone lots of information on the history, customs and what we need to remember while we are meeting people that have different cultural understandings than our own. Tabitha also has a wonderful silk shop where everything is hand made. Again – a little shopping is in order! We’ll follow up the day with some pool time, wandering around, sightseeing in the city and then meet up with my friends who arrived into Phnom Penh a few days prior to us for dinner and drinks.

Our next day will be much different than the day before as we will be learning a lot about the history of Cambodia and the genocide. We will be visiting Tuol Seng Genocide Museum – also known as S-21. Tuol Sleng was a former high school before the rise of the Khmer Rouge and was turned into an execution centre/prison. It was only one of at least 150 execution centres in the country, and as many as 20,000 prisoners there were killed there. From there, we will continue to learn about the genocide by visiting the notorious Killing Fields. This day will be sombre but it is extremely important to truly understand what happened in Cambodia during this time and to learn about their experiences as people of this country at that time. By understanding, we can see just how far Cambodia has come, appreciate all the work that has been done to help raise Cambodia back to the place where it once was.

Our next day will include a visit to the People Improvement Organization (PIO). I have been visiting and working with this organization for the past nine years and Kelso and I both sponsor a child each to live in the orphanage and attend school. I love this organization and all the students are so very excited to see you, practice their English skills and get to know more about you. I know that they will love to see that I have brought my parents with me – to see what they look like and how similar (or dissimilar) we may look. We are taking the kids from the orphanage on a special excursion to the water park. I know that they will absolutely love the afternoon out doing something special. That day Kelso will also arrive in the evening. It will be great to have him in Phnom Penh with us and I am sure we will celebrate his arrival with a few drinks and dinner out somewhere.

The next day will be our build day. We will be driving a few hours out of Phnom Penh to the build site and we will be building all 16 houses in one day. This will be an amazing experience for all of us and I am really looking forward to sharing in this with my parents and friends. That evening, we are usually pretty knackered, but there is always time for a little dinner and drinks to celebrate a great day.

We will then be heading back to Singapore the following afternoon. But I am sure we will try to fit in any last sights or stops before heading to the airport.

There will be lots and lots to write about and I am hoping that my parents will take a few moments to ‘guest blog’ on here to give their perspective on the trip. I am sure that they will have quite a bit to talk about and I look forward to learning how they feel, react and to watch them fall in love with Cambodia too.

Keriann O’Rourke – Tour Guide… at your service!

As many of my friends will attest… I love to plan a holiday. My parent’s holiday to SE Asia is no exception. There is nothing I love more than to scour through websites, compare rates, research unique things to do off the beaten path, and check traveller ratings and recommendations – all in the name of having the ultimate holiday.

And I think that I have created what will be the perfect Asian Anniversary Adventure for my parents.

First Stop: Singapore (I’ve already given the update of what we will be doing in Singapore when they first arrive in the blog titled “Excited? You Betcha!). We will try to fit in as much as we can in this short amount of time.

Second Stop: Siem Reap Cambodia

We arrive in on Sunday late afternoon and will be checking into the Mulberry Boutique Hotel. I’ve never stayed here but they had great reviews so I am very much looking forward to our stay there. Right in the heart of Siem Reap only a short walk to the market and to Pub Street (a strategic location for Gwen, Pat and myself I must say!)

We have arranged the following day to go and check out the temples. This is a pretty full day of sightseeing, but it is worth spending the day checking out all of the amazing temples of Angkor. The temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex is massive (stretching over some 400 km2) and we won’t be able to see every single temple in one day but we will be seeing all of the main ones. The complex are the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. I like to call them the ‘pyramids of Asia’ because they are simply awe inspiring when you go to see them much like the pyramids must be like. When you stand back and consider how on earth they were build with primitive tools – it really blows your mind.

Our second day in Siem Reap we will be heading off to Tonle Sap with the rest of the group of teachers. Tonle Sap is South East Asia’s largest body of water. It is made up of a network of rivers and lakes. It is usually quite small, but during the rainy season it can grow drastically (approximately 6 times it normal levels!). There are various floating villages along the lake and it is very interesting to see the homes of those who live along this waterway. The flow of the river changes twice a year as well.

 

And those are only our first two days in Cambodia! Later on during the second day, we will be taking a flight down to Phnom Penh (Cambodia’s capital city) to start our next leg of our adventures. More to come about what we are doing there very soon!

I am looking forward to us capturing our own photos and posting them on here for you to enjoy too and sharing in our experiences.

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but going and seeing this all in real-life is absolutely priceless.

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Upside Down and Inside Out

The idea of my parents going through a bit of culture shock during this trip has crossed my mind today a few times. I sometimes forget how long I have been away from my home country. Often times, I find that I experience the opposite effect – the “reverse culture shock”. Meaning, what once was the norm at home, has become different to me.

Some of the things that I feel this effect on when I go home can seem silly to some. My sister thought it was a bit funny that I felt unsafe running through a park alone in Toronto. It wasn’t the park that was scary to me – it was the lack of people. It feels extremely unsettling now to me to run for almost 5km and not see a soul. This simply does not happen here in Singapore. I could walk out of my house right now at 9:30pm and see literally hundreds of people walking around the streets and jogging along the canal.

Something I also notice right away when I am home in a city in Canada is the amount of homeless people and especially those with severe mental illnesses and sometimes with disabilities. I will probably have this site shut down for saying this, but obviously there are people here with similar issues. But where are they? It is definitely a different experience on the streets of Toronto and it is impossible not to notice it when I am home.

There have been many other things that I am left standing with my mouth a little agape when I come home for a visit. Some of the first examples that pop into my head are with food. The grocery store in Canada absolutely baffles me. I have completely forgotten this experience and am in utter amazement every time I step foot into one when I go home. There are hundreds of thousands of options and there is anything that anyone could ever dream of in terms of food, pharmacy, hygiene and more. And that is just at my local small town grocery store. The specialty ones in the city are a whole other experience.

Another shock I had was a couple of summers ago was the quantities in which restaurants served food at times. We were in Frankenmuth, Michigan in the USA and we went for one of the famous chicken dinners. I COULD NOT believe the amount of food that people were consuming in there. This was extreme culture shock for me. I STILL talk about this experience all the time and I still can’t comprehend it.

I could go on and on and on with all of my reverse culture shock experiences. There are many and the longer I am away, the more my norms shift. It is an interesting experience to feel it in your own home country after knowing only that for 25 years of my life. Reflecting on this, I need to make sure I am aware of my own changes so that I can be a bit more aware of what my parents are about to go through during their visit.

My first concern is them navigating the big city of Singers solo while I am at work. I know they can do it and if they are going to go anywhere on their own, Singapore is definitely the place for them to be. It’s safe. Roughly everyone speaks English. And everything is sign posted in English. For me, it seems like the easiest place in the world. To them, it might be a different story. So I am going to have to make sure they are well prepared for their journeys around town. Armed with a local sim card. Our phone numbers already plugged in and also the hotlines for the taxi cab companies… they really can’t go wrong.

Our next big leap will be Cambodia. I distinctly remember my first trip there. It was definitely a new experience and obviously one that has left a very lasting impression on me. There will be people in the streets. But unlike Toronto, many will be whole families. We will come across children begging, selling stuff or asking for us to buy them something. This is the reality of Cambodia, and one that I have unfortunately grown accustomed to seeing during my visits. It doesn’t take away the desire to want to help, it is just less of a shock to see it now for me.

My friend Andrea, who used to live in Phnom Penh, posted a very interesting article about the reality of child beggars in many countries “Keep the Change. Giving money to child beggars is the least generous thing a tourist can do”.  It is hard to look at a child begging you for money or food or pens for school or whatever, and not feel it in your gut that you need to help them. This will inevitably be an extremely difficult experience for my parents, as it is for me every time I go. However, the reality is that if you give them money – the money doesn’t really go to them or their families. Any little gift you give them, will get sold for money. The money then often goes to someone else and even worse (see the article for more details). It is a perpetual cycle and the only way to stop it is by not giving those kids money. It is difficult because all you want to do is to help but the best thing any traveller can do is to give them a warm smile, maybe a sticker (like my friend Kendra always does) and give your money to an NGO that is guaranteed to do something good with your money. Then through their programs they can get the families off the streets, into education and hopefully then into the world of gainful employment where they can earn money to support themselves. Reputable organizations are there to help and they know how it works in the country they are stationed in. Trust in the fact that they are working towards a permanent solution rather than a temporary one like giving a few dollars away.

This is exactly why we are going to Cambodia and what we are there to support. The People Improvement Organization (PIO) gets kids off the street, into school and the ideal situation is for students to then go on to university if enough money can be raised. It is also the mission of the Tabitha Foundation (the organization that helps us to provide houses) to provide more sustainable solutions for poverty. During our trip, we aren’t simply just putting a roof over someone’s head. These organizations to recognize and develop inherent skills and resources in a way that brings dignity and respect to the people whom they help. The result will be in measurable and visible improvements in the lifestyles of the people who they help.

Though it may be difficult to see past the initial culture shock of experiencing the reality of what many Cambodian people live, we are there to help in a way that actually work to allow people to move beyond the poverty which they face. Focusing on the good in people, the kindness and resilience of the Cambodian people who we will meet, and the organizations who are there to support them – my parent’s experience should move from being a shock to them, to that of reward for doing something that is right, sustainable and useful.

Within that one week we will spend there, I am sure that they will fall in love with Cambodia much like I have and their feelings will be turned upside down and inside out. It will be worth every moment.

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Want to help us support the cause?

Go to bit/ly.tabithaca

Excited? You betcha!

I’m excited for a few things at the moment…. it’s a good feeling and a helluva way to wake up on a Saturday.

Cocktails for Cambodia – tonight is the night! This is one of the best fundraisers that we host every year in preparation for the House Build. It’s an amazingly easy fundraiser to run… it practically runs itself! The concept is this:

– people donate booze to the event. Friends look through their cupboards and donate what they have. We’ll take a half opened bottle of rum or a brand new one. Whatever people want to spare.

– from that, we make amazing drink concoctions and serve a new cocktail every half hour of the party. This year, because there are so many people joining for the build there will be 2 different drink choices every half hour. As you can imagine, people get silly very fast.

– Guests pay $50 for a ticket to get into the party and that includes free flow drinks and food from 7:00-11:00pm. This is literally the best food and drinks deal in all of Singapore.

Massage – we finally got paid so I’m getting a massage. It was great (and also painful at the same time) but it was much needed.

Early Morning Boxing Session – up and at ’em and finished. Have had a little ailment these past few days but got the go ahead from the Dr I could do exercise so I was back in the gym first thing today.

Mom and Dad Arrive in 13 Days! This is the part that I am really excited for. We’ve got a full schedule of events and we don’t want to miss a thing. First stop is Singapore! They are arriving in around noon on Thursday and will be picked up and whisked away to our condo (fingers crossed the guy picking them up isn’t a ding dong and actually drops them off at our place!)

The sunrise view from the balcony at Chez O'Beggs

The sunrise view from the balcony at Chez O’Beggs

They can then get showered up and grab a coffee from Starbucks just below us and chill out until I get home from work. They want to come to the gym to meet Rey and see one of my training sessions and this is the only day that we can do that because the school has made a wonderful mandatory PD day for teachers on first Saturday of our holidays. (thanks) From there, we will meet up with cousin Katelyn, a few friends and husband Kelso for dinner. 🙂

On Friday, both Kelso and I will be at work so the ‘rents will be entertaining themselves this day. Depending on their state of jet lag, I may send them off to check out Gardens by the Bay . This is an amazing outdoor and indoor display of flora and fauna. Literally one of the world’s best!

After a great morning/afternoon of sightseeing, they will head on the MRT to come and meet me at school. At the end of the day we are planning to hold one last fundraiser post PD day (beers and BBQ) for one more last ditch effort to raise some fast cash for Cambodia. We will do that for a couple of hours and then head out somewhere for our own beers and food.

On the Saturday, I will be at work all day so Kelso and my parents can hang out. Maybe a little bit o’ brunch in Holland Village (a great little eat street and shopping area only one MRT stop away from our house)

shopping_hollandNot sure what they will do with the rest of the day, maybe Orchard Road, maybe head down to Chinatown or Little India (two great places to hunt around in shops and to check out the vibrancy of some of the different cultures in Singapore). I am assuming that Kelso will have a football game too so maybe that will be a good time for them to head home for a little rest. I will meet up with them as soon as I am done work and our evening will most likely involve a number of beers and sitting down on a patio somewhere possibly down in Boat Quay area.

Then on the Sunday, we depart for Cambodia…. more to come about this part of their adventure soon! It’s already a packed first few days in Singapore! I can’t wait to have them here. Hurry up 13 days!!

Focus on the Awesome

You know… sometimes you have one of those days that you think “geeeze, could anything more happen??”. Today happened to be one of them.

But instead of complaining about how busy I was or things that went wrong or things that annoyed the F out of me… I decided that writing down the things that went AWESOME are far more worthwhile (and probably far more interesting for you to read!)

1. I sparred. – Ok, it was more of “spar play” with Rey, but I did don my mouthguard and headgear and let him give me a few love taps while I tried my damnedest to hit him. That’s the way it usually goes when I am sparring, but it felt good to try it again. Three 3 minute rounds too. I felt pretty good about it. Nevermind the part about how after the rounds were over I was so tired I could hardly move my arms… let’s just celebrate the fact that it happened.

2. I boxed with my students and they were AWESOME! How refreshing it is to have kids who aren’t complaining about being too hot, or being too tired, or being… well they can sometimes complain about just about anything. But for the last 3 weeks I have been taking a group of students on Wednesday afternoons to the boxing gym and they have been phenomenal. They have really worked their hardest to learn the skills and improve their ability. When we got on the bus after the session, I asked “Did you guys like it?” and they all screamed out a resounding “YES!” What’s not to love about that?

3. Our online Canadian fundraising page hit $14,820 today. What the what? That is fabulous!!! We still have so many more events to happen so we are looking like we might hit our fundraising goal. I see that my parents have done an amazing job of collecting donations and as always my Aunts, Uncles, cousins and family friends have shown their support. Thank you!!! Kelso has been an all-star today as well. He made a fabulous donation himself, has helped to spread the word and has gotten another significant donation from a colleague. I knew there was a reason I married him (and also for his football skills obviously) 🙂

4. My parents arrive in 16 days! The countdown is officially on. Enough said.


Four fantastic things that are awesome, ain’t so bad in a single day. Not every day needs to be a “belter” (as Kelso would say – translated to mean “amazing”). Sometimes the awesome just isn’t as noticeable as the bad stuff… sometimes you need to step back to see it.