What a crazy, exciting, exhausting, busy, stressful week we had! Our week in Singapore was a whirlwind! I figured that I would pack extra bags and be a “pack mule” for this trip, jamming in as much as I could in these bags of things I could just leave in Trents office until we made the move. Never in my life have I traveled with so much luggage!!
The flight: It was 12 hours to Tokyo, and after going through their customs and grabbing something to eat, we hopped on another plane for another 8 hour flight to Singapore. I struggled to sit still for so long, and was quite stir crazy by the time we landed. The kids sat next to each other (the boys tolerated Maria schlumping on them while she tried catch a quick nap) and I sat in the next aisle over, and ended making friends with the passenger next to me. When you sit next to someone in a tight space for hours on end, you inevitably chat a bit, and it turned out that I had a lot in common with “Newt” . He is also a swim parent! His kids swim for Minnetonka Swim Club! Oh we had a great time talking about mutual friends, our teams, our coaches, the meets, and our super talented swimmers. It’s a small world!
Housing: We found a place to live!! We searched for two and a half days, and viewed houses all over the country. We looked at stand alone housing, cluster housing, and condos. We saw some really great places, and some not so nice places, some near the school, some near Trent’s office, and others near where the swim team practices. With perseverance, lots of caffeine to fend off the jet lag, a sense of humor, and three kids who wouldn’t give up, we eventually found the perfect place for our family … A condo that is near the swimming pool!
The new School: The kids will be going to the Singapore American School, and on Wednesday we checked in there for a tour, orientation, a math placement exam for Maria, class scheduling, and uniform fitting. This school is one of the top American schools in the world, and let me tell you, it is off the hook amazing. All three kids were impressed and excited to be a students there, and the boys were especially impressed that there is a Subway in the cafeteria. Need I say more? yes, I know you want to hear more about SAS, so I will write a separate entry about the school later.
Swim Team: Yes, we found a new swim team too! SwimFast Aquatics, coached by David Lim (who is a national sports celebrity) and Gary Tan (who went Brigham Young with my friend Nikki, they were on the swim team together .. remember, small world, right?)
The kids were welcome onto the team, and practiced with the team twice. All the pools in Singapore are 50 meters, which is long course size for Americans, aka Olympic size. In Minnesota there are not many pools of this size, so my kids have never practiced in a long course pool, let alone an outdoor long course pool. It was a thrill! And for me too! As Trent and I were sitting in the stands, we could see a distant storm rolling in, and bolts of lightening every so often. Coach Lim told us not to worry, they have an advance warning system, and siren will go off when dangerous lightening is nearby. And of course I am taking pictures, mostly with my iPhone, but now it’s starting to get dark, so I switch to my Canon to get some better shots. OMGosh, the flash goes off, all the kids in the pool scream, scrambling to get out of the water! They all realized quickly that it was just my flash, and then several parents came over and introduced themselves to me, telling us that was the most excitement they’ve had at practice in years. I had the giggles for a long time after that …
We successfully completed all the tasks on our to-do list for our week in Singapore, finishing up Saturday morning. We had the afternoon free to do some touristy things, so of course we went straight to Sentosa Island and then the Singapore Flyer!
We returned home on Sunday, and are recovering from our whirl wind week in Singapore and our jet lag. I’ll write posts later in the week about the housing & school, and some highlights of our week. Thank you for your prayers for traveling mercy!