I’ve been neglecting this blog I’m favor of the other one I started as my group’s official blog for the trip. But since that one is the official blog, I am somewhat censoring my posts, not wanting to post on any of the personal stuff, or anything that might seem negative about the experience. Of course, we all know that there will be negative experiences along with all of the positive, but I don’t think the official blog is thenbpalce to put those thoughts as I don’t want the arrangers to read and think I’m not appreciative of every experience this trip brings, good and not as good. (I won’t say bad as nothing bad has happened, and I don’t expect it to.)
That being said, I feel that some of the other things I haven’t posted about are worth talking about… So, I’m glad I have two blog options!
We landed in Singapore last week after travelling for almost 30 hours, door to door. We were all pretty tired, but in good spirits. Our hosts picked us up at the airport and fed us some toast and cold drinks. Toast is so big over here! They have all sorts of toast restaurants at all the malls and food courts. And, just for the record, their kaya toast is pretty good. Its a coconut spread. Yum!
We had a pretty great week in Singapore, other than some minor issues with communication and being on time. Seemed someone was always late, but there isn’t much you can do when relying on hosts to get you places! My hosts were great, though. My host had done a similar exchange in 2009 and she understood way more about the process than I did. She was fantastic and took me door to door every time I had somewhere to be. And, since another’s host had some kind of conflict the first night, another teammate came and stayed at my host with me, so that took a lot of the stress off the first home stay for me!
We then went to Phuket, Thailand for the weekend for a conference. We lucked in to having a lot of downtime, which we all needed. The biggest “out of the comfort zone” for me in Phuket was when we had to present to the conference. There were about 300 delegates there (though we were the last spot of the day and it seemed quite a few left before we went on), and our videos don’t seem to work here, so we had to wing it and expand the presentation for about a half hour versus 10 minutes that we were prepared for. It was a little nerve wracking, but not nearly as bad as I expected! Now the smaller presentations seem so simple.
In Thailand, we were staying on Patong Beach, which is an area that was hit by the tsunami in 2004. I didn’t want to do much research until after I went since their were so many deaths, and that type of thing tends to bother me when I know the details… However, I would like to look into it further now that I’ve left.
I’m about 2 towns behind in my updates, but I will aim to spend a bit more time updating this blog instead of just the other.
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