To Singapore with Love
It was with sleepy eyes that I first got off the airplane and into the city of Singapore. All of a sudden, however, I was jolted awake. Colorful signs and exhibits flashed the words, "Welcome to Singapura!" At that moment, a thrill rushed through me. I had arrived in the City of the Lion, an exotic and mysterious city in the orient, about to start on an exciting journey of learning and adventure.
From our first day of arrival, the delegates were treated with kindness and respect. I continued to be amazed by the organization's staff, whose members stayed up in the early hours of the morning to greet us, provide us transport from the airport to the Pasir Ris Resort, and then to check us in. Every day, the event coordinators made sure we were well-informed and cared for, attending to our each and every need.
From the very onset we were introduced to our conference groups. Ensuring a diverse mix of students and teachers, I was pleased to find myself exposed to a wide range of cultures and backgrounds. The student and adult group leaders were amazingly friendly and organized. I was very impressed by their leadership abilities.
The Opening Ceremony was just the beginning of our APEC experience - what followed was a rush of scientific investigations, cultural performances, exploring the exhibits at the Singapore Expo, visitations to leading universities like the National Singapore University, a day at the Singapore Science Center and a wild ride at the Night Safari, lectures by prominent scientists, group activities, web-building, games, home stays, touring the city, and writing the conference paper.
As time passed, I found myself growing closer and closer to both my group members and my delegation. From my group members I was able to learn about their everyday lives, school systems, governments, hobbies, trends, and languages. Bak Su-re from Korea taught me the Korean alphabet and phrases like, "Ut-thae-oh" (How are you), "Cho-un-a-chim-yi-eh-oh" (Good morning), and "Kam-sah-hap-ni-da" (Thank you). Hosea from Singapore introduced me to MUD, a form of role-playing game played over the Internet. A Japanese boy named Yoshi and I...