Spartan explores Singapore
An adventurous spirit, Assisi Scholar, Emma Sauer '19 could not pass up the opportunity to travel to Singapore on a business trip with her father and to experience an Asian culture while making friends.The tropical rainforest of Singapore offered much more than an escape to a warm vacation spot in February.For Emma, Singapore offered an adventure and a place to test her independence and resourcefulness.
Singapore, a sovereign city-state located in Southeast Asia, is a leader in global commerce, finance, and transportation.Although a very small island, Singapore bustles with international business activity. Emma spent much of her time each day at the International School.According to Emma, "It is the most diversity I have ever experienced. Nobody looked alike, and nobody seemed to care.There were Chinese, Indian, Arab, British, Hispanic, Australian, and Malaysian" and many other students from across the globe.Emma found the classes at the school very similar to what she is studying at Roger Bacon."Two of the most important things I learned during my time abroad were how to push back any fears or doubts and have fun, and to be open to molding with a culture that is so different from mine."
Singapore is also known for its magnificent rainforests and gardens.Broadening her exploration around her hotel each day, often alone, Emma lost no time exploring the many beautiful displays at the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay. "My all time favorite was the Cloud Forest.It is incredible.It really is like a rain forest inside of an enormous green house. I learned so much about global warming and the destruction of the rain forest from this visit."Another of Emma's favorite experiences was the Cat Cafe'. An animal lover, Emma found this place a dream come true."There were ten cats in the room for the visitors to pet and play with." Occasionally Emma found herself alone and lost on her journey, but she looked to the bright side saying, "I think I had the courage to explore on my own because I was open to getting lost and asking for help....but with the help of strangers and Google Maps, I was always able to find my way back."
During her time in Singapore, Emma also found many interesting restaurants.She enjoyed spicy fish laska,chili crab, dim sum (little filled dumplings), and "hot pot" which involves cooking small chunks of vegetables, fish, and meat in a communal cooking pot, and dessert soup. As Emma exploredthe area with friends, Dominique and Carrine, she learned about the many tribal regions and dialects of the area.Emma was impressed by the diversity of the island.
Emma celebrated Chinese New Year during her stay.She learned many traditions of their celebration such as the "tossing ceremony" which involves tossing plates of rice in the air.The higher the persons throw the plates, the greater their good fortune in the coming year.TheNew Year's Party was celebrated on the River Honobo on a floating platform that was brightly decorated with rooster images. The evening ended with magnificent fireworks and a laser show.Dressed appropriately for the celebration in a traditional red dress of the country, Emma found herself a novelty to many of the locals.
As Emma looks to the future she says, "I think this experience will greatly contribute to my Assisi Scholar development.The classroom goes beyond the Roger Bacon walls.I am so appreciative that the school supported my trip because what I have learned has changed me for the better and has deepened my love of adventure!"