After several weeks of travel in Europe, we changed gears and headed for our new home away from home. We arrived in Singapore on January 6. Our flight from Frankfurt to Singapore was uneventful, with the exception that we somehow landed seats in the toddler section of the plane. There was no sleeping on this flight. I had the pleasure of sitting behind a crazy family from France. They were in and out of the overhead bins no less than 37 times (I counted). I also made note of their body parts that kept ending up in my face each time they did this!! I made the best of it by catching up on movies.
The first thing we did when we got off the plane is headed for the bathroom. Why is this remarkable, you ask? Singapore is home of the cleanest, tidiest bathrooms in the world. As we left the impeccable commodes, we were asked to rate our toileting experience on touch screen televsions. Only in Singapore!! After 16 hours of flying, this was somehow extremely hilarious to us.
We were not going to be able to move into our condo until the end of the week, so we made our way to the Sheraton Singapore to relax and get a good night's sleep. On the way to the hotel, I told our cab driver that we were back for 6 months after having visited Singapore for 6 weeks a couple of years ago. He welcomed us "home", and started telling us all about what has happened in the last couple of years since our last visit. We were blown away by the sight of the "trees", the new Gardens by the Bay (http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/the-gardens/attractions/supertree-grove.html). We can't wait to visit this new attraction!
The following day, we made our way (quickly thrown into re-learning bus and train routes) to Vagababe's new school - the Canadian International School (http://www.cis.edu.sg/). The school is absolutley beautiful and reminds me more of a college campus. There are two libraries, each of which are at least 5x larger than her school library at home. There are multiple playgrounds, theaters, an olympic sized swimming pool, and a canteen that cooks international food and serves it to students similar to the traditional Singapore Hawker center. We also bought her new uniforms and signed her up for bus service (no public school buses, here). We attended her orientation, were taken on a tour of the school, and were able to meet her new teacher. He is the perfect type of teacher for her. She thrives with teachers who are gentle and nurturing, but also challenging. Her new teacher, turns out, is from Miami, FL. He was excited to have an American student join the class. There are kids from 15 different countries in her class!! We learned that Vagababe is considered a middle-schooler here, so she will switch classes while still having her teacher as a base for Math, Science, Language, Spelling, Writing, and Reading. She has different teachers for Drama, French, Music, Art, and Gym. For extracurriculars, she wants to sign up for Baking Class, Leadership Club, Pencil Sketching in February. We left feeling really excited for her. This is the educational experience we have wanted for her for quite awhile and we are looking forward to seeing how she adjusts, makes new friends, and thrives in this kind of environement!! Vagababe starts school on 14 January.
After attending orientation, we took care of some business for our long-term stay in Singapore. Then, as if we haven't been traveling enough, we headed back to the airport for a trip to the Philippines!!