This is really a story of many of US who gathered in US to connect with one another….
Countless New friends – I couldn’t keep count of the new friends we had made!! I am just so grateful for these new friendships and I give thanks for technology that allowed us to take ussies (or wefies) and will keep us close even when we are miles apart.
240h @Training Centre – A FABULOUS experience for John and 3 other boys from Singapore as they met with others from different parts of US to risk it and do life together so that they can be ready for influenccccsssssahhhh!!!
120h @Tournament and conference – These were tightly packed hours filled with gold nuggets of learning about culture, camaraderie, connection and community. We will take many more hours to unpack, reflect and share these precious gems with our local communities.
100h On the roads and plane – It was the first 24h flight for my children and I. Singapore Airlines was a great airline to fly with; there was only one stopover at Moscow and we were pampered with food and entertainment the whole way. The flight attendants were sensitive to our needs too. We took two long 12h road trips and we kept ourselves going creatively with cherries, crackers and coffees; jellies, juices and jokes; songs, snooze and stories!!
90min To pack luggage and kids into the MPV – My friend and I persevered as we packed 3 big suitcases, 4 big duffel bags, 2 small suitcases, 2 violins, 1 large cooler box, 2 backpacks, a number of other bags, food supplies and 6 children into her MPV. We made sure we fit something into every space we could find in the car. Both of us were so relieved that we could pile everything and everyone in! It was safer and so much more fun to travel together in one car.
60h Of camp @Asbury University – Rebecca went to a theatre camp and she LOVED it! It was the first time she was away from home for a residential camp . She learned great tips about acting and found good friends too. Li-Ann went for a horse camp and she LOVED it too!! She led her horse, Leroy, in and out of the stable at each ride and even decorated her horse for the showcase. I had the privilege of touring the varsity campus and chatting with the teachers/facilitators/adminstrators where their summer camps were organized.
45min Bucket ride – An adventurous dad gave us a ride in the mattress padded bucket of his tractor when it turned pitch dark around his house. As the bucket was lifted at least 10 feet off the ground, my heart hung in the air too, not sure whether to scream or cry! Only the light from the tractor lit the path. As we felt the chilly wind on our faces, we could see the planets and stars in the sky and smell the leaves high up in the trees. To keep cool, I had to keep talking and holding tightly onto someone while we were up in the air. In spite of my mixed feelings, it was a SUPER COOL ride!!
26 Days away from home without daddy – The longest time we were away from home and daddy. We wished he was with us and he missed us too. But we were thankful we managed to chat a number of times using whatsapp call.
22 Healthy home cooked meals – Seriously, I wasn’t expecting very many home cooked meals when I am away from home. But we were really blessed when we stayed with friends. To me, every meal was a FEAST because it was prepared with the heart of love! Sounds cliche but I am really touched! A dear friend whom we hung out for a week cooked almost everyday!! Our girls got together and whipped up a dish and dessert too!! Such a FUN way to FEAST with FRIENDS!
15min To learn how to shoot a rifle and a gun – This was another first for John and I. It was rather scary to hold a gun at first. But with very clear instructions from a trained coach and encouraging cheers from the spectators, it was a safe and exciting experience for all.
12h Shopping – I went crazy just shopping at the stores, garage sales and thrift store!!! Actually, for a shopaholic like me, 12h is NOT ENOUGH!!!!
10 Friends drove us around – These friends were God’s answer to hubby’s prayer!! Hubby wasn’t keen on me driving as I had not driven in US before. It was a relief not to drive on the busy freeways especially for long hours. But I was glad to keep my driver friends awake with snacks and stimulating conversations.
8 New restaurants – Our friends brought us to their favourite restaurants to try different types of food. We enjoyed all the food coz we were there with our FAVOURITE FRIENDS!!
7 States – We went through different states and saw the long freeways, shiny huge trucks, unique neighbourhoods, hanging traffic lights, red brick buildings, beautiful wooden homes, open green spaces, free roaming animals, pretty mountains and important waterways.
6 New places – We visited 6 places on our trip. The low humidity was great but the heat was scorching!! What was best was we had longer daylight hours!!!
5h To put a speech together – I had to put a story together for the conference. It was a privilege to have 2 ladies mentor me via email and whatsapp. Their prayers and patience kept me going. I gave thanks for the excellent wifi we had at the hotel. That had also helped me to connect with John so he could put together a video at his end. Talk about working on the go!!
4 Opportunities to swim – Swimming was another great way to bond and relax whether in the heat of the day or late at night. The children had 2 hours of fun at the pool on the eve of our departure to Singapore. Two of us moms reckoned there might not be another chance to do silly stuff like this and at the same time, countdown to midnight!
2 American grandparents – We stayed with an elderly couple who graciously hosted us although we didn’t know them at first. They offered to be the girls’ American grandparents during our one week stay, drove them to their camps and went to watch the showcases!! Thank you American grandma and grandpa for your love and support!!!
1 BIG God – God provided this opportunity for us to go to the US. He gave us family members and many dear friends in Singapore, Malaysia, China and US who were extremely supportive of our trip. We know that our trip was made possible and fruitful because these dear ones were also praying for us.
Check out Bro Fist by Li-Ann, My Special Summer by Rebecca