January 18, 2010

First Impressions

I am in our hotel room in Singapore, waiting for Scot to return from a business meeting. We have been here 4 full days and yet it seems like we've been here much longer. It is strange coming to a new country and not viewing it through the eyes of a tourist, but viewing it through the eyes of a new resident.

See Garrett and Nathan? They really do have a California Pizza Kitchen here!

I have soaked it all in and am honestly very excited about our move here. It is a beautiful country with a ton to offer and I am looking forward to our family having some amazing experiences here. Some things that stand out:

1. I am going to have to find a new home for my Chi. It is humid every single day. The weather feels much like Houston weather in late May or June......very warm during the day, but pleasant at night. It is odd that besides frequent rain that comes during the monsoon season, the weather here never changes. That means I am going to have to embrace my curly hair!

2. The people are extremely friendly and accommodating. Apparently there has been a big push by the government for improved customer service. The government has also encouraged good manners and respect is ingrained into children. It is very, very evident. The normal term of endearment for anyone older than you is to call them Uncle or Aunt so in chatting with a cab driver, you would refer to him as Uncle. I love it!

3. I have almost been run over about 5 times because of looking the wrong way in crossing a street. It is going to be interesting learning how to drive on the opposite side of the road with the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car. I can only imagine the predicaments I'll get myself into!

4. Just because the national language here is English does not necessarily mean I will actually understand Singapore English, which is also known as Singlish. It is going to take some getting used to!

Orchard Road in city center

I feel like we have experienced a ton since being here which would explain why this self-proclaimed night owl has been sound asleep by 9 or 9:30 most nights. One of my favorite evenings involved going to the East Coast. It's an area on the water where the vessels hang out waiting to be brought into the harbor. There's a long stretch where people are biking, running, and rollerblading along with several seafood open air restaurants. I am looking forward to spending many a Saturday in this area with the boys.

Apparently the crooked peace sign is some sort of popular Asian hand signal.
Wonder if we should have found out first what it actually means?

We also went to Clarke Quai that night. It is an large area with a ton of bars and restaurants and it goes along a waterfront.

Yesterday we visited the school we are hoping our boys are accepted to. It was incredibly impressive and I am super excited for them to have the opportunity to go there. Now we just sit back and pray that all my charming of the Admission Advisor pays off!

The Middle and High School pool. K-5 have their own pools
where swimming is part of the PE curriculum.

One of three 6th grade hang out rooms.

A 4th grade Science classroom

Middle school band

3rd-5th grade library

The best part of our week was our decision to go ahead and visit a local church on Sunday. We were up early that morning because there was a light in our room that would randomly go off and on. It it weren't for that light, we probably would have slept in......hmmmmm.....

Anyways, the moment we walked into the church, a very nice guy that works for BP greeted us. Turns out a couple in his Sunday School class work for CAT. We met them and hit if off immediately and are going to dinner with them tonight.

I can not even put into words what I was feeling sitting in that church service. It was a full house of about 750 people with the Youth choir leading the singing that morning. The opening song was one I knew well and I was working hard to fight off my emotion. My world can become so small sometimes that I forget that God is doing amazing things all over the world. I loved every single thing about the service. It was simple and lacked much of the bells and whistles we have grown accustomed to in our churches back home and I loved it.

I quickly realized that our living situation and food experiences deserved a post all their own so this is one of three I'm posting at the same time. It will be interesting to come back and read over these posts in a year or so when life here becomes somewhat normal for us!


  1. Looks like such a wonderful adventure Keri!! Your boys will have wonderful memories for the rest of their lives!

    And I say don't worry about giving up your Chi!! I love your curly/wavy hair! My daughter-in-law has hair just like yours and I beg her to go "natural" all the time. Very romantic looking!

    Love, Julie

  2. You have been a busy posting gal! All the pics are wonderful,well, except the 15 dollar milk. Good luck and I am praying for you guys. See you this weekend! (can't believe I can say that and it be true!!)

  3. Keri, I am so sad, happy, nervous, so many emotions for at once. I would love to hear the story of how this transpired and when you move, etc. Would you share, did I miss something on a recent post? The pics are incredible, how do your boys feel. Singapore!!!!!!! wow!!!!!!!!!! Praying for you friend!!!

  4. I was surprised (pleasantly) to see how "American" things look! I didn't know the official lauguage of Singapore is English, either. It seems that all this may make the adjustment somewhat easier? Maybe??

    The school looks amazing! I will say prayers that your boys will be accepted there, you little charmer you! LOL

    Sounds like the church service was beautiful. God is so good.

  5. I'm so glad your church experience was good. Doesn't that make you feel like everything else will be okay?? The school looks amazing -- the boys will love it. Wow, what an experience!!

  6. Keri,
    My husband works for CAT. Is that the company your husband works for? I also used to work for CAT and know a few people in Singapore...Just curious!
    Jennie (a friend of the Linebargers)

  7. Wow. Wowwowwow. I am jealous. But THRILLED for you! SO excited. Like, fidgety excited!! It is gorgeous. And any place that forces you to embrace your amazing hair, is a-ok by me. ;)
    Brian was impressed with the pictures of the school. The science classroom pic is now saved to his file as "whataclassroomshouldlooklike".
    I love you, but come home, ok? It's not time for all the Aunties and Uncles in Singapore to have you yet. They get their turn soon enough.
    Love you! Crista

  8. I have to say I am jealous of you -- this is going to be such an awesome experience for your family! Singapore is beautiful and I loved the pix of the school (WOW) and apartments. I can't wait for you to move so I can read about your day to day life in the city!!!

  9. Dear Keri,

    I have much to say but will use self-control and limit my comments...at least for now. I have had a deep excitement since I heard you were going to move to Singapore. Having lived in Asia, I know that it will be absolutely life-changing for you. As you said, we forget that God is doing amazing things around the world. Now, I HAVE to have time with people who have a strategic perspective. I have to hear what God is doing in other nations. I seek out people who are missionaries and travel. And what is so amazing to me is that when God speaks to His Church, He speaks to His Church...i.e., what He says in Singapore, He is teaching around the world. Yet, in other nations, they often get the heart of the issues, as sometimes our American perspective is very tied to things, prosperity, comfort and other cultural ideas. When you live in another nation, it strips some of your assumptions. It is sometimes easier to see with God's heart when you have to transition. You have to be sensitive to other people, as you are living in their country and have to begin to see as they do. It builds gratitude, flexibility and a greater appreciation for the diversity that God builds into His creation. Guess I should stop there...but to say that I have, am and will continue to pray for you as you approach this move. God has amazing plans for you...for a future and a hope and for GOOD! :-) Love you, Suz



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