Journal Time!

Hey everyone,

The first student dialogue session with presentations made by Australia, Oman, The Philippines and Indonesia was really striking in many ways. First and foremost, the group sessions where we discussed the topics of healthcare, slavery, governance and poverty highlighted for me the wealth my country has and how lucky I am to live in a country where by and large, the government functions adequately,  there are sufficient resources and education and most importantly, public servants do not deal in corruption. I found that whilst Australia, the United States, France, India and the United Kingdom had mostly positive things to add about their own countries’ work in these sectors, many others are still struggling, something I had previously never come face to face with.

Finishing the third day was a river cruise, which was an opportunity to see the entirety of the financial district up close as well as the Marina Bay Sands resort and the theatre designed to look like a durian fruit. Despite the blistering sun, it was cool on the water and we sped along happily chatting about the various landmarks. I took a photo of Nikolai and Gabriel looking very suave as well as numerous tourist-y shots. The day ended with renditions of our national anthems on the coach, us belting out ‘God Save The Queen’ in our scratchy English singing voices.

I found the visits to the LTA and the PUB to be interesting as I gained a clearer perspective into how Singapore works and was able to compare this to my own country. I know that I am very glad we have enough water resources in the UK as the taste of the NewWater was dissimilar to anything I had tried before. Furthermore, the LTA was cool as it showed me how countries plan their living spaces, amenities and their transport together from scratch in free spaces. The Tube system in the UK is the oldest of its kind in the world and so I am used what is already available being developed rather than planning completely new, integrated areas of infrastructure that don’t require replacing what already exists.

Later on tonight is the Night Safari – woo!

Melissa, United Kingdom 

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