SINGAPORE 2000
   
shoprows

It started as 24 solid hours of plane travel. 24 hours. If you've ever experienced a journey of that length, then you remember the infinite relief you feel when the final hours roll around and you realize that - thankfully - time continues to march by whether you want it to or not. The journey is completed minute by minute and the first impossible hours have passed into nothing but memory. Singapore is upon us and the week of performance and workshops has begun.

Man, is it humid here. We brought a steamer - you know, for wrinkles in our clothes? - and we never used it once. Thank goodness for Air Con. Thank goodness for our gracious and thoughtful hosts who had Air Con available in their houses. I imagine they installed it for their own interests first. I don't blame them.

It's an interesting city/country, though. It's as though the spirit of Individualism - that many Americans think is unique to the U.S. - has spawned itself anew on the opposite side of the globe. And quickly. This place is huge and getting bigger all the time. Singapore conducts its business at a breakneck pace, modern steel towers of industry standing watch over little caches of the past. An amalgam of cultures has shaped this land. We see the signs everywhere.

the city

The shoprows, the buildings and the Chinese language all vie for familiarity, yet they remain distant from our Western experience as though we see the image from afar. The sensation is almost that of the very young child whose senses are filled to the brim with new ideas every single day. We make sense of it all through the patience of our hosts and guides. We learn to love the food. In fact, that's not much of a struggle at all. We decide there are certain Singapore specialties that we may very well have to smuggle back across the border to the West. Roti Prata is among the top choices. Also Water Chestnut, but only from Nam Kee - and, of course, dad is hooked on Herbal Tea. Someday, perhaps, we'll see the Herbal Tea manufacturers testifying on television before a Senate Subcommittee.

"I'm sorry, Senator. We had NO IDEA the Tea was ... ahem ... addictive. No idea whatsoever."

Yes, well, WE all know the truth. I suspect my father is craving a can or two of the stuff right now ...

the work

The play "Birthright" was very well received at both performances and the Singapore Centre for Fathering seems to attract more positive attention every single day. That's good. Our U.S. families could probably learn something from Singapore's enthusiasm. We conducted workshops on Theatre and the "Bright Beginnings" curriculum and everyone seemed to have a good time. No more so than us, actually. I think we had more fun interacting with the attendees than they may have had listening to us ramble on ... but that's just me. It was truly a blessing to see so many parents and children who are intent on growing together in Christ and in life. Again, I know the blessing was certainly on us as the presenters and I can only hope we left a little renewed excitement after all was said and done.

In all, it was a very challenging and rewarding trip. We made many new friends and we saw a part of the world that seems very different from our own, yet inhabited by people with such gentleness of heart and strength of spirit that it seemed we were never very far from home. Thanks to all our wonderful hosts, guides, participants and audiences.

We look forward to the day when we can see you all again!

(Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.)
Click on any of the Thumbnails below to see pictures from the Premiere of "Birthright" at the dedication of the Singapore Centre for Fathering.

 

"Birthright" with Jerry and Damon Brown
Father's Day - 18 June 2000

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