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A WA Magazine All women, All walks of life,


All Nationalities

Get artsy Dale Chihuly glass sculptures AWA Office Art Gallery Member writers and photographers

Passport Free Travel Getaways without leaving SG

Plus Japanese Unagi Indonesian Coffee Colourful Cocktails


Capture that at-home feeling www.awasingapore.org

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AWA Magazine - July/August -2021 3 --

Editor's Note

Home away from home Issue Home. For me, home is a slice of country just outside Ottawa, Canada. Home is the house we built; the place where I fulfilled my dream of my horses living just outside my door. Home is the house where we brought all three of our boys as newborns. My home has the best neighbours/friends I could ask for and my parents 20 minutes down the road. How I wish I could meet my parents, sister and aunt over the Sunday dinner table rather than over Zoom each Sunday morning! All this longing for a home far away sometimes causes me to overlook the home I have here in Singapore. So, in this issue, we highlight some of the reasons Singapore is a great place to call home! From world class art installations (Hidden in Plain Sight – Dale Chihuly, pg 8), to a piece of Thailand near Changi (Wander Woman – Passport-Free Travel, pg 22), to awesome new playgrounds for our kids (Family Fun – Three New Playgrounds to Romp Around On This Summer, pg 23), Singapore has much to offer. We also share how AWA has helped us to feel at home. From Listen Ladies (pg 13), to Local Tours (pg 21), to sharing coffee with the Java Junkies (pg 20), this community of women ensures that each of us has a place to belong. Whether you are here or travelling this summer, I hope you’ll take a quiet moment to browse our magazine and appreciate this Little Red Dot with us - our shared home away from home. Happy reading,

Jennifer Williams

Special Thank you Tori Nelson and Emily Oberton have produced many quality issues of AWA Magazine together. This issue, they have both moved on to new challenges. We want to express our gratitude for the hours they dedicated to the magazine and wish them luck in their new endeavours! Tori Nelson Tori became Editor-in-Chief of AWA Magazine in 2018. She oversaw the transition from the Bamboo Telegraph to the reimagined AWA Magazine.


Her dedication and excellence in journalism has created a quality magazine and large shoes to fill. She is currently devoting her time to her podcast, KidNuz. Emily Oberton Emily took on the Managing Editor role in 2020. She managed various parts of the magazine and contributed substantially to the professional look and feel of the magazine. Thank you Tori and Emily for your contributions to AWA Magazine!

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President's Message

American Women's Association Of Singapore This month marks my seventh year in Singapore. Throughout my time here, the AWA has been a constant during all the phases of my Singaporean experience. From arriving with an 18-month-old daughter while pregnant with my second and joining AWA Playgroups, to discovering Tiong Bahru & Monkey God’s Birthday with AWA Local Tours, to improving my backhand at the AWA Tennis clinic, to volunteering at Food from the Heart with AWA Community Service, to staying connected as a return-to-work mom through AWA Trivia Nights, to virtual learning during the pandemic through AWA Workshops, this organization has enriched my Singaporean life. One would imagine, then, that the secret to making the AWA such a strong organization for over 80 years is the impressive range of volunteer, social, special interest, sports events and activities. Although the above is true, the foundation of the AWA is really our people - our AWA Chairs, who pour their hearts into planning events and activities that they think will be meaningful for our members, pivoting to virtual events when the situation calls for it; our AWA Communications Team, which spends countless hours highlighting the range of activities and resources available while tirelessly finding new ways for us to connect and engage; Our AWA Board

American Women’s Association of Singapore 15 Scotts Road #03-01 Singapore 228218 General Manager: Sarah Cockerill Main: 6734-4895 Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9:30 am to 4:00 pm www.awasingapore.org

Members, who are able to lead our organization through the steepest challenges it’s faced; and, not least of all, all of you — our AWA Members — a sisterhood of women from around the world, who come together to enhance our Singapore experience through fun and fulfilling volunteer-led activities. It therefore is my honor and privilege to begin serving as AWA President for the 2021-2022 term. I am humbled by this opportunity and will strive to do my best. During this year, my goal is to help our organization continue to navigate through this pandemic and foster our volunteer spirit, giving back to the broader community, which is especially in need of support during these trying times. While we begin another chapter at the AWA, I would also like to take this moment to thank all of our current and former Chairs and Board Members who have contributed so much to the AWA, including our outgoing Board Members Venta Norvilas (Major Events), Emily Ludwick (Corporate Relations), Caitlin Fry (Historian), Ali Donaldson (Treasurer) and Lorraine Graybill (Communications). I would especially like to thank our outgoing President, Deb Minnock, for her leadership and generosity for which we will always be grateful. As we look ahead, I hope this will be a year of community, connection and compassion. Stay safe.

Linda Schindler

FAQ’s/Important Information • The AWA welcomes all nationalities, not just Americans. • AWA guest fees apply to Singapore residents. Out of town guests and family members pay the AWA member price. • Guests are entitled to attend 2 events (in total, not per year) before we ask them to join the AWA to continue participating. • You can register for membership and events any time on our website: www.awasingapore.org

AWA Misson Statement The American Women's Association is a sisterhood of women from around the world, who come together to enhance their Singapore experience through fulfilling volunteer run events and activities. -- 2 --

AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

Bulletin Board

What's happening at the awa board of directors May and June are the months for AWA Board Members' turnover. Meet three ladies who just joined the Board: Typhain de Bure, Anita Young and Angela Chen. Typhaine de Bure Typhaine de Bure is a veteran Board Member, having served in the past as Treasurer, Major Events Director and Vice President. After one year away, she is now returning to the Board as External Affairs Director. This Board position supports the President in making Photo by Sandy Lo connections with the wider community in Singapore. After a career in finance in New York, Typhaine came to Singapore 13 years ago. Recently she revived her career in finance, serving as the APAC Coordinator for 100 Women in Finance, a position that encourages more women to gain senior investment roles and leadership positions in the financial industry. Typhaine is also the founder of a unique business called Lice Lassies, a care service for victims of head lice. When she is not being an advocate for career women or helping heal itchy heads, Typhaine loves walking the Green Corridor followed by coffee and croissants at Crown Bakery. Anita Young For new Board Member Anita Young, fresh transplant to Singapore and AWA’s rising Major Events Chair, getting involved with the community is a natural component of expat living. An empty-nester without that easy plug-in to a school network, Anita took a broad look around at other organizations and what “The Little Red Dot” had to offer. After browsing AWA’s robust website and all its options for engagement, meeting Sarah and attending Coffee & Friends, Anita felt AWA was a natural landing spot in which to get involved and seek a leadership role. She lost no time in joining events like coffees, mahjong lessons, book group and tennis after arriving in October 2020 with her www.awasingapore.org

husband, Tom. Anita has a professional background in corporate accounting and more recently launched a real estate business before moving to Taiwan. Her favorite activity is her daily walks near her home in Sentosa and adds “The early morning beautiful sunrises never get old.” Angela Chen Angela Chen, AWA’s new Social Chair, moved to Singapore last November after five years in Hong Kong. Born and raised in California, Angela sees Singapore, with chill vibes, sunny skies and more wide-open spaces, as the “LA of Asia.” A pleasant experience with AWA in Hong Kong led her to AWA Singapore, where she joined meet-ups with Coffee & Friends and Mahjong. She also volunteers monthly, choosing between Willing Hearts and Food From the Heart, which she humorously terms "wet" or "dry" experiences. Angela says the warmth and generosity of AWA members “has been so lovely and energizing during my relocation transition.” She’s motivated to serve on the Board to ensure everyone feels the same unbridled confidence and connection with AWA that she experienced. Prior to Hong Kong, Angela worked at art museums for 13 years. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, Angela snagged a job supervising the art installation for the Star Wars exhibition at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum. When not working, volunteering or caring for her 4-year old daughter, Angela’s favorite hangout after yoga is the Grounded café, above Common Man Coffee Roasters on Martin Road. Besides Board positions, AWA has several volunteer openings in Communications, Special Interest and Membership. For more information, check out the AWA website or email volunteerdirector@awasingapore. org.

by Meg Farrell Sine, AWA Communications Director communicationsdirector@ awasingapore.org

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AWA Singapore's Membership Magazine

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Editor's Note President's Message AWA's Board Update

July AuG 2021

Cover Photo by Christi Elflein. Check out her Instagram @gr8streets Photo Location: Gardens by the Bay, Dale Chihuly: Glass In Bloom Cover of the AWA AWAmembers Magazine - July/August 2021 -- 4 -- Members from left on cover photo: Jennifer Ha, Neha Yadav, Anna Hultman, Wednesday Book Club

AWA Group Scoop 07 Photography Group 13 Listen Ladies 14 Running Group 15 Walking with Women 16 Tennis 20 Java Junkies 26 AWA Group Activities

Bits & Bites of Expat Life 06 08 10 11 12 13 18 19 21 22 23 24 26

Resident Artist Hidden in Plain Sight Writers' Block Member Spotlight You're Not Alone Binge Worthy Fork & Chopstick Watering Holes Local Tours Wander Woman Family Fun Adventures Singapore Snippets All Nationalites

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Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Williams editor@awasingapore.org Staff Managing Editor - Jane Kim Graphic Designer - Gina Vono Technical Director - Celine Suiter Copy Editors - Helena A. Cochrane - Amanda Jaffe

Visit us on the internet: www.awasingapore.org Facebook: American Women’s Association of Singapore - AWA Instagram: awaofsingapore Questions, comments and administrative issues, please email us: office@awasingapore.org


Advertising Katherine McCall advertising@awasingapore.org


Please be advised that any names listed in this publication, the AWA directory or any other material published by AWA are for the exclusive use of AWA members only. Any commercial use is strictly prohibited. The AWA Magazine is published 6 times per year. The American Women’s Association and the AWA Magazine neither endorse nor take responsibility for the opinions expressed herein. Please address all comments and queries to the AWA Magazine Editor. AWA does not endorse or promote any product or service offered through any advertisement that may appear in the AWA Magazine.

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Resident Artist

Meet the artist behind the works displayed at the AWA office

Helena Antolin Cochrane I came to Singapore from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in August 2018. In Philadelphia, I had joined the Urban Sketchers organization, and I joined the local Singapore chapter (USKSG) as soon as I moved Plein air painting at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park here. In my early 20’s, I took courses in watercolor at the University of Pennsylvania with renowned Philadelphia watercolorist Guna Mundheim, but ended up doing advanced studies in Spanish language, literature and culture. I have painted all my life, stealing moments while working as a Spanish teacher for 35 years.

It would be impossible to overstate the positive impact that participating in art has had on my life here. Everyone I have met through painting here, without exception, has helped me not only to hone my craft, but also to feel at home in Singapore. I’ve learned about corners on painting meet-ups that it would have taken years for me to discover on my own. Singapore Urban Sketchers love to gather together to paint the same spot from a range of perspectives, then share what they’ve done, critique (admire) each other's work, then have lunch together. They can’t get enough conversation about good sketching locations, cool new art supplies, instructional videos for technique, and great foods

Watercolor has always been my preferred medium: it is portable, versatile and luminous. Still, I have concentrated on improving my rendering skills in

Emerald Hill

Tiong Poh Rd. at Sit Wah Rd.

pencil, figure-drawing, and observation skills. I paint both still life and live models, and I recently took a Chinese ink painting course. My paintings are my way of exploring a place, commemorating an event, and connecting with people. My artist heroes over the years have been very traditional painters like Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Maurice Prendergast and J.M.W. Turner. I owe a great deal to friends from the 1978 Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts with whom I’ve maintained contact. Here in Singapore, I have found a remarkably welcoming community of artists. -- 6 --

to eat together after a sketching session. Sometimes the sketching venue is a restaurant that has especially nice-looking bowls of laksa for us to paint before we eat. It’s a joyful experience from beginning to end. When Singapore went into its COVID Circuit Breaker in April of 2020, the sharing moved online, and people hosted sketching challenges through Facebook that kept us painting and connected. We were ecstatic that Phase II allowed us to meet in person again last fall, and had to exercise a lot of restraint to keep our plein air groups small and distanced. I am continually inspired by the plein air groups I have joined -- USKSG, but also others: you will see Tuesday Outdoor Painters out in the heat, sometimes fleeing the rain, often seeking the shade, and always working to capture the light. I have learned so much since taking up painting full-time when I arrived here in the tropics. Everywhere I turn, there is something to try to capture, and I can't find enough hours in a day to record what I see. My Singapore is in my sketchbooks and finished paintings and drawings, which evoke the sweet feeling of home in this intensely memorable way. AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

Photography Group perspectives of singapore

The Photography Group continues to offer walks for our members to enjoy both the culture and nature of Singapore. We vary our locations and timings to cater to AWA members' diverse interests. In January, we tried to capture the lights and excitement of Chinese New Year in our nighttime walk through Chinatown. Lights, stalls, people, and lanterns at the Buddha Tooth Relic temple all provided great photographs for us. Little India was our second featured street photography opportunity. There, we discovered unique views in the Tekka market, found some off-the-beaten-track murals, and captured everyday life on the streets.

Singapore River Walk

For nature photographers, we both sponsored and led walks to Sungei Buloh and Mt Faber in the Southern Ridges. AWA women’s stamina was impressive, as we climbed up Mt Faber in the heat of the morning or braved the early dawn light at Sungei Buloh to capture morning bird and animal activity. Sungei Buloh was a huge treat for bird photographers, and we were lucky to have a member who was an extraordinary bird spotter! Alas, though, no crocodiles. Lastly, we offered a nighttime walk along the river from Clarke Quay to the Fullerton Hotel. The camera people took the slow stroll down the river trying to tame their tripods and capture the reflections of Singapore’s CBD’s buildings, bridges, and iconic landmarks. Those with iPhones went faster and as a result captured either extreme of the walk in both early evening light and full darkness. Whether with a camera or iphone, we hope that our photographers have been able to capture Singapore in their unique way.

Bum boats along the Singapore River

Both Londa and Carol continue to enjoy leading AWA members to explore Singapore through photography. We are also thankful for some of our members stepping in from time to time to lead a group as rules change regarding group size. Currently, with the Heightened Alert restrictions, we are not offering any walks. However, Londa and Carol are optimistic that we will be up and running in the not too distant future. Our list of ideas for exploring Singapore through photography stretches on. Come join us!! www.awasingapore.org

Nightlife on the Singapore River

Carol Hamcke-Onstwedder and Londa Matthieu, co-chairs -- 7 --

Hidden in Plain Sight

Discovering singapore's vibrant street art scene by Jennifer Williams and Isabelle Tadmoury

Artist Spotlight: Dale Chihuly With borders closed and the world on hold, it’s rare to see an international artist’s mega-show in person. “Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom” is the American blown-glass sculpture artist’s first major garden show in Asia. This show’s a treat for the senses and a true artistic coup for Singapore. Chihuly’s last major outdoor exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens was closed due to the pandemic. That makes this show even more distinctive because there’s nowhere else in the world to see it. The largescale installations are beautifully set among the various corners, meadows and ponds of Gardens by the Bay. As you walk along the path, the colors of his impressive sculptures peek out through the foliage and explode into splendor as you near them.

Orange Hornet Chandelier

Among the over 100 pieces are examples of his early work of curvy towers and chandeliers developed while he pioneered a world-class glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design. He taught at the school for over 11 years and forged a new frontier for working with glass.

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Some of his later work is on display in the Cloud Forest Dome. The ‘Persians’ are a series of flower petals that cascade dramatically from the indoor waterfall there. This was Jen’s and my favorite moment, and it took our breath away. The dynamic play of light on glass and its reflection of various colors onto the water were impressive. The AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

top of the dome has plant-like spikes that reflect into the water. Walla Wallas, floating onion-like pieces, dot the outdoor waterways. Wherever we turned, we met a feast for the eyes. While tickets are required to access the complete exhibit, several pieces are displayed as public art,

and scattered throughout Resorts World Sentosa. A gorgeous Chihuly tower occupies the center of the casino’s playing floor and Chihuly chandeliers hang from the lobby of the Crockfords Tower. It almost seems as if this exceptional artist has designed his pieces especially for Singapore.

Float Boat and Floats

Isabelle with Mystery Sculpture

The exhibit runs from May 1st to August 1st at The Gardens by the Bay.

Erbium Reeds and Trumpet Flowers

free for all to enjoy. You’ll easily find the Float Boat and the Walla Wallas as you wander. Explore a little further into the Gardens to find the Mystery Sculpture floating serenely on its private pond. Even after the exhibit closes at Gardens by the Bay in August, Chihuly’s artwork will be on display at the aptly-named Chihuly Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel www.awasingapore.org

“Art will exist for as long as humans walk the earth. Whether it is a painting, a sculpture, a song, book, or movie, art inspires and heals. Artists are driven to express themselves, and if we are lucky, the work finds the right audience at the right time.” - Dale Chihuly (The Observer, 6/26/2020) Isabelle and Jennifer share a love of art, good coffee and exploring Singapore. Both came here in 2019 and are always on the lookout for the next great statue or mural that is just around the corner. -- 9 --

Writers' Block

a contribution from our AWA Writers' Group members by Bhavani Krishnamurthy

1939: A Homecoming (An excerpt from her novel in progress) Glum-faced, the young couple sat, as the train pulled into Victoria Terminus. The girl’s thoughts were with the family she had left behind. The young man had something else on his mind. War in Europe… more importantly, the pretty pickle brewing within the Indian National Congress. It made him walk up and lean out the door, feeling the winds of change on his face. Oh, to be at the ’39 Congress session, see Bose in action! Out of nowhere, Subhash Chandra Bose had risen like a comet to challenge Gandhi’s hegemony of the independence movement, Nehru’s unquestioned status as the anointed heir apparent. Bose was sick of endless civil engagement: it was time to strike, he had said, and demand one’s right to selfgovernance like a proud people. His views were fresh and fiery and had quickly garnered him a following. Would the old guard let the reins slip from its hands, when freedom was looking years, rather than decades away? The train ground to a stop. The young man pushed his hair back and scanned the crowds, a leftover frown marring his handsome forehead. From her seat, his wife stared apprehensively at him. He was back before long, carrier in tow, sidling against a tide of exiting passengers to where she stood—in the way of their baggage. He checked his irritation, and paying no mind to the porter’s widening eyes, exhorted him to get started. “We don’t have all day.” The girl flinched, as if the sharpness was meant for her. As indeed it was. Meanwhile, the porter had doffed his cap to reveal a flattened head cushion which, thanks to grease, dirt, and years of load bearing, had become a part of him. On this, he placed the trunk, the suitcase and

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holdall. The man’s neck danced delicately as he slid overnighters down his free arm and arranged other baggage about his person. With a show-of-eyeson-still-face to make any temple dancer proud, he indicated a long, covered bundle. The girl spoke up. “Oh, no! The coolie cannot carry my veena.” The young man looked balefully at the stringed instrument, his wife’s pride and apparently, only joy. He hated her tone, and hoped the porter had not noticed. The porter had only noticed that she was strictly not good looking but attractive enough. Impassive, he started for the exits. The husband pursed his lips. It was always what she wanted, and no thought to making herself useful. He struggled with the veena, and tried to ignore her shrieks as its ends threatened to collide with the carriage berths. At long last, he found himself master of his possessions, and rushed off after the porter. “Wait, give me your bag,” she cried belatedly. “Or I could carry the veena,” she added and finding no answer, hurried after him. The party of speeding luggage-laden porter, man running to catch up, and wife bringing up the rear made its way out to the taxis. The fare was fixed, and not without some haggling. The bags deposited, the porter stood back glistening and demanded a tip. A hot argument ensued, the young man refusing to back down, the porter declaring he had done the job of two coolies. They might have fought forever if the wife had not pulled a note out of her bag. “Don’t,” the husband warned, but it was too late, the porter too nimble; he had thanked my lady, hoped her good nature would rub off on this skinflint here, and vanished into the teeming crowd. The AWA Writers’ Group meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more information, send an email to writers@ awasingapore.org

AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

Member Spotlight

getting to know our members beyond the usual chitchat by Helena A. Cochrane Audrey Lopes believes in fate. She attributes her husband Josep’s accepting a job in Singapore, her own employment with the Capitol Kempinski

loved getting to know my multinational co-workers. My recent retirement gives me an opportunity, finally, to get out and know the city, and to get settled here in a new way. I plan to start in the Botanic Gardens. For me, there is no better place on the island -- it's my heaven, and there's so much more to learn about tropical plants and flowers. That will be my ultimate luxury!” Do you unpack all your things when you arrive someplace new? “I have followed my mother’s amazing example of creating a real home wherever I go. We hang all the paintings and the furniture seems miraculously to fit into every new space, as if all were part of an original design. It’s kind of magical, actually!” What habits make you feel settled? “I have been doing Pilates for the past 17 years, so finding a good Pilates studio always keeps me balanced, wherever in the world I am.

Audrey and Josep

Hotel, her singing career, and her daughter’s life in the US, to the stars’ alignment. Her first stop in the Red Dot was in 2014, when she spent a week in Singapore completing a professional workshop in floral design with Nobleman School of Floral Design. The stars aligned again when her husband’s work brought them here to live in the summer of 2018, and once again a few months later, when Audrey fit Kempinski's need for a European-trained florist. “I’m not sure why, but I’ve always said I’d move to Singapore tomorrow! Must have been my destiny.”

The other activity I always seek out is a chorus or chorale to join. I was a Music Education/Voice major and originally went to Barcelona to study voice and

Audrey’s daughter is happily married and living in New York. Is Singapore your first expat experience? “I’ve gotten used to establishing a home in a new place, having done so as a ‘Navy brat’ in childhood and over 15 times in adulthood in the US, the UK, and Catalonia.” What about Singapore culture has impressed you the most? “We both feel that it's such a privilege to be here. If only the rest of the world could learn the lessons in multi-ethnicity and multiculturalism that Singapore so brilliantly exemplifies. A country with four official languages is definitely my kind of place!” What did you do to meet people and form friendships as an expat? “Until early March of 2021, I worked at Kempinski as their floral designer, creating arrangements for every aspect of its hospitality, from dining tables to each guest room to the Earth, Wind and Fire concert in September 2019. I especially www.awasingapore.org

Audrey at Capitol Kempinski Hotel

Spanish repertoire in the 1980s. Singing is my outlet and provides me with an instant family, really. Here in Singapore, I am a member of the International Festival Chorus. The past year has been really tough on all choral groups, but now we are allowed to rehearse in small groups under strict distancing rules. So we feel we are slowly getting closer to a kind of normal.” Since moving from Philadelphia in 2018, Helena has been active with AWA's Walking with Women, Writers' Group and International Choir as well as with Urban Sketchers of Singapore.

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You're Not Alone... Really

coping wtih the ups and downs of being an expat by Andrea McKenna Brankin

Use Five Senses to Make Singapore Your “Home Away from Home” We’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Dreams of scenes from the movie, “Mystic Pizza,” New England lobster rolls, Chicago Blues bars, sandy beach towels at Rhode Island beaches and fresh, hoppy beer at any-MLB-Ballpark are just that: Dreams. It’s been really hard this time around, our second year of NOT seeing our families and hometowns. While many expats may be on temporary assignments, there are the long-term expats who share their prevailing attitude that “home is where the heart is.” Indeed, they’ve spent their whole lives, or a great portion of them, oscillating between pining for home and being super-happy to live the Singapore life. In either case - a few years or many years - many people rely on the five senses of home to keep them grounded exactly where they are. Taste, scent, sound, sight and touch are effective substitutes when you put your mind in the right state. Some people get there in these ways: TASTE Familiar comfort foods rank high in the list of things people use to remind them of home. Londa uses favorite childhood recipes. Thea says cooking Grandma’s food helps her family feel like Grandma’s there with them: “I tend to cook a lot of food local to Hawaii." SCENT Emma uses a scented candle to conjure home. “I’ve been craving the Australian bush, so I’ve purchased a eucalyptus-scented candle. I don’t light it. I just have it out and stiff it occasionally.

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SOUND Hawaiian music also plays into Thea’s reminders of her home. “We listen to Hawaiian music a lot on the weekend with the kids. Thea adds that her family puts the music on here in an outdoor setting, just like they would at home in Hawaii. Emma evokes home by listening to Australian bush sounds on YouTube. SIGHT Amanda says organizing Zoom calls helps keep up the connection because her loved ones are visible to her. “My family always Zooms me in on special occasions with the rest of the family.” I myself look at a Facebook page with photos of my hometown of Mystic, Connecticut. Various birds, flowers, the Mystic River and even local people help me process my sense of longing. One time, an old photo of my father even showed up in the feed! TOUCH Perhaps the hardest sense to replace is that of touch: Hugging your aging Mom, cuddling your grandkids, high-fiving your childhood friend or even petting your dog who stayed behind are just not available to us right now. Care packages with “stuff from home” might fill a small gap, but overall, this is where dreams come in, as these are positive experiences that we can still look forward to. So, to all the ladies out there, stay grounded with what reminds you of home, and keep the dreams alive that we’ll get there soon. Andrea runs the AWA Listen Ladies Group, providing confidential support for members at regular meetings. listenladies@awasingapore.org

AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

Listen Ladies

Pandemic Stress? Listen ladies are listening The Listen Ladies support group hears that quarantine can be challenging, boring, lonely,and more. If you have to quarantine, sign yourself up on the AWA website for a special AWA Quarantine Bag! We'll drop off some treats for you at your hotel, including such things as snacks, a journal and pen, dish soap, mugs, cards and other AWA swag. Remember the Listen Ladies are always here for you! You can also join our bi-weekly Zooms to check in and chat during your three-week quarantine. You’ll find sign-ups for the Zooms and the quarantine bag on the AWA website (Special Interest tab, Listen Ladies).

Binge Worthy

AWA Magazine Team's Reading and Viewing recommendations Need to fill time in quarantine? Or just looking for some summer entertainment? Check out the AWA Magazine team’s suggestions for bingeworthy TV shows and books we couldn’t put down.

Books Our stand-out reads: A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles * Island of the Sea Women, Lisa See * The Library Book, Susan Orlean A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabelle Allende Murmur of Bees, Sofia Segovia Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo Books set in Asia: Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata The Glass Palace, Amitav Ghosh * Diary of a Taxi Driver, Cai Mingjie (set in Singapore) Midnight in Peking, Paul French The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj, Anne de Courcy

Books authored by AWA members: Bipolar Phoenix, Andrea McKenna Brankin Travails of a Trailing Spouse, Stephanie Suga Chen Disunited Nations, Stephanie Suga Chen Inherent, Lucia Orellana Damacela Last Days of the Morning Calm, Tina Jimin Walton

Television series Our top picks for TV will take you round the world, even if you can’t leave your couch: Lupin (France) * Call my Agent (France) Crash Landing on You (Korea) * Line of Duty (UK) Kim’s Convenience (Canada) Brooklyn 99 (United States) Modern Family (United States) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (United States) Outlander (Scotland) Joanna Lumley travel series Rick Steves travel series *Top group recommendations


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Running Group

Kilometers of friendship and fun bY Marangeli Wouda For the last three years, I have been incredibly fortunate to be a part of the AWA Running Group.  Through this group, I have been able to discover many beautiful parts of Singapore that I otherwise would not know. I have loved running early in the morning through Kent Ridge Park while commenting that it

AWA Running group participated in Race for the Cure Anne, Claire, Sheila, Marangeli, Qian, Brenda and Manu

However, it is the relationships that we nurture while running kilometer after kilometer together that make this group of women so special.

Green Corridor. From Left to Right Yaba, Anne, Nikki, Bernie, Kate, Caroline, Dora and Marangeli

reminds me of a movie set. I have gotten soaking wet at East Coast Park while completing a half marathon in honor of a runner’s birthday. I have run a 5k in the Botanic Gardens almost every Tuesday and have always been amazed to discover something new.

Our runners come from all walks of life. From different countries and contrasting life experiences. Some are young enough to be my daughters (which I must admit is very humbling). Some started running a couple of years ago, while others have many marathons under their belts. We are all so different and, yet, we all share one thing in common: our love for running.     We have shared lots of highs. We have travelled together to run in other countries. We have celebrated that a runner has become a US citizen. We have taken thousands of selfies and even included a bride and groom in our pictures. We also have been together for the not-so-highs when runners were injured or diagnosed with medical conditions. We have especially been there for each other during this pandemic. It’s been tough not seeing parents and children for more than a year, but this group has made sure that there was laughter, positivity and very little drama every step of the way.  The AWA Running Group has been my “home away from home” for the last three years. Now, as I move back to the United States, I can only say that I am very proud to have been a part of this amazing group. 

MBS with a couple who was taking a picture for a birth announcement. From Left to right runners Beth, Laura, Suzanne, Keri and Marangeli

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Marangeli was co-chair of the Running Group from 2019-2021. AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

Walking with Women Walk your way around singapore

Our Walking With Women Group has done some entertaining things to liven the time while all we can do is walk during Circuit Breakers, Phases of opening, and Heightened Alerts. Each week in 2020, we offered contests looking for photos by themes, such as: clouds, water, flowers, animals, stairs, and a variety of colors: orange, blue and pink. We had some great photo shares on our group Facebook page, also shared on the AWA Members Community page. Look out for more walking and more photos in 2021! Lily pads at Bishan Park

Red Junglefowl at Pasir Ris Park


Walking Ladies at Fort Canning

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Fun, Friendship and Fair Play

AWA Tennis Update for AWA Magazine July/August 2021

AWA Burch Memorial Tournament Runners Up: Jeanne Staley and Colleen Foy, Winners: Alice Clark-Platts and Therese McLoughlin.

“The best laid plans of mice and (wo)men oft go awry” and so it is for AWA Tennis and so much more. Fortunately, we did get in a lot of court time in April and May, before temporarily halting activities from mid-May. But never fear—we have plenty of plans in hand to get back to the courts as soon as possible.

teams competed over 3 days in April for the honor of the title and coveted bag tag.

Did you know that AWA Tennis has something to offer every level of player? Check this chart to know which tennis events are for you:

Runners up: Jeanne Staley and Colleen Foy

A c tivity

Congratulations to the winners and runners up of this year’s tournament. Winners: Alice Clark-Platts and Therese McLoughlin

Be g inne r

Inte rm e dia te

A dva nc e d




Doubles Challenge



Team Tennis








Social Doubles

Mixed Doubles


WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO? AWA Burch Memorial tournament The Burch Memorial tournament is the AWA’s annual tournament for intermediate players. This year, 12 -- 16 --

The tournament organizers are grateful for the time and effort generously given by all our volunteers. We couldn’t run events like this without you! And a big thank you to our sponsor Savitar Tennis Centre for generously donating the balls for the tournament. AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

By the way, the Burch Memorial tournament will be getting a new name in 2022. Watch out for the AWA Doubles Plate in April 2022. Discover Tennis Clinics We haven’t kept count of how many AWA members have picked up tennis in the past year, but we

Social Doubles AWA Tennis brought back Social Doubles in May. This fun and social format pairs up four different players each week. They play three mini-sets, rotating partners for each one. The format is great for beginner and intermediate players alike, giving

Fabulous volunteers who made the event possible: Tania Linsay-Jean, Ashley Fagan and Neha Yadav

everyone a chance to practice their match play skills and have a great time. WHAT’S COMING UP—make sure to check the tennis homepage for signups. Social Doubles, Expanded Social Doubles has proven so popular that we will continue with another round starting in July. This time there will be a division for everyone: one for beginner/intermediate players and another for advanced intermediate/advanced players. Mixed Doubles — Coming Soon! Who is ready for some organized mixed doubles? AWA Tennis is introducing a new Mixed Doubles program this fall! You must be an AWA member to register. Your partner can be any male guest you choose—spouse, son, family friend, colleague...Stay tuned for more details on registration and dates. Discover Tennis Clinics Social Doubles match: Suzanne Murphy, Sammy Himmelsteib, Rowena Hegelsen and Whitney Smith

probably should have. The Discover Tennis Clinics run together with the elite coaches at Savitar Tennis Centre continue to be one of AWA Tennis’ most popular offerings. Haven’t tried one out yet? There are new sessions coming up in August and September. Sign up quickly—these clinics sell out fast. www.awasingapore.org

Hit the courts with AWA and Savitar Tennis Centre. The next session of these popular clinics is coming soon. And, last but not least, we are working on rescheduling the AWA Doubles Cup, which was derailed by COVID restrictions. Thank you to the 24 players and many volunteers who signed up for their patience while we figure out the logistics of rescheduling.

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The Fork and Chopstick

highlighting off the beaten path, heritage, or just plain fun chomping grounds Writing and photography by Jenni & Eric Lee

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant 1 Keong Saik Road #01-01, Singapore 089109

One signal that people are really passionate about a cuisine is that restaurants that specialize in a

Rant and Rave Get there early since the queue can get quite long. The space is small and a dining time limit is set, so no lingering over a meal. Service is efficient and swift, and can feel rushed. Man Man’s outlet at DUO has less ambience and does not feature the display of killing of live eels (Is that a rant or is that a rave?) What Others Are Saying 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google & rated 9 out of 10 on Eatbook. “Food was great and the experience of having fresh wasabi was very interesting,” “The unagi is really soft and tender!” “the staff was attentive and friendly,”

Hitsumabushi set

single dish can flourish. Singapore’s embrace of Japanese food means that Sushi restaurants are ubiquitous here. An even more notable standout, Bib Gourmand recipient Man Man Unagi Restaurant features a quintessential Japanese dish, unagi or grilled eel, Nagoya style. Saturday lunch chomp To unfamiliar palates, there may be a general squeamishness regarding eel, but when prepared well it is delicious! In the case of Man Man, their eels are imported live from Japan. Man Man’s preparation brings the diner a delicate, juicy and slightly smoky fillet of eel over rice with traditional kabayaki sauce (think barbeque sauce). Traditionally, eel comes served in a bowl or a bento box over rice, aiming for the ideal balance of rice and eel with each bite. The Hitsumabushi set ($35++) is popular. Man Man offers both the traditional route and also the option of serving it ochazuke style by pouring house-brewed dashi broth over the rice and eel and garnishing with fresh wasabi. The fresh wasabi root for each diner is a special touch, and you will appreciate the difference in flavor instead of the stuff in a tube. Ambience/Decor You can’t miss seeing a huge tank of eels at the entrance. We relish the counter seats where we can watch the entire process from tank to grill to plate. Some may not appreciate seeing an eel killed and filleted, but its freshness is guaranteed.

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Grilling eel

Post-Meal Looking for something sweet? Want to walk over to Neil Road for a pandan shake, perhaps? The Cantonment Area is filled with quaint shophouses and historical buildings, all in the shadow of the Pinnacle HDB tower. Shake Shack now occupies what was the first Tiger Balm factory in Singapore, where they’ve managed to fit a modern burger joint into a Neoclassical building. Please do check out the tiger mural inside, which captures the spirit of this heritage building, as you enjoy the local flavor of the pandan shake! Happy Chomping! Jenni & Eric Lee live to eat and explore local eateries and bars. Originally from New York, they have lived in Singapore since 2012. AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

Watering Holes

Raise a glass at singapore's best lounges and bars by Lauren Raps

The Colorful Cocktails of Singapore The cocktail culture in Singapore is top notch, with 12 of the top 50 Best Bars in Asia (https://www. worlds50bestbars.com/asia/list/1-50) right here, there is no shortage of talented bartenders and gorgeous lounges to sample. But when summer beckons, we want color -- and here are two boozy libations that fit the bill. Kiss & Cry Manhattan Bar, Regent Singapore Do your best to get a seat at the Regent Singapore’s Manhattan cocktail lounge to take advantage of their new menu, New York Personified, in which they pay tribute to six iconic Manhattanites, alluding to trials and tribulations throughout the course of their careers. From Anthony Bourdain to Ella Fitzgerald, these New Yorkers’ stories informed the cocktails created in honor of each of them. The Vera Wang Kiss & Cry concoction is pretty pink, and represents her story of when, before she became a renowned designer, she was an aspiring Olympic figure skater. Evoking Wang’s reaction when her Olympic dream came to an end, the cocktail of Arc Gin, Campari, Mandarin Napoleon, Grapefruit, Lemon, Egg White and Pol Roger Champagne represents the bittersweet emotions of life’s ebbs and flows. I.D. Please Origins Bar, Shangri-La Orchard As Senior Bartender Adonis Reyes explains, I.D. Please’s name is an abbreviation for Interracial Daiquiri, which earned its name for its multicultural ingredients. This bright white cocktail served in a coupe daiquiri glass with a bright green accent consists of Chalong Bay Rum from Phuket, Lemongrass Cacao, (which they make in-house), Yuzu liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. The ingredients, which require a sous vide cooker for the fresh lemon grass and creme de cacao concoction, prove that the team at Origins take their cocktails very seriously. Origins Bar stocks 340 bottles of rum with origins spanning forty countries. Among those are rare, limited-edition bottles that Shangri La’s Bar and Beverage Director, Adam Bursik, has personally selected. Origins Bar certainly pours the best of the brown liquid but also creates the most lavishly individual cocktails.


How to make Manhattan’s popular cocktail at home: KISS & CRY 45 ml Gin 10 ml Campari 15 ml Mandarin Napoleon 20 ml Grapefruit Juice 10 ml Lemon Juice 10 ml Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio water and sugar) 15 ml Egg White 40 ml Champagne Pour all ingredients except champagne inside the shaker and shake first without ice, to make the mixture more fluffy and foamy. Add the ice (remember to put only a half-full shaker of ice, to keep the space for cocktail and egg white to mix properly and keep the consistent froth) and shake again. Pour into the coupe/cocktail glass and top up with champagne. Lauren Raps is AWA's Bar Night Chair. She moved to Singapore in January 2021 with her husband and three boys. She is the President and Founder of Travel Prospect, a full service leisure travel planning company.

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Java Junkies

Quest for the perfect bean bY Liza Rowan

Supresso Coffee Gallery Mandarin Gallery #03-11

Since February this year, the AWA Java Junkies have been visiting a variety of coffee specialists twice a month. Staff at each site we’ve visited have been beyond hospitable, going to all lengths to share their knowledge of this much loved, ubiquitous bean. In planning to write about a specific venue this month, I struggled to single one out.

This, in times of the pandemic, has become an emergency art form for many of us. You might like to grind your own beans for their aroma and your lazy morning routine, or go with a ‘drip’ form of coffee when you’re short on time. Then, there are capsules for when everyone in the household wants a different coffee experience, specifically in acidity, body, bitterness, balance, flavour….all coffee traits our experts at Supresso deftly pass on.

Baristas at Supresso

However, giving proof to the saying that the coffee cup is really half full, Phase 2 Heightened Alert solved my dilemma. At the time of writing, dear reader, you cannot visit any of these wonderful Java Joints to sit in with friends and enjoy their unique spaces and offerings.

If you can’t make a trip to the store in person, do visit their website (https://www.supresso.com/sg/) to scan their brochure for the sheer pleasure of reading through the names and coffee descriptions. Personally, I was drawn to ‘West Java – wine taste, berry like, sweet honey’.

Therefore, it is appropriate to write about a colourful gem hidden away in Mandarin Gallery on Orchard Road – because it isn’t a café! Supresso Coffee Gallery, (#03-11) is a purveyor deeply passionate about all things coffee.

As with many fine things in life, the more we learn about them, the more we appreciate them and the deeper we dig. As we junkies continue on our java appreciation journey, our addiction expands, and not just to the coffee!

Starting small in 1971 in Sumatra, Supresso now brings the best of Indonesian coffee to the global market. Coffee is sourced from local farmers across the archipelago, many of whom focus on specialty and organic beans. With knowledge accumulated over generations, roasting and blending creates over 100 varieties of both single-origin and blended coffee. There is something on offer for every coffee connoisseur. The baristas at Supresso will enthusiastically explain the various ways you can make your home brew. -- 20 --

Want to know more? Join our Facebook group and sign up for our next outing! www.facebook.com/groups/awajavajunkies Liza Rowan is a holistic nutritionist, supporting Green Umbrella, an education NGO in Cambodia. You can also find her proudly holding a tennis racket or coffee cup! AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

Local Tours

getting to know SIngapore in small groups If you ask anyone who’s been to Singapore for their first impression, most people’s eyes will widen, accompanied by a smile along with the word “impressive.” Most say this based on Singapore’s luxurious living and vacation accommodations, its designer shops, and its reputation as a foodie’s delight. Its tropical foliage is the icing on the cake. Unfortunately, I rarely hear anyone talk about Singapore’s rich history. But after spending a morning

By Jen Cormier

stories of today’s Asian Civilisations Museum, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, and Empress Place. The river cruise added a nice touch to the tour. After a very pleasant two hours of walking, it was nice to sit back and listen to Diana share her stories of Singapore’s history as we made our way by boat. This Local Tour is a “must see” for anyone who wants to understand Singapore beyond the glitz and glam.

Tour guide Diana by the Singapore River

on an AWA Local Tour with professionally licensed tour guide Diana Chua, I can’t stop sharing everything I’ve learned from our “Walk through Singapore’s Historic Colonial District and River Cruise.” We met at City Hall MRT and headed to nearby War Memorial Park, where we learned the significance of the memorial’s four towering columns. We then crossed over to the Singapore Recreation Club and sat on the steps that looked out over the Padang, with the Singapore Cricket Club across the way. Today, the Padang hosts many sporting events and celebrations, including National Day, but historically, it was the site of some significant World War II events in Singapore. We continued down St. Andrew’s Road and stopped outside St. Andrew’s Cathedral to learn more. As we made our way alongside the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, now merged to form National Gallery Singapore, Diana pointed out the many architectural details. I was intrigued by the architectural style of the sloping roof that joins the two buildings. Wouldn’t you know, there is a meaning to that slope! We popped inside the National Gallery for a quick refreshment and Diana surprised us with a short trip to the Observation Deck for a marvelous view of the Padang. Afterwards, we made our way to the Singapore River, admiring and listening to more interesting www.awasingapore.org

War Memorial Park

It opened my eyes to the rich history and heritage that is an important part of this nation. I highly recommend periodically checking the Local Tours (located under Special Interests) or Calendar tabs on the AWA website and signing up the next time it becomes available. -- 21 --

Wander Woman

Lauren's journey to cross the globe, one amazing Experience at a time by Lauren Raps

Passport-Free Travel: Experience Thai Getaway Right Here in Singapore


The hotel offers several dining options, from casual grab-and-go at the Dusit Gourmet to the poolside Tee Deck, an al fresco restaurant open for lunch and dinner. The jaw-dropper, however, is the Greenhouse, where guests literally eat in a conservatory. A lush, forest-themed restaurant, the all-day restaurant offers a picturesque view over the Masters Course and an array of multicultural cuisines; but, as you expected, we are here for the Thai food, and the chef serves up mouthwatering Northern and Southern Thai specialties. Of course, Dusit Thani would not be a Thai-influenced hotel without a world class spa, and while the Devara Spa offers a transcendental Thai massage, it also sets the tone for Dusit Thani’s mission to serve as a wellnessfocused urban resort. Hitting the spa, with its staff and services exuding Thai hospitality, is a must-do. The resort has 198 rooms, all with warm and sophisticated contemporary Asian decor. The room categories range from simple rooms to generous suites, but my favorite has to be the Deluxe Patio Pool View room, where guests can leave their room from a private patio that takes them directly to the pool deck. Here, you can take your pick of three swimming pools, depending on whether you are traveling with your significant other, your family or your girl squad.

Overlooking the Masters Course at Greenhouse Restaurant

There are many ways one can experience Thailand while still in Singapore, from the Golden Mile Mall to the countless Thai restaurants we have across the country. But the next time you want a Thai getaway, head straight toward Changi Airport.

Dusit Thani has three tennis courts and a full-sized gym and will have extended spa facilities open later this year. The hotel also is offering many staycation/grand opening packages, so pack your bags and head to Thailand… no passport or plane tickets needed.

Just before you reach the airport, turn off the ECP and pull into the beautiful Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore Hotel. A gorgeous, five-star hotel, Dusit Thani sits within the prestigious Laguna Golf Club grounds and is owned and operated by Dusit International, one of Thailand’s premier hospitality companies. Dusit Thani is Dusit International’s first property in Singapore. The Thai influence is subtly incorporated into every aspect of the hotel. The second you pull up to the resort, you’ll be greeted by a doorman dressed in Thai costume who will escort you to the hotel lobby, which gleams with natural light and beautiful, contemporary fixtures. Dusit Thani has hosted countless happy staycationers since it opened to the public in December 2020. As the first resort in Singapore to offer access to two championship courses, it has become especially popular for its Stay and Play golf packages. -- 22 --

One of the resort's three pools Lauren Raps is AWA's Bar Night Chair. She moved to Singapore in January 2021 with her husband and three boys. She is the President and Founder of Travel Prospect, a full service leisure travel planning company.

AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

Family Fun Adventures

finding Cool things to do in and around singapore Writing and photography by Christi Elflein

Three New Playgrounds to Romp Around This Summer from 8am to 8pm. The slides are open from 8am to noon and again from 4pm to 8pm. Como Adventure Grove at Singapore Botanic Gardens “Swing on the aerial roots of the Weeping Fig!” says the sign posted at this new playground. This botanically inspired playground will have you hopping, climbing and swinging like an insect on a fig tree. And when you’re ready for a refreshment, the new Bees Knees Petite will have something for you.

Phebe Elflein, Brynn and Amelie Suttles at Como Adventure Grove

Looking for something new to entertain the kids over summer break? Singapore has an answer with three new play parks. The Musical Playground at Gardens by The Bay Tucked inside the new Active Garden at Gardens by the Bay is a musical playground with eight largescale percussion instruments. Get the band together, then take an ice cream break at the adjoining new Fennel Café. The Active Garden is located on Marina Bay along the bike path near Marina Bay Sands. The Coastal Playgrove at East Coast Park The much-anticipated Coastal Playgrove at East Coast Park is open! And there is something for everyone here -- a mega four-story slide, water and nature play areas for your littles under 12, a vertical challenge for your bigger kids (and kids at heart) age 13 and up, and coffee for mom and dad. Coastal Playgrove is located next to Carpark B2 in East Coast Park. It is open Tuesday through Sunday, www.awasingapore.org

Phebe Elflein at the Active Garden

Como Adventure Grove is located in the new Gallop Extension at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is open from 7am to 7pm daily. Please note that access to these playgrounds is public and free but is also subject to change due to COVID restrictions. Christi is an urban planner for an architecture firm in Florida. She moved to Singapore and joined AWA in 2019 and loves exploring her new city with her husband and two kids.

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Singapore Snippets

Discovering Items of interest on the red dot Writing and photography by Marta Ferrer Lubeck

St. John, Lazarus and Kusu – Singapore’s Ultimate Island-Hopping Adventure

St. John's Island

Excursions around Singapore are uncertain these days, but a day trip that I would recommend this summer is St. John, Lazarus, and Kusu, three of Singapore’s Southern Islands. Located six kilometers offshore, each is unique and fun to explore and can be reached by ferry or private boat.

A significant amount of trash has built up on Lazarus’ western-facing shores, a situation that unfortunately is not unique to this small island. Whether this refuse comes from nearby or far away, it is a reminder that we need to do more to protect our environment.

St. John The first stop on the ferry route is St. John. Setting foot on its long jetty feels like stepping on to a resort far from Singapore. This small island boasts an expansive history. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, St. John was a quarantine center for new migrants. After World War II, it housed a prison for political prisoners and drug addicts. These days, St. John is much more visitor friendly. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors could stay overnight at one of St. John’s bungalows and campsites. St. John’s Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre is open to visitors and worth exploring, while markers along St. John’s trails point out the island’s impressive biodiversity. The coastal trail provides good views of Singapore’s skyline. Lazarus Lazarus is connected to St. John by a man-made causeway. Beach lovers can spend a lazy day on Lazarus Island Beach and take selfies with beautiful tropical backdrops. Some advice from AWA member Sandy Harford, who joined me on one of my visits: “Definitely take your bathing suit and some toys, and some cold rosé for your picnic. Then you’ll love Lazarus!” -- 24 --

Lazurus Island Beach

AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

Kusu Island

Kusu Kusu (“tortoise” in Hokkien) is the smallest of the three islands. According to legend, a giant tortoise turned into an island to save two sailors, one Chinese and

Delphine spends about 45 minutes at the Da Bo Gong Temple, where she makes her offerings and prays. She then heads to the Tortoise Shelter, an area where devotees release tortoises and pray for health and good luck. According to Delphine, “There are 196 tortoises, and the oldest is 82 years old.” Kusu also is home to a keramat, or Malay holy shrine, reachable by climbing 152 steps but currently closed following a recent landslide. Devotees hope the shrine will reopen in time for this year’s Kusu Island Pilgrimage, scheduled to begin on October 6, 2021. Some days later, I asked Sandy for her impressions of Kusu. “Kusu is worth the trip. I bought the offerings with $3, and my wishes came true. The day after I did this, my son, who is 24, got his dream job in San Francisco, and he was super happy. My daughter, who is 28, was putting a bid down on a property in California to make a small Millennial-type resort. She got the property!” Getting to the Islands Ferries depart from Marina South Pier to St. John and Kusu Islands daily.

Da Bo Gong Temple on Kusu Island

one Malay. The sailors later returned to the island and set up shrines. To this day, many pilgrims join the Kusu Island Pilgrimage on the ninth month of the Chinese Lunar calendar to pray for prosperity. The ferry docked on Kusu Island around 3:00 pm. Sandy and I ran into Delphine, a devotee and regular Kusu visitor who shared some of her stories. www.awasingapore.org

Note: Visitors must bring their own supplies as there are no shops, cafes or vending machines on St. John and Lazarus. Marta moved to Singapore with her husband and two children in July 2020. She loves to explore Singapore with the AWA walking, hiking and photography groups.

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All Nationalities

celebrating what makes us unique and what brings us together by Isabelle Tadmoury

Summer Celebrations The “official” start of summer is usually the 4th of July in the United States or the 14th of July in France. But have you ever stopped the think about how many countries celebrate their national days during the summer?

July 1st - Canada Day which is the "anniversary of Confederation" and celebrates the day Canada became an independent nation in1867

August 9th - Singapore’s National Day in commemoration of Singapore's independence from Malaysia in 1965

July 4th - US Day of Independence which marks the Declaration of Independence in 1776

August 15th - India Independence Day marks India’s liberation from Great Britain in 1947

July 14th - Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille jail in Paris and the start of the French Revolution in 1789

August 17th - Indonesia National day known as the “Seventeenth”, which celebrates the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945 and Indonesia's independence from The Netherlands

How many countries don’t celebrate a national day?.....Two! Can you guess which ones? ....Find out in the next issue. August 1st - Swiss National Day celebrates the founding of the Swiss confederacy -- 26 --

AWA Magazine - July/August 2021

A WA Group Activities BE in the know

Social & Special Interest Groups

After Ni Hao – Mandarin conversation every Thursday at 10am. Hyesung Laffey & Manju Banka, afternihao@awasingapore.org Arts & Culture – Monthly talks focusing on Asian arts & culture. Rosalie Kwok artsandculture@awasingapore.org Bar Night – Ladies’ nights, couples’ nights each month. Kristin Bemowski, barnight@awasingapore.org Beauty & Fashion – From fashion talks to workshops, there’s no age limit to brilliant beauty & unlimited style. Florence Sorgini, beautyfashion@awasingapore.org Book Groups – Morning, afternoon & evening books groups, held monthly. Neha Yadav, bookgroups@awasingapore.org Cancer Support Group – Meets the third week of the month, with a focus on mutual support and information sharing. Rosa Liu, cancersupport@awasingapore.org Christian Connection – Provides information and resources to help you connect with local Christian community groups. Barbara Winkler, christianconnect@awasingapore.org Coffee & Friends – Meets at various cafes around town. Join us on Fridays from 10:30 am -12:30 pm. Sign up required. Peggy Kershaw, coffee@awasingapore.org Couples’ Bridge – Meets monthly on a Saturday evening. Spouses are welcome. Currently suspended. Amy Starling, couplesbridge@awasingapore.org Creative Hands – Bring your handiwork project to work on and share with other creative women every 1st, 3rd & 5th Thursday. Meg Sine, crafters@awasingapore.org DISH – Monthly lunches at a variety of interesting venues. dish@awasingapore.org Duplicate Bridge (at home) – American Standard five-card major rules every Monday. You don’t need a partner to join. Amy Starling and Sock-Yan Sim, duplicatebridge@awasingapore.org High Tea – Enjoy monthly teas at Singapore’s top hotels and interesting venues. Debra Minnock, hightea@awasingapore.org International Choir – Rehearses every Wednesday. Zoom performances periodically. Helena Antolin Cochrane, intlchoir@awasingapore.org Java Junkies – Join the search for the perfect cup of java on 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 2pm. Liza Rowan, javajunkies@awasingapore.org Listen Ladies – A compassionate group of ladies who support one another with biweekly Thursday zoom calls from 5-6pm. Andrea McKenna Brankin, listenladies@awasingapore.org Local Tours –Professionally guided tours of Singapore. Terry Young, localtours@awasingapore.org Mahjong - International style in a low stress, friendly atmosphere. Monday and Thursday afternoons at AWA Office Function Room. mahjong@awasingapore.org Movie Lunch – Monthly lunch followed by a movie in Orchard Road area. Michelle Reeb, movielunch@awasingapore.org


New & Expecting Mamas – Currently enjoying coffee meetups. Kristin Bemowski, social@awasingapore.org No Exit Strategy – For women who have lived in Singapore eight years or more. Caitlin Fry and Paige Okun, noexit@awasingapore.org Photography – Meets once a month to have fun practicing and improving our photography. All levels are welcome. Carol Hamcke-Onstwedder and Londa Matthieu, photography@awasingapore.org Playgroup – For moms with kids under age three. Meets every Friday morning at a member's home plus a monthly "Moms Night Out". Ashley Hamlin and Morgan Steinman, playgroups@awasingapore.org Workshops – Expand your mind and learn something new about yourself, about Singapore or about the world. Leezibet Heinzraiden, workshops@awasingapore.org Writers’ Group – Beginner and published writers discuss their work the 2nd & 4th Thursday of every month. Mandakini Arora & Elissa Viornery, writers@awasingapore.org


Golf – The 18-hole group plays on Wednesday. 9-hole golf on hold indefinitelty. Lily Giddens & Peng Pavie, 18holegolf@awasingapore.org Hiking – Meets at MacRitchie Reservoir every 1st & 3rd Thursday morning. Marlene Han & Leanne Porter, hiking@awasingapore.org Running – Group runs for all levels on Tuesday & Thursday mornings at locations around Singapore. Suzanne Murphy and Eleanor Doyle, running@awasingapore.org Tennis – A variety of singles and doubles play including tournaments, and team tennis for players of all levels. Paige Okun & Rebecca Meuer, tennischair@awasingapore.org Walking – Walk all over this amazing island. Mondays are 10K, Wednesdays are 5K. Andrea McKenna Brankin & Mercedes Bainbridge, walking@awasingapore.org

Community Service

Community Service – Connecting AWA members to volunteer opportunities with AWA’s featured organizations and more. Ashley Fagan, commservice@awasingapore.org Ronald McDonald House Charities – Support the families of children at Singapore’s National University Hospital. On hold due to COVID. Qian Marquard, rmhc@awasingapore.org Food From The Heart – Help pack and/or distribute food bags to families in Singapore who cannot afford to feed themselves. Janet Stride, ffth@awasingapore.org Willing Hearts – Monthly shifts to prepare food for the less fortunate. Spring Sun, willinghearts@awasingapore.org kidsREAD – Help local children develop a love of reading. Currently suspended due to COVID. Rekha Kumar, kidsread@awa.singapore.org

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Profile for AWA Magazine

AWA Magazine July/August 2021  

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