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AM ERICAN AS S O CI ATION O F S INGAP O RE

Since 1958

www.aasingapore.com

June-July 2016

American Association.....1-5 Member Discounts..............3 CRCE & Business................ 6 Community News...........7-10 Sports .........................11-23 Travel........................14-15 Education....................24-25 Health & Wellness.......26-27 What's Happening...........27

Travel 14-15

Exploring the Back Streets of Taipei

Education 24-25

Heatlh & Wellness 26-27

Sports 11-23

All You Need to Know About Summer Camps

How to Best Support Your Athletic Child

A Guide to Sports in Singapore

MCI (P) 116/04/2016

THE 2016 AAS AMBASSADOR’S CUP GOLF TOURNAMENT By Anne Morgan

Tournament Champions: Chad Davis Thomas Gooding Mike Kasem Darren Murphy Second Place: Matt Thompson Taylor Bowles Drew Tambling Chris Petty Third Place: Glenn van Zutphen Jim Arpin Nate Harris Chris Milliken

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here is so much to love about the AAS Ambassador’s Cup! Played since 1947, it’s a tournament of fun, friendship and good natured rivalry. Over the years, great friendships have been forged and, for many, it is their favorite weekend of the year. The lively atmosphere of friendship and anticipation was especially evident as golfers checked in on Saturday morning. There were shouts of recognition as golfers arrived, greeting old friends and hotel staff and sneaking glances at the teams and handicaps while calculating their own chances of success. The horn sounded and all wheels started rolling, kicking off yet another great tournament. The weather held and everyone had their own stories of near misses and epic shots, which were amply fueled by a ready supply of beer, tequila and Smokey’s BBQ chicken sandwiches. Everybody had fun trying to beat

our golf pros, Chris Holloway and Stuart Andrew. In a tightly contested tournament, the big winner was the foursome of Chad Davis, Thomas Gooding, Mike Kasem and Darren Murphy. Second place went to the Expat Dental team of Matt Thompson, Taylor Bowles, Chris Petty and Drew Tambling. And taking home third was Van Media’s Glenn van Zutphen, Jim Arpin, Nate Harris and Chris Milliken. Mike Kasem took home the big Lucky Draw, a round-trip, business class ticket to the US, courtesy of Emirates. But in reality, everybody won whether it was one of the dozens of Lucky Draw prizes or simply the opportunity to enjoy a day in the sun, laughing with friends and making wonderful memories to last a lifetime. This year was particularly poignant as we said goodbye to Chip Miller, an Ambassador’s Cup

veteran of 23 years. His many friends will miss him, but perhaps Brian Hill will finally get a night’s sleep! Kenneth Chan leaves us after playing for many years, as well. It’s hard to see them go. We are greatly indebted to our sponsors, especially our title sponsor Shell who has offered tremendous support over the past three years. We also couldn’t have done it without our co-host, The American Club. Many thanks also to the companies who supplied a fantastic array of Lucky Draw prizes and Chris Milliken, the chair, who did an outstanding job on every level. So another great day of golf and camaraderie has come and gone. We look forward to celebrating next year’s Ambassador’s Cup, which will be extra special as the American Association celebrates its centennial.

American Association of Singapore's Annual Strategic Partners


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A Message from the President...

Singapore American • June-July 2016

SINGAPORE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief: Melinda Murphy, communications@aasingapore.com Publishing Editor: Toni Dudsak, generalmanager@aasingapore.com

DESIGN & L AYOUT Graphic Designer: Sanna Massala, graphics@aasingapore.com

ADVERTISING Advertising Manager: Valerie Tietjen, san.ads@aasingapore.com

CONTRIBUTORS

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he dog days of summer. Stifling heat. Crickets chirping. Family gatherings. Trying to keep cool. This double issue of SAN will hopefully go with you this summer, whether it’s to your condo swimming pool, North America, Europe or anywhere else. It makes for mighty good airplane reading! We look at sporting things you can do around town, if you want to get fit or just get out of the house. Speaking of amazing athletes… we’ve got a full-spread of great pictures from the Ambassador’s Cup Golf Tournament. As always, everyone had a great time, no matter what their final score. Thanks to our major sponsor, Shell! Looking forward, we’ll welcome thousands of you to the AAS Independence Day family picnic on July 2 at the Singapore American School field. Food, live music, family-friendly games, bouncy castles and, of course, fireworks are all on deck. Singles, couples and families are all welcome. Admission is free, so bring your friends. Speaking of which, we will gladly accept your personal, family or corporate donations to help off-set the cost of those exploding shells. Please contact Holly at the AAS office. Of course, we will recognize your generosity in the August SAN. I’m not trying to rush summer, but please mark September 18 on your calendar, as that’s our annual Welcome Back party. It’s at Zoom Park this year, a fantastic place to wear out your kids on a Sunday afternoon, while you get to have a great time catching up with old friends and new. Finally, we bid a very fond farewell to two AAS Families: Deputy Chief of Mission Blair Hall and Valerie Brandt, and Rear Admiral Charles and Mary Beth Williams. In the several years they’ve been here, both couples have endeared themselves to the American Community. Blair is retiring after 40 years of State Department service. We will remember Valerie for her volunteer work at the Singapore Art Museum, on the George Washington Ball Committee and her beautiful self-designed jewelry. Charlie and Mary Beth are moving to Yokosuka, Japan for an exciting new Navy post. They fit right in as gracious and supportive representatives of the US Navy in Singapore. We will miss you all! And please visit us on Facebook or Tweet us: @AmAssocSG, (hashtag #AmAssocSG for all social media). Best, Glenn van Zutphen president@aasingapore.com twitter: @glennvanzutphen

Hazlyn Aidzil, Suzanne Anderson, Jyoti Angresh, Faith Chanda, David Gutshall, Justin Harper, Lindy Hiemstra, Dr. Biju Krishman, Dr. Julinda Lee, Lauren Mehrbach, Anne Perng, Lauren S. Power, Anne Marie Regal, Scott Riley, Conn J. Schrader, Laura Schwartz, Marc Servos For A AS: Alka Chandiramani, Sanna Massala, Anne Morgan, Melinda Murphy

A MERICAN ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS President: Glenn van Zutphen • Vice President: Steven Tucker Treasurer: Patrick Jones • Secretary: Shawn Galey Directors: James Arpin, Joseph Foggiato, Shawn Galey, Mary Beth McCrory, Ana Mims and Stephanie Nash Immediate Past President: David Boden • AmCham Chair: James Andrade American Club President: Scott Weber • AWA President: Tara Eastep SACAC Chair: Stu Wilson • SAS Chair: Catherine Poyen Non-Voting Member: US Embassy: Chahrazed Sioud US Military: Rear Admiral Charles F. Williams

PUBLISHER - A MERICAN ASSOCIATION The American Association of Singapore (AAS) is a professional, not-for-profit organization established to enhance the well-being and living experience of Americans residing in Singapore and to promote relationships, both business and social, between Americans and those from different cultures and nationalities. 10 Claymore Hill, Singapore 229573 T: (+65) 6738 0371 • F: (+65) 6738 3648 E: admin@aasingapore.com • www.aasingapore.com The Singapore American newspaper, a monthly publication with readership of 10,000+, has been published by the American Association of Singapore since 1958, with the purpose of enhancing the expatriate experience in Singapore.

SUBSCRIPTION A subscription to the Singapore American is complimentary with an AAS or CRCE membership. AAS annual family membership is just $70. CRCE membership is $160. To join, visit www.aasingapore.com and have the Singapore American delivered to your home. Reproduction in any manner, in English or any other language, is prohibited without written permission. The Singapore American welcomes all contributions of volunteer time or written material. The Singapore American is printed by Procomp Printset Pte Ltd, 57 Loyang Drive, Level 3 Annex Building, Singapore 508968.

Please check our website for details about what you can and cannot bring.


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

AAS Saturday

2 July

Sunday

18

September

Upcoming Events

Past Events

Independence Day

Time to celebrate the American spirit in Singapore with the AAS annual Independence Day Celebration, in partnership with the Singapore American School! This family-friendly event features a day of fun, music, food, drinks, carnival games and patriotism. The day is capped off by a spectacular fireworks display! Log onto our website for all you need to know, including what you can and cannot bring. www.aasingapore.com

Welcome Back Celebration

Join us for the 2016 Welcome Back Celebration at Zoom Park, a fabulous trampoline park. It’s a fun place for adults and a great way to wear out your kids, too! The afternoon is a fun way to connect with old friends after the long summer or make new ones. There’s something for everybody! Also meet AAS’ sister organizations: AmCham, AWA, SAS, The American Club, The United States Embassy and the Navy League of The United States Singapore Council.

Senior Service Reception

Officers from the USS Stennis were celebrated at the Senior Service reception sponsored by the Singapore American School, the Navy League and AAS. Held at the historic Spring Grove (once the residence of the US Ambassador to Singapore), we bid a fond farewell to Rear Admiral Charlie Williams and his wife Mary Beth who are wrapping up their tour in Singapore.

For more info and to register for an event: www.aasingapore.com

Living in Singapore 14th Edition Reference Guide

Home Hospitality

The updated “Bible” for life in Singapore includes:

Singapore families turned out in force welcoming 140 sailors from the USS Stennis. Some made home-cooked meals, some took sailors for a tour of Singapore and yet others treated the sailors to dinner out on the town. A big thank you goes to all who helped make the men and women protecting our waters feel special!

• All revised chapters • Hottest Apps • Insider Tips on everything from Education to Business to Regional Travel And much, much more!

For more information: (+65) 6738 0371 · www.aasingapore.com

AAS MEMBER DISCOUNTS

AAS members enjoy discounts at a range of local businesses. Present your AAS membership card at time of purchase. Please see a full list of discounts at www.aasingapore.com/member-discounts.

Two hours free handy-man service worth more than $200 when you book your move with Allied Pickfords. Call 6862 4700.

Present AAS membership card to receive 15% off total bill. Valid for dine in on a la carte menu at all Brewerkz and Cafe Iguana restaurants from January 4-December 30, 2016. Limit to one (1) redemption per bill, per table. Not valid on concert days, eve of and on public holidays. Not valid with lunch menu, other set menus, discounts, vouchers, promotions or privileges. The management reserves the right to amend the terms & conditions without prior notice.

Get a six-month free membership to Expat Living magazine. Redeem: www.expatliving.sg/aas

FIRST DRINK FREE – every day, every visit for AAS members. Valid on house pours until December 31, 2016. Show your membership card at the bar to claim. Check out their new location at: 32 South Buona Vista

Receive a 10% discount on a one-year membership.

Present your AAS membership card and receive $10 in vouchers when you sign up for a Warehouse Club membership. Valid till November 30, 2016.


Singapore American • June-July 2016

Longest Drive: Allamanda Men: Simon Bright Women: Aishah Tenge Cempaka Men: Alex Baker Women: Masha Johnson Nearest to the pin Allamanda: Steve Betts Cempaka: Brian Chismar Nearest to the Line Allamanda: Michael Hadley Cempaka: Cynthia Chan

THE 2016 AAS AMBASSADOR’S CUP GOLF TOURNAMENT

BROUGHT TO YOU BY SHELL


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June-July Singapore American • May 20162016

Title Sponsor

Tournament Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors


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CAREER RESOURCE CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE COMMUNITY NEWS

Singapore American • June-July 2016

PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

"It is always the small pieces that make the big picture." UNKNOWN

TRANSITION

tranˈzɪʃ(ə)n,trɑːn-,-ˈsɪʃ-/ noun 1. the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

By Alka Chandiramani

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hroughout our lives, we experience various transitions, both personal and professional. The most important thing during any transition is YOU. As funny as that sounds, this is something about which most people do not even think or make a priority. Making a transition can be challenging and sometimes it is the very first step that is our biggest in the journey. No matter how many transitions we’ve been through, each one is unique and brings on different challenges. Realizing this, the American Association of Singapore established the Career Resource Center for Excellence (CRCE) in 1998 to offer career support to people of all nationalities. The plethora of offerings has grown ever since. Whether you are searching for job leads, preparing for interviews, needing advice on your resume or contemplating starting your own business, CRCE can help. CRCE offers One-on-One Coaching, Small Business advisory sessions, numerous workshops and networking opportunities.

You can even jumpstart your job search with MBTI®, an amazing tool we offer that can help you figure out where your skills and talents fit best. “Moving to Singapore can be a fulfilling experience and provide new opportunities both personally and professionally,” said Monica Miller, a CRCE member. “However, the transition does present some challenges, especially for those who hold a Dependent Pass. The Career Resource Center of Excellence has been a tremendous resource when it comes to offering networking events, professional development seminars and oneon-one career coaching services. I’ve taken advantage of all three and found the staff to be exceptionally supportive and knowledgeable.” Our lives are often filled with roadblocks and warning signs. What matters most is action and not reaction! Remember, when the going gets tough and everything seems to go downhill, just remind yourself the only way to go is up. The climb to success doesn’t happen overnight, but rather through much sweat and tears you’ve committed yourself to attain.

CRCE JUNE WORKSHOPS Take the Drama Out of Public Speaking Speaker: Victoria Mintey Wednesday, June 1 10am – 12pm Starting Your Own Network Marketing Business Speaker: Winnie Fannon Wednesday, June 8 10am – 12pm

Are you an employer with an opening to fill? Did you know employers can list jobs for free on the CRCE job board? Log onto www.aasingapore.com to find out more.

LOOKING TO REINVENT YOURSELF? AAS OFFERS PERSONALIZED CAREER COUNSELING SERVICES. SIGN UP NOW FOR A PRIVATE APPOINTMENT WITH A PROFESSIONAL CAREER ADVISOR. PLEASE CONTACT CRCE.INFO@AASINGAPORE.COM

SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS Beauty Therapist Consultant The Consultant will support the brand’s objectives by providing an excellent level of beauty services and aesthetic treatments to customers. Responsibilities include: perform aesthetic treatments with high standards of customer service; provide professional consultation and sales of packages and products; achieve and exceed personal sales target; build strong relationship with customers. Knowledge in using aesthetic machines will be an important advantage. (job #3291) Secretary to Director of Admissions This position is primarily responsible for providing secretarial and organizational support to the Director of Admissions and on behalf of the Admissions Team. The person in this position will positively shape a well-managed office culture and will impact the quality of Admissions at the school. He or she will oversee the implementation and improvement of office systems to support exceptional customer service for all. As a primary liaison, this person will maintain a portfolio of specific admissions clients including faculty, relocation agencies and target groups in need of cultivation. The job will focus on internal and external opportunities for service. It is expected that the secretary will assist other members of the Admissions office staff as necessary and as workload permits. (job #3290) Adjunct Faculty, History and Cultures of the Americas There’s a unique opportunity for a humanities professional to teach introductory courses in the history and cultures of the Americas to undergraduates preparing to be chefs and managers in the ever-changing food and hospitality industry. While an understanding of American cuisine is helpful, the thrust of the curriculum remains history and culture. The class meets for three hours per week over a fifteen week semester. Minimum requirements include prior teaching experience and a master’s degree in an appropriate field such as history anthropology, sociology or American Studies. (job #3289) Associate Director of Alumni Relations The associate director will be responsible for the overall development, implementation and evaluation of the alumni relations program that seeks to foster mutually beneficial relationships between the school and alumni. S/he will also have supervisory responsibility for advancement services. S/he will participate in other projects as assigned and as a senior member of the advancement office team. Job Functions, Duties, and Responsibilities: develop engagement strategies for alumni from six decades to increase alumni connectedness with and philanthropic support for the school; collaborate with advancement colleagues on an annual giving strategy for alumni, past parents and former faculty and staff. (job #3288) English Enrichment Teacher (PT) An enrichment center, located in the East Coast, is looking for teachers to teach English on Saturdays and/or Sundays and/ or Mondays. Teach English to Nursery, Kindergarten and Primary students in a structured, well-developed and researched curriculum that allows for creativity (Reading & Phonics, Speech and Drama, Enrichment and Creative Writing). Part-time positions are open. (job #3287)


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

Investing for a Brighter Future By Ann Marie Regal

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xpatriate life offers us many benefits, and opportunities to explore Asia and beyond. It’s easy to get carried away, fulfilling our bucket list of experiences and forgetting that we need to continue to plan for a future that may feel very distant, whether that be saving for a home or retirement, funding a child’s education, ensuring appropriate life and health insurance or estate planning.

Pitfalls for Americans Investing from Abroad I often meet with clients who have been steered towards offshore insurance and investment products by financial advisors with limited experience involving US taxation requirements. These products, often labeled savings plans, portfolio bonds or executive investment bonds, are sold as investment accounts with a life insurance component. Within these insurance policies, it is possible to dollar-cost-average monthly into mutual funds or invest lump sums into stocks, bonds, mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) or alternative investments.

At first glance, they appear to be a great solution for a US taxpayer working and living abroad to help them save for their life goals - until tax time. Foreign life insurance policies usually don’t meet the strict criteria of life insurance as defined by the Internal Revenue Code. Instead, they often are considered to be a taxable financial account by the IRS: a tax-punitive financial account. These types of investments are usually defined by the IRS as a Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICs). What is a PFIC? PFICs can include offshore mutual funds, other financial products such as hedge funds, non-US pension plans, foreign Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) and maybe even your bank’s money-market account. PFICs are subject to extremely complex US tax rules and many unsuspecting US taxpayers find themselves facing unexpected and significant filing requirements come tax time. For example, each PFIC should be reported on IRS form 8621 and CPAs charge up to US$250 per form. Additionally, unrealized gains may be taxed up to 39.6%, possibly up to 50% if there are state tax obligations. Compliant ≠ US Personal Tax Compliance Most foreign life insurance companies are Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act (FATCA) compliant. The law requires all nonUS foreign financial institutions (FFI’s) report the assets and identities of US persons to the US Department of the Treasury. FATCA requires US taxpayers to file yearly reports for their non-

US financial accounts on IRS form 8938. FATCA compliance is separate from the actual reporting and tax liability of PFICs. The IRS penalties for non-compliance are steep. My advice for all US taxpayers is to invest globally only through US registered investments on a US platform that generates an IRS 1099. Do not invest locally. Ann Marie Regal, CFP® is an American who holds the US Certified Financial Planner designation. She is a licensed financial advisor in both Singapore and America. All opinions are expressed solely from a US taxpayer’s perspective.


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

Raising the Bar By Hazlyn Aidzil

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orporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is no longer a novel idea among businesses and, in the past few years, we have seen CSR becoming part of the culture of many companies with projects that positively impact the community. More and more industries and business sectors are finding it important for them to be responsible for their actions while still achieving favorable financial results. While CSR efforts alone may not solve major world problems, they allow companies to give back to and incrementally improve the societies and the communities in which they operate.

In the spirit of recognizing corporate and societal excellence, AmCham inaugurated AmCham CARES, a program that serves to provide recognition to member organizations that demonstrate an understanding of the linkages between business operations and society and conduct business in a way that creates both long-term economic and social value. AmCham introduced the program in earlier this year following the success of its Corporate Citizen Awards in 2013. US Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar presented the inaugural award to 30 member companies from various sectors at AmCham’s

Annual General Meeting on April 22. Far from the merit-driven concept of a competition, AmCham CARES aims to recognize companies that set the current standard. By promoting the open sharing of best practices, AmCham hopes to encourage even more companies to raise the bar in the future. Photo courtesy of AmCham

U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar with AmCham CARES Award Recipients


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

What am I Paying for? By Conn J. Schrader

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n a conversation recently about services that US embassies provide to citizens overseas, someone asked me about consular fees for US citizen services. To paraphrase: why do they go up? Why are some added for services that used to be free? Why do we have pay them at all? After all, we’re Americans who pay taxes! The basic answer is that costs are borne by the beneficiary of most services. Put more simply, if you want something (a passport, a notary seal, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad), you’ve got to pay for it. Periodically, the Bureau of Consular Affairs conducts a cost of service survey to evaluate how much individual services actually cost the US government to provide. This takes into account the physical materials necessary for the service (those passport books are pricey!), the personnel time necessary to process and anything else that goes into the mix before the service is concluded. On how and why these change over time, extra passport pages offer a good example. Once upon a time, they were free because we were able to essentially stick them into passport books upon request in a couple of minutes. Laws and rules changed (among them the one that restricts passport availability for people who owe back child support) and required an application process that took up significantly more time, effort and infrastructure. To avoid having other services become more expensive, a fee for the service was introduced. Of course, international standards gradually changed and we more recently eliminated the service altogether, opting instead to put more pages into the original passport book. However, not all services provided by the consular section require a fee. Some are covered by appropriations to the Department of State: these are your tax dollars at work! However, these tend to fall into the category of things you hope to never use, but might be glad to have when needed. For example, we speak with parents about parental abduction and custody issues, track court cases for US citizens (and visit them in jail), provide help to injured and ill US citizens (including hospital visits and conversations

with concerned, but far away, family members). By charging fees to cover the actual costs of non-emergency services we provide, we ensure that passport applicants aren’t also covering the expenses of these other, vital emergency services we provide to the US community when needed.

Photo courtesy of US Embassy


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

Girl Scouts: Big Happenings! By Anne Perng

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irl Scouts and the camping experience go hand-inhand and this tradition does not stop just because we live in hot, humid Singapore. This year, the girls had an absolute ball! “Percy Jackson Goddess” overnight camp at Camp Sarimbun put the Girl Scout “goddesses” through many outdoor trials, ending with a slide into Milo Pond (a pool of water resembling the drink Milo). Other favorites included arts and crafts, the big campfire with a bit of Girl Scout songs and skits, and of course, the perennial favorite, toasting and eating s’mores! The younger Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts had their own “Animals of the Reef ” Day Camp. Junior Troop 57 earned their Bronze Award for helping put this camp together and

Senior Troop 55 organized and ran some of the more active games. Just like the older girls, the favorite was experiencing their own campfire and s’mores roast. Girl Scout year-end Closing Ceremonies kicked off with a rousing speech from Crystal Wagar. Troops 40, 57 and 64 were awarded The Bronze Award. Catherine Edds and Olivia Chuang each received The Silver Award and Hannah Chuang was awarded The Gold Award, the Girl Scout equivalent of Eagle Scout. Hannah has also been nominated for the Young Women of Distinction Award which is given each year to only ten girls out of the more than three million Girl Scouts worldwide. Just being nominated is an incredible honor. Recipients will be announced in August. Not only were the girls celebrated, but adults were also

honored for their tireless efforts on behalf of the organization here in Singapore. Gayle Yap and Tawnya Hartberger each received The Thanks Badge, the highest award an adult volunteer can receive within Girl Scouts. Webmaster and Secretary James Duckworth received the Appreciation Pin for his tireless work taking USAGSO (Singapore) digital. Monica Buell was awarded the Volunteer of Appreciation, an award for working with girls directly to make them stronger leaders. Congratulations to all! Do you have a budding Girl Scout at home who has not joined yet? Good news! Registration is now open for the 2016-17 school year. For more information, go to www.singaporeusagirlscouts.org. Photos by Lakshmi Ramachandran and Micah Schutz

SCOUTING IN SINGAPORE Boy Scouts Troop 07: www.bsatroop07.org Boy Scouts Troop 10: www.facebook.com/BSATroopX Cub Scouts Pack 3010: sites.google.com/site/cubscoutspack3010 Cub Scouts Pack 3017: SGPack3017@gmail.com Girl Scouts: www.singaporeusagirlscouts.org

Avoiding the Summer Slide By Lauren Mehrbach, SAS middle school principal and Scott Riley, SAS middle school RLA Instructional Coach

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ong summer breaks often mean learning regression among children, especially in reading and math. Here are some fun ways to help yours avoid the summer slide! Summer camp Look for activities available in the town or city where you spend your summer. Some have academic, physical and social elements, while others are focused purely on outdoor education. Consider camps focused on fields such as second language immersion, computers, drama, sports and math.

Find a summer program Many programs for middle or high school students are run by US universities such as NYU, Duke and Stanford and offer varied and stimulating summer programs from art to photography to rock climbing. Religious centers, museums and community groups might have offerings, too. Online learning activities Help your child set up a Khan Academy account. Agree to some math practice goals and establish some concrete

rewards for when your child reaches the goal. Check out safe, parent-approved websites. Many have daily craft activity suggestions, brain teasers, educational videos and fun graderelated math, reading and science materials. DIY.org has some wonderful activities and includes a badging system. Set a reading goal Befriend your hometown’s local librarian and visit the library weekly to check out books, audiobooks (great for roadtrips!) or magazines to read with your child. Pick books from the Young Adult Library Services Association book awards and booklists or take on the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge online. Students respond more favorably to creating their own unique reading lists and setting ambitious reading goals around them, like what real readers do. Find books on websites such as Goodreads.com, YourNextRead. com, WhatShouldIReadNext.com, ReadKiddoRead.com, ALA.org, and Amazon’s “customers who bought this item also bought...” section. Also, bookdepository.com ships books for free to Singapore if you’re staying here. And remember to model good habits by reading alongside your child! Creative project Do something creative with your child: make a short film; compose a song; co-author a comic book; create a blog about your travels with photos, videos, and stories; curate a photo-aday series; work on a sculpture or model kit or plant a garden. Give your children breaks from screen time as per usual. Whatever you decide to do, help your children stay curious, active, engaged and thinking to beat that pesky summer slide!

Photo courtesy of Scott A Woodward


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

CCAB Sports Facilities By Laura Schwartz

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he CCAB Sports Facilities, often called the Evans Sports Hall, reminds me of the high school track and field in my suburban hometown in New Jersey. The running track is the same all-weather red Tartan track, the pitch is scruffy and green and basketball hoops stand watch nearby. The facilities are managed by Sport Singapore, a statutory board of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. CCAB stands for Co-Curricular Activities Branch and the indoor facilities are open to the public only outside of school hours, meaning after 6pm on weekdays, after 2pm on Saturdays and all day on Sundays and public holidays. Nevertheless, the track and field are available for public use almost every day and night. They have proven to be a popular spot since being built in 1990 at 21 Evans Road. They are used for boot camps, group workouts, intramural matches and private lessons in everything from sprints to kickboxing . The indoor facilities are well kept and nearby schools frequently make use of them for tournaments and training. Schedules are posted inside the MOE Sports and Recreation Club building, which acts as the gateway to the tennis courts and the pool. Although most condos have their own pools, their facilities are generally designed for pleasure and relaxation rather than exercise, so their size and shape may not be conducive to swimming laps. Some pools are too small, some are too bean-

shaped and some are too lagoon-like. Public pools such as the one at CCAB are not only regulation length, but they also offer demarcated lanes for laps and standardized diving blocks. Entry fees are pocket change (usually between SG$1-2 per adult). Check out the sidebar for other awesome public swimming facilities in Singapore. While a little out of the way, the location is perfect for running, jumping or even just playing a friendly match. Unlike exercise facilities found closer to the city center, the Evans Sports Hall doesn’t feel shortchanged on space and isn’t hemmed in by buildings. The facilities are nestled against the Bukit Timah branch of the National University of Singapore as well as the Botanic Gardens, which are excellent for a pre-workout warm up or a post-workout walk to cool down. Please note that the running track is under repair from now to the end of September 2016. Photo by Joanna Vidad Laura Schwartz was born in Ireland and grew up in Japan, Singapore and New Jersey, finally becoming an American citizen at age 18. She graduated Bard College in 2010 with a BA in Japanese Language & Culture. When she’s not traveling or devouring a new book, she juggles her 9-to-5 as an Admissions and Career Consultant with freelance writing.

Olympic-sized Pools Open to the Public Ang Mo Kio Swimming Complex 1771 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569978 Clementi Swimming Complex 520 Clementi Ave 3, Singapore 129908 Delta Swimming Complex 900 Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore 158790 Katong Swimming Complex 111 Wilkinson Road, Singapore 436752 OCBC Aquatic Centre 7 Stadium Drive, Singapore 397632 Woodlands Swimming Complex 3 Woodlands Street 13, Singapore 738600


Singapore American • June-July 2016


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

The Power of Dreams By Marc Servos

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io, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, will continue to define the Olympics Games with intense competition by the world’s best athletes from August 5-21. The games are expected to open and close with the spectacular ceremonies that reflect the culture and heritage of the host country Brazil as well as the ceremonies that continue the Olympic grandeur and tradition. The modern Olympics and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were founded by Frenchman Pierre de Coubertan in 1894 to create international understanding through athletic competition. The modern games were inspired by the Ancient Olympics and the immediate forerunner Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games, the latter having been held in Wenlock, England starting in 1850. More than 200 athletes from 14 nations participated in the first modern Games held in Athens in 1896. The United States team, consisting primarily of athletes from Princeton and Harvard Universities as well as members of the Boston Athletic Club, won the most gold medals. The 1900 Games in Paris and 1904 Games in St. Louis were secondary events during the World’s Fair and Louisiana Purchase Exposition, respectively, and ran over the course of months. The 1906 Intercalated Games held in Athens (now unrecognized by the IOC) and subsequent Games helped bring back the character of the Games which have since evolved to how we know them today. Despite Coubertan’s vision of international understanding, world politics and controversy have at times marred the Games. World Wars I and II canceled the 1916, 1940 and 1944 Games. The 1920 Games in Antwerp and the 1948 Games in London didn’t include athletes from the former Central Powers and Axis nations, respectively. During the 1936 Games in Berlin, Hitler tried to promote Nazi Party agendas including his ideals of racial superiority (even though the story of him snubbing Jesse Owens is now considered a myth). In 1972, Palestinian terrorist group Black September kidnapped most of Israel’s team during the Games in Munich, demanding the release of more than 200 prisoners held in Israeli jails which ended in tragedy with all eleven of the hostages being killed. The United States led the boycott of the 1980 Games in Moscow due to the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. In response, the Soviet Union led its Eastern Block allies to boycott the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, but participation transcended beyond these differences in 1988 in Seoul and since. The Winter Olympic Games, first held in 1924 in Charmonix, France, were always held earlier in the same year as the Summer Games up through 1992. Since the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, they have been held during the alternate even numbered years.

Singapore’s Participation Singapore first participated in the 1948 Games in London, a year after the Singapore Olympic and Sports Council was founded (since renamed the Singapore National Olympic Council). In 1964, Singapore was in union with Malaysia with its athletes participating with that team in Tokyo. Singapore joined the US-led boycott in 1980. Singapore’s first Olympic medal winner was Tan Howe Liang, who won the Silver in weight-lifting during Rome’s 1960 Games. He was Singapore’s only Olympic medal winner until the 2008 Games in Beijing, with women’s table tennis players Li Jiawei, Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu winning the Silver medal as a team. This same team won the Bronze in the 2012 Games in London and Feng Tianwei won an additional Bronze medal in the women’s single competition. All three of these table tennis medal winners were born in China and attained Singaporean citizenship through the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme. Singapore is scheduled to participate in Rio 2016, expecting to send athletes to participate in sailing, shooting, swimming and table tennis. As of this printing, the local cable outlets had not yet announced the broadcast schedule.

For more information on the Olympic Games, including Rio 2016 as well as USA’s and Singapore’s participation, please check out these websites:

www.olympic.org www.singaporeolympics.com www.teamusa.org

Marc Servos is married to a Singaporean and has been been living here with his family for a number of years. The Indiana native is a real estate agent locally with ERA and a US Army veteran, the latter giving him his first overseas experience in Germany during the mid-1980s.


14 TRAVEL

Taipei By David Gutshall

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aipei 101 dominates the skyline of its namesake city. More than 508 meters (1,666 feet) of glass and steel in the iconic shape of a bamboo stalk beckons travelers to experience Taipei from above. The breathtaking view offered shows a modern metropolis that stretches in every direction before giving way to lush tropical hills engulfing it from all sides. However, such a view does not capture what Taipei is. Under the modern facade is a city that can only be experienced in the maze of backstreets among the city’s residents. Street culture is the way of life in Taipei. As the sun sets, once dark alleys become lit by strings of bulbs above and once empty streets fill with vendors and a steady stream of natives interspersed with tourists wandering the streets late into the night. That is the real Taipei. Daytime should be spent exploring the cultural richness of Taipei. The National Palace Museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese art. More than 700,000 pieces of art were spared destruction during China’s Cultural Revolution and found a safe haven at the museum. Besides the resident pieces, the museum also has revolving exhibits that range from ancient artifacts to modern art. The monolithic Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall astounds in its vastness. The memorial was erected in 1980, in remembrance of President Chiang Kai-shek. Flanked on both sides by the National Concert Hall and National Theatre, the Memorial is the centerpiece of the massive public park that surrounds it. A popular meeting place for Taipei’s citizens, the park is a beautiful (and free) attraction that should not be missed. The Longshan Temple is the most famous of Taipei’s many temples. Its traditional Chinese architecture, decorated in red and gold, is stunning. Its location in the city center makes it a convenient site to visit. Even with its location in the city, it still maintains its mystic quality through the clouds of incense that engulfs it. The grounds, while beautiful, always attract a crowd. Be sure to visit in the morning or late afternoon to get pictures of this lovely temple free of the hoards of tourist. culpture

S Sea Coral

Singapore American • June-July 2016


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

If you are searching for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, you are in luck. Taipei offers excellent hiking less than 20 minutes from the city center. Elephant Mountain offers fresh air, a cardio workout and amazing views. The trail head is a fifteen-minute hike from the Xiang Shan MRT station. The trail consists of a single path of concrete steps, so getting lost is not possible. The climb takes about 40 minutes and offers many photo opportunities of Taipei along the way to the top. While the hike is not too strenuous, wear comfortable clothes and be sure to bring some water.

The Feng Chai night market shares a lot of similarities to other night markets. Music blares from speakers overhead. Vendors are hawking their wares at the top of their lungs and the night is filled with smoke and smells wafting from fresh street food. However, Feng Chai is massive. It is impossible not to get lost in the maze of vendors that make up the largest night market in Taipei. The crowd can be overwhelming at times. Feng Chai University is located nearby and the usual mix of locals and tourists also swells with students looking for something to do for the night. The sights and sounds of Feng Chai are worth braving the crowd. Not giving into intimidation will reward any traveler with a fun, chaotic experience that will long be remembered.

Evenings should be spent among the locals in the many night markets that pop up when the sun sets. The night markets of Taipei have a palpable energy completely their own. While many night markets take place around Taipei, it is highly recommended to visit the Shilin, Tainan Flowers and Feng Chai night markets. Shilin is not the largest night market. However, it makes up for its smaller size by being having the Jiantan MRT almost attached to it. The ease of access saves the headache of trying to communicate with wide-eyed taxi drivers attempting to decipher your butchered pronunciation. This may or may not result in you being dropped off at a random bus stop, as this writer found out.

Night Market

Taipei refuses to be appreciated from afar. Like every great city in the world, it must be tasted, smelt and felt. The constant swarm of mopeds filling the streets makes the city buzz as if it were a beehive. The energy is omnipresent and serves as motivation to embrace the face to face culture Taipei offers. While every modern luxury is available to travelers in Taipei, lace up your sneakers, throw caution to the wind and truly experience one of the most interesting cities in the world.

ket Night Mar

Longshan Tem

ple

Tainan Flowers night market is a foodies’ paradise. Some gumption is required to appreciate all the food of Taipei’s night markets. The street food is the star of the show with the smell inescapable and indescribable. The savory aroma of smoked porked ribs - alien, but pleasant - fried duck tongues and the mouth-watering aroma of scallion pancakes create an olfactory experience like no other. However, another smell lurks. To the uninitiated, it will resemble hot garbage. To others, a glance at the bottom of their shoes would be warranted in fear of having stepped in some doggy business. The offender is affectionately and accurately named stinky tofu, ubiquitous to the night markets of Taipei. It answers the question nobody asked: What happens when flavorless tofu is fermented in vegetable waste? Answer: Well, it gets stinky. This foul concoction is then deep fried and sprinkled with pickled cabbage. While the appearance and smell would be synonymous with trying to eat a corn dog with one hand while holding a used diaper in the other, the taste is quite appetizing with a resemblance to a fine aged cheese. Honestly, I did say some gumption would be required.

Stinky Tofu

Pork Brain Soup

Photos courtesy of David Gutshall David Gutshall earned a degree in history from the University of South Carolina. He spent seven years as a commercial airline pilot before resigning to pursue his true passion of writing when his wife’s career led them to Asia. He spent the past two years in Tokyo writing short stories and working on his first novel before recently washing up on Singapore’s shore.


Singapore American • June-July 2016


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

Climbing High By Sanna Massala

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sport growing in popularity here in Singapore is climbing stairs, real stairs, not the Stairmaster at the gym. After all, the city is full of high rises and the stairs in the 40-50 story HDB buildings are readily available for all exercisers. The best part? They are free. Of course, climbing a concrete, open-air staircase in hot and humid Singapore may not be your idea of fun, but you might end up hooked like me. First off, weather is not an issue as you can climb stairs rain or shine, but as with running, it’s best to climb in the early morning, late in the afternoon or after sunset. Stair climbing builds and tones muscles in the lower body, increases the heart rate and burns fat and calories extremely efficiently. This is because your lower body muscles need to lift your whole body against gravity while balancing and stabilizing at the same time. In the end, you will burn more calories than you do running. Other stair climbing benefits include increase in stamina and energy as well as reductions in cholesterol level. Climbing stairs is also easier on your joints than running, but it’s best for your joints to only climb up and then take the elevator down. A beginner should climb 40 floors slowly twice with a steady slow speed, taking one step at a time, eventually building up to more repetitions. To challenge yourself even more, try

interval training, which means taking two stairs in one step for five floors, then walking slowly one stair at a time for five floors and repeating the cycle. Eventually, you can go all the way up to the top, taking two stairs in one step or, if you are extremely fit, running the whole way. There are many vertical marathons in Singapore and the most famous one is the Swissôtel Vertical Marathon held every November. The aim is to climb 73 stories (1,336 steps) in the shortest possible time. The current all-time record is an unbelievable 6:46 minutes! I personally never race for speed, but I still enjoy climbing with friends. To be quite honest, I have yet to find another cardio exercise that can burn the maximum amount of calories and still enable me to chat at the same time, which means for a chatty person like me, this hobby has become one of my most important social activities, too! So start eyeing for those high rises and find a staircase to try. Take along plenty of fluids, grab a sweat towel, find a friend and enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Christoph Theisinger


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

Inhale the Future By Jyoti Angresh

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here’s nothing quite like pushing yourself in a sport or even watching athletes push themselves, flowing with the momentum of a game and finding that rush in a superb finish to an exciting race. It puts stamina, strength and sheer skill to the test in a very special way. So here’s something interesting; whether you run, cycle, play a team sport, practice martial arts or any sport at all, there is one thing you can do that can reliably enrich your outcome: the ancient practice of yoga. It has a wealth of benefits to offer, actually boosting performance and overall experience in other sports. Yoga is a practice uniting the mind, body and soul. Performing the asanas (positions) and holding them with awareness, teaches a focus that is impossible to recreate with regular exercises. This powerful life lesson transfers to better focus in action. Meditation, an inherent part of a complete yoga practice, complements this teaching perfectly and increases peace of mind for the practitioner. There are physical benefits of yoga, too. Haven’t we all heard of yoga improving flexibility and balance with practice? Both these are invaluable in the prevention of injury, which often accompanies tighter muscles with restricted range of movement from sports training. Yoga is also great therapy support in the journey to healing a sports injury. Dynamic stretching for

example in surya namaskars (sun salutations) increases warmth in tissues and stretching these muscles keeps them supple and toned. Yoga uses the resistance from one’s own body for building strength and restoring joints, ligaments and muscles. The asanas also work to bring balance to the hormonal and nervous systems, while breathing exercises (pranayama) bring clarity to the mind and relax the body. From being a practice for the old to being favored by women, yoga now is becoming a favorite across genders, age and all sections of society, being enthusiastically adopted in gyms and incorporated into most exercise regimes. Though it is not essential to practice with a teacher, it is recommended to get some input on alignment. Give it a try and put yourself on the path of integrating your body as a whole, accepting its limitations and respecting its potential.

For those familiar with yoga, here are a few helpful poses for some various sports: Running: lunging poses, warrior pose variations including extended side angle and pigeon pose Golf: triangle pose, cobra and twists like the ardha matsyendrasana Tennis: forward bend, variations of warrior, chair pose and bridge pose Cycling: bow pose, cobra, camel and pigeon Resources: www.anusarayoga.com www.lifespa.com www.poweryoga.com www.yogajournal.com

Photos By Amy and Jasmine Kaloudis Jyoti Angresh is a writer, business professional and yoga instructor, loose labels that only partly reveal the endless explorations within and without that she undertakes. Her learning comes from sa wide range of experiences, both professionally and personally. She has lived for more than a decade in Singapore as an expat, but she increasingly feels like a local resident of the entire world.


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

Inspiring a New Generation By Justin Harper

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ormer Olympic volleyballer David McKienzie is hoping to inspire a new generation of players in Singapore. The American Volleyball Academy (AVA), the premiere volleyball academy in Singapore, was officially formed in October 2014, with David is its director. ‘’It is really my goal to grow volleyball in Singapore and bring it up to par with the rest of the world. AVA is trying to improve all aspects of volleyball: coaching, organization, junior club volleyball, adult volleyball, beach volleyball and more.” There could be no one better to forge the way for volleyballers in The Lion City than David, an American who made the US National Olympic team in 2012, having missed out on two Olympics before that (2004, 2008). Talking about his volleyball career he said, ‘”Being at the Olympics was an amazing experience. It was always a dream to compete in the Olympics, but to actually be there really evokes a huge sense of pride. It was always an honor to represent USA on the national team, but to do it at the Olympics is as good as it gets. What the World Cup is to Soccer or Wimbledon is to Tennis, the Olympics is to volleyball’’. However, the final standings were a big disappointment, as the US went into the Olympics one of the favorites for the Gold. Instead, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals to Italy. ‘’Italy is always a team that always matches up well against USA. They really had our number that day. Watching the last ball fall and seeing your Olympic run end is really a devastating feeling,” he added. After that disappointment, David headed to Asia and played his last professional season in Indonesia for BNI46 Jakarta. ‘’I really liked living in Asia so I was

thinking of a way to stay. I was always keen on starting my own volleyball academy. One friend told me to contact a friend of his in Singapore who had a similar idea in mind. From there, things seemed to just fall into place.’’ AVA teamed up with the US Embassy last year and threw a free volleyball clinic at Yishun Town Secondary School to give less fortunate Singaporean children the chance to learn volleyball. David has a tough task ahead if he is to catapult Singapore to become the best volleyballers in Southeast Asia. ‘’At this moment, Thailand is probably the best in Southeast Asia, but they have worked hard to get to where they are now. I think that any country in Southeast Asia could be the best if they put the right program in place because, in reality, all these countries in ASEAN are quite far behind the rest of the world in volleyball, in skill, organization and physicality.” While height is a major factor in being a good volleyball player so, too, is having a strong mental game. “My mother always told me, volleyball is 95% mental. And she is completely right. It is really all about how you control yourself because nobody else controls you. You are the one who makes yourself go to the gym. You are the one who makes yourself perform the skill correctly or incorrectly. You are the one who keeps calm or loses his cool.” Who knows? Maybe we’ll see a team of Singaporean volleyballers in the Olympics one day. Justin Harper is a British expat and writer who has lived in Singapore for six years. He specialises in financial and lifestyle writing. He has a passion for sport, both watching and playing, and is keen to see Singapore’s sporting credentials grow.


Singapore American • June-July 2016


Singapore American • June-July 2016

How to Sweat Like a Pro! By Lauren S. Power

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hen I’m on the treadmill, I chase visions of my thinner, tanner self. I imagine what life will be like when I jog without jiggle, frolicking confidently with other nymphs on the beach. If I can just push through the last five minutes of cardio, I will be that much closer to achieving my dream! I have never caught up to this mythical version of myself and, some days, I feel so far behind that I should give up the chase. Guess what? Even the most successful gods and goddesses of the Iron Temple (aka your local fitness studio) have felt the same sense of defeat from time to time. Those rippling biceps and tight glutes were earned through pain, sweat (and maybe a few tears). Even professionals can get lost on the path to health and happiness. What makes them fitness heroes is simply that they keep going. Below are some of the ways they stay motivated.

Marysia Hometown: New York & Los Angeles, USA Years in Singapore: Almost three Main areas of fitness: Yoga, Acrobatics, Running, Swimming What is your weekly workout routine? I run 25 minutes to the gym four times a week. Six days a week, I do one and a half hours of acrobatics in the morning and one and a half hours of yoga in the afternoon. Some weekends, particularly if I’m a bit hung over, I enjoy a swim. Can you give advice to people looking to jumpstart a fitness program in Singapore? I’m probably biased because I work for Pure, but I whole-heartedly believe that the members of the Pure Yoga and Fitness communities are sincerely committed to supporting everyone’s development. How would you describe your fitness journey? Gradual. I’ve been doing yoga for more than 14 years and never meant be a yoga teacher or spend so much time studying it, but here I am. Which fitness communities have you found to inspire you and support your fitness goals in Singapore? The yoga community is amazing! Watching my students of all ages and backgrounds progress amazes me. Their willingness to work, play and connect is incredible. Many of my students are surprised that I continue to aspire to so much more physically. Some think I am crazy, but they all see my passion and support me whole-heartedly. I am deeply grateful.

Training in acrobatics is new to me. Because my teacher, Ido Portal, trains me long distance from Germany, I spend a lot of time in the gym alone. The fitness trainers help me with the equipment and are happy to explain training techniques that I don’t understand. Their friendliness goes a long way because still I often feel like a lost puppy stumbling around amongst the fitness gear.

Kristin Hometown: Washington DC, USA Years in Singapore: Two years, but I went to international school here from seventh grade until I left for university in Sydney. Main areas of fitness: Yoga, but I also do paddle boarding, cycling, diving, tabata and am taking flip lessons. I do not like running. What does your weekly workout routine look like these days? I ride my bike absolutely everywhere, even in this heat. I practice whatever yoga class I can get into five to six times a week. On the weekend, I run a bootcamp with my friends, and we each take turns facilitating classes based on our skills. I used to go to the gym and take fitness classes, but I’m really trying to work on my flexibility and handstands. How would you describe your fitness journey? A struggle! I love wine and Mexican food way too much. Luckily, I’m on my feet all day, so I guess it’s just a lifestyle. Which fitness communities have you found to inspire you and support your fitness goals in Singapore? It’s all about finding your people: friends, colleagues, a boyfriend who is into staying fit. It makes it easier when you have partners in crime to stay motivated. Have you encountered any challenges or barriers to getting involved in fitness activities and communities in Singapore? Teaching six to seven yoga classes in a day can be exhausting. More than that, I need yoga for the physical aspect of sweating and breathing. Spiritually and mentally, it really helps me deal with my own thoughts, with people and with life. It’s taken me a while to find my practice here. From your experience, can you recommend any resources or give advice to people looking to jump start a fitness program or join a fitness community in Singapore? Find your people, even if it is just one friend. Try everything! It’s not about being the fittest person on the block, but about finding what makes you feel good. I admit I go through phases where I’m lazy, but I have my people.

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Singapore American • June-July 2016

Continued from the previous page

We talk about our health and fitness (sometimes more than we practice it!), and we help each other get back on our feet. Compared to when I lived here just six years ago, there are so many healthier lifestyle options in Singapore. People are more into being fit than being thin, which I love seeing. It is inspiring to know that someone’s on a football team, doing dragonboat races or leading spin classes. Instead of a boozy brunch, you can go paddle boarding on the East Coast or Sentosa on the weekend. There are rock climbing walls, white-collar boxing, MMA, flip lessons, pole dancing courses, barre classes and aerial studios. I mean you name it, Singapore’s got it!

Yasir Hometown: Singapore Years in Singapore: Lived in Singapore all my life, but have spent time in the USA Main areas of fitness: Competitive weightlifting and strength (both functional and sports-specific)

What does your weekly workout routine look like? These days, my weekly routine is all about progression in strength, adjusting my technique and increasing my mobility! How would you describe your fitness journey? I’ve been doing this more than two decades. I change my sports every few years – from sea sports, triathlon, cycling and strongman to powerlifting. It helps keep me engaged and constantly challenged. Which fitness communities have you found to inspire you and support your fitness goals in Singapore? Over the past five years, I’ve focused on powerlifting because I see a lot of potential talent out there and the sport is growing in a safe way. Anyone from high school students to someone like me can pursue it successfully. Have you encountered any challenges or barriers to getting involved in fitness activities and communities in Singapore? So this is the big question! I compete in powerlifting competitions overseas, most recently in Finland, Hong Kong and around Asia. All this time, I have competed because of my own passion and love of the sport. Unfortunately, the costs of flights and hotels do add up and must be borne by me, with my own money. In Singapore, we have to prove that we are a star before we can get sponsorship. From your experience, can you recommend any resources or give advice to people looking to jumpstart a fitness program or join a fitness community in Singapore? In Singapore, there are lots of gyms and parks that provide opportunity for someone to kick-start a good exercise routine. It is just a matter of setting your goals and sustaining frequency. It’s not how you start a fitness program, but how you maintain it that will achieve your goals!

Lauren Power is a Texas native who has lived in the USA, UK, Japan and Singapore. As an independent writer and researcher, Lauren uses her involvement with Southeast Asian institutes and think tanks as inspiration for the social, economic and political themes in her writing. Her work has been published in magazines, journals and anthologies in London, New York, Singapore, Washington DC and Frankfurt. Lauren serves as the Public Affairs Officer for the Singapore Chapter of the US Navy League and is an avid volunteer with committees and organizations in the Singapore community.


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

Crazy Crazes By Lindy Hiemstra

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ike yoga, but tired of the same old, same old? Then make like a bat and head to an AntiGravity yoga class. What? Antigravity? Yup. Participants strike traditional yoga poses while hanging in the air from hammocks. This one has already made its way to Singapore. Want to get fit? Try POUND, the newest fitness craze sweeping the US. Using drumsticks especially designed for the class, you become the music in this full-body workout. Developed by two female drummers in Los Angeles, the class combines cardio, strength-training and more. Hate the gym? Rather play video games? Then head to New York City’s Asphalt Green and try AG6, the new circuit-based class in a room with walls and a floor that responds to touch. Follow unpredictable LED lights that guide you through a workout so intense that you can burn 1,000 calories in 45 minutes. As celebrities go, so go the world. Piloxing is the hottest thing with Hollywood elite and, yes, it’s already made its way to Singapore. Basically, Piloxing combines the best of pilates, boxing (thus the name) and dance for a high-octane workout. It’s not crawling, it’s not running. It’s Crunning. Stand on your feet, bend over, put your hands on the floor and go as fast as you can. That’s Crunning. And it’s a great way to tackle your thunder thighs. Maybe you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to train all the time, just do something super physical now and then. Tough Mudder is for you. Think of the hands-down, absolutely most challenging team-oriented obstacle course ever – then throw in some mud. It’s swept across the US as a great team-building event, but also taking Indonesia and Australia by storm. Photos courtesy of Crunning Sports League, Piloxing Academy, LLC and Upside Motion Lindy Hiemstra is the kind of person who avoids exercising at all costs, but a few of these crazes even sound fun to her.


24 EDUCATION

Singapore American • June-July 2016

Camp! By Faith Chanda

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ummer…. Time for family trips to exotic locations, lazy afternoons by the pool or at the beach and weather so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk…. Oh wait, that’s EVERY season in Singapore! So what’s cool about summer here? One thing is that lots of places aren’t nearly as crowded as they are the rest of the year. Another is the wide range of camps covering just about every interest under the sun to keep your kids’ minds and bodies active. Here are some of the best and most interesting offerings.

FINE ARTS Abrakadoodle: now until August 26 (abrakadoodle.com.sg) A wide variety of choices for kids ages 4-12, including painting, animation and sculpture. Act3 International: now until August 5 (act3international.com.sg) Drama workshops for kids from seven months (with a parent) to 17 years. Art Boot Camp: now until – September 2 (artbootcamp.com.sg) Half-day or full-day art camps targeted by age group to kids aged 3-17; unique art themes include graffiti, nature and technology in art. Centre Stage: now until July 8 (centre-stage.com) Week-long dramatic arts workshops for kids aged 3-12, culminating with performances ranging from 90s hip hop to teddy bear picnics. Juilliard Summer Arts Programme: July 9 – 22 (www.naejuilliard.school/summer-arts) An intense study of music, drama or dance for students aged 10-18, held in Switzerland, offered through a collaboration between Dover Court International School and the famed Juilliard School in New York. Little Artists Art School: June 1 – August 15 (little-artists.com) For kids 2.5-17 years old, an a la carte menu of various art classes and camps, including one targeted to children with special needs as well as classes for adults.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Children’s Worklab: now until – August 19 (worklab.com.sg) With topics from Monster Trucks to Minecraft, kids aged 3.5 to 12 learn robotics, engineering, digital art and more. Coding Lab: now until – July 1 (codinglab.com.sg) With a focus on learning code to create digital animation, graphics and games, this camp targets kids aged 7-12 who are relatively new to coding. The Keys Academy: now until July 25 (thekeys.global) Tie-ups with major universities lend credence to this camp, which features topics such as Silicon Valley 101, Mini-MBA Camp and CSI: Murder Mystery for kids ages 6-12. Whizz Kidz: June 27 – August 12 (whizzkidz.com.sg) Held in a variety of locations, these camps for kids aged 5-14 with themes such as Dr. Evil and Mission Impossible 2.5 offer educational content in the guise of fun and games. WondersWork: now until June 24 (wonderswork.com.sg) A focus on robotics and engineering gives rise to topics such as aeronautics and Minecraft vs Superheroes, for kids ages 6-13.


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Singapore American • June-July 2016

SPORTS AND OUTDOORS

SCHOOL-BASED AND VARIETY CAMPS

Centaurs Sports: June 20 – August 12 (centaursgroup.com) Week-long camps occupy kids 6-13 for six hours a day with multiple team sports and The Pit obstacle course.

Camp Asia: June 13 – August 2 (campasia.asia) Camp Asia summer sessions are offered at Stamford American International School for kids from ages 3-16. Programs include everything from art and drama to sports to math and robotics.

ESPZEN Soccer School: now until August 12 (soccerschool.espzen.com) Catering to soccer players of all ages and skill levels with a 1:12 coach to student ratio means kids from under 6 (U6) to under 12 (U12) for quality small group instruction. Lion Adventures: (lionadventures.com) This program encourages children ages 5-11 to explore nature safely and to challenge themselves through team challenges, jungle sports and other outdoor activities. LJE Sports Basketball Camp: now until July 29 (www.ljesports.com) Kids aged 5-16 of all skill levels can not only practice basketball skills, but also learn to focus on effort, teamwork, confidence and sportsmanship. The Open Centre: now until August 5 (theopencentre.com.sg) Through indoor and outdoor activities and games, this holistic approach teaches children aged 7-12 the concepts of mindfulness, connection and self-expression. Shaw’s Little League: now until August 4 (shawslittleleague.com) These morning programs for kids from 3-10 years old include sports sessions, nutrition activities, and arts and crafts. Singafit: June 13 – August 26 (singafit.com.sg) Singafit camps run the gamut from multisport camps for kids aged 4-14 to triathlon camps for kids 9-14. Activities include rock climbing, badminton, and orienteering. Sportball: June 13 - June 24 (sportball.com.sg) Non-competitive sports instruction that introduces kids aged 3-10 to popular sports such as soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, golf and rugby. Skate With Us: now until July 14 (skate-with-us.com) For skaters and non-skaters alike, this camp geared toward kids aged 3-12 aims to teach kids resilience and confidence while improving their skating skills and safety knowledge.

Camp Magic: June 13 – July 22 (ilovecampmagic.com) Focused on creativity and the arts, this program for all kids ages 3-12 is offered at Nexus International School and St. Joseph’s Institution International School. Canadian International School: June 20 - July 29 (www.cis.edu.sg/summercamp) Camp programs for kids ages 4-17 in four categories: sports, wellness, creativity & performance, STEM and global languages. Genesis School for Special Education: June 13 – July 8 (info@genesisschool.com.sg) Programs for special needs students from 2.5 years old to early 20s. ISS International School: July 4 – 29 (isssummer.edu.sg) For kids aged 4-18 ISS’s Summer School Discovery offers language immersion in morning classes and a variety of activities including STEM, arts and crafts and sports in the afternoons. Little Mandarins: now until August 5 (little-mandarins.com) Using activities such as story-telling, drama, songs, indoor & outdoor games, arts and crafts and writing, 4 to 9-year-olds can improve their mandarin language skills along with their confidence. Singapore American School: June 6 – July 1 (sas.edu.sg/summersemester) Offers two summer semesters open to all preschool through grade 12 students in intellectual curiosity, creative expression and sports and wellness. The American Club: June 6 – August 12 (amclub.org.sg/youth-kids/camps) For kids aged 2-11 (with Club members receiving first priority), this camp offers rock climbing martial arts, sports and water activities as well as after camp programs in tennis and swimming instruction. Village Day Camp: July 4 – 29 (villagedaycamps.com/sg) Offers four distinct programs: Village Day Camp, VDC Football Camp, VDC Language Camp (English or Mandarin) and Leadership Camp. Targeting ages 4-14, activities, instruction and excursions embody the motto “Education Through Recreation.”

Photos courtesy of Camp Magic, Village Camps and SAS. Faith Chanda is the sole proprietor of F. Chanda Communications and Events a freelance writer. She relocated to Singapore in January 2015 with her husband and two young children. As a “trailing spouse,” Faith enjoys exploring food, culture, nature and design through her travel adventures and looks forward to many new discoveries throughout Asia.


26 HEALTH & WELLNESS

Singapore American • June-July 2016

Body Detox Myths By Dr Julinda Lee

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hat are the benefits of body detoxification? Detoxification prevents accumulation of substances that can potentially be harmful to your health. These include xenobiotics (like in plastics, pesticides) and heavy metals. These substances, if accumulated over years, can result in increased likelihood of fatigue, hormone imbalances and diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and cancers. However, immediate benefits of better detoxification include better skin, more energy, sound sleep and reduced pain. Weight loss is also likely to happen if detoxification improves. 2. So how does detoxification work? Detoxification is the process when the body breaks down certain toxins in the body and renders them suitable for excretion. Substances considered toxins by the body include drugs, pesticides and hormones. The majority of detoxification occurs through feces, subsequently through urine and, lastly, through the skin via sweating. 3. What’s the process? Detox is divided into two phases. Phase I involves converting toxins (often fat-soluble) into a water-soluble intermediate. In Phase II, these water-soluble toxins are then bound to other molecules in the body to make them suitable for excretion. For the body to effectively remove these toxins, it must have the right tools such as correct nutrition and regular bowel habits. Lack of proper nutrition during the detoxification process can lead to an imbalance in Phase I and Phase II of detoxification. Phase I of detoxification often makes toxins more toxic than

they were in the first place. Therefore, if Phase II detoxification is impaired because of poor nutrition, detox can actually be bad for you. 4. How often can you detox the body? And when can you do it? Detoxification is something that your body does all the time, whether you intend for it or not. When people talk about “detox,” they are likely to mean a series of things you may possibly do to make your body more efficient at getting rid of its toxins. If you have a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, eat moderately, eat foods that help your body with detoxification, you can be effectively detoxifying your body all the time. Therefore, going on a “detox” can be toxic to the body if weight loss occurs too quickly, since many toxins in the body are actually stored in the fat. Fat loss liberates these toxins into the blood stream. If your liver does not have proper nutrients to carry out detoxification, then you can cause more damage to your body than it would otherwise. During detox, it is important to ensure hydration and regular bowel movements so that the toxins your liver has worked so hard to remove, can truly leave your body and not be reabsorbed back into your bloodstream. Dr. Julinda Lee is a gynaecologist at Wellness & Gynaecology Centre. With a keen interest in age management and wellness, Dr. Lee believes in offering her patients a holistic experience of the highest quality of diagnostic and interventional care. Find out more about her services at www.agemanagement.com.sg.

“I Love Watching You Play!” By Suzanne M. Anderson, MSS

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ccording to John O’Sullivan’s Changing the Game, the five most important words parents can say to their children about their sports activities are: “I love watching you play!” John also shares the following statistics about youth and sports: every year, 40 million youth play sports and 70% of these youth drop out of sports before they reach high school. Sports participation provides physical, mental and psychological benefits. Also, kids involved in sports have lower drop-out rates and less involvement in drugs and alcohol. They often excel at academics and social engagement. Healthy competition is a debated topic with some saying that youth sports have become too competitive. However, I think we must honestly ask ourselves have the kids become too competitive about their sports or has that been fuelled by the adults, meaning the parents and coaches. Several studies have investigated why youth play sports. Repeatedly the number one reason was “to have fun.” “Winning” didn’t even make it into the top ten reasons why kids play sports. Other top reasons for playing included: • to do something at which they are good • to improve their skills • to stay physically fit • to get exercise When youth were asked to give their definition of fun in a George Washington University study, they described it as “trying their best, being treated respectfully by coaches, parent and teammates and getting play time.” Winning was listed #48 on a list of 81 characteristics of fun. So why then do three out of four youth stop playing sports by the time they are 13 years old? Sullivan argues that the common thread through all of the reasons that kids quit sports

is related to “having a poor state of mind related to sports.” Based on his experience there are five reasons kids leave sports: • It is no longer fun. • They have lost ownership of the game to coaches and parents. • They don’t get the playing time they want. • Kids are afraid of making mistakes and being yelled at, corrected and benched. • Kids are feeling disrespected. So what’s the solution? • Make sure your child is having fun! Check in. Ask them. • Let your child set goals and find their passion for playing. Don’t set it for them. • Make sure your child is on a team that plays them. • Allow your kids to fail. Acknowledge a pro-social response to failure. • Respect the effort and risk-taking it takes to play sports. And when you get that urge to coach, direct guide, critique, dissect the plays, berate...stop...breathe...and remember that the most inspirational and motivating thing you can say is, “I love to watch you play!” For more information on this topic or specific support, you may contact the International Counselling & Psychology Centre at 6734-6463 or via email at connect@intlcounselling.com. Suzanne Anderson is from the United States and moved to Singapore in 1999. She is the mother of three teenagers. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Masters in Social Work. Suzanne is a counsellor to adolescence and adults, and is co-founder at the International Counselling & Psychology Centre as well as a crisis responder and trainer. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and geocaching.


27 HEALTH & WELLNESS

Singapore American • June-July 2016

Migraines? You might be a bruxer! By Dr Biju Krishnan, BDS

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entist professionals regularly adopt and develop techniques to treat patients. Sometimes we have to look beyond the boundaries of our own professional techniques into ways we can utilize the skills employed in other medicinal areas to provide optimum results. One such example is bruxism, where a combination of a custom-made mouthguard and physiotherapy provides a solution. Bruxism is an involuntary movement disorder characterized by excessive clenching and/or grinding of the teeth. Among the most common symptoms are migraines, a tired jaw, sensitive teeth or a stiff neck. Although it is not related to dental decay or gum disease, bruxism is one of the leading causes of early loss and damage of teeth. It also leads to excessive teeth contact over a prolonged period which can cause premature enamel dissipation. Most people with bruxism are unaware they are grinding or clenching as it often occurs at night during sleep (termed nocturnal bruxism or sleep bruxism), but it may also happen during the day (diurnal bruxism). More than 30% of the population is affected by bruxism and the trend is on the rise. The causes Bruxism may be caused by stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that even among children where bruxism is more common, stress levels are the main determining factor in identifying bruxers. Bruxism is also related to dopamine uptake imbalances in the brain, indicating that particular stimulants and medication can increase the occurrence of bruxism. For example, smokers have been shown to have twice the incidence of bruxism compared to non-smokers (nicotine in cigarettes is a known dopamine agonist).

Although there are claims that bruxism is also caused by malocclusion (misaligned teeth), there seems to be little evidence of this. The symptoms Self-diagnosis for bruxism is not easy. You may experience vague or inconsistent aches in your teeth. Your jaw muscles may be stiff or sore and you may also experience headaches around the temple region or even migraines. Bruxism often occurs in waves and bursts, such as when you’re most stressed or anxious. Your dentist will be able to diagnose bruxism with a detailed interview and an examination of your mouth. The treatment Bruxism cannot be cured, but it can be managed. If detected early, and in the absence of other diseases, a mouth splint will be made for you. The Nociceptic Trigeminal Inhibitation (NTI) Splint is worn at night. The dental splint relieves pain by helping improve the position of the patient’s jaw joint – known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) – and reducing stress elsewhere in their jaw. Studies have shown that the NTI splint is highly successful in decreasing stress in the jaw and reducing migraine pain attacks by up to 75 percent in 75 percent of its users. Combined with physiotherapy treatment, which releases and loosens the muscles, together they offer a much more effective and longer lasting solution. Managing stress level and striking a work-life balance is vital to recovery. What happens if I brux and I don’t do anything about it? A bruxer is often only aware of dental problems years after the disorder has commenced. Unfortunately in severe cases, the chronic destruction of a bruxer’s teeth is difficult to manage. As teeth can be severely damaged before pain occurs, root canal

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treatments, crowns and sometimes teeth extractions may be required. If you suffer from migraines or any of the symptoms mentioned, you may be a bruxer. If you suspect that you are affected by bruxism, it is advisable to see your dentist as early detection can save you from a lot of pain and stress. Dr Biju Krishnan, BDS (Edinburgh) has more than 20 years experience in cosmetic dentistry. He has a holistic approach to creating a great smile using various restorative techniques, as well as facial aesthetics. Dr Krishnan developed Cfast™, an adult cosmetic orthodontic system that straightens the teeth quickly, one of the most widely used systems in the UK which has been adopted in 20 other countries. For more information: smilefocus.com.sg

events

Any responder should make any further enquiries with the organizer or should verify the information independently if necessary.

M U SE U M S 1 June – 17 July Celebrating Radio: Sounds from the Past National Museum of Singapore 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897 nationalmuseum.sg 1 June – 17 July Reframing Modernism: Painting from Southeast Asia, Europe and Beyond National Gallery of Singapore 1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957 www.nationalgallery.sg 1 June – 11 September Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour Asian Civilisations Museum 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555 acm.org.sg

ENTERTA I N M ENT 1 June – 17 July Les Miserables Esplanade Theatre www.sistic.com.sg 1 – 5 June Falling KC Arts Centre www.pangdemonium.com 3 – 5 June Nanta (Cookin’) Resorts World Theatre www.sistic.com.sg

4 June Opera in the Park Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage Singapore Botanic Gardens www.sbg.org.sg

ED U CAT I ON

4 June Singapore Chinese Orchestra – Homecoming II Esplanade Concert Hall www.sistic.com.sg

From 1 June UWCSEA Applications for Admission to UWCSEA in 2016/2017 open Dover or East Campus www.uwcsea.edu.sg admissions@uwcsea.edu.sg

5 June NAC-ExxonMobil Concert in the Park Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage Singapore Botanic Gardens www.sbg.org.sg

3 June Stamford American International School Open House 279 Upper Serangoon Road 9am www.sais.edu.sg

11 & 12 June MISA FLAMENCA SOTA Studio Theatre www.sistic.com.sg

S P ORT

29 July SSO Pops Concert: A Night on Broadway Esplanade Concert Hall www.sistic.com.sg

2 July Canberra Vertical Challenge Blk 492 Admirality Link www.canberraverticalchallenge.com

5 – 7 August Rainforest World Music Festival Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia rwmf.net

16 & 17 July Singapore International Triathlon East Coast Park www.singaporetriathlon.sg

L I FEST Y LE 7 June Your Clothes Friend Swap Carry On Cafe 348 Tanjong Katong Road girl-about-town@hotmail.com

23 July Pocari Sweat Run The Float @ Marina Bay www.pocarisweatrun.com


Singapore American • June-July 2016

Profile for American Association of Singapore

Singapore American Newspaper  

June-July 2016

Singapore American Newspaper  

June-July 2016