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Dessert First on the go!
Orangutans...
03/10/2012, Singapore

Last night after finishing my blog entries for Cambodia, I checked as usual Al Jazeea for news. I found a documentary which absolutely shook me up and made me cry. I found it so important, particularly because I now live between Malaysia and Indonesia and have visited both with their extensive palm oil plantations, that I felt the need to share it with all my friends. It is a little long and takes time to download but I hope you will find the time and help with the efforts to let more people know about this calamity. It is not just the Orangutans which suffer... but ultimately we all will!
Thanks!
On the other hand also enjoy Cambodia!

My watercolor class
12/31/2011, Singapore


Singapore and Trip around the World
11/21/2011

Since my last entry I have become much more at home in Singapore. It is easy to make friends here and so many things to do. (And... people are so kind to old people!!!)

Just yesterday I visited the International Conference on Orchids... part of which was held in the new and not yet opened "Marina Bay Gardens" an absolutely stunning new project which is to open officially in June.

For me my main activities have been watercolor painting, Mandarin lessons and helping with the efforts to start On Lok Programs here.

Let me start with the last since it led to the major part of my endeavors and trips during the past six months.

The Hua Mei project started much later than expected but is now in operation and struggling with the usual Pace problems: intake and team work. But it is slowly getting it all together and I even enjoy some volunteer work: encouraging the participants to paint!

In the meantime AIC (All-Inclusive Care) the special department of the Ministry of Health asked me to take a group of them to visit On Lok and other projects in San Francisco and the Pace project in Portland, OR. So within six months I was back in the USA in June. This time, however, with an airline ticket around the world (thanks to AIC which paid me for a business class return fare with Singapore Airlines to San Francisco!!!). I decided to forgo luxury and use that money instead for a cheap flight around the world!!!

We visited Portland Pace, a replication project of On Lok which started in the late eighties. Only two members of AIC were able to come but we had a great time seeing the very successful Pace program sponsored by Providence Hospital... but we also had some fun taking a side trip up the Columbia River.

In San Francisco the rest of the team joined us. With them was Dr. Jennifer Lee, the AIC president whom I met a couple of years ago and who encouraged me to come to Singapore and share with them my On Lok experience.

Because of AIC's interest in various aspects of the longterm care field, we visited not only On Lok in San Francisco, but also the Jewish Home for the Aged, Hospice by the Bay Area and Selfhelp for the Elderly. With all this activity, time for me in San Francisco was quite short.

After the AIC group left I flew to Washington and Arlington where I stayed with my friends, celebrated July 4th and saw some old On Lok supporters. Things have changed and I am glad that in the present financial and political turmoil I no longer have to worry about funds to take care of frail elderly!! To me the present situation in the USA has been a sad and depressing experience.

On July 7th I flew to Switzerland where Vickie Lewis, a friend from the marina in Singapore joined me for an exploration of my native country. We put together several excursions and I must say, I have not seen so much of Switzerland all at once, in all the years since I have left in 1954. As in the USA, much has changed among other things too, the economic situation. In 1954 I paid Sfr. 4.50 for a US $ - today the dollar has sunk to about 79 cents! I guess it helps to pursue economics and the welfare of people instead of worldwide wars!

Otherwise the most stunning difference was the change of the origin of todays toursists. When we went up to the Jungfrau Joch, the train was jammed with tourists.... from...the US as in the past? No chance: they were mostly from Korea, Japan, China and most surprising... India. In the train I felt as if I were in Singapore!

Though the weather in Zuerich in July was very cool and often overcast, our trips were blessed with good weather in the mountains and particularly in the Italian part of Switzerland.. the Ticino.

All in all our stay turned out to be great with all its trips and little local sidetrips. After Vickie left, I flew back to Singapore with Qatar Airlines via Doha, the home town of my favorite news agency: Al Jazeera.

Since then I have kept myself busy with some activities with Hua Mei and AIC and also visitors, watercolor painting classes and Mandarin lessons on Skype. As some of you might remember In 1984/85 I went to Beijing to learn Mandarin. Much of it I forgot due to lack of practice but.... thanks to Skype and my teacher in Xian (and of course the Mandarin speaking Singaporeans) it is coming back. Who knows I might even risk a trip back to Beijing and Shanghai in the future. It might well be a shocking experience with all the changes there!

I am keeping this blog with sailblog though I have not been sailing and don't know what the future holds - but I still dream of taking some more short cruises around here if I find good and patient crew. But in the meantime I try to keep the boat up to snuff... not as easy in Singapore as New Zealand.

Since it is again close to Xmas - I am taking the opportunity to wish you all Happy Holidays and a very good 2012!

(NOTE: I have downloaded my slideshows to YouTube and then added them to this blog. Though you have to wait a little till they load up they are much nicer than when I download them directly. Have fun!

My life in Singapore 2011
11/20/2011


Trip around the World: USA
11/19/2011


Switerland: Glacier Express
11/18/2011


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Information about me
Port: San Francisco, CA
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Information about SV Dessert First: Type of boat: Corbin 39 Built by: Corbin Les Bateaux, Quebec, Canada Year launched: 1981 Designer: Dufour Construction: Fiberglass with Airex core Length: 39 ft. Width: 12 ft. Draft: 5.5 ft. Type of rig: Cutter Furling systems: Jib: Harkin Main: Reef Rite, New Zealand Auto Pilot: Alpha 3000 Watermaker: Spectra Solar panels and Wind Generator Auxiliar Engine: Yanmar 58 Life raft: Viking and dinghy
 
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