Of workshops, chapter reviews, and a day at the beach

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My official Fulbright program ended last week, but I still have a lot to do to finish up my Capstone Project and organize its paperwork. Procrastinating? Perhaps. It’s all due by the end of July so I still have a few weeks…

Even though my Fulbright program has officially ended, I will be staying in and around Singapore until August. I’m not as busy as I was earlier in the year, but I am still finding things to do.

On Friday, I will be co-facilitating a drama as pedagogy workshop for primary school Tamil language teachers. I am looking forward to the workshop; I have taught a drama course for ELL students at my school in Seattle for six years, so I am very interested to experiment with and learn about drama / second language techniques the teachers here are using.

The section of the workshop I am faciltiating will be on community development – how to create a safe classroom community for creative self expression. I’ll be facilitating the workshop with a drama teacher and a Chinese language teacher who will focus on improvisation and text based content. These teachers are from Nanyang Girls School. Should be fun.

At the end of next week, I am going to participate in the Singapore National Arts Council inaugural? Pocket Rocket event. The event, from what I understand, is intended to encourage young people to pursue creative community based projects. I get 20 minutes to inspire / share. Seems TED-like Must. think. of. something. cool.

In the next few weeks I’ll be writing an article for the Singapore Drama Educator Association’s annual publication, Dramatise. I’ve been asked to share my impressions of drama education in Singapore in the article. I’m excited to have this opportunity; SDEA is a truly amazing and inspirational organization dedicated to strengthening theatre / drama education in Singapore. I want to support them in any way I can. Amazing people.

I am also currently reviewing a chapter for a new book on theatre in Singapore. The chapter is about drama / theatre education. I am looking forward to reading it.

Oh, yeah, and I’m headed to Malaysia this weekend to go on a firefly Boat tour – cool! – and then to Bangkok for a week mid- July.

In the midst of all of this worky stuff, I am still making going to the beach a priority. Some photos here of a lazy Sunday afternoon at Changi Beach in Singapore.

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And then… Macau

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Macau has a lot of casinos. I am not a big fan of that form of entertainment, so when I recently visited Macau, we hiked up Penha Hill, trolled around the old part of the city, and ventured up to the ruins of St. Paul, a church built in the beginning of the 17th century.

Macau is a fascinating mix of culture (Portugese and Cantonese – the signs are in both languages as is the architecture of the city) and of SES. On one side of the street are massive casinos filled with gold boats and crystal chandeliers, and if you look in the other direction there are apartment buildings in disrepair.

One of the most memorable parts of the trip was walking around the fishing village of Coloane, a 30 minute bus ride away from the casinos. On our walk through the town, we saw two women making Macanese dumplings. We watched them work for a minute, and then they invited us to come in for a few minutes. That was a wonderful experience.

Here are some photos from the trip…

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Holiday in Hong Kong

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I spent the last week in Hong Kong visiting my friend Sunil, meeting with theatre ed colleagues, and going on adventures with my Singaporean friend, Edna.

The first full day I was there I made a pilgrimage to the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island. Because of the high winds the cable car wasn’t operating, so I took a bus there. It was one of the most peaceful and serene places I have ever been. On the top of one of the hills is the “Big Buddha,” a massive statue which also houses an exhibit, relics, and a shrine. It was quite a hike getting to the top of the hill, but worth it – the view was fantastic, and walking around inside the Big Buddha was a fantastic experience.

I was able to take the cable car back to Tung Chung Station which was amazing. I had the car to myself, so I could move around and take photos through the rain splattered windows.

That evening Sunil and Rachel and I went out for some local cuisine. We ate street food (my favorite being a sort of reversed waffle) and some deeelicous steamed milk.

The next day I met up with Edna, and we headed out to the New Territories in search of the Wishing Tree and walled villages. We left our wishes at the Wishing Tree, praying for them by writing the wishes on paper scrolls, lighting joss sticks (they wer lit with a blow torch – no joke), and then moving the scrolls around the top of the joss sticks. We left them hanging there…

After a deeelicious meal of local noodles and brisket, we went on an adventure down the heritage trail, a 5k walk through small villages, many of which still have their original clan walls. Unlike busy Hong Kong, we were the only tourists anywhere to be seen. It was great.

Hong Kong is much different than Singapore; the people seem more relaxed and friendlier. It was really easy to get around; the public transport is easy and cheap. In fact, everything in Singapore was much cheaper than in Singapore…

After a few days in Hong Kong, Edna and I took the ferry to Macau…

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