Departure Day. I arrived at 8.45am expecting to have to wait some time before seeing anybody else and was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few of our group waiting patiently. So with no major dramas or panics we were able to check in by the required time and made our way to the departure area. An hour before boarding we took the compulsory group photo and after farewells and a few tears headed into the customs area. Once again, no dramas, so we settled ourselves down, some into seats and others with their noses against the window for a last look at loved ones for a few weeks.
Boarding time arrived and anxiety and excitement levels went to another notch. Within no time we were in the air and on our way for another chapter in the Connecting Spirits story. As we began our descent into Singapore someone commented that it didn’t feel like we were in Singapore, to which Zac replied, “Nah! It feels like we’re on a plane”.
After landing we took a bus ride into the city with comments about the trees the green, , the roads, the drivers and the cars. We arrived at the hotel and quickly got ourselves sorted and headed out for a bite, well except the two whose keys didn’t work and needed to get their locks changed. Then to bed after a long day.
For many reasons this tour is special not the least of all with the inclusion of kids from Coomandook Area School, a tiny rural area school on the Duke’s highway out in the middle of the Mallee country. Four students come from this school with a total enrolment of only 170 from R-12…what a thrill to take these kids on the journey of a lifetime. In the Meningie cohort of eight students there are kids from families who have already sent older siblings on the 2006 – 2010 trips….Alysha the third of the Eckert kids, Zac the second of the Dave and Wendy Van Den Brink clan (and fourth van den Brink) and Jake, younger brother to Haley …what a treat to have such strong family links to our project! To complete the mix of schools the three girls from Birdwood: Verity who I taught in year 8, Demi the niece of our dear friend Judy and Anne who is new to me. We are privileged that Demi has been given permission to wear her Army Cadet uniform and I am thrilled that Ann will be singing our national anthem at key locations….move over Flo….you have a new apprentice in the wings! As ever the excitement never wanes as we share in the kids’ first ever overseas experience. Bring it on!