After being in Singapore for a few weeks and visiting all of the major attractions, all of my friends and I were aching to go out and explore more. At the time, we could not yet leave the country because our student visas had not been processed yet. So, our first real adventure here in Singapore was visiting the nearby island of Pulau Ubin. A group on campus called GEM Club organized this event in order to intermix international students with local Singaporean students on a field trip to Pulau Ubin.
I was not too excited at first, simply because I was counting down the days until I could get on a plane and explore one of Singapore’s neighboring counties like Thailand or Vietnam. But as I got on the boat headed for Pulau Ubin, I looked around me and saw everyone’s smiling faces amidst the beautiful natural scenery, and I knew it was going to be a great day.
On the island, we rented bicycles so that we could cover more ground considering we only had a few hours to explore so much land. The bumpy rocky roads made biking difficult and I even fell in the mud once – but now that is just a funny memory that I can look back on! One of my favorite parts of the day was parking our bikes and hiking up to the highest point on Pulau Ubin Island. Of course, because we are right on the equator and it rains every day in Singapore, it stormed during the entire hike up. Luckily it stopped when we got to the very top, here are some pictures from the view up there:
We continued biking around, running into the occasional herd of wild boars and group of monkeys. Overall, it was great to go out and adventure in one of the most beautiful islands in Singapore.
New Friends on the NTU Basketball team
While just wandering on campus, I heard loud American music and followed it to a gathering of students. I asked what this event was for, and they said to welcome students back to the school year (my kind of people)! After some chit chat and getting to know a few of the local girls, they invited me to join them for basketball training and to be an unofficial member on their team. I was so excited to befriend some of the local students and play some b-ball!
The next day was practice, but it was cancelled due to rain (typical). So, practice was pushed to the next week. We trained for hours practicing shooting, lay-ups, and their special game strategy to beat the opposing team. It was a great time and I have these great pictures to remember that day:
Since then I still keep in touch with the girls I met on the team and run into them occasionally on campus.
These moments keep me looking forward to what is to come. I am always searching for what my next adventure will be.
Ashley Kahen is earning a bachelor’s degree in Sociology at San Diego State University. She is blogging from Singapore during spring semester 2016.