Our first week felt much like a rollercoaster ride: racing through highs and lows and ultimately just holding on until the ride was finished. The potent combination of fatigue and excitement has left me with wobbly knees as I stand to face this new week. I’ll recap some of our ride for you here:
Singapore’s public transport and city planning inspire wonder. Our family has marveled at the intricate and efficient means the country uses to transport people safely while maximizing the limited space on the island. One way this is done is to build levels: buildings, MRT (like our subways), and walkways merge on multiple levels in each location. This layout provides opportunities to get a good work out in just going through each day.
We decided to try life here without a personal vehicle, which means we are walking much of the time. Here are some iPhone Health Stats for me this week:
- Avg. Miles per day: 8.3
- Avg. Flights Climbed: 20.5
- Avg. Steps per day: 20,089
If this keeps up, I’ll be a much thinner version of myself when I visit home at Christmas! We also use GRAB, a service like UBER in the States, and have met some wonderful people who have driven us around and shared their stories. We ride the MRT most of the time to cross the island, but have also tried the bus.
Learning to navigate this system has provided some of our most stressful and humorous moments this week. Thankfully, Singaporeans are gracious with obvious newcomers!
Highlights and Accomplishments:
We have enjoyed more of Singapore’s beauty since my last post. Here are some pics and their locations:
This slideshow contains shots from our trip up to Mount Faber Park. The panoramic shot is looking across to Sentosa Island.
On Saturday, we worked on inspecting our new home, then went hiking at Bukit Timah. It was another uphill climb to peak the mountain, which is all my children live for, so we tackled it with gusto and varying levels of speed. All of us made it to the top.
We received our air shipment from home on Saturday as well. We opened up the house and moved boxes inside to sit while we waited for the house to be cleaned. Here are some pics of our new home from the inside:
Chris left us on Saturday night to travel to Paris for work. Tough gig, huh?! While he is away this week, I am determined to keep getting out of our apartment and making memories with the young ones.
Sunday morning, I was excited to revisit the church Chris and I had gone to on our look-see last October. I just had to figure out how to get us all there. The Citymapper app has been really helpful our first week. However, it failed us on Sunday morning, directing us to an MRT station over a mile away from church. We arrived barely on time, with pools of sweat appearing through our Sunday best. The church was crowded and God bless the people squished up against us!
The entire service blessed us. Worshipping in a truly multicultural setting makes my soul soar. Living as a minority member of a culture for the first time has already taught us a lot. There’s another blog post for that discussion; but I reveled in my new reality on Sunday. Looking around the room and seeing representatives from each continent heralded heaven.
The sermon was introducing a series on Acts and the pastor’s vision on biblical missions. His passion for a global gospel to be lived out in that church echoed all that God has poured into my heart. For the first time I felt at home in Singapore, because Christ is Christ everywhere, and I found him in that church. Here is a link to the church if you are interested in knowing more about it: International Baptist Church of Singapore.
Leaving to go back to our apartment was difficult. I wanted to jump in to all God has for us in Singapore right then, but He has given me some other things to do first, like actually move in and figure out how to meet daily necessities!
If all I showed you were the beautiful pictures and highlights, it wouldn’t be a real picture of our life here. So, I’ll share some ongoing challenges to balance out your perspective.
- Getting our beloved dogs over here proves an ongoing challenge despite hiring a pet relocation service. We appreciate your prayers that they will arrive safely this week.
- Missing our beloved friends and family. It is painful to leave home and know that life goes on without you. Memories are being made that we are not part of and we are missing significant life events of those we love. That’s just awful.
- Floundering. When you join a new culture, you don’t fit in AT ALL. We have made many missteps this week, just trying to learn how to do simple things.
- FATIGUE. When finding food that your family will eat three times a day requires great effort, you go to bed tired. Learning how to do anything demands a lot of energy and that is flowing out of us constantly right now. It’s getting better each day, but I miss the ease of familiarity.
There are always richer stories than a recap can communicate, but I’ll have to save them for when we get to talk. Hopefully, this shares a glimpse of our first week in Singapore that helps you see some of our lives here. If you finished this long post, thanks for hanging in there; you are the mighty!
Love the blog, Dyana! What is Chris doing in Singapore? Love your new home! A new country and a new culture are always good to challenge us! I assume that English is still the primary language?
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Thanks, Gene! Chris accepted a position managing Asian assets for his company. So, he will be traveling a lot and we hope to join him on some of those trips. English is still the official language which is a great help to us. Two of the children are studying Mandarin this year which will help too 😉
Thank you for the update! Continuing to pray for the Robbins as you all navigate this new adventure the Lord has you on! Grateful that church was soothing to your soul & helped you feel at home!
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Love your blog Dyanna. So glad you made it to Rodney’s church. He grew up in Central Baptist in Port Arthur. I was so fortunate to be in Sunday School classes taught by his mother and then a couples class taught by his father. They were both home missionaries and were huge influences on my life. I will be praying for you on this new adventure.
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Thanks. Patsy. It is near to hear the connection you have to Rodney. If I get the chance to talk with him, I will tell him you said hello!
Patsy, I got to meet with Rodney briefly last week. I shared your greeting and he remembered you instantly with a lot of fondness. He seems to be a really living man and gifted pastor.
Love reading your posts & seeing your photos. I pray that everyone continues to adjust and settle in fine. Will you home school there?
Your stories reminded me of what it was like to move to Texas, believe it or not. It was a definite change of culture, but we managed, LOL. Sending love & hugs 💕
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Thanks, Nancy! We have enrolled the kids in Stamford American School here. I had considered homeschooling here so that we could travel more but decided to try school for at least our first year to help them settle in better and give me a break for a while. You’ll hear how that decision pans out in future posts!