Tendekayi had a meeting with the Singapore Association for the Deaf, and he was okay with us following along to film it. We found ourselves a taxi outside of the port and headed to their building. We met some of the leaders of the association, two of whom were deaf, and had a great meeting. They showed us around the school, and we got to meet a small class of deaf students. They came out to the courtyard and showed us where they lived on the map of the world that was painted there, and then we showed them where we live. All they know of the United States is New York City, so that's where we decided to be from. No problem.
They showed us around past the primary school and to the vocational school where they train people with disabilities to get jobs in the Singapore. Most of the work that's available for them is in hotel hospitality, so they are trained to cook, set tables and serve food in a beautiful kitchen and faux restaurant set-up, as well as trained to clean hotel rooms in a staged hotel room complete with a viewing room on the side to watch as others work. It's fantastic!
They led us upstairs where they would like to put the Solar Ear lab where people with hearing loss would build hearing aids and solar chargers for sale in southeast Asia. Right now, Solar Ear plants are in Botswana where it started, Brazil and Shanghai (where we visited - watch for that episode next week!) and they will be putting one in India and now they're planning for one in Singapore. Go Solar Ear!! Growing like crazy and changing the perceptions of people with hearing loss on an international level. Hopefully, this lab would become a source of income for the vocational school to help grow all of their other programs.
|Matt, Shawna and Nizam chillin' at the Hawker Centre.|
We were there to meet with Nizam, a freelance videographer that has worked for the BBC and National Geographic. He was on the ship from Vietnam to Singapore doing a story for the BBC on Unreasonable at Sea. He used to work for the BBC full time, but found that he didn't have as big of a variety of projects as he wanted, so he went freelance, but still gets jobs from them on occasion. He's a very adventurous fellow, and he's covered things like the tsunami in Japan as it was happening.
|Kaya toast and magic Singaporian coffee.|
Well, Nizam took us to the Hawker Centre where they had a huge food court full of separate stands of Asian food. It was a wonderful bouquet of smells and tastes and things to see. AAAH! It was wonderful! So...it turns out that you can get single "portions" of the curry at the "Hawker" centre. The cab driver was trying to tell us that we didn't have to order the family portion, just the small portion of it. Makes for a funny story later.
|We had to get another cup of coffee to go, and|
it came in these convenient dangle carriers.
After lunch, we made our way back to the ship, so that we can embark to Myanmar this evening. It sounds like Matt and I will get a little bit of time off in Myanmar, and I'm very much looking forward to that.