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The Diary of a Volunteer: Vision Screenings for Myanmar Monks

Myanmar. Rich in culture and, understandably, becoming an emerging tourist destination. Its name inspires visions of beautiful lakes, scenic mountains and numerous pagodas and temples. Nestled within a peaceful 500-acre area of land approximately 200 miles south of this beautiful country’s capital, Yangon, is the Pa Auk Forest Monastery, intended for practice of Samatha and Vipassana meditation. The monastery is home to more than 1,000 monks and nuns, along with yogis traveling to seek a retreat and a taste of the monastic lifestyle, relying wholly on donations and voluntary support.


Singapore Celebrates its 30th Deepavali

Deepavali or Diwali, as it is pronounced by the South or North Indians respectively, celebrates its 30th year in Singapore on November 6. The ancient origins of this festival, also known as the Festival of Lights, are recounted through varying legends. According to one version, Deepavali celebrates the return of Lord Rama and his family from exile by the hands of his devious stepmother who ousted him so that her own son could become the ruler. Another version tells the story of Lord Krishna who defeated the demon king Narakasura.


The 2018 Ambassador's Cup Golf Tournament

Every year the Ambassador’s Cup Golf Tournament is an enormous amount of fun and 2018’s event with AAS certainly didn’t disappoint. Golfers were absolutely delighted to be back in Malaysia and, with Palm Resort Golf & Country Club’s manicured greens and stunning tropical landscape, it wasn’t difficult to figure out why.


Halloween Away from Home

October brings with it one of the most fun festivals on the calendar: Halloween. Nowhere celebrates All Hallows Eve quite like it’s done in the US, but that’s not to say there aren’t any opportunities to don your vampire cape here in Singapore.


The Island in the Sky

If you’ve read Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels you’ll be familiar with the island of Laputa. If not, Laputa is an island about 4.5 miles across on which its inhabitants, who are obsessed with all things geometric and mathematical, levitate through a magnetic force in order to maneuver in any direction. At the center of their island are water basins to where rain gravitates and which are regulated by the sun to stop them from overflowing. Unlike other islands, though, Laputa floats high off the ground while Laputans peer down at the land below. That's what it feels like to stand at the top of Marina Bay Sands. You feel like you, the gardens and the 1.5 million liters of water in the infinity pool in front of you are somehow defying gravity.


World Mental Health Day: We Need to Talk

We’re getting better at talking about mental health. Public figures have, in recent years, come forward to open up about their own experiences which, to some degree, has encouraged the rest of us to speak more freely about mental health issues. We’re still not quite there, though. Many find discussing mental health taboo, too complex, too difficult to define and so the danger that it gets swept back under the carpet is still very real.


The Art of Design Down to a Science

Returning to Changi Airport is nearly my favorite part of any trip away from Singapore. There’s something about the crisp efficiency and meticulous cleanliness that never fails to soothe my travel-weary soul. What makes Singapore’s airport such a pleasant place to be? The marvel that is Changi Airport is the result of carefully considered design, inspired engineering and purpose-driven innovation.


Morocco - Where Tradition and Progression Embrace

“Hi, my name is Moulay!” said the mysterious man as he walked into my hotel lobby, the brilliant morning sun reflecting off his ivory teeth. With a broad grin, he continued “I will be your guide today!” As my gaze went from head to toe, I took in the full extent of his interesting mix of attire: Yankees baseball cap, designer sunglasses, traditional loose-fitting robe and desert sandals. Touching his heart with one hand and holding a mobile phone with the other, it was then that I knew my trip would be anything but predictable, singular or stereotypical. I had arrived in a land that blended modern and ancient, reformist and conservative, far western and near eastern so thoroughly that it created its own unique identity in the world. Welcome to the majesty and magnificence of the Kingdom of Morocco.


Navigating the Mustafa Centre

If you were thinking a visit to Mustafa Centre was all about a huge store full of Indian products and spices, think again. The Mustafa Centre is a mega discount department and grocery store. A cult favorite in the Singaporean shopping scene and rarely seen without a bustling crowd. It’s the best place to go if you’re after a bargain or enjoy shopping into the twilight hours


Educate to Innovate

“When I grow up, I want to be a YouTuber!” This is an increasingly common answer given by children when asked what they want to do when they grow up. The rapid growth in technology in the 21st century has changed our lives forever. iPads, Apple TVs and an increasing range of tech appliances are appearing in our schools as teachers attempt to prepare today’s children for tomorrow’s world. Educators the world over are revisiting their curriculum and asking questions such as: do elementary school children still need to learn handwriting? What does a 21st century curriculum look like? What will adequately prepare children for the future?