John F. Kennedy Airport, 1:30 A.M.: Twenty sleepy BCA students, Mrs. Sytsma, and Mr. Alschen board a Cathay Pacific airplane headed for Hong Kong, where we will then head to Singapore for YLEAD-a five day youth leadership conference. A sixteen hour flight ahead of us, we plan to adjust to Singapore time and experience the amazing plane food offered on the menu pictured below.
Arriving in Hong Kong at 5:30 A.M., we rush through security and find a Starbucks in Gate 1. Many of us walk back from Gate 40, where our flight to Singapore is scheduled, to grab a bite to eat, and are blown away by the quality items offered, including Croque Monsieur, Belgian Chocolate Cake, and Chocolate Almond Danish. We also had Asian flavored/inspired drinks, such as the Peach Jelly Green Tea and Passion Fruit Mango Tea. After a three hour layover, BCA is ready to take on Singapore.
After arriving in Singapore, we are greeted by students from the YLEAD program, and led to a bus where we would be taken to our hostel. Along the drive, we viewed many skyscrapers and were able to take in the amazing architecture in Singapore’s cities.
Arriving at Boon Lay Drive, their hostel, we are given a quick briefing on hostel policy and the YLEAD schedule. Afterwards, we headed to the nearby mall to grab lunch and any essentials we may need for our stay. The mall itself was a great learning experience because we were able to eat local food, pay in Singapore dollars, and explore stores that were uniquely Singaporean. Part of the interior of the mall was set up like a street, with street food vendors and shops labeled with bright neon signs, as pictured below.
After a long day, we arrive back at the hostel and prepare to get as much sleep as possible for the intense week ahead at River Valley High School’s YLEAD conference.