3 Weeks in Singapore

Trip Start Oct 20, 2004
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Trip End Apr 26, 2005


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Friday, February 25, 2005

SINGAPORE

Singapore is the perfect place to spend three days. We never anticipated staying so long in Singapore this time around, but the days quickly melted into one another; before we knew it a few days became three whole weeks. Though kept busy with our Sri Lanka boat project, we made time to have fun around Singapore with our friends. Our various dinners and outings consisted of a satay picnic in the park, a flower show on Sentosa Island, dinner at a Brasilian Churascaria, a tex-mex fiesta dinner on an American-style riverboat, the Chingay Parade, Chinatown, and Boat Quay, among other things. We tried to make the most of our down time, extracting fun from the headaches of our boat project.

Not that the boat project has been all headache. By the time we were in Singapore, Cast-A-Net Lanka was in full swing, with generous donations from friends and family providing boats, motors and nets for the fishing village of Kirinda. But the logistics of any such project are complex, and we met with a fair amount of frustration while trying to conduct business away from Sri Lanka. The boats were produced quickly in Colombo. Nets were sourced from India, and their purchase and delivery were rather easily arranged. However, the motors proved most difficult to find for different reasons. Since the tsunami, motor prices in tsunami-affected areas have doubled. To buy motors elsewhere would be great, until shipping and transport costs are figured into the equation. What's more, motors in Sri Lanka use a different combination of fuel than those of other countries. We encountered the latter obstacle while meeting with engine suppliers in Singapore, learning that kerosene was the preferred fuel option in Sri Lanka, and that Singapore doesn't use kerosene at all.

To spare additional boring details, we finally received a phone call from Ashfaque reporting that two reasonably priced motors had been located, thereby halting our seemingly never ending search for motors. The initial boat packages (boats/motors/nets) were all but ready for transfer, and it was time to return to Sri Lanka.
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