Volunteer Time at Food Bank Singapore

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I’ve been doing a lot of volunteer time with the folks at the Food Bank Singapore for the last couple of years. When I lived in New York, our school would often have food drives for the NYC Food Bank and so when I moved to Singapore and found that my school had the start of a relationship with the fairly new Food Bank Singapore, I thought that this some work I could carry through from my last experience.

In my roles at the International School, I supported the development of the relationship of the school and the Food Bank by inviting representatives to give information sessions to students, enabling students to hold events to support the Food Bank, and organizing volunteer Saturdays for staff and families.

Although I have left that school community, I didn’t want my relationship with the folks at the Food Bank to cease because this is eradicating hunger is a cause I strongly believe in. The system isn’t ideal here in Singapore, but they are doing fairly well securing donations from large companies, hotels and the general public for beneficiaries. This community support clearly benefits the 10% of Singaporeans that are food insecure, but of course, the hope is that over time these beneficiaries will be able to become food secure on their own (as with any public service to the community).

If you are looking for a place to volunteer, Food Banks offer a number of different opportunties. Here are some of the things I’ve helped out with:

  1. Inventorying food at the warehouse
  2. Packing food bundles for beneficiaries
  3. Help littlies pack bags for delivery in the community
  4. Canvassing at the Food Expo & other large events
  5. Raising awareness of local food waste problems
  6. Assist at the Grab & Go (free food pick-ups to beneficiaries)
  7. Leading students in sorting food
  8. Chatting with many volunteers
  9. Data entry of requests and food distribution
  10. Researching worldwide food waste issues, etc.

Likely there is something that you may be interested in helping with, so get out there and do it!

 

 

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Just When You Need It

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The last couple of weeks at work had me running near empty. Feeling like I was torn in so many directions, all energy spent. While still keeping up with the fitness routine as a way to barely stay balanced, I felt myself slipping into the abyss of exhaustion and negativity.

Since moving to and starting work in Singapore last year, I had mostly removed counting down to the next holiday because life became more manageable. But isn’t it true that the longer you invest your time in a place, the more work you take on? I’m a bit of a “yes” phase right now, and I’m okay with the saying yes… it’s just more like actual adulting again. So anyway, because the start to the year was more hectic than last – but in different ways – I found myself counting down to the long weekend.

And then it arrived! How glorious! The long weekend and a nice weekend getaway to Langkawi with Brett and a few friends. True be told, we all needed a recharge. Just a couple of days relaxing at the pool bar, reading, eating and enjoying each other’s company.

Grateful to have these opportunities to get away like this, especially with such lovely people.

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travelwireasia.com

Versions of Home

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We all have our own versions of home. For some it’s the house you grew up in, for others it’s where family is.

For me, home is where I love to be, where I’ve grown and become a better person, and where my loved ones are. I’m one of those fantastically lucky people who has physical homes in three countries, and in versions of home in several locations sprinkled around the planet, wherever my loved ones happen to reside.

Last week I came back from a great trip to New York and Washington, D.C. I had been in New York in March and was unsure of my feelings about being back upon arrival. I equated the uneasiness to the poor weather, maybe not enough detachment time yet.

This time, when I arrived to JFK after a long 23 hour journey, I felt like I was coming home to this beautiful summery place. I guess I’ve already become a fair-weather New York lover, completely detaching myself from anywhere/time that will have a temperature less than 25 degrees Celsius… But there’s just something about the beauty of a city being in full bloom and people being in summer mode. It was so lovely and I looked forward to being there.

This trip, I really bounced around, splitting my nights between hotels and friend’s homes, which was fun. I managed to store my luggage as I moved around. Plus summer clothes make it so easy to throw things in a small bag for a night or two, and be on your way. I easily fell into the same summer groove that I’ve known for the past nine summers. The trip to DC was fun and normal, and my conference was fab as usual.

And at the end of a packed 12 days, I felt like I was leaving home to go home, a different version of it anyway. My most comfortable version of home is wherever Brett and I are together, and that could really be anywhere. I have a lot of people to thank for making my trip to my New York home an excellent one, and I look forward to all of my trips home, whether it’s Edmonton, New York, or Singapore… or wherever that may be in the future.

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I Need To Be Out

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Ok, finally have settled into summer… It’s taken three weeks… But that doesn’t mean I’m relaxing full time. I’ve got things to do like work out obsessively!

I had been feeling a little tired in the mornings until this week (maybe from so many boot camp classes?) so would generally wait until late morning (9am – ha! 11ish) before venturing out and establishing my “summer routine”.

When out, this is what I noticed:

  1. I draw my energy from my surroundings. I need to be out soaking it up. When I’m not, I feel tired and lazy. When I’m out, I’m good to go! (No surprise here 😉 )
  2. I don’t mind the copious amounts of sweat dripping down my back in the humidity.
  3. I don’t mind walking for miles, feeling the tiredness in my feet watching people, looking at the architecture, flowers, snails, birds, geckos, trees, construction, the river, the bay, construction and more construction. And please note – I do actually stop to smell the flowers.
  4. I look forward to stopping at a local store or coffee shop to get an iced drink or take a look at the new treats I can find like some random flavor of Oreo or Kit-Kat.
  5. I prefer walking for miles than sitting in one place for too long.
Flowers I smelled at Gardens by the Bay

Flowers I smelled at Gardens by the Bay

While I didn’t actually learn these things about myself, I was reflecting the person I am and why I do the things I do.

It’s because I have ADHD (self-diagnosed, of course), or TADHD (the teacher version of ADHD) which you know if you’ve been reading my blog over time!

Ok, enough sitting. The day is almost over – it’s noon! Must get up and go somewhere else.

Summer Anxiety

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One of the beautiful parts of the school year is the routine. Routine provides me with the feeling of contentment and a sense of productivity.

When summer comes around, I get thrown off course. As much as it’s lovely to have time for whatever I want or need to do, I feel the uneasiness of a lack of routine. The first few days off are always the time literally get away and detach for me, but when I return home, I need structure.

I go through this sort of summer anxiety in which I’m getting bearings about what I want or need to do in this time that I have. I feel like I need to fill it to the brim with reading, writing, walking, exploring, learning, organizing, booking … seriously – I need to calm down! Goodness knows I can’t have nothing to do… severe summer ADHD! There has never been a summer where I had no travel or additional work plans.

This summer is much more about diverse travel experiences since we have moved overseas, but my in-between time is a little muddled and disconcerting, however by no means in a negative way. I’m still getting used to the relaxed feel of the mornings, and determining my day plans when I’m ready to get up (when in reality I have them roughly settled in my mind the night before). Soon enough I will feel established in my summer routine, and if I don’t – that’s ok too.

I just need to get over it. (Exhaling…)

 

 

Merging Life

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I’ve been struggling with writing two blogs, so I really haven’t written much in the last few months… Booooo! So that’s why I’ve made a decision. I’ve decided that having a second blog (Next Stop Singapore) for this chapter in my life is just too much work!

While living in Southeast Asia has been a new chapter for me, it doesn’t make sense to separate it from my regular Jibbery Jab life. I’ve missed jibbering and jabbering so I’m moving my NextStopSing posts and events over to JibberyJab so I can streamline my life in the blogosphere.

I’ve appreciated the comments, likes and the time you all spend reading my mostly trivial, and maybe sometimes thoughtful words. Happy to say that I’ll be jibberjabbery more again! I swear!

writinghouse.org

writinghouse.org

 

Ok, It’s Happening

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I admit it! And I knew it would happen! I miss fall!

I was a little confused that I kept seeing so many first-day-of-fall posts on Facebook. Is it fall? I feel like I’m really time/season-warping since Singaporean weather is basically the same everyday. So… to get myself in the mood for “fall”… had to get my toes painted orange! Had to! I always do!

While I’m quite enjoying the consistent weather, I am kind of missing the change to slightly cooler temps, the soon-to-be changing colors, and slipping into light layers of fall clothing. I have nothing against wearing a sweater, t-shirt and jeans, or a long-sleeved shirt and a skirt with some shoes. Honestly, I’m growing tired of my summer ware… I know, I know… #firstworldproblems. Stores are in full swing of selling fall ware. What? Jeans, jackets, flannels in this climate? I can’t really fathom wearing the same fall clothes here that I would wear in New York. I haven’t worn pants or shoes since the end of July!

So anyway, all I’m saying is… I miss you fall. But you can’t trick me! I know what happens next!
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I’m Not Abandoning You

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Hello Jibber Jabber followers!

Just letting you know that I am not abandoning you! I have simply started a new blog called Next Stop Singapore that will be about my life abroad. I may post some general stories to Jibber Jabber here and there, but I’ll mostly be posting on the new site.

I certainly hope you will follow, read, like, comment and share!

Thank you for your time following my site(s)!

tmb

Restored Belief

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Let’s face it, the world is a huge mess right now: backlash against the police, non-peaceful protesting, shootings, hostage situations, and on… Luckily for me, I feel like spending time in Singapore has restored my belief in kindness and humanity.

Having time away from NYC and being able to spend time getting to know some new communities reminded me that there are places that can be peaceful, even in a large urban center.

My belief in the kindness of people has been stored…

How refreshing for a government agent to understand your circumstance and try to make things a little easier for you by giving you a few extra minutes at the counter to get your things together.

How lovely that people can just wait patiently in comfy chairs for their numbers to pop up on the screen at the post and government offices.

How peacefulness watching traffic flow without the constant blowing of horns.

How novel having a cashier that actually smiles and greets you because she enjoys her job.

How deliberate people are to leave the particular seats open on the train for people who really need them.

How calm a crowd can be, ensuring that everyone is enjoying themselves.

Of course I’m not saying there is no kindness in New York; it just seems few and far between when you go to a place where it’s so prevalent. Now that I’m back in the city, I’ll look be looking more diligently for that kindness. I want to keep my restored belief in people. But when I feel that belief diminishing, I will be the kindness and humanity, in the hopes that it will restore other’s belief in it too.

 

Five More Hours

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It’s 7pm on NYE and I could just head to bed and go to sleep.

Brett and I had a nice late afternoon lunch and beer stop at an Aussie place here in Robertson Quay. I was quite impressed with the food and happy to see a Boston vs Detroit hockey game on the TV.

And now we are home… at 7pm on New Year’s Eve. This is not new; we aren’t New Year’s Eve people. But for today we said we’d have a nap and head down to the pool later, hoping to see the fireworks at Marina Bay.

We will see if that actually happens!

Have fun tonight, whatever fun is to you!

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