Shells

August 29-Sept 1st

As a hermit crab grows up, it removes its shell and finds a new home. For some time, the crab is vulnerable and has to fit into a new shell. I felt like the hermit crab this week, trying to fit into my new home.

First, I tried some new activities. I played touch rugby, which my roommate coaches. At first, I accidentally threw the ball to the wrong team! It’s like no sport I’ve played before - you can only throw the ball backwards to your teammate. I also went to a movie from the environmental club. There, I learned about some of the environmental challenges Singapore faces. There is a strong reliance on fossil fuels and disposable lifestyles. Interestingly, some club members brought up the environmental impact of building infrastructure. I hope I will learn more about this through my time in the School of Design and Environment, where I conduct my research. Finally, I was part of a quick jam session where we performed a Coldplay song with guitars and percussion. I enjoyed trying these new skills.

A new home is also about the community. On Saturday, I went to Pulau Hantu on a day trip with Crest Secondary students. Pulau Hantu means ghost island based on a legend about two fighting warriors. It took 45 minutes by boat to get there, and it was a bumpy ride. After settling, our first task was to knock down a coconut with tennis balls. We eventually got it down with a large stick. Then, we tried to cook a meal together with the secondary students. They talked about their interests in school, and it was fun to cook with them. We had a difficult time starting the fire and keeping it warm enough to cook all the meat and vegetables, so we all shared whatever edible parts there were. After dinner, we played some sports and relaxed with our new friends. We even saw some hermit crabs!

Hermit Crabs at Pulau Hantu
Hermit Crabs at Pulau Hantu
Beautiful sunset at Pulau Hantu
Beautiful sunset at Pulau Hantu

That evening, I joined a group of exchange students around Chinatown, where we saw fireworks. We also visited the Night Festival, which had beautiful light shows. It was an exciting way to end the day in my new home.

I still have some things to learn from the hermit crab. I still stayed in my comfort zone this week. I ate McDonalds and Subway for dinner because I was scared to try new food. I bought Oreos instead of a similar Malaysian product. I didn’t want to try a new type of vegetable. But like the fearless hermit crab, I will try to overcome these fears and fit into my new home.

Highlights from Pulau Hantu

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