Friday, June 30

Millenium Park video installation


Downtown Chicago

This really looks like a United Colours of Benetton ad.

Hello beautiful

The Bean @ Millenium Park

Monday, June 26

Gabe: Die kitchen sink. DIE.

Isaac: Eat crowbar.

Sunday, June 25

Photos from the New Orleans trip. It's been 9 months since Hurricane Katrina struck. From what we've seen, you can only stop and ask, "why does it still look like the hurricane happened yesterday? Why isn't anything being done?"

There's A House On My Car

God save New Orleans

Our accomodation

Chad and Eric!

Good job ladies! Danae, Jenny and Carrie.

Charles evaluates the damage.

Yes. That is a boat on the roof.

Brings new meaning to, "bringing the house down".


There used to be a jungle around this house before we were done.

Friday, June 23


That's how the locals pronounce New Orleans in their Southern slang.

It's been 4 days of gutting houses, mowing lawns, taking out the trash and doing some serious "redecorating".

Had a night out in the French Quarter, toured the infamous Bourbon Street, where the annual sinfest known as Mardi Gras goes through, and sipped iced coffee at the famous Cafe Du Monde (Although I had no idea it was famous until I got here). Went by the famous House of Blues where Louis Armstrong and other jazz greats played, but didn't go in unfortunately. It was packed!

We've made some good friends, and had such a meaningful week trying to reach out and evangelise to the community here. This trip alone has made my US Summer Work and Trvael Programme worth it.

Back to Sandusky, Ohio tomorrow. I heard there was a storm while we were gone and there were flash floods!

Pictures coming up soon!

Monday, June 19

The Big Easy Has It Tough

Houses with roofs ripped off; road signs scattered on the road sides; boats carried miles inland; entire trees snapped into two like twigs. 9 months on, and you can still see traces of the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina.

We've been on the road for close to 18 hours, and for the past 150 miles, we've been seeing the devestated landscape. Coming into the suburbs of New Orleans, you see trash everywhere, and entire neighbourhoods abandoned. It's reallly like a scene out of Dawn of the Dead, or 28 Days Later, where the streets are completely deserted, and the houses are barely standing.

Water marks are on almost every building that survived the storm. They show where the water level stood for weeks. Some of the water levels reached as high as 3 metres. Huge "X"s are drawn on the abandoned houses, to tell others that they've been searched after the storm. Numbers written beneath the "X"s indicate the date the house was searched, and the number of dead bodies they found inside.

Isaac, Charles and I are staying at the Celebration Church. We've come with about 40 others from The Chapel in Sandusky, Ohio. The people have been so welcoming and I truly thank God that we've come for this trip. We've barely been here a morning, but the stories we've been hearing are heart wrenching. People losing literally everything they own. Nobody to turn to. Not even the government was quick to respond.

Passed by the Superdome, where they housed thousands after the storm. Construction work is still ongoing, to patch up the damaged roof. It was unreal enough seeing all these scenes of turmoil and destruction on TV. To see it in real life is just mind blowing.

We haven't gotten down to gutting the houses yet, which is most likely what we'll be doing. It involves cleaning out the house of all the personal belongings left behind, and taking out the dry walls, which have gathered so much mould over the past 9 months. It's literally stripping down the whole house to its bare structure.

I was speaking to Carrie, who helps run the Celebration Church. If there's anything good that came out of Katrina, it's that people have been turning to God, because after the storm, the suddenly realised that they can't live forever, and having seen so much death around them. Todd, who's the security guard, and does evangelism as well told me so many instances of people who just break down in the streets after being evangelised to.

New Orleans really needs help right now.

Saturday, June 17

Power Tower


Friday, June 16

Post Accident Celebrations

So we're getting a cheque of 931 US dollars for the damage done to the car! Cos' the car's still running fine, we've decided we won't repair it and use the money for other repairs and gas money, and split the remainder if any. That pretty much reinburses us for almost the full cost of the car. What a blessing in disguise.

Work has been pretty mundane of late, and it's getting increasingly harder to motivate myself to call out to guests. I'm quite thankful for responsible supervisors, unlike the horror stories I'm hearing from my friends who work in the foods department.

Been in the same game, Break-a-plate for about 2 weeks now. Just to amuse myself, I've managed to master breaking the plates by throwing it backwards without looking. The face the guests make when they see me do it is priceless, especially when they dare you to break the plates to prove to them it can be broken. Cheap thrill.

I really miss the messages, the studies, and the fellowship back at ARPC. We try to make it a point to have weekly devotion and sharing sessions, and I try to keep up with my QT, although it's so tempting to skip it, because I'm just so tired after a days work. (*excuses, excuses gabe*)

Leaving for New Orleans this Saturday afternoon. 16 hour drive. Will reach the Big Easy at Sunday Noon, US Eastern Time.

Just a random note, but there seems to be a thief in the house. Just the other day, Esmond's change went missing, and now Isaac's iPod is gone. I really hope I'm mistaken. Gotta go to work now. Ciao guys.

Monday, June 12

Post Accident Trauma

We got into a minor accident with the car on Friday.

Ambrose was literally driving his first 200m with the car at the Cedar Point car park, getting used to the controls, when this crazy Chevy came out of a side road and got into our path, when it should have stopped. We slammed into the side of the other car, and our front bumper was slightly damaged. It was a good thing we were going really slowly, but the other car was going way too fast for us to react.

Looking back, I'm quite ashamed with how I reacted to the situation. Instead of being concerned with how everyone was. I slammed the dashboard, muttered some expletives and got out of the car to confront the driver, who turned out to be a young girl, about my age.

The cops happened to be in the area, and wrote up a report promptly, confirming that we were not in the wrong. It was such a frustrating morning.

All is not lost though. Interestingly enough, our insurance coverage could come up to be about 900 bucks, according to our mechanics estimate. We bought the car for 1000US, and if the insurance claim is approved, we could very well get back close to the full cost of the car. The damage done is merely cosmetic, so I don't think we intend to use the insurance money to repair it.

This whole incident has taught me how much more I have to learn when it comes to patience, and looking back, we were really fortunate to get away with just a damaged bumper. If Ambrose was travelling any faster, the other car would have smashed into the side of our car instead, and that could have been a different story altogether. I really have a lot to thank God for, for protecting us this far.

This comes on the heels of some really bad news we heard a few days back, before the Straits Times mentioned it. Apparently, a 21 year old girl from NUS on the same Work and Travel Programme that we're in, died in a car accident in Canada, while on the way back from shopping, to her work place in Alaska.

On another note, Jem, Jerald, and the rest of their UMich gang came down from Ann Arbor today. It was really good to see more Singaporean faces. It's only when you're abroad when you hold on to your national identity more.

Ambrose: **!@#$!

Oh crap.

Grand and Jos.

Ken, one of our cool Thai friends.

This is where I work.

The brothers at the Point.

Millenium Force. 60 degree drop. 150km/h.

Thanks for coming down from Ann Arbor guys!

Charles took my game for the day. Break-A-Plate!


Possibly the biggest swing in the world. The Skyhawk.

Monday, June 5

Random Notes From Sandusky

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream sells for US$2.50 at the local supermarket. I've been eating a pint every 2 days.

We just bought a car for US$1k. Carol, Debbie, Yongchang and me. A 1995 sky blue Oldsmobile! It's really retro and old school. 80000 miles and great resale value. Just pray it doesn't break down when it takes us to Chicago.

It was cool to see real Pistons and Caveliers fans trash talk each other when they played. Sandusky is in between Detroit and Cleveland, so when the Playoffs were on, everyone was crazy over it. Oh well. Go Miami!

Riding roller coasters has some what lost its charm. After a while, no matter how high the drop, they all seem like the same thing. We're working on how to pose for the coaster cameras now.

They've moved me to a new game called Break-A-Plate, where people use 2 baseballs to break 2 plates. It's a lot better than my previous game, cos' I give out a lot more prizes, and I don't get complaints about the game being rigged as often now.

What's next? New Orleans. Cleveland. Chicago. Detroit. Poconos Mountains in Penn. Boston. New Jersey. New York City!

Saturday, June 3

University of Michigan Law Library. Can anyone say, Harry Potter?

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Chun Yi and me!

Jem and Jer! It's been too long bros!

Harold and Kumar. Eat your heart out.

I know they're building smaller cars to cut down on fuel consumption, but...

New Orleans, LA

Found a church to attend. It's called The Chapel. It's non-denominational and the style of worship is pretty contemporary. Quite thankful that the messages are sound and the people are welcoming. Our host, Peggy was really accomodating and hospitable. Really thank God for her, and the love she's shown us. She actually fetched us to and from our accomodation, and told us that if we needed anything, we only need ask.

They're organising a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana from 18-24 June, to help out with relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina struck about a year ago. Apparently, up till today, some parts of New Orleans are still in disrepair. Isaac, Charles and I have decided to sign up, and we've managed to get leave from work for it thankfully.

It's not exactly gonna be a holiday, and I really hope that God will use us somehow, to touch lives, no matter how little, and ultimately, they will see the love of Jesus through the actions of the church members. I don't know how much we can accomplish in one week, but I just pray everything will work out, and that everything will go smoothly.

We're definately not there for Mardi Gras.

Thursday, June 1


Thank God for great friends.

Thank God for a safe journey.

Thank God that we didn't get a speeding ticket.