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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Voluntary Work and Marina Barrage Sustainable Singapore Gallery

8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018951
Tel: 6514 5959

We headed for Marina Barrage early, because of a volunteering event. It was my first time coming to Marina Barrage though I have heard of it quite sometime ago. It was airy, huge and place offering lovely views, no doubt about it.

I managed to take some photos, but mainly was with the group I came with. Some introductions, preparation and briefing went underway and then we waited for the people we were taking care of today to arrive. There were families and children, let's call them "our Ward" for the day.

We were divided into different groups to take care of the segregated groups of Wards as well. When they arrived, we introduced ourselves to them and had some ice-breaker games to warm everyone up.

Then we sat around the foyer and gave out the materials for everyone to decorate / design their own kites. Marina Barrage was known for kite-flying, wasn't it?

We went around to our Wards and helped them out while chatting with them about their Dreams, since it was what they were supposed to pain onto their kites. Some of the kids painted really nice pictures, whereas the others had interesting inspirations that piqued further queries from us.

Thankful that the weather was cloudy with no rain or scorching sun, we headed for level 3, the kite-flying level, where many families and kids were already happily chasing their kites that were soaring high in the air.

It was like, the first time I'd flown a kite (no pun intended), and it wasnt easy to maneuver for sure. I'd also learned that the tails by the sides and at the end of the kites are important assets to keeping the kites afloat, as well as ensuring there are no holes in the kites (some kites have holes for easy insertion of the supporting sticks).

Anyway, I took a walk around the vicinity while the Wards were happily flying their kites with the help of some of the volunteers. I didn't beg off my duty, worry not - just heading down to customer service to inquire about the ferry taxi service for one of the Wards.

Marina Barrage is such a serene, halcyon place to be, especially on a fair-weathered day like today.

After the fun of running in the wind and guiding the kites, it was time for a simple catered lunch of Nasi Lemak - omelet, fish cake, chicken karaage, peanuts, ikan bilis and rice cooked in fragrant coconut broth. The Wards enjoyed their lunch, and the experience of eating together with new friends.

Now it was time to get creative so we distributed some materials to the Wards - photo frames, stickers and colored pens etc. While they were busy decorating their simple photo frames and sharing the different sets of stickers, some of us went around taking photographs for the various families, so they could stick their family portraits onto the frames.

Following that, there was a tour organized by the staff at Marina Barrage, for us to view the gallery and understand the 3 Benefits of Marina Barrage, being water supply, flood control and lifestyle attraction.

The tour began at ground floor (level 1) where some history and background information was shared with us. The Wards were given a quiz sheet each to fill in during the course of the tour.

We noted the dams and their structures as the guide patiently explained their uses.

Then we went into the cool, air-conditioned gallery with this organic tree illuminated by three colors (red, green and white), symbolising the uncertain state of our present environment.

This feature wall is made enturely of Newater bottles.

Then we moved into another room where the education continued. It was gratifying to see that most of the Wards were fascinated and paid close attention, some even asking questions pertaining to the tour.

Here we learned the history of all of Singapore's reservoirs.

More impressive screens emphasizing the water supply systems.

Then some history of the flooding that occured in Singapore and the impact.

And how the issues were gradually resolved, through cleaning up of Singapore and Kallang rivers.

We moved along the gallery  through this beautiful that resembled rows of sparkling water drops.

The historical tour was enriching and educational for us, rewinding back into the arms of the past.

Here we overlooked the Pump House. The guide did explain it housed some important stuff but I cannot recall now.

Now we enter into Gallery 3, featuring the Active, Beautiful and Clean waters programme.

We see how the waterways in Singapore are revamped and beautified.

The rejuvenated waterworks bring communities together and forge common need to cherish this precious liquid.

Visitors even have the chance to create their own ideal waterways around their homes.

Gallery 4 showcases the innovative barrage model demonstrating how the Marina Barrage works.

This gallery also details the intricate construction and operations of the dam.

Here at Gallery 5, the careful planning , efforts and thoughts for an environmentally-sustainable country are illustrated.

The sustainable development story unfolds in the five chapters featuring different Singapore locations.

The tour continued up to level 3, The Greenhouse. The last part of our volunteering program concluded with some delectable cupcakes and fruits for the Wards, as well as an awards ceremony where prizes were presented to the winners of the various categories (kites, photoframes, tour quiz etc). My camera battery was flat by then, so no photos.

Anyway, it was a meaningful day well-spent, bringing simple joys to others, and in return feeling the joy ourselves.

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