It’s Day 2 of DSG Hawaii Overseas Exchange program 2012, after a resting and relaxing Day 1, the boys and girls were ready to start their adventure with a sightseeing and educational tour to Pearl Harbour. Before the visit, the boys and girls had a morning physical training (PT) regime while one patrol would be away in the kitchen/dinning hall and taking charge of the breakfast for the rest of their friends. Our Hawaiian hosts/friends, Nancy, Wayson, Edwina, Betsy and Sterling would be there in the early morning to be with them when they were in the kitchen preparing breakfast, guiding and helping them with preparation, cooking and serving. As for me, I was shuttling between the PT regime, breakfast preparation in the kitchen, Flag Break Ceremony and breakfast time, capturing the moments and memories.
While the duty patrol was busy preparing in the kitchen, the other 3 patrols would be back from their PT regime. They would proceed with the morning Flag Break ceremony just like their usual Group Camp back home in Singapore. After the Flag Break ceremony, they proceed to the dining hall and would collect their breakfast together, each patrol waiting patiently for their turn and for their whole group to collect their breakfast ready to eat together, a trademark of Dragon Scouting, a sense of community bonding and closely knitted family.
After breakfast was over, the washing up was done by the duty patrol. The group prepared their water bottles, cameras and personal stuff. Dividing the group into 2 mini-vans and 2 cars, we were soon on our way to visit Pearl Harbour. The weather was simply superb, the clear blue skies, the gorgeous white silky clouds and wavy formations. The Pearl Harbour is a must visit location in Hawaii, world famous for her history, heritage and Pearl Harbour is gazetted as a National Park too. DSG had some time before the movie screening inside Pearl Harbour and we walked around the historic sites, taking many photographs, visiting gift shops and exploring museum exhibits around the historic site. Soon, it was time for our movie screening to learn more about Pearl Harbour hosted by US Park Service. During our visit to Pearl Harbour, DSG had the privilege of a volunteer guide, a friend of our Hawaiian host Wayson. He accompanied us throughout our visit from the movie screening, helping us to move around easier since we were in a group. His friendliness and willingness to share his stories was appreciated by the boys and girls from DSG.
After the movie screening, we boarded a boat to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, it was a solemn and beautiful place in bay waters of Pearl Harbour. Beneath the floating memorial under the sea, lies USS Arizona, the final resting place for many of the ship’s 1,177 crewmen who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. There was a shrine room at the end of the 184-foot-long Memorial structure, whereby the names of those killed on the Arizona were engraved on the marble wall. At the side of the shrine room, there was a marble slab that engraved the names of the survivors from USS Arizona who chose to be interred with their shipmates. While we were at the Memorial structure, the oil spill from USS Arizona can still be spotted on the surface above USS Arizona. This visit was a great lesson for all, to learn about history, heritage, culture, loyalty and remembrance.
When we left USS Arizona Memorial and returned to shore, DSG group continued their sightseeing, visiting exhibits and gift shops. Due to time and schedule constraints, we didn’t get to visit some of the museums inside Pearl Harbour. Soon after, we left Pearl Harbour, took a group photograph at the signboard outside the entrance and headed for lunch at McDonalds nearby. A fast food lunch was interesting since they have more burgers varieties, their soda drinks are 1 size bigger (Large drink in US is our Extra Large drink in SG) and free refill while you are there. After a hearty big McDonalds lunch, we headed to nearby Aloha Stadium for their Swap Meet, it’s like a flea market and it was shopping time to get gifts and souvenirs!
Returning back to DAV campsite after a very eventful morning visit to Pearl Harbour and Swap Meet. Preparing for dinner, resting and Flag Lowering. After dinner, it was a time for the group debrief, passing down the gifts showered by Sterling to the boys and girls, followed by instructions for the upcoming Day 3 activities, schedule and timings. This was followed by rest and washing up before lights out, for them to rest and recover from jet lag and fatigue, in order for them to be fresh for a full Day 3 of activities.