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|Paynesville Press - July 14, 2004|
Air cadet visits Singapore on exchange
Not being able to fall asleep because of the hot, humid weather was Jessica Andrie's least favorite part of her recent trip to Singapore. She said they were lucky if the temperature got down to 80 degrees at night in the Asian city-state.|
Andrie, a 2003 PAHS graduate, went on an 18-day trip to Singapore through the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) this spring.
Countries in IACE "swap" cadets each year. This year, the United States traded two of their cadets for two from Singapore. One hundred cadets came to the United States from around the world.
Andrie was one of 77 people from the United States selected by the Civil Air Patrol for the exchange. To be eligible for selection cadets must be at least 17 years old and no more than 20 years old.
Jessica Andrie (left) traveled to Singapore for 18 days this spring on an air cadet exchange, touring the city, flying in fighter simulators, and riding this elephant while the international group was sightseeing.
In Singapore, Andrie toured with two cadets from the United Kingdom, two from Australia, one from Hong Kong, four from Canada, one from the United States, and four from India.
To go on the trip each cadet had to pay $100 and buy their own uniforms. The National Cadet Corp from the host country paid for everything else.
Andrie, who has her single engine private pilot license and her glider private pilot license through IACE, said she chose to go to Singapore because it was different and it probably wasn't a place she would ever go on vacation.
The size of Singapore, just a city at the end of the Malay Peninsula, also interested Andrie. She said their driver apologized for the long drive from the airport, but that the drive was just 15 minutes.
While Andrie visited Singapore, she got to fly F-15, F-16, and Boeing 777 simulators. She also got to fly in real Chinook helicopters and F-50s.
Andrie and her fellow cadets also got to go to a nocturnal zoo; to Sentosa Island, the southernmost point of Asia, where they went to a butterfly park and Underwater World; and to the Indian Ocean, which was very warm, she said.
They also got to go to a Malaysian wedding reception. Andrie said the reception lasted all day, and that the couple wore gorgeous clothes. She said it was neat to experience.
Andrie was very impressed by the cleanliness of the country. She said they could drink the water, they didn't need to get any shots, and that she even saw a man sweeping a parking lot.
While in Singapore, Andrie roomed with a girl from Illinois at an air force school where the cadets stayed.
Andrie didn't like the food very much. She said it was spicy, and once, without knowing it, she ate fried rice that had fish heads and anchovies in it. According to Andrie people in Singapore eat rice with everything. The cadets even ate rice for breakfast.
The national language in Singapore is Malay, but Andrie said the business and administrative language was English, so she had no trouble talking to people or reading things. Andrie also said to be selected by IACE cadets have to be able to speak English.
Housing and cars are both very expensive in Singapore, according to Andrie, but silk and electronics are cheaper than in the United States.
Her favorite thing about the trip was that she got to meet new people. She said she plans on staying in touch with her new friends now that she's home.
Andrie, who is transferring to the University of North Dakota this fall to major in air traffic controlling, said the trip was, "a really great opportunity and well worth it."
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