Monday, September 12, 2011

Discovering new cities in the midst of planning...

I have never travelled so much as a planner. And in the last 3 months, the frequent travel reminded me of my past corporate career life. Yes, I miss travelling, and I can't deny as much as it is hectic, I kinda love the discovery I made in the last 3 months.
Over the past years, we are grateful to be able to get to design and plan weddings in these cities, and in each city, I often wonder what is in store for us and the learnings God will design for us to acquire.

Chennai - a place I have met good people. When I first visited the place, I was apprehensive about the skills and the capacity this city can have. And I must say the last project changed my perspective of Indians. It was a concept that required transformations of the Taj hotel facets from the entrance, to the flooring to every wall panels of the banquet area, including all the furnishings. Yes, it was a transformation that required precision. We met a bride who knows what she wants, and we are so privileged to see our skills been stretched and utilised to the fullest to create the final look. All the precised drawings from us to the
installation delivered by the contractors were unbelievable. The final lightings and the intricate details were the final amazement. And it was a project when my team understood work enjoyment in the midst of stress and pressure.Whenever I looked back, I thank God for the opportunity, it is a project that has brought us to another level of growth. A pity we can't display any picture, but the learnings alone is treasured most.

Bali - I love this island, and I would never stop visiting this place. It is a place filled with beautiful people who loves to serve. Whenever I step into this place, I learn to be chilled, relax and enjoy every moment interacting with the locals here. Looking back from 2007, we may not have planned as many weddings in Bali as in Singapore, but each one is an amazing opportunity to stretch our faith. Delivering the tiered wedding cake down on bumpy road to the villas built on cliff, constructing first ever floating stage and dancefloor on pool in Atas Ombak in the midst of storms during Nyepi, walking down to the altar in the midst of flowers and on waters... yes, crazy concept and constructions, but I love it... just love it. I think my job strengthens my faith. The impossible is perfected in our weakness. Often in every Bali weddings, my couples would ask me : Hannah, what if it rains? And then you would see me looking at the sky and said : Almighty Father, once again, demonstrate Your power... and He never fails once.

Tianjin - It has been 7 years since I last visited China. I was there not for a wedding, but to shoot a story. China has advanced so much, both in works as
well as the attributes of their people there. I met one of the nicest people from Tianjin, well mannered, poised and skilled. I remembered years back in my corporate life, my VP wanted to send me to China to work, and I was apprehensive.. today, I can't wait to do one wedding here.. Time has truly changed. I believe in due time, China will take over many. My prayer for this nation is : May they always remember the One that has made a way for them...

Penang - my new found love. I never thought that I would fall in love with Penang, it has been almost 20 years since I last visited Penang. And a quaint city, a city of great people. I love the food, the people, the friendliness, the historical influence of the Peranakan, the British, the French and the Europeans then..
Amazing architectures, and beautiful people. I love the taxi drivers, we met some of the most friendly and comical people who have given us a glance of the people living here. This may be my next Bali, a place I can imagine retiring, and I believe my family will love this place.

Cheju - Strangely I have come to Cheju twice before this recent trip. But I did not have any recollection how it looked like, and esp not the way the Koreans have described this place to be - Serene, beautiful and cherished etc.. It was always
a touch and go visit for me then. The only thing I remembered then was I love the children here when I was teaching them in one of the church camps, they were bubbly, adorable and eager to learn. This time, I grow to love Cheju or rather the new Jeju (they have just changed their name to Jeju 2 years ago). I love the Korean cuisine, local or fine, they are comfort food for me. When I saw the view from the hotels built on cliff overlooking the beaches, I understood why the Koreans love this place - the place of retreat. It was difficult to communicate with the locals due to the language barriers, but there is a sense of trust and willingness I saw in the Koreans. The most amazing things about the Koreans is their cosmetics industry and the K-Pop Cultures. I learnt so much about skincare from them. The way the Koreans has created their own unique cultures that have impacted the world intrigues me.

When I looked back of the places the Lord has opened doors for us from Tokyo, to Bali, to Seychelles, to Chennai, next to Penang & Cheju.. I concluded has it not been Him and His grace and provisions, it would be impossible for us to ever imagine to do what we are called to do. We always look for familiar grounds, but He has opened the unfamiliar ones and brought us to experience the familiarities.. God is awesome, and we are truly blessed.

Yes, 2011 and 2012 is exciting... A year ago, my prayer was - Lord expand my horizons and open the way beyond Singapore, uttering a prayer not knowing what He will lead me to. And a year later, I stand amazed at His provision. He is the lover of my soul, in the midst of me dreaming, He has already pathed the way. Thank you Daddy God... yes, we are blessed...