Rebecca Cummings

SINGAPORE — Singapore is one of the cleanest countries in the world, has one of the best health care systems and has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.

It is a country in which we have been told it is ok to drink the water, which is a rarity. But we have also been told there is an incredible number of rules too. We are not allowed to chew gum, jay walk or spit on the ground. We must always flush toilets, and we absolutely cannot smoke at any time. We have to be careful of what we do in order to not be deported or put in jail.

Leslie Gilman

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA — I think it is important to appreciate every aspect of a culture in order to really understand a country and its values, beliefs and the individuals that make it unique.

It is interesting to look at the Borucas, the indigenous population of Costa Rica, and how they are self-sustaining without electricity, easy access to anything — since it takes three to seven days to walk through rough mountainous terrain to get to “civilization”— and running water. They are invaluable to the culture here.