The first stop on my summer travels was Memphis, Tennessee. This was my second time visiting Memphis. Last year I had visited, and my brother was starting his first year of residency, settling into a new place and single. It’s funny how quickly things can change within a year. Here I was back in Memphis after one year, and this time to witness and be part of my brother’s wedding. He met her last fall at the hospital and now they were getting married less than a year after starting dating.
Yes it happened all so quickly, yet it worked. Even in the short time that I’ve seen them together, I could see how they humbly seek after God together. I was so blessed by the entire time, through the wedding ceremony, and spending time with all of the family and friends gathered. The worship time during the wedding was so powerful. As we were singing a song, One Thirst, I was so moved. I was overwhelmed by God’s love and His presence there. I know that there are greater things in store for the both of them as a married couple!
I know how at times when their siblings get married you can feel like you are “loosing” them to another person, but I’ve already witnessed how I’m gaining so much from the two of them together. They are truly a beautiful couple on the inside and outside. Thank you for your continued love and support.
Lyrics from One Thirst by Bethel Live
You say to us seek Your face
Our hearts reply, Your face we seek
And come teach us Lord, reveal Your ways
Anoint us for the greater things.
We have gathered with one thirst and hunger
We’re here to drink of glory and wonder,
Here to cry out
Come and fill this place
Come and fill this place
And our single wish, our sole desire
To gaze upon Your beauty God
We will not rest, nor will we cease
Till with our eyes, Your face we see.
Pictures from my iphone using pudding camera!
Stay tuned for more posts on my summer travels in the States!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged #slice2013, bethel, diy, God, love, marriage, Memphis, one thirst, Slice of Life Story Challenge, summer, travel, weddings, worship
Yes, this might be the important of my posts on my trip to Vietnam. This is all about the food I experienced there. I always loved Vietnamese food that I ate in the States. However, I quickly found out that the food that I liked to eat from Saigon Grill and other Pho places were different from the actual food in Vietnam. I’m assuming that they change the food a bit to fit our western palates a bit.
There were certain dishes I was expecting and I didn’t find them to be quite the same in Vietnam. Our first night, we asked the hotel front desk for a recommendation for a good dinner place. They pointed us to a street and said this was where the locals eat. So our first night there, we had our map in our hand and attempted to navigate through the confusing and busy streets in the old quarter. We luckily managed to weave our way through endless scooters and dark streets to find the street. We didn’t realize that it wasn’t really a restaurant inside, but there were multiple food stalls outside on the sidewalk with small stools and tables (very close to the street) that we would sit on.
We randomly chose one of the places, and sat down. They asked us what we wanted and pointed to the menu, which listed 4 items which we couldn’t read. Then we said we wanted the chicken dish. They asked if we wanted rice or noodles. We said noodles and hoped for the best. After a few minutes, we were given two large bowls of pho with chicken. It was delicious. There was a clear and refreshing broth filled with thicker flat white noodles and pieces of chicken breast. It didn’t taste like any of the pho I had back at home and it only cost about 2 US dollars.
The next day, we participated in a cooking class. Again, we weren’t really sure what to expect. It cost $30 per person and it would be in a restaurant near us. My friend Laura and I got picked up and taken to the restaurante, blue butterfly. We arrived and our instructor greeted us. We were the only 2 in the class! He had a lot of the ingredients set up already like the meet and some vegetables. However, he took us on a walk to the market to buy the rest of the ingredients. The market place in itself was an adventure. We saw all sorts of things, which I’m assuming were meant to be eaten, like turtles, eels, squid, frogs and even some kittens. I’m hoping the kittens were for pets?
After our walk to the market place, we picked up noodles, sliced green papayas and a few other vegetables. We started cooking. We made spring rolls, green papaya salad and lemon grass chicken with chillis. It was fun being able to participate in cooking some authentic Vietnamese food. Our chef created some fun designs with the fruits and veggies to decorate our plates as well. We followed a recipe for 5 servings and in the end it was only my friend and I that ate the food. We ended up having way too much food! Hopefully, I’ll be able to cook up some of these dishes on my own now.
Slice of Life Challenge Day #31
After a week in Vietnam, there were many eye opening moments and memories. One of the lasting things from the trip, besides crossing the scooter filled streets everyday, was seeing the fishing villages in Halong Bay. Halong bay in itself was a beautiful natural wonder. I had no idea that it would be so big and that there were so many boats there filled with tourists.
On the first day of our boat cruise, we got to go kayaking around one of the fishing villages. We kayaked around and through their village and I felt like I was intruding. They were probably used to all these tourists kayaking through their village every day. Yet, I felt like I got a small peek of their life. Their houses which were floating on top of the water with boats parked next to them I saw dogs outside, kids playing, women cooking food and people just sitting in their homes.
Afterwards, I had so many questions racing through my mind. What would it be like to be grow up pretty much living on water instead of land? How often did they get a chance to go on land? Did they interact often with other fishing villages? Did they go swimming often in the water? Where did they go to the bathroom? How close of a community were the people in the fishing village? How did the kids go to school? How did they feel about all these tourists kayaking through their village every day?
I just couldn’t imagine growing up in a fishing village and living on the water. I did a bit more research and found an informative article on the history of these fishing villages here. I also found out that they are trying to get the people in these villages to move onto the mainland. I still find it incredibly fascinating that these people have been living on the water for many generations, making a living off the fishing that they do.
More photos to come on my trip to Vietnam! Stay tuned…
Slice of Life Challenge Day #30
The Art of Crossing
In NYC, you cross the street by looking both ways and if the street is clear of cars, buses, taxis or buses, you cross. A true New Yorker doesn’t pay much attention to weather the pedestrian crossing sign is red or green. New Yorkers are always busy and have some place to go.
In Seoul, you cross the street by looking at the pedestrian crossing sign. Jaywalking is not as common as people will usually wait to cross.
In Singapore, you cross the street by looking to your left first, then to your right, since they drive on the left side of the road. I definitely had a few close encounters of looking at the wrong side when I first arrived. People tend to wait for the crosswalk sign to turn green. Singapore is pretty strict with their laws here!
In Hanoi, you look to check there are no cars coming right away then you just cross the street, not paying too much attention to the hundreds of scooters (motor bikes) coming your way. Our tour guide told us that there are about 1-3 scooters per person. When there are more than 6 million people in Hanoi, that is a a lot of scooters on the narrow streets.
We quickly learned the art of crossing the street here after a week. You would very rarely see pedestrian crossing signs on the streets in the old quarter. Our technique worked quite well. You crossed quickly and looked straight ahead, without making eye contact with the mass of scooters and cars coming your way. It was easier for the scooters to weave around you as you walk then you stopping and waiting for the scooters to cease. The fact was, the scooters coming down the street were endless. You would be waiting all day to cross the street.
We were able to cross efficiently and safely using our method, even though most times inside I felt incredibly terrified that I would get hit. Hanoi was definitely the only city I’ve been to where all the rules to crossing the street were completely opposite than what I was used to.
Slice of Life Challenge Day #25
After a comfortable 3 hour flight from Singapore to Vietnam, we arrived at the airport in Hanoi. We had gotten our visa forms filled out electronically before leaving. It wasn’t the actual visa, but we would pick up our visa upon arrival at the airport.
My friend and I saw the sign for the place to pick up visa’s upon arrival. There was a line that was already formed and very slowly moving. As we got closer to the front, we realized that people were picking up their passport from the man in the front. Yet, the sign said visas upon arrival so we thought this was the right line. We finally got to the front of the line and he told us with a few hand gestures to go to the other booth on the inside. This was where we had to drop off our passport first. Feeling a bit frustrated that we waited for no reason,we went to the other side. There was no line on the other side. We tried to ask a few questions, but the guy just took our visas and our papers. No explanation.
We went back to the other side and waited by the front of the booth this time. There was a long line, but actually no point in waiting in the line, since the one guy working at the booth would just hold up the passports and call out names from behind the glass. You had to be paying close attention or near the front. So we waited by the front, with a group of foreigners feeling frustrated by this unclear process. We waited and our names got called pretty quickly. We picked up our passports with the visa inside.
We paid the $45 and handed in our passport photo as well. Then, we had to wait on the immigration line and figure out where our luggage was. It made me miss the quick and efficient airport service I was used to in Singapore and Korea. Luckily our driver was waiting for us outside the gate and we arrived to our hotel safely! Stay tuned for more adventures from Vietnam…
Slice of Life Challenge Day #23
It was 9:50pm. I had gotten home a little while ago and I started packing for my trip to Vietnam tomorrow morning. Of course, I left the packing to the last minute. I found my print outs of my flight reservation and two different hotel reservations. I scrambled around and looked through my folders, drawers and bag for my visa confirmation letter. I didn’t see it anywhere. I thought I had printed it out. I’m usually not that forgetful. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I really thought that I printed it out and put the letter in my folder. Maybe I was just imagining things? Where did I put it? Did I leave it in my classroom?
It was time to come up with plan B. Since I didn’t have a printer at home and didn’t know of any printing places that would be open early on Sunday morning, I would have to go all the way to school in the morning with my luggage and print out another copy of my visa confirmation letter. Then, I would have to get a taxi from my school to the airport. I’ve definitely learned a few important lessons. I’ll make sure to have all of the required documents printed and check for them, before I leave school next time.
Slice of Life Challenge Day #22
As the teachers were anxiously counting down the minutes left until spring break starts, there was a sense of anticipation in the air. Once my students had left and I was left alone in the classroom, I did not feel as relieved as I should. I still had a lot of work to get done. Work that I didn’t want to think about during the vacation.
I needed to finish my lesson plans for the following week and try to organize my thoughts and prepare for a few new units coming up. Originally, I thought I could leave right after school ends. Unfortunately, there always seems to be tasks that come up at the end of the school day. Two hours later, I got to pack up my things and finally leave school. I packed a few teacher books, some student work and a children’s book I’m hoping to read over break. I realize that I am probably being over ambitious considering I will be in Vietnam for most of my break. 2 more days until I leave for Hanoi! Hopefully I’ll be able to slice from there. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Anyone else doing something exciting for their spring break?
Slice of Life Challenge Day #21
11pm. My legs felt itchy. Had I been bitten again? I was too tired to look down at my legs. All of a sudden I saw something black and small flying around. It slowly landed on the bottom of my laptop on the flat part. I quickly smashed the tiny sucker. I took off my hand slowly, and saw a pindrop of blood in addition to the flattened mosquito.
I was feeling to tired to get off of my bed to get a tissue to wipe it off at that moment. I looked at the open Internet window to my blog. An empty page except the slice of life turquoise button that I had inserted. What to write? I went through the different things that happened that day. Should I write about the weather that seems to be getting even hotter (93 degrees F) here in Singapore? Or should I write about the fun I had reading all my students slices about our “cockroach incident”? Or, maybe I’ll write about what I’m thankful on this lovely Thursday.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!!!
I groggily look over to my iphone and shutdown the alarm. It was 5:30am. The first alarm had gone off. I looked over to my left and see my silver macbook pro with the screen open at 90 degrees and the blank blog post page. It was too bad I wasn’t a sleep writer. I had fallen asleep while trying to write my blog post. I looked carefully at the keyboard, and quickly spotted the squished mosquito with the spot of blood, which probably belonged to me. I grabbed a tissue and wiped it off. Now I had something to write about.
Slice of Life Challenge Day #19
I looked around the classroom. The only noise that filled the room full of eager fifth grade students were the air conditioner and the tapping of fingers on laptop keys. I was having one of those moments. All the students were engaged, focused and writing.
15 minutes later…
“Will you plug the laptop cart into the outlet?” I asked. He quickly took the long chord and looked for the outlet next to our library.
“Ahhhhhh!” He shouted from across the room. Immediately, I hoped that it wasn’t a rodent creature. ”There’s a huge cockroach!” He accurately informed us.
I walked over to the library area. I quickly went through my options. Option #1, take my sandal off and use it to squish the cockroach. Option #2, grab one of the social studies textbook as my weapon of choice. Option #3, get one of the students to kill it. One of my girls had generously offered to kill it, in which I told her no. Option #4, let it live and experience another day of exciting learning in room 314. Or option #5, run back to my desk and get my can of bug spray, which I use to get rid of ants on my desk.
Obviously, I chose option number five. I furiously sprayed the little creature. No results. It kept scrambling behind the cushions even more actively than before. I sprayed again.
“It’s still alive. It’s over there now.” One of my students kindly informed me. I moved over to the side and continued to spray at it again. The resilient creature kept on moving around. I sprayed another time!
“Ooh, that spray smells good!” Another student observed. As my class crowded around the back, I had them go back to their seats. I continued to furiously spray at it. Its little legs surrendered in the air and slowly stopped moving. Finally, I had won the difficult battle.
“Go get the broom and dustpan.” I told two of my students. They quickly brought over the broom and swept up the casualty. “Make sure to put the cockroach in the garbage can outside.” Just another day in room 314, defending a class of writers from the perils of evil cockroaches.
A few days ago, I checked my e-mail messages and I found two e-mails from my mom. I love that she embraces technology. She wrote to me in Korean and sent me a link to two videos via the Internet. The first e-mail was a link to the video of Yuna Kim’s short program at the World Figure Skating Championships. The second e-mail was a video link to Yuna Kim’s rival, Asado Mao’s short program.
My mom knows me so well. I grew up figure skating since I was 8 years olds or so. Even though I don’t skate anymore, I still love watching figure skating especially Yuna Kim. I have so much respect and admiration for this 22 year old from Korea. I really admire her artistry, athleticism and ability to perform consistently during pressure. She decided to come back to the amateur ranks after winning the gold medal in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. Even though this was her first major competition after taking a break for about 2 years, she dominated this competition. Once again, she showed that she is truly in her own league that no one can come close. Her final score was 218.31 points. There was a gap of 20.42 points between gold and silver which was the biggest gap in the past 9 years of this scoring system!
I wanted to share her long program in which she skates an incredibly moving and powerful program, but it’s to one of my favorite stories, Les Miserables! Enjoy.
*I love the American commentators in the background. However, they are not as good as Scott Hamilton!