Saturday, December 11, 2010


Well, I can't tell you how much I love my gym. I might have mentioned it once before. It's small-ish, full of interesting people, and pretty cheap. There is a guy named Oscar there. He is the manager. He's pretty nice and I practice English with him for a couple of minutes after my work out.

I especially like spinning class. It's great with the loud music and energitic teacher. The teachers always give me a thumbs up or say "Good job!" Because that is about all they can say.

Anyways, I'm thinking about taking them some holiday treats. There are about 8 people that work there. I think I'll make mini pumpkin loaves.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Special Moment

I witnessed one of those sweet things about the culture here. I was riding a bus to my favorite place to read. The bus stopped at its usually stop. However, the driver knew the man and preggo lady on the bench. He hollered at them and friendly hello. And I think he was teasing them about something. They all laughed. It looked like the couple had just finished shopping and were eating some yogurt. The man asked the driver if he wanted some. Of course, he politely refused. The man was insistant. He hopped on the bus quickly and gave him a yogurt and straw, even though the driver said no. It would seem to be a small, insignificant gesture, but is it insignificant to do something kind?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dawn's Birthday

This past Friday was Dawn's birthday. I was really excited! I had so many things I wanted to give her. I had this giant stuffed catepillar from the Arcade Halloween that I wasn't using. So, I wrapped it up and gave it to her. She tried peanut butter for the first time this summer and really loved it. But it's kind of expensive, so I bought her a jar. Then I bought her a journal to keep notes about what we study when we read the Word together.

She invited me to lunch with her. I was really excited to spend time with her. She ordered some food for us and when the food arrived, she asked if she could pray and bless the food for the first time because it was her birthday! How could I refuse such a beautiful request? What she said was simple and sweet. She thanked God for our friendship, her family, life and her boyfriend of course. As we ate, we talked about birthday memories and traditions. It was a sweet time. I'm so blessed to be her friend.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Wahoo! The day started with the 1st Annual YY Turkey Trot! Eight adults and six kids, one in a stroller. Natalie, Jess, and I jogged from North Campus to South Campus and back almost the whole way. The kids did a great job too! And even though most of them ran must of the time, they still had tons of energy for the rest of the day! The Trot totalled about 2 miles.

Next, lunch! I bake an apple pie, sweet potato casserole and empanadas. Jess made mini cheesecakse and glazed carrots. Everyone went to one house and had all the classics; green bean casserole, turkey, cranberry sauce, corn casserole, mac 'n cheese, mashed potatoes, rolls, broccoli and cheese casserole, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, and more!

After that, we reminisced about thanksgiving memories. And THEN the married couples told their engagement stories! Which could have been my favorite part. It turns out, none of them went exactly according to plan. But it was all so wonderful! Then Turkey Bowl!!!

Jess and I went out with the guys to throw around the football. I, actually, love playing flag football. So, it was fun to throw it around. And amazing to see how far the guys could thorw it. Then we headed inside for desserts. Complete with apple pie, cheesecake, pilgrim hats (chocolate covered marshmallows), pumpkin pie, jello saled and more!

Then a rambauncous round of Telephone Pictionary! It was so fun and there was tons of laughter. Then a heated game of Settlers. All in all, it was a pretty good Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I may have told you all before about my tutor Dawn. I met her this summer and she's a pretty great girl. She's funny. She's spunky. And she wants to teach a foreigner English. Well, that's how it all started, kind of.

This summer, Brandi (one of my greatest and dearest friends) and I talked to her about Jesus and his importance. She seemed much more eager to learn than her friend, Michelle. But ever since we started tutoring, she shyed away from the subject. I was a little discouraged, but I continued to pray for her and ask every time if she had read anything new in her Bible. Each time she said no.

Flash forward to last week: She came over and I noticed she brought her Bible. We usually study language for 2 hours. Half way through, she says, "I want to learn about this." And holds out her Bible. What a blessing!!! I was so excited. I asked a couple questions to see what she remembered from this summer and she remembered pretty much everything. Then I told her the Creation story and the Fall of Man. She listened intently. We talked about souls, death and sin.

I also had a weird moment. I realized people here don't really believe in an absolute Truth. Truth to them can be relative. She doesn't believe she has a soul, but I do. And we are both right. We both believe two, opposing thoughts, but both are true, or so that is people here believe.

Even though I didn't push to tell her, I didn't think that was possible, I gave her an assignment. She is supposed to read 5 chapters before we meet next. I think she will really do it. I'm excited to meet with her soon!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Teaching... from michelle on Vimeo.

This is a little video about baking with my English classes and interviews with my students in my Bible class. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

100% Orange Juice

Most of the time, I don't miss much from America. I'm not quite as a picky eater as I used to be and I've become pretty flexible. However, when I get sick with a cold or other bodily function mishap, I do miss home and my mom very much.

My mom, like any, treats me like her precious little baby and gives me anything I need. I remember there was even a time in college that she came to take care of me. And I love it just as much as she does. That's not possible now. So, I cling to other comforts, like orange juice. But most orange juice here is like Tang wanna-be. I really don't like it and avoid it.

Jessica found some new juice to try out. It was a package of orange, grape and apple juice. She said the apple was pretty good and I should try the orange. I was a little hesitant because it looked just like other orange juice. I cracked it open and took a small drink...and bliss... It was so delicious. It pretty much was just what I hoped.

Monday, October 18, 2010

i did it...

I may have crossed an invisible line. But I did it. I haucked a loogey. I am genuinely repulsed by this act. Inside, outside, male, female, discrete or not. I don't like it. I seem to have adapted well here. I still don't like it. But it makes sense. So, today as I was trying to wave a taxi down, I did it. Right there in the gutter. It seemed appropriate and it felt good.

And to top off my evening, my taxi driver was extra friendly. He kept saying my language is SO GOOD. Which, I have master the 6.5 phrases I am able to say. Typical questions about whether I'm a teacher and if I teach English. I asked about his wife and if he had kids. And his age of course. I was shocked to hear he was 50!He looked like he was in his late 30s. Then he started telling me my nose was big and that's how he knew I was American. Hahaha, what do you say to that? Thank you? You're right? You have a small nose? Then he commented on my language again. So, I told him he had good language too. Hahaha, he laughed and said his dialect is better than his standard. I believe it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Today was a make up day. In Asia, they often have to make up days that they take off. I'm not sure why. I don't like it and most of my students don't either. Anyway, today, Saturday was a make up day. Apparantly, that was not the only thing to be aware of after the big holiday. The time when afternoon classes starts changes from 2.30 to 2...Hahahaha, but NO ONE told me! Hahahaha, so as I was walking to class at 2 I got a call from one of my students asking where I was. She explained the changed, I laughed and apologized. Oh Asia, how unexpected you can be sometimes...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Coffee. I love coffee. Actually, I have come to realize I LOVE hot drinks. But coffee is better than tea. So, I have kind of "searched" the city for a place to nickname The Java Cat or the Granada.

This place is more Granada than Java Cat...
It has an English translation of the menu. Which is great because I don't know how to order coffee stuff in language yet. I can say hot and cold. But the workers know a little English and are really kind. The real name is Coffee & Talkers. Not Coffee Talkers. At first, I thought the & was a little weird. But I get it now, it's coffee and talkers. Coffee and people who talk. A classic mocha is my all time favorite.

Oh, I should tell you why I love coffee shops. Not only do I love to drink hot drinks, but I love the atmosphere of coffee shops. So cozy, inviting and relaxing. I have many fond memories in coffee shops; conversations of catching up, meeting old friends and new, Christmas parties, serious conversations, early meetings, late meetings and just a quiet place to read, think or study. So, I miss friends and family, but I miss those comfortable, familiar places too. But now, I think I've found my Granada... :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

i thought it was lightning

Last night I was watching a little Bones (the TV show) during a rain storm. I heard this loud crack sound. I was freaked out for a little bit. I thought a tree outside had been hit. I checked, but it was too dark to see anything. I didn't think any more of it. The next day I needed to go buy some fruit. On my way back to my apartment, I noticed that the noise I heard was this...

My guess is someone was a little intoxicated and ran off the sidewalk. As the tow truck arrived, a crowd did too. The car was successfully removed.

Friday, October 1, 2010

tv debut

Here is the official TV footage of Jess and I's TV debut. The name of the show is Just Go!

Fastforward to minute 25.

Just Go!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the perfect day

This post is a little belated, but I really wanted to share it with you. A couple posts back I told y'all about my TV game show try out. Well, the day didn't end there...

...after the TV try out Jess and I went to Subway for some lunch. Delish. I love the smells there. But every time I eat there, I think of Jimmy John's and all the good memories there. After that we walked around, looking at some shoes and going to the DVD store.

The DVD store is near the new Starbucks. Jess and I walked past it as we went to the DVD store. We saw people inside enjoying drinks. When we tried to go in they stopped us telling us it was Family Day. We knew that the Opening Day was not until the next day, but we were just hoping to get in. At the DVD store I bought Bones Seasons 1 through 6. What a deal!

Jess and I were walking back to look around some shops and decided to give Starbucks another try. The same thing happened. They lady at the door told us it was Family Day and to come back the next day after noon. Then Alan swoops in and says, "Welcome! Welcome! Let me buy you some coffee! It's on me!" We hesitant at first and tell him we would love to pay for the coffee and go. We don't want to interrupt. We just want some coffee before we have to leave the city. All drinks and food is on the house for Family Day, so they don't let us pay. As we sit and sip our frappachinos, we listen to some speeches and just enjoy the little piece of America. Then it's time to leave.

Next, we look for a place to get a massage. I didn't always like massage, but now I'm a little obsessed with them. They are so relaxing and feel so good. And being on my feet a lot, I considered it a reward every so often. We finally found a place and took a small break.

After the massages, we had already decided to get some Pizza Hut for dinner. We laugh watching the replays of the video footage while waiting for the pizza. And when the pizza arrives, it's AMAZING! We relish in the moment. After, we travel back the train station to take the fastest train in the world back home. But our day doesn't end there...

After arriving in our city, we grab a taxi back to campus. However, the taxi driver remembers Jess. Apparently, she had given him a CD to listen to and he actually listened to it. But he didn't understand. He asked some questions and Jess explained what she could. All in all, it was the perfect day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Psalm 23

Today was a pretty good day. In my Bible class we were still talking about the Old Testament. We went from Ezra to Lamentations. As we were going over the psalms, I decided to share psalm 23. I also shared that many psalms are used to make songs of praise. I told them there was a particular song that I knew that was derived from that psalm. Of course, they asked me to sing it. I was quite hesitant. Then I thought about it and decided it's okay if I feel foolish or look foolish for the Lord. My voice is really terrible. They clapped and seemed to enjoy it. They seem to be a little frustrated with the idea that God is not a genie or sugar-coated candy. Their idea of God seems to be that he should just hand over whatever they want. So, it doesn't seem fair or right that God would test people or strength them through trials. I'll just keep thinking about them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

can you feel it?

So, the majority of the time I have spent in this part of the world has been hot. But hot hardly justifies the real feeling of the weather. Neither does sticky, humidy, muggy, blazing or any other word referring to hot.

I've been eagerly anticipating the change of weather. Not only because I'm tired of sweating after only walking 50 ft from my apt door, but also because I have never experienced this country or city in the winter, fall or spring. I love new and exciting experiences. No one else seems excited about it. Only one friend, Jen. She says she sleeps better in the winter.

I'm excited about the food too. I assume the food will change a little bit. Or at least the street vendors will jive it up.

Moral of the story: I had to wear my fleece and a long sleeve yesterday...

Oh yeah and I got to hang out with some sweet friends for Mid-Autumn day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

sweet action video

Well, my awesome roommate made a video of our TV adventure.
Check it out here!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

i know i'm not supposed to have favorites...but...

You may have heard this story already...

Monday morning is the hardest. Eight am is just so early. But that first class of the week is my favorite by far! They are so fun and talkative. I don't have to pull teeth like some of the other classes. They are so active.

Today we talked about holidays. Thanksgiving is my favorite to talk about. It's not only a great time with family, but it's fun to talk about turkeys when people have no idea what they are. There are no turkeys in this part of the world. They do import them and I can get one for Thanksgiving, but they are not in surplus. The students are curious about the taste and what exactly a turkey is. They keep comparing it to a chicken, I always reply with, "It's so much better than chicken!" "It's bigger than a chicken." "It's a bird, but not a chicken."

They said they don't celebrate Thanksgiving. I said, "So sad." Apparently, I say this often while teaching. They asked if we had a festival for mid-autumn/full moon in America. I told them we didn't. And then they did the most amazing and wonderful thing...they said with all the mockery in the world, "So sad!" I burst into laughter. I wasn't completely sure they were mocking me at first, turns out there were. They asked if we had a day for single people, like the opposite of Valentine's Day. I told them we didn't. "So sad!" they jeered. Teasing is my one true love language.

I love my students and I really love teaching. The longer I am here and the more that time goes by, I'm certain this is exactly where I should be and this is exactly what I should be doing...Thanks Father

Sunday, September 19, 2010

i'm famous

So, some of you might have heard about my recent try out on an Asian game show...if not, here is the story...

Two years ago, I made my first trip to this part of the world. In my down time, I liked to veg out to a show similar to Wipe Out. There is a obstacle course set up over water. Of course, if you fall, you're out! But get to the end the fastest and receive the prize. That summer, I heard it was being recorded in a nearby city. I was secretly hoping we would just run into a random taping and they would invite me to try. No such luck.

Fast forward to August 2010. I had to do some teacher training in a city nearby before school started. The same city where the show is taped. Two weeks ago I got an email from the training program inviting me to attend the game show! I was so stinkin' excited I almost peed my pants (as the saying goes)! But just to make sure I wasn't getting myself into something else, I replied with some questions and double checking things. She replied with all the right dream was going to come true!

I told Jess, my roommate, if she wanted to come she could. So, Wednesday, we packed up our bags and heading out the next morning. We had some traveling hiccups along the way, but we finally got there. I was in awe of the place! It was so exciting! Cameras everywhere and people awaiting to compete. However, I was disappointed to know that the cheering crowd was "photo shopped" in.

The first part was like a treadmill. But they throw things in your path so you had to jump over them. It was a lot harder than I thought. I was runnin' and runnin' and runnin' and finally got past it. Next was some floating dice. I was supposed to step on them to get to the other side. There was a big dice and two little and then a big one before the platform. I decided to jump over the big one and try for the little one. I jumped...and...tumbled right over to the right. The water was so cool when it washed over me.

I left the water happy and defeated...I had accomplished just what I hoped. I got past the first obstacle and tried my best. There's a video to come!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Juicy, Cookies, Laughing...

The above words are all names of students from my classes. I love hearing them. Most of them are pretty normal; Jessica, Mia, May, Eric, etc. But then there is Week Line, Seaside and others.

It's been a great couple of days. I have 3 classes Monday and Tuesday and 2 classes Thursday. Each class is 2 hours long. 6 of the 8 are Oral English. The other 2 are Christianity and the Bible. In the English class I've been asking students what they want to learn. I get answers from table manners to college life to American's opinion on 9/11 to my childhood. It was great to hear them be so curious. In the other class I asked if you could ask one question to God, what would you ask? I got things like; Why do people have pain to are you a boy or girl to do you speak Chinese to are there peppers in America?

When I asked for questions the most common was are you married followed by do you have a boyfriend and finishing with do you want a Chinese boyfriend? I can't help but grin and say, " No. No. No."

All in all, it's been great.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Chocolate and Broccoli

Today I made chocolate chip muffins with the girl I tutor. She was a little shy at first, but then seemed to be having fun. However, when I offered for her to take some home she was REALLY reluctant. I know it's weird American food to her and I know I can't expect her to be culturally sensitive to me. I made her take some anyway.

I decided to make soup today. I have been feeling a little under the weather lately. I was going to buy a blender for the soup, but I changed my mind. I change my mind again though. I should have gotten it. The soup was pretty tasty. A tad on the salty side. The photo looks gross, but don't let that deceive you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

It never ends...

Even though I have been living in Asia for 2 months now, I'm still experiencing new things. About three weeks ago, I had a medical examination. It included blood work, urine test, x-ray, E.K.G, among other things. Test all performed Asian style...I was really glad to have Jessica at my side. For those of you that don't know, Jessica is my roommate/friend. She graduated from ESU and is studying language in our city.

Currently, I'm getting my visa changed. What an adventure it has been! I got to practice my language with a taxi driver. I went to the wrong train station. My hostel room is about the size of a twin bed, with a little walking space. The shower in the bathroom is located almost over the toilet, as well as the sink and mirror. I was really excited about this hostel experience. I love having crazy stories/experiences! As, I settled in to my room, I heard this strange ticking sound. At first, I thought it was the elevator. Then I thought it was a sewing machine. The shower? No, the elevator...Okay, I'm sure it's a sewing machine! Later, I could differentiate the shower noise from other noises. I also went to the clinic and not the consulate. I stood in a line that wrapped around the corner. I was number 107 in line. But I laughed about all the craziness happening...I hope I can keep laughing, especially when things aren't funny anymore. I always think I know where I'm going and Father provides someone to help me find my way. Like this girl complimented me on my shoes(TOMS). She politely asked if I knew where I was going and I told her and she helpfully corrected me. Everyone is so kind in this city.

After this visa business is done, I can continue getting ready to teach.