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  • at5203 1:14 pm on November 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Challenge Seven: Giving thanks 

    While being in Vietnam I have realized I am privileged in so many ways. For starters being able to live abroad is probably one of the most rewarding experiences in any ones lifetime. The friendships I have developed and the experiences I’ve had are truly unforgettable. I want to start off by giving thanks to my mother who not only emotionally and financially supports me but also has the patience to deal with such an impatient child. My family and friends mean the world to me and although this Thanksgiving we were apart I am thankful that they are healthy and doing well. But most importantly I am thankful that no one in the Vietnam program eats as much as I do!

    But in all honestly I am thankful for the food. I come from an extensive Ecuadorian family where turning down a plate of food is a sign of disrespect. Probably one of the main reasons I love Vietnam so much is because it reminds me of my home. Food is definitely a universal unifier of all races, gender, sexuality, people, and animals.

    • DougReilly 6:25 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Great to hear from you Adrian! Have you universally liked the food in VIetnam, or just found the culture surrounding the food comforting? What’s your favorite food so far?

      Oh–you earned your Vere sandals this week. We’d love to see you around these parts more often! 🙂


      • at5203 3:08 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I have universally liked the food and found the food comforting. The food is just so great here because it different in the sense that the Vietnamese use different spices and eat different types of meat. But when it comes to eating everyone eats as a family because filial piety is strong in this country

      • at5203 3:12 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I have universally liked the food and found the food comforting. The food is just so great here because it different in the sense that the Vietnamese use different spices and eat different types of meat. But when it comes to eating everyone eats as a family because filial piety is strong in this country. My favorite type of food is this noodle soup that is call pho. It may seem simple but it is delicious and takes hours to make.

  • explorewithasmile 4:31 pm on November 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Giving Thanks 

    I am thankful for my parents who support me through all the twists and turns my adventurous spirit takes me; moving mountains so I can explore them.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

    : )


  • melinthemiddle 5:27 pm on November 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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     Asiapod Challenge 6 posted on behalf of Melissa… 


     (A play written by Melissa Hosek, based on a true story)

    (Scene 1: Setting the Scene)

    ~I am sitting in the lobby of the on-campus hotel. A little old woman sits down on the sofa across the way from me. She had just come inside after walking around in the crisp autumn air and is wearing her winter coat, silk scarf, and sunglasses .  My American and Japanese classmates sit next to me on the lobby sofa as we discuss our class movie project.

    American Classmate: “Uh oh, my computer 没点了 (my computer just died).”

    Me: “Now how are we going to finish the movie?”

    American Classmate: “Maybe we can go to Nyoki’s room, his dorm is nearby.”

    ~He turns to our other classmate, Nyoki, who is from Japan and speaks very little English.

    American classmate: “我们可不可以在你的宿舍里继续拍电影?(Can we continue making the movie in your dorm?)”

    Japanese Classmate: “可以! (Sure!)”

    ~American and Japanese Classmates exit the scene.  I decide to stay behind and wait for another classmate to arrive.

    Scene 2: The Dialogue Begins.

    ~ The old woman stares at my classmates and I. She is probably wondering “who are the foreigners and why can they speak Chinese?”

    ~I move to sit next to her.

    Me: “你好“(Hello!)

    Beijing Woman 1:“你好, 你是哪个国家的呢?” (Hello, which country are you from?)

    Me:“我是美国人” (I am American)

    Beijing Woman 1: “真的吗?你现在离你的家很远。 你想念你的妈妈吧。“(Really? You are quite far from home. You must miss your mother, don’t you?”

    Me:“对,我想念她。”(Yes, I miss her.)

    Beijing Woman 1:“你为什么在这儿?你是学生吗?”(Why are you here [in Beijing]? Are you a student?)

    Me:“是。 我在这里学习中文。” (Yes, I am studying Chinese here.)

    Beijing Woman 1:“你的中文说很好。 你在北京呆好久吗?” (You Chinese is pretty good! Have you been in Beijing for a long time?)

    Me:“我只在北京呆了一个学期了。”(I am only in Beijing for one semester)

    Beijing Woman 1:“那你很想你的妈妈把?” (Ah, I’m sure you miss your mother, right?)

    Me:“对,我很想她。”(Yes, I miss her a lot)

    Beijing Woman 1:“你的家里人是多少?” (How many people are in your family?)

    Me:“我的家有五口人:妈妈、爸爸、哥哥、弟弟和我”(My family has 5 people: My mom, dad, older brother, younger brother, and me)

    Beijing Woman 1:“唯一个女儿吧?那你肯定是你妈妈的宝贝儿。你今年多大??” (You are the only daughter then! You surely must be your Mother’s [favorite] baby! How old are you?)

    ~Another Beijing Woman sits down beside Beijing Woman 1.

    Me:“20 岁“(20 years old)

    ~Beijing Woman 1 turns to Beijing Woman 2 sitting beside her .

    Beijing Woman 1: “看这个宝贝儿,20岁, 呆在北大学习汉语“。 (Look at this baby! 20 years old, and staying at Peking University to study Chinese!)

    Beijing Woman 2“小宝贝儿! 我今年60,70 岁左右。” (What a small baby! I’m 60 or 70 years old this year!)

    Me: “您们俩为什么在这家宾馆里? 您们在等朋友吗?” (Why are you two here at the hotel? Are you waiting for a friend?)

    Beijing Woman 2: 我们刚吃完了午饭, 来这儿休息一下, 外面太冷了。 (We just finished eating lunch. We came here [inside] to rest a bit, it’s too cold outside)

    Me: 对, 北京的天气越来越冷了。 请问, 我可不可以拍您们照片?“(Yes, the weather in Beijing is getting colder and colder. Excuse me, could I take your picture?)

    Beijing Woman 1:“我们这么老!为什么要拍我们的照片?” (But we’re so old! Why would you want to take a picture of us?)

    Me:“回国以后我想给我妈妈介绍一下您们俩。”(When I go home, I want to tell my mother about you.)

    Beijing Woman 1“好的好的。 你可以告诉你的妈妈你认识了两个老北京太太。”(Ok, Ok. You can tell your mother that you met two old Beijing wives)

    ~I pull out my camera and take a picture of the two women.

    Me: “好的。 谢谢您们”(Ok, thank you!)

    Beijing Woman 1:“不客气。 好。 我们走吧。 再见宝贝儿!” (You’re welcome. Ok, we have to go now. Goodbye baby!)

    ~They Exit. End Scene.


  • globalkiwi 4:27 pm on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Traditional Korea and "Yummy" bugs! 

    SO while on vacation during Chusok here in Korea, I visited a small traditional village where I stated in a traditional Hanok: Korean housing with heated floors that we slept on and enjoyed the chestnut festival. I even got to try on a Hanbok (traditional Korean dress)!  Among the festivities, my friends and I decided to enjoy some of the traditional street food cuisine, one of them being silk worm pupae!

    It was crunchy and had a aroma that surrounded the entire area…

    I’ve been told it was Bee Larvae, but it in fact Silkworm Pupae. While it was exciting to try, I won’t be eating these again. 🙂 lol
  • DougReilly 3:16 pm on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Challenge Seven: Thanksgiving 

    Thanksgiving. We bet you’re missing home. And cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving is a nice holiday. Not too commercialized. It’s about family, friends and togetherness. And, of course, giving thanks.

    What are you doing to chase away the Thanksgiving blues while abroad?

    What are you thankful for this semester?

    And, from that, what advice would you give to the students who will travel in your footsteps next year?

    • camoy1 10:41 am on November 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I am thankful for the opportunity to experience thanksgiving in Vietnam! I am thankful for my family, friends, and life in general. I am thankful for the internet because it enabled me to connect with my family even though they are on the other side of the world. I am thankful for the friendships that have developed over the last couple of months. I am grateful for the relationships that have been built because my friends are now like family. I am seeing the world from another perspective; something I was not able to do before coming to Vietnam. Like many things, thanksgiving in Vietnam is different because there is no turkey, and I am not with my family. Like me, you will probably feel a little sad, but if you keep an open mind, you can still have a wonderful time especially when you celebrate it with friends.

  • kimuchee 7:59 am on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , home stay, ,   

    Living Abroad 

    It’s hard to believe that I have been in Japan for two months now. But I have. It was only a couple of months ago that I was busy working and commuting to work in order to make this dream of mine possible. It’s so crazy. Even now I don’t think that I have accepted the fact that I am here. I have dreamed of being in Japan even since I was 12 years old. 8 years ago I made a promise to myself. A promise to come to this country that fills me with such wonder and excitement and I did it. Who knew it would be so difficult?

    I came here to learn more about Japan and the people of Japan but I don’t even think I have begun to scratch the surface. There are little pockets of culture every where I go and it’s so difficult to even be introduced to them when my language is so limited. There is a culture around high school, restaurants, prefectures, you name it. Everywhere I go is different, with a new set of vocabulary and actions to go with it. How am I supposed to keep up?

    Traveling is wonderful.

    Staying and living in a foreign place is hard.

    For these past two months I have been living with a host family here in Japan and it has not been easy. But then again this experience is supposed to be challenging so I have embraced all the awkward moments as well as the happy ones.

    I am currently in the process of writing an essay in Japanese about my host family and here is a little snippet about the dogs that I live with:

    犬はプリンとバニラと言います。にひきはプードルで、バニラは男の子それからプリンは女の子です。じつは、プリンは私のこ とが大きらい見たいです!いつも家に帰った時にプリンは「ワン、ワン、ワン」とはえます。よく分かりませんけどはじめて見た時からプリンは私が好きじゃな かったかもしれません。

    It reads:

    The dogs are called Pudding and Vanilla. Both of them are Poodles; Vanilla is a boy and Pudding a girl. Actually, Pudding looks like she hates me! Everytime I come home she barks: “Woof, woof, woof!” (The Japanese sound for this is “Wan, Wan, Wan.”) I do not really understand why but she has not liked me since see first saw me.

    A very rough translation but true. Here is a picture of Vanilla!

    He is the cutest poodle ever!

    I would include a picture of Pudding but as I said before, she hates me and would never let me get that close to her!

    I’ll be sure to write more about my host family experience in the next post!

  • Kristyna Bronner 1:50 pm on November 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , english, ,   

    Challenge 6: Talk to a Stranger 

    Professor Paul Li giving me a book as a thanks for coming to speak to his classes!

    Without planning on it, I completed Challenge 6 this past Wednesday and today (twice!) by visiting the Community College at my University. I had previously been contacted by a professor there, Paul Li, who was looking for native English speakers to come in and speak to his students. I completed three, hour and a half long sessions in which I interacted with and held conversations with about 15 Hong Kong students at a time.

    Paul would switch each class into two groups, usually ranging between 9-18 students in each depending on the class size, and I would spend a half an hour with each group. First we would go around in a circle introducing ourselves. I asked them to share their name, grade, major, hometown and their favorite thing about Lingnan. After introductions I had several discussion questions planned: What is your favorite food and what are its ingredients? What do you hope to do after graduation? and What was the last movie you saw in theaters? Sometimes the students were very shy and other times they were very upfront, choosing to ignore the proposed questions and instead ask me questions about myself. As I went through the three sections, I got more comfortable talking to the students and I came up with better questions to ask them.

    I think the students learned from me, but I learned a lot from them too. I found out that basketball is the most popular sport in Hong Kong (after 2/3 of the students said it was their hobby). One student explained that it’s because land prices in Hong Kong are so high that the government is not willing to spend the money on large football (aka soccer) fields…so financially it makes more sense to build basketball courts. I also learned that many students’ favorite food is fish balls. I have actually tried these, as I mentioned in one of my previous posts…but I definitely don’t enjoy them as much as everyone else does! I also found out about an island that I need to visit before I leave called Cheng Chau island. When I asked the groups what their favorite place in Hong Kong was, many of them answered with this island.

    The students have my facebook info and my e-mail address so that they can stay in touch with me for the rest of my time at Lingnan and in the future.

    • DougReilly 3:10 pm on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for rising to Challenge Six, planned or not! You earned your Vere Sandals with this post! 🙂

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