Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Things I need

Things I really actually need when I get home
1. Deoderant (sp)... It will have been two and a half weeks without it... gross I know.
2. Leggings... lots of leggings.
3. Waxing
4. Pedicure
5. hair cut
6. Jeans... probably just some winter clothes in general.
7. Photo albums... nothing fancy just something to put the good photos in.
8. fruit and vegetables... normal food.
9. Crest White Strips
10. Facial Scrub... something with exfoliants
11. New bra.
12. Probably a warm drink upon arrival? This one I will probably purchase for myself regardless.
13. Shampoo and Conditioner and tooth paste and a new toothbrush... all of those things I will be throwing out because they're empty or trashed.

Okay, I think that's all I can think of for now. Most of these are necessities, but some are no big deal. Here's a flight calling me to board the plane to Singapore. I'd love to talk about how much I loved Cambodia and had my feet chewed on by a bunch of little fishies... But I guess that will have to wait.

Until then... I AM SEEING HARRY POTTER tonight.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cambodia... Land That I Love

Oh Man, am I sad to leave Cambodia or what!

I love this place. It is beautiful, the people are nice.... it is truly one of the most amazing places I have ever been to. Today we went and took a boat around the Tonle Sap... So wonderful!

P.S. it is swelteringly hot here. No joke. I am coming back home: Tan! ha!

I am actually kind of sad to be going to Singapore tomorrow, but also sort of excited too... secretly.

Peace and Love

Friday, November 26, 2010

No Rice Included.

Ah yes, I have left Vietnam for Cambodia. Immediately I feel a relief. Thankfully I was not car sick at all throughout the 6 hour drive over here, I was happily knocked out with Dramamine.

Yesterday was thanksgiving. We spent another 6 hours or so driving... Checked out some interesting stuff, but practically everyone in our tour group was/is sick: throwing up. They've got some kind of virus and its knocking everyone out. I was depressed yesterday... to a maximum level and took zero photos. I am sure I will regret this, but I think I just needed a break.

Then we got back to the hotel pretty late. Chris, our guide, told us to be down in the lobby for dinner in thirty minutes, looking nice. Everyone grumbled and forced ourselves to rinse off. Then we headed back downstairs to a very wet Saigon. Like animals on the ark we loaded into our own separate cabs and were driven to a swank hotel.

It was then we realized... thanksgiving was happening. No rice included. I guess they spent fifty dollars a person to let all 39 of us students (plus extra faculty) eat a real western meal: Buffet style. No chopsticks. No mysterious fish. Just turkey and beef and chicken... just what we needed. It was one of the nicest hotels I've ever been to.

Like children with no limitations, we filled our stomachs to the brim and kept coming back. We all knew what everyone else was thinking... "These are Americans. Figures. Look at all the food they were eating." But for once in my life, I didn't care. I was content to fit the silly stereotype on our holiday, celebrated in Vietnam, with a couple of Australians.

Now we're awaiting dinner in Cambodia. Will it include rice? yep. Fish? Probably.

But I've got ten days left and I am going to keep holding on until I can go home for some REAL food...

first on the menu: Giant glass of skim milk. mmhmm.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We all knew Thanksgiving would be really difficult for us. A lot of people on the trip, myself included, have suffered here and there with intestinal issues. Nothing too bad though. It's like... our bodies are completely run down and ready to be finished, but we still have a few good days.

Too many days.

I don't want to make this a depressing blog because I do love the trip, but I want to be home so bad sometimes that it just... stinks. Dinner tonight is rice. Happy thanksgiving. I've heard they're going to try and include turkey, somehow... but you know, its not the food that I am bummed out about.

It is just, I wish I could be home helping mom cook, and pestering my sister. I am so ready to be home.

Peace and Love

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vietnam... Vomitam?

Here I am somewhere in Vietnam... I don't even know.

It seems like everyone has had stomach issues, with the exception of myself. Knocking on wood. I don't know if a bug is going around or what but I'll be washing my hands frequently.

Dear Mom: please write another blog. I am so dang bored of getting internet and not seeing new ones. YOU WERE on a roll too! lol.

I've found myself craving things I've not craved in years... ie, McDonalds.

Today I had tofu/shrimp soup, fish, rice, and squid. Not my meal of choice but at this point, I don't even care. I am really starting to love seeing this country. It is very beautiful and full of life.

I feel like I've kind of become a loner though. Pretty much I sit by myself on the bus, near the front so I won't get sick. I don't have one person I spend most of my time with. I just kind of hover around everyone and make my rounds. I can't wait to go back to the states, Back to friends who really care. sigh. Miss you guys.

Speaking of Awesome friends: I miss you guys!

Someone please update me on your lives. I need some distractions.

Peace and Love

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hué Times

Here I am in Hué. and I am getting sick of writing blogs. Sorry.

We did a lot today... it was a long one. Woke up at 2:45 am.... to get on a plane.

It was fine. I am getting much more comfortable in airplane seats than I have ever been.

I am dying to read the second and third book in the Hunger Games Series. All I have is some stupid sappy love story that is completely cheesy and over the top. I was hoping it would be a historical fiction, but it turns out that it is like romance with a little bit of history thrown in. Lets hope I don't find any super awkward sex encounters. Too bad it's the only book I have in my possession right now. sigh.

I really can't put my finger on vietnam. It is a confusing place for me. In some ways, it is very modern and in others, it is very traditional. You can tell they've had a lot of influence from china.

All of their houses are NARROW and tall. the cram them together, side by side, and keep adding more stories on top. They will often paint the front of the building but leave the sides unpainted, plain, cold gray, cement. I am not a fan of that. But I'm sure they have their reasons.

Also, the rules of the road are very few and far between. Sometimes when our bus drivers get impatient on the interstate, they swerve over into lanes with oncoming traffic and drive there for a while... attempting to pass other vehicles on their own side of the road. They do a lot of honking to say the least.

We visited the forbidden city today... as well as several ornate tombs. I am completely taken aback by the beauty and scale of some of these leftover buildings.

Also, Vietnam is a prime vacation spot for French people... oddly enough... I know. I've been stalking them a lot trying to understand what they're saying... and really it hasn't been to hard.

The grossest food I have ever put in my mouth happened at lunch today. Thinking about it makes me want to vomit. But I suppose thats the fun of it all. It isn't an adventure unless you eat really disgusting stuff. I had a shrimp inside of a big goopy pile of sticky rice, wrapped up inside of seaweed? or some sort of leaf. Seriously... everything at lunch today is gag worthy.

Dinner made up for it though. We had dinner on a boat and listened to traditional music performed live... right in front of us. It was very peaceful. After the performers finished the music we went out to the end of the boat and sent floating candles, in the shape of lotus blossoms, down the perfume river. It was very lovely and symbolic. The Vietnamese value the Lotus over any other flower.

I still can't believe I ate prawns today. Plus, yesterday I ate squid and didn't hate it. What has gotten into me? what happened to that silly, potato-eating, land locked, heartland girl? When did I start enjoying seafood?

P.S. Vietnamese Emperors were pimps. 140 documented children to one guy... with 500 wives... he never got to sleep with them all.

This is a lot like some guys in college today. LOL. I crack myself up.

I can't wait to be home with my family and then finally back on campus with all of my close friends!

Peace and Love... I am missing everyone of you.

p.s. I know my blogs are riddled with all sorts of grammatical errors. I am well aware. I always read through these posts AFTER I've posted them and have no desire to go back and edit them again. Please don't think I am a four year old... I just really don't care about grammar that much when my main goal is to update my mom and grandma on my life... then get to bed.

No one has mentioned anything... but I've just noticed that I have really bad writing habits. My apologies.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Brief Update from Nam

I can't write much because I have to go to sleep to prepare for an early morning. I am waking up at 2:45 am. blah.

I am loving asia.

I am missing home.

Can't wait to see everyone.

P.S. I swam in Ha Long Bay yesterday. woot.

Peace and Love


I am posting this b/c we don't think internet will be so reliable soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Greetings from Hanoi, Vietnam

Silly Angela,

I was so bummed out because I didn't have an adaptor for Vietnam, and then yesterday someone told me they use the same outlets as the U.S. So, I've been not communicating out of my own ignorance. sigh. Well, What can I say.... I am in Hanoi, Vietnam and it is very different from any other place in the world. First of all, it is the exact opposite of time as my home. So while it is 6:40pm in Indy right now... it is 6:40am here in Hanoi.

Another thing... TRAFFIC... woah buddy. There are pretty much no rules. There are a bagillion motorbikes and very very few pedestrian crosswalks. You're just supposed to slowly start walking across the street in the way of oncoming traffic. I think I may have peed my pants a couple of times. It is truly scary.

As expected... some of the food here is a little bit hard to stomach. But I'm getting by. Yesterday a couple of us ran to a little hole in the wall, store to grab some junk food. I found a tin of those little Danish Butter cookies that Boo Boo always has!!! I bought some and it was like Christmas! Speaking of food allow me to describe to you my dinner. First of all, they set a plate of cold white noodles in front of all of us. Then the brought out a skillet full of oil and fish. You are supposed to add some green vegetables (Morning Glory) to the skillet and cook it yourself. It is actually quite good. Then they bring out this purple substance called Fish Paste and tell you to try it on the whole mixture. Unfortunately, I read a book on vietnam and know what fish paste really is.

It is where they put a bunch of fish in some sort of big tub and let it sit, and sit, and sit, until it completely liquifies, then they put it on their food. It smells like poop. But I actually tried it on some of my food and it wasn't too bad. This is my new way of eating... I don't ask, I just put it in my mouth and start chewing.

Yesterday We went to Ho Chi Minhs Mausoleum. I was really sad an homesick so I don't have a lot to say about it. It was super strange to walk past his body on display. I don't think I would want to be on display like that after I die. Oh, and there are a lot of government officials around everywhere. Sometimes it makes me nervous.

I can't get on facebook. Apparently it's blocked here.

Instead of going to the ceramic village, we had to go somewhere else because the road was being repaired. So, we went to a silk village instead. It is a little community full of people who make and sell silk. A bunch of people bought scarves.

P.S. I was a millionaire yesterday. 1,000,000 Dong= fifty US bucks.

There is so much I want to write about! But I keep forgetting everything. I will try to journal about as much as I can remember So I can tell everyone later. Hanoi is really a very interesting city. Its easy to get lost in... as a matter of fact, I have been lost here lol.

Anyway, I'll try to keep in touch.

Peace and Love

P.S. We're all going to go see Harry Potter in Singapore! Beat That Andrea!!!! ha ha!

OH! and I've had to pee squatting in over those little hole in the ground toilets. Just thought I'd tell everyone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thoughts On Malaysia.

1. It is hot and humid
2. I used two squat toilets yesterday
3. It smells strange.
4. McDonalds and KFC are everywhere in the world.
5. Those little crispy things are fishes.
6. There's a hose for your butt after you poop.
7. Iced Blended Corn?
8. Chicken... its served a little differently
9. You aren't allowed in temples during your period... but who's gonna know?
10. People take photos with you if you are blonde and have blue eyes.

Basically I miss home a lot. I can't wait to be home and sleep.

Its still fun but... I just really miss everyone.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kuala Lumpur!!!... almost

We’re almost ready to leave Australia for Kuala Lumpur, and it feels like we’re supposed to be boarding the plane home. I feel like I’ve learned so much that another leg of the trip does not seem possible.

Last night Christy Parent, Meghan White, and I wandered over to a familiar section of Broadbeach for some ice cream at “Cold Rock.” (Very similar to Cold Stone). I ordered Milo flavored ice cream with cookie dough… and let me tell you, best ice cream I have ever had… ever. Its sort of like a farewell to Australia and New Zealand.

I want to blog right now, because I really have no idea how reliable internet will be in Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. I don’t really know how anything will be in Asia. A lot of people are pretty anxious for that reason. They don’t want to be the minority in a group of people who don’t speak English.

A lot of them complain about how our teachers were supposed to prepare us for this and they totally didn’t! I think they need to suck it up and stop being cry-babies. I really don’t think there is anyway for our teachers to have prepared us any differently than they did. Especially considering they’ve never been to these countries either.

Actually, its come to my attention that our group likes to complain… a lot, and I can’t handle it. I really don’t understand what they were expecting to know when it came to Asia. Really, they need to stop peeing their pants and just go with the flow. It will go a lot easier for them.

Heck, maybe I should take my own advice. I can’t lie and say I’m not a little nervous… but I think it’s the good type.

That’s all for now.

Peace and Love

Asia Here I Come

Okay, I am going to write this as fast as I can, because I have a limited amount of internet available to me.

Currently I am sitting in an apartment along the Gold Coast. Our group is only staying her one night before we wake up to fly to Kuala Lumpur. We just got back from a week long cruise on the “Pacific Dawn.’

I have decided I don’t like cruises all that much. It was fine, but I think it was really meant for old people who like to drink, not for Christian college students. Apparently, when some of the people from our group tried to order virgin drinks the bar tenders refused them. Jerks. Some of the big activities on the boat were bingo, and art auctioning. It seemed fun in theory, and there were a lot of fun activities on board but it still wasn’t my cup of tea.

One of the good things about the cruise was the fun dancing from 11:15 pm onward. I went twice and it was a complete blast. You really can’t beat watching Ellis, Taylor, and Marcus getting footloose.

Most nights we ate at the ship restaurant. The boys made a habit of trying to order as many courses a possible. It seemed like the length of our dinner grew each night. I think Barrett ordered eight or nine courses once.

My favorite part of our cruise was the Great Barrier Reef. We took a boat out to Knuckle Reef, (which is part of the Great Barrier Reef). I had planned on just going snorkeling because it was free! However, the day was kind of rainy and gray, and the water was very choppy. Somehow Stacey Williams talked me into spending the money to actually do SCUBA diving. I do feel guilty about spending 100 bucks… but I think it was worth it. It turns out the group of people who when snorkeling had a terrible time. They could hardly see anything and the waves were so big that they kept getting knocked over.

SCUBA diving, however, was so worth the money. The sensation of breathing under water was out of this world. I can’t even describe it. We got to be right down with all of the creatures… speaking of which… coral is an ANIMAL, not a plant. Our guide let us touch some it. And woah man…. I can honestly say it is one of the most amazing and inspiring experiences I’ve ever had.

After our session under the ocean, Jordan Norton and I took turns going down this tube slide right into the deep ocean. That’s where we were the middle of the ocean. There was no land anywhere; the people just built this station in the middle of the reef.

Now we’re back in Broadbeach. I’m not sure how I feel about that. All I know, is I am really stressed out. I am worried about how much money is in my account. I am worried about the weight of my bags… and I am trying to figure out what stuff to trash if it gets too heavy, and it very well could.

First and Foremost, I am hungry. And I have fourteen dollars to spend on dinner and breakfast… p.s. that doesn’t go very far.

Stressing out about Tokyo, but I talked with Andrea Alt, and I think a bunch of them are going to make plans to stay in a YHA hostel. I asked to join them, but if they’re going to book some fancy pants, expensive, private room… I may want to stab myself. Just sayin’

Currently, I don’t know if I am gaining weight or losing it. I am always worried that I am gaining, and it has felt like I was gaining… however, my clothes seem to fit a bit looser than I remember. A lot of the girls were able to check their weight on the ship, and were surprised to find out they’d lost two pounds.

I didn’t check. I have no idea what I weigh… but as long as I fit into Alyson’s bridesmaid dress… I don’t care.

Speaking of ALYSON STROTHER! I miss her and Eric and Nathan. I was remembering out trip to my house just a bit ago, and I just can’t wait to be hanging out again.

Sigh, I suppose this should be a sufficient blog. Here’s some random info, I’ve started reading The Hunger Games because everyone on this trip is psycho-obsessed with it.

I miss my family a ton. Just today I was thinking about Christmas time and wishing it were now. It’s the little things that remind me of home. Everyone in Australia already has Christmas stuff out for purchasing. I was really surprised at all of the decorations, but then Christy Parent made a point by saying that they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, so they probably just get started with Christmas right after Halloween.

Anyway, it just makes me think of home more. I am so excited to NOT live out of a suitcase. I will be able to eat HOME COOKED MEALS!!! Ahhhh!

Well, this is probably going to be it for a while.

Peace and Love

Monday, November 1, 2010

LA LA LA Last days in New Zealand

As my time in New Zealand is ending, I am once again finding myself scrambling to get everything done on time. I'm sending a box home full of random stuff: Clothes, Photos, New Zealand Souvenirs. Hopefully this will be enough to allow me to go through airport security without the stress of being told my bags are too heavy. I am going to probably throw away two pairs of jeans. In my defense, they're a little baggy on me anyway. Oh, and I have to pack... AND I have to figure out this whole Tokyo thing.

Apparently now that I have a tattoo, staying at certain places is not allowed. Go figure. I haven't really looked into the hostel I thought I was going to end up at, and on top of that... I missed some group info meeting where they all went to gather information... So I may end up wandering the streets of Tokyo for a few nights... I know, this probably isn't something a mother wants to hear. Whatever. I'll figure it out.

Today is my lovely roommate, Meghan's, BIRTHDAY! So, tonight we're all going into Queenstown (best place on earth) and having dinner at "The Cow." When we return... I will probably look like a cow. But it is all okay because it's her birthday.

I've finished my papers and finals... Minus a little bit of revision I am planning on accomplishing tonight... I am all done with school until January. This is exciting. I am truly ready to immerse myself in Asia. Although, I am a little bit torn. I really LOVE New Zealand, more than I loved Australia. Its weird how much this place has really become a home away from home. Hopefully, Asia will not disappoint.

I am also, extremely excited to go home and hug my family. I want to chill out with friends and relax before school at Harding.

Sometimes, I can't believe this is for real. Like, this is my life... I am living this amazing life.... I couldn't have asked for a better one.

Peace and Love

P.S. S.I.M. You're the same you've always been... too bad for you.

Christmas List 2010

Here's the deal. In a few days... I don't know when I'll be able to get on the internet. I'm taking this opportunity to write out my Christmas list for anyone who cares about me.

1. 3M... LOTS OF IT. hooks of various size... TONS of adhesives. Want/need them.
2. Espresso Machine and/or griddle. The more food I can make in my room the better.

Since I'm on the topic of rules that I am technically not allowed to do at harding... but everyone does and I am going to do anyway:

3. Candle warmer and lots of yummy candles from yankee candle company.
4. Art supplies.. and a good quality easel for my painting.
5. Books... art books?
6. Stamps
7. Toms
8. Winter Clothes.

And pretty much anything else that you want to get me. Just letting you know ahead of time.