Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

100 days to go.

When I tell people I'll be serving in the Peace Corps, they always want to know exactly what I'll be doing. So I cut down my volunteer description a bit and put it here for your enjoyment!

Missing them already

With 100 days to go until I leave for my Peace Corps service, I think my biggest fear is that I won't be able to stick it out in Thailand because of missing my family. I've gotten so close to them the past few years. When I'm having a hard day, my first reaction is to FaceTime one of my sisters to talk, or go out to dinner and kiss my nieces to death. Moving back home has also made me realize how important it is to have people around who love you in your life. It's much easier to deal with little annoyances when you don't feel alone. 

I know it will be fine. I know it will be hard, but fine. Everything I hear about the Thai people is good - that they are very community-minded and helpful. I do have anxiety about what is to come, but I'm also getting more and more excited to leave and have new adventures. 

I'm just planning on taking lots of pictures with me. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Women United

Since May when my old job ended, I've been volunteering as the Refugee & Immigrant Center-Asian Association of Utah's Refugee Women's Empowerment Coordinator. Mostly I recruit and train volunteer mentors to be paired with single mothers, and work on capacity-building for Women United, a local initiative which allows refugee women around the valley to come together weekly for activities and to learn about resources. We go to the library, show them how to use public transit, go on hikes, sight-see, and more. It is really such a great program for these women who are so strong, but may be struggling to adjust.

If you think you might want to do something like that, I can hook you up with a volunteer coordinator. :) With the number of refugees in this world, I think that it is relatively easy to make a difference.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


This girl has been through a lot, but somehow she remains just about the sweetest kid around. Her last scans came back clean (no lesions!) so my fingers are crossed it stays that way. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rolling solo roadtrip

Before I started my new job a few months ago I took a week to drive to the Grand Canyon. I stopped when I wanted, ate what I wanted, slept when I wanted, left when I wanted. It was great. Traveling alone on the road was a revelation - I've been on business trips alone before, but road trips have always been with family or friends. There are a lot of advantages to speak of when you allow yourself the power to only think of yourself and your needs, but you sacrifice the joy of sharing adventures with the people you love. Also, you can't take a break from driving. 

I stopped in Mona, Utah, where my grandmother was born and spent her childhood on a chicken farm. The Young Living Family Farm was beautiful. Bought a $6 lavender plant which died a few weeks later. Then I went to Fillmore, where I went to the state museum and had a milkshake at a local dive. Finally got to St. George, spending a few restful days inside (it was 112 degrees outside) with one short hike and a visit to Brigham Young's winter home, and then headed to the Grand Canyon. It was AMAZING! Pictures really just don't do it justice. I made some friends from Chicago, who let me camp with them overnight, then I headed back to St. George to shower and rest from my hiking blisters with a few Swig cookies. My last day before heading home I made a stop at the Pizza Factory - a bread twist and a Dr. Pepper, which made me very happy. 

Ultimately, I think a solo road trip is worth repeating somewhere else, but I missed my family enough that it probably won't happen very often. 

Oh yeah, except for the whole moving to Thailand thing. 

I was going to caption and organize all my pictures, but I'll just let you browse and enjoy instead. :)