Since we turned in a bit early tonight, I thought I’d update my tumblr for my Merced friends, Bay Buddies, or just for the Quarter students to read while they procrastinate from studying for their finals.
My family is on vacation until the 15th of June here in Nassau, Bahamas. We’re staying across the way from the Atlantis Resort in a hotel with miles of pure white sand and blue blue oceans. We’ve stayed here for a short three days but we have experienced some amazingness and I hope this post gives a glimmer of a Chiang vacation.
Here are some top memories of what has unfolded in our three days of vacationing. I also am very blessed to be able to travel so much this summer from Merced to the Bay to New York to Los Angeles to The Bahamas..a life of gratitude and blessings. PTL
5) We are literally one of the only Asian families here on this island and I LOVE it..I feel so in my element. I do have to say though, I’m missing my bowl of rice. I’m whipping out the Caucasian side of me and therefore people tell me that I have a Southern accent.
4) My dad was underdressed for one of our fancier dinners and he was forced to wear my mom’s little sweater..if you know my father..this is hilarious
3) I won 79 cents last night at the Casino and tonight I lost 4 bucks this afternoon..do the math, is gambling profitable?
2) Last night, we were on a hunt for dinner (outside of our hotel) at 8:30 pm BEFORE the Lakers vs. Celtics game. My mom and I took one for the team and went on a hunt, we walked for 20 minutes to Domino’s Pizza. We ordered our stuff and ended up waiting a good 40 minutes for the food, I was feeling social and ended up getting a ride from a very nice gentleman who lived in the area back to the Sheraton. My mom thinks I’m too much of a social butterfly, but I think it’s cause I trust the world and hey we got back in time for the 2nd quarter. ~Good Job Lakers!
1) The Bahamas is really great at ripping you off! 9 dollars for a hot dog, 20 dollars for a bottle of sunblock but if you wanna have a good time..the shots are free when they do a shot train at Senor Frog “Shots, Shots, Shots…everybody!” (You can decide if I went on the train or not)
This vacation to NYC has become the pinnacle of my month!! This trip has been such a blessing all around. Two girls, with no supervision, loose in the Big Apple..not sure how it happened but we’re here. After being in New York for 3 days, I’ve had a new found appreciation for sleep and good tennis shoes..OH, and my ability to make friends with random strangers (for the sake of directions and finding NY hot spots).
Each morning, Kelly and I wake up at 5am, gulp down some ‘robust’ coffee and gorge down the hotel’s complimentary breakfast because we’re running on the college budget :) (I was even able to set a bagel up into flames…ultimate accident) After loading up on food, we then jolt out of the hotel and head over to the respective studios in hopes of scoring some standby tickets for various talk shows. We walk everywhere because we haven’t mastered the art of the subway.
Monday: Waiting in standby for The Regis and Kelly show became epic fail. We were in line for 2.5 hours starting at 6:30am and still that wasn’t early enough. Tip: Get there at 4:30am to get in! We did however see Regis Philbin walk over to work at 8:25 am and got to snap an up close picture. Regis lives across the street from the ABC Studios and comes out everyday at the same time…his fake tan was radiating! During the winter time, he actually has a personal ice machine to clean off the sidewalk…the life of the other half. Later that night, we watched Mamma Mia on BROADWAY—-fabulous show!
Tuesday: This particular morning was a EARLY morning. We got to the studio where they film The View and got standby tickets. We were absolutely positive we’d get into the show because we were numbers 6 and 7…WRONG. They were going to tape two shows back to back which increased our chances to get in but it was packed out. The first show was with George Lopez and then the second show was with the whole cast of Sex and the City!! Sex and the City is a really big deal right now in NY because it premieres on the 25th. On our way back to the hotel, we ran into George Lopez and got a photo with him and ended up getting interviewed by him for his show, “Lopez Tonight.”
Wednesday: This morning has become my favorite morning thus far. We had the option of going to Central Park to watch the Jonas Brothers perform or walk over to Rockefeller Center to watch The Today Show. We ended up going to the Today Show with our posterboard and had the privilege of watching their concert series where The Script from Dublin performed. Here’s a link http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/35133959 What made this morning so neat was out of no where Cameron Diaz pops out to do an interview for Shrek…she’s gorgeous! We got to be on tv for a bit when Al Roker did his weather thing. As we headed back to our room, we ran into Meredith Vieira on the way out so we got a great picture with her :) She’s SUPER sweet and a bit more wrinkly than I thought she’d be but beautiful nonetheless.
I thought it’d be fun to keep people posted back home. Life’s pretty great out here on the East Coast to say the least. We’re definitely not taking anything for granted. During this week, I can’t help but think about people’s reaction if Jesus decide to pop into this crazy scene. I’m just wondering what people would do if Jesus decided to make an appearance on the Today Show or Late Night with David Letterman. Would he be considered an A lister? How long would people be willing to wait for him for standby tickets? An example of dedication…! Miley Cyrus had a performance a couple weeks ago @ Rockefeller and people were willing to wait 2 weeks to save their spot. They didn’t shower, they didn’t leave to run back to their hotels, and the staff had to pass out deodorant because the stench was unbearable. There was a grandma from New Zealand who took out a $5,000 loan to fly out to NY to watch Miley Cyrus and after the concert she flew right back (50 hour plane ride) Honestly, is that necessary??? I wish my dedication to my faith was that deep.
We’re heading out to The Times Square Church tonight to worship at their young adult service so I’m looking forward worshipping NY style. Kingdom Come.
Lately, I have been so encouraged by my professors here at Merced. Each semester, I have had one or two professors who are Jesus followers and I am so incredibly grateful. Having a professor who loves the Lord makes class such a delight because you know that they serve with joy and there’s an atmosphere of affirmation and ease.
Just last week, I went to Office Hours and out of no where my math teacher asks if I’m in involved with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. I tell him yes (as a small group leader) and he starts sharing his testimony with me. “Around the age of 15, I began to really question the meaning of life. I started down a crazy path of drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, and trouble with the law. At the age of 18 I had a powerful experience that led me to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”
In a math setting, it’s all about equations, formulas, and functions—it’s so hard to proclaim your faith. Our office hours allowed us to talk on a more personal basis and it soon turned into a conversation about basic theology, Heaven, campus ministry, apologetics, John Piper, Calvinism vs. Armenianism, and he promised to even pray that I receive supernatural wisdom in the department of math!! C’mon!!
How awesome is it to have your math teacher pray and encourage you?
On his Facebook it says, “5 minutes inside eternity and we will wish that we had sacrificed more!!! Wept more, bled more, grieved more, loved more, prayed more, given more!!!” -Leonard Ravenhill
Take a moment to ask a question …
“What have I ever suffered or lost for the sake of serving Christ?”
“But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (2 Peter 4:13)
I am thoroughly encouraged, keep living bolding..you never know who you will bless and who will bless you in return.
I recently heard the story of Fanny Crosby, the American hymn writer who lived in the nineteenth century. She described a life changing incident that happened to her as a baby:
When about six weeks old I was taken sick and my eyes grew very weak and those who had charge of me poulticed my eyes. Their lack of knowledge and skill destroyed my sight forever. As I grew older, they old me I should never see the faces of my friends, the flowers of the field, the blue of the skies, or the golden beauty of the stars..Soon I learned what other children possessed, but I made up my mind to store away a little jewel in my heart which I called, “Content.”
In fact, Fanny Crosby was only 8 years old when she wrote this song: O what a happy soul am I!Although I cannot see, I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoyThat other people don’t To weep and sigh because I’m blind,I cannot, and I won’t.
This contented worshipper went on to write 8,000 hymns of praise. Those thousands of songs were simply the result of a fire that burned in her heart for Jesus and could not be put out. Someone once asked her, “Fanny, do you wish you had not been blinded?” She replied, in typical style, “Well the good thing about being blind is that the very first face I’ll see will be the face of Jesus.”
I have a Tumblr account but I never take advantage of this great creative space so I thought I’d tumble on this cold, damp day in Merced while sipping a cup of coffee. I could speak of my life, I could share about this semester, and I could try to be philosophical, but instead I am going to enlighten those who read this and share about my life as a tour guide.
I’ve worked for UC Merced’s Visitor Center for 1 year and a half—I have met countless people and forgotten 98% of their names, done my fair share of mess ups..and loved ever bit of it (for the most part) :) I love using my tour guide fingers, walking backwards, projecting my voice (which doesn’t take much effort), answering the question: “What do you do in the middle of nowhere,” and wearing my fashion statement polo.
Being a tour guide is such a huge platform for loving on people, giving them the hope that they are worthy of going to a UC campus for higher education, and one day my hope is that UC Merced will be known as a campus infiltrated by the love of God—that our God will be made famous upon our secular institution. Last year in my dorm, we had a map of California with an arrow pointing to Merced with a big sign that said ‘Revival.’ Many tour groups asked about it and were truly interested in hearing about this new, foreign term “revival” and some people even stopped to tell me that they’d be praying to see revival break through as well.
On a light note, I wanted to highlight some stories that stuck out to me in the last year and a half.
1st Highlight: On my first tour ever, I remember the sheer terror that ran through me because I had no idea what to do or what to say. I was taking a large group of high school students around our campus and we were just about to move away from the laundry room. What I saw next was not something I expected to see on my first day of work. Outside the doors, was a tree beautifully decorated with panties, thongs, and men’s briefs. Yes..a tree covered with under garments hanging like Christmas ornaments. To appease this group of laughing hyenas, I told them that this was simply UC Merced’s way of presenting the Lost and Found.
2nd highlight(s): This was something that was ongoing, but I told my tours that you could see Half Dome from our campus which is so not true because you have to drive two hours just to get into Yosemite to see anything remotely close to Half Dome. I told groups that our carpet is made of “trash.” I told some tours that the alumni used to wear hardhats to their classes because the construction was too dangerous.
3rd highlight: Junior Highers are UNfiltered little people. I’ve been told I look like one of them, I’ve been told I look old—32 years old. I’ve been told that for Halloween little girls wanted to dress as bumble bees. Bumble bee—aww cute, right?—no, it was specifically mentioned that they were going to be “slutty bumble bees.” They’ve talked about condoms, lesbians, masturbation. In all seriousness, the generation below us needs guidance, love, and a lot of prayers.
4th highlight: These next highlights lead to the photos—sometimes people ask for my number, ask me to go clubbing with them, and even go to one of their proms…I graciously decline these lovely offers but it’s fun sometimes to see what dynamics a group can bring.
I’ve been blessed to overflowing and it’s been a privilege to serve my school in this way…happy times.
Have a great weekend and live For the Kingdom.
“Put the blade down and let the bird go…”This line keeps running through my head every time I see the chicken stands (or any butcher places). They literally have chickens in dirty little cages with their poops all over the floor and the little Asian shop owners shamelessly take the chicken by the neck and end their life x_x poor birdies! If Hong Kong is known for anything, it’s definitely their fresh produce. I wish you guys could get a whiff of the stench here…seafood stands are by far the WORST. Once again ignorance is bliss…and too bad I love to eat chicken.
So HK is the food capital for Cantonese people. At church on Sunday, it was so ironic because the church we went to called Solomon’s Porch, Pastor Samuel Song from Irvine preached about fasting and praying. LOL This pastor for 7 years has created a tradition where their church body corporately fasts and prays as they welcome the new year for 21 days. I was totally convicted and realized that I need to kick it up a notch. This church meets on the weekdays to pray in the mornings and they do inner healing services..cool huh!? Pastor Sam was preaching such a great and anointed word and totally convicted me to seek the face of God as Iwalk into 2010, but talk about challenge!! We’re in HONG KONG of all places..the food is cheap and abundant..fasting is a toughy. If I want something, I gotta discipline myself and pray pray pray. (and right now I truly want to see salvations atmy school. I adore UCMercy and the people there) ~God’s doing some mighty things at Solomon’s Porch—it’s great to see a body so fervently seeking His face and how they want to bring the kingdom to HK, the Philippines, China, Korea and beyond. I love that people are obediently coming to Asia and being so “FTK” and missional. It was so refreshing to worship with my home church friends,Tim Chung, Whit, and even my family. :D
*Newsflash, Cynthia and I are officially citizens in Hong Kong. Last year, we came to get the application filled out and this year we’re here to take the picture for the card. I gave them my million dollar smile because we waited 4 hours to take it. It’s insane how long it took…the process was a full year! The immigration tower is completely packed with people of all nationalities trying to file for a permanent citizenship, I didn’t think Hong Kong was so desirable but boy was I wrong. It took us from 9am until 4pm—talk about a grueling process! Regardless, my parents are happy that Cynthia and I have a ”passport” here so it’s a win win.
Mmm one more thing…my heart is totally broken for the homeless people here. I saw an old man today and his leg was completely handicapped. :( I will have the image of him sitting on the sidewalk engraved in my head always. His right leg had a huge open wound (maybe 6 inches) and it was just raw flesh. If I was called to be a doctor I’d love to come back here and help them out. Every homeless person I have seen is handicapped here, either burn victim, missing limbs, etc. Thank God He is Jehovah Jirah. I’m gonna start praying for my Chinese people more, join me! HK people are in such a hurry all day everyday. I thought my personality was hasty but these guys are rushers. They walk swiftly and they never sing?! Some people say my life is a musical and I guess it’s true..Cynthia and I frolick all over the place and sing Taylor Swift, gotta bring the joy back to Asia! :D Alrighty! Gooodnight USA.
I can’t even count how many times we stopped to eat… curry fish balls, tapioca, dim sum, inmitation shark fin soup, some food items that I will never know the name of, mmm I think you get the picture. The pounds are piling on..no joke. We started the day by going to a place called the “Milk Factory,” this is the epitome of bad service. Only male waiters work there and the women are shoved in the back washing the dishes. :( C’mon ladies! The waiters shuffle you like cattle and make you sit down and order without looking at the menu. Even if we had a menu we wouldn’t know how to read it though, so the best way to order is pointing and hoping it’s yummy..I’ve done it for every meal and so far it’s been delicious.
After breakfast we head over to event/carnival called the Expo which is literally Costco on steroids. You pay 10HK dollars to go inside and you get samples GALORE. I tried some of the weirdest things (super dried stinky fish, really bitter black tea, octopus, & things that looked and smelled funky). But I’m trying to tap into my Asian culture so it’s all good.
Couple things I’ve gathered from this trip already.
Lesson 1..if they push, push back. It’s a dog eat dog world here. If you dont push back, the little ladies will run you over.
Lesson 2…Ignorance is bliss…if you see a piece of hair in your food, simply pull it out and pretend it wasn’t there. If you see them handling your food with their bare hands…close your eyes and pretend they used utensils.
Lesson 3..Chinese people are simplistic..they use the floor as cutting boards for their fish and beef..stay away from the shabby places because it’s gurantee’d stomach ache.
Lesson 4…HK has become an international place filled with caucasians, indians, indonesians, and philipinos (and many of them speak Canto!) Holla at the melting pot.
Lesson 5…The taxis do NOT wait for you. Pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way
It was a good day. I love this place. Proud to be a Chinese girl! Going to church with Whitney and Tim Chung! Yay! Thank God for English Church services
So I thought it’d be kinda fun if I blogged a bit of my trip in Hong Kong..considering that it’s 6am here and there’s nothing to do in Hong Kong this early in the day. And LONG—I’m sure you wanna read about it since you are here with us in spirit. We saw Wanda and Ronnie :D
We arrived here yesterday (HK’s Christmas Day) with 21 people from our church. I think that this trip is going to be super epic because our crew knows each other so well and we haven’t seen each other for months. We left from SFO at midnight and I managed to watch two movies, eat two meals, and go pee only twice. Gingerale FTW (that’s always been my airplane drink). For some odd reason, Cynthia, the lovely sister she is decides her stomach doesn’t feel well and hurls all over the place…she blames it on the chicken dish they served for “dinner”. This throw up ordeal took place early on in the flight so it was quite the treat to be sitting with her for 13 full hours. <3 Praise God, she feels better and we all landed safely.
When we get into Jordan where our apartment is, we have to lug our luggage about 5 blocks to the hotel. Me being REAL lucky gets the handicapped suitcase…meaning that it was 49 lbs with no wheel!! I used my sweatshirt, tied the handle bar to my waist and drag it like a mule. :D Our little apartment/hotel is the same size as my parent’s master bathroom AND it’s got FOUR television channels!! JEALOUS?! What we live in is called a service apartment, it has two bedrooms as well as a kitchen…we could definitely hot pot in this hotel, but it’d be smarter if we just went down the stairs to a legit restaurant where Shabu Shabu is 5 US dollars.
After we settle into the hotel, we go to the glasses shop to get everyone new specs. We spent close to three hours goofing off and picking out new glasses for about 10 of us. In total, we ordered 16 pairs of glasses…7 pairs cost my family 1000 HK dollars (divide by 7 for US $). We tried the Armani glasses, the big rimmed black ones, the Diors..everything you could think of. This was our playground for the afternoon. After running a couple errands, we all go back to the hotel for a two hour power nap but Cyn and I slept from 6pm till 6am..no dinner, no tooth brushing, no changing into pjs.. Now for ROUND 2 DAY 2. I am so incredibly grateful for this trip—Merry Christmas United States.