Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Closing the year with the greatest and best memories!!!

Coming home to celebrate ONG's Birthday and tonight it will be Lina's!

Happy Birthday Ong!!! Another Year older and wiser!

Hanging out with the best ladies....

Going to the Hmong New Years with my Family and keeping the tradition alive!
They missed me last year and I didn't get to dress up!

My kiddos make my day! And I couldn't ask for more, to be home with my FAMILY!

To a new year, I hope it brings more of anything and everything...
Especially new adventures!

EEs...Let's start our Asian Tour! I am serious...Love and miss you all!

Korean Chingus....See you soon, it means another year closer to 2018!

2011 was wonderful and filled with many memories!

I am so ready for a new year and new challenges, I have accomplished so much and now I know I can do anything by myself!

Let's do this!!! 2012



Friday, December 30, 2011

Phonesavanh, Xieng Khoung, LAOS

December 1, 2011

So we left my Aunt's house early for Xieng Khoung, that is way up North. But we made a stop in Lav 52 to give more luggages full of clothing to my Mom's brother's wife. So her sister in law, my uncle passed away a few years ago! Ate a quick lunch and went on our way to Xieng Khoung.

A quick pose before heading out! These are some of the cousins that we saw in Lav 52!

My mom and I had to grab our fruits for the road!

Got there really late so we got Motel rooms and slept!

December 2, 2011

Woke up bright and early like literally at 5 and got ready to go to Hlob Nkias Yiv's house. My uncle, but my grandma's sister is married to him! LOL So technically, my Grandma went to go visit her sister and her brother in law, but in the Hmong culture, she is the Grandma generation and she married the son generation, if that all makes any sense! :) I know I know, confusing...

So we went to find a pig to sacrifice for my grandma because peb ua neeb for her! Success it was delish! I don't think I have a picture, but that pork meat was very very good!!! Did a little shopping and took the little cousins shopping. Bought them new dishes, pots and pans...Busy day, but tomorrow was another big day!

Cow day!!! My Dad and a few of the cousins killed a cow for everyone to come and eat!!!! It was a day filled with eating....seriously I gained like 20 pounds on this trip! Not even funny!

A picture of us with it before and then my Dad trying to get it in one hit! It took three! LOL

Spent the entire day cooking, cleaning and eating....
More to come....because this is my parents home home town in LAOS.
The next day we were going to their old village, a memorable day for my parents to reminisce!



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post Korea / Laos

So It's been awhile since I have been home, home! After coming back from Korea, I went with my parents to LAOS for about 3 weeks! So now that I am officially back from year of vacation, I have no idea what to do or what's in store for me. I enjoyed Laos and will blog about it day by day.....

November 28, 2011

My parents, me, and the cousins left Fresno for Laos...For my parents, it has been about 26 years since they have been back and it was truly and experience worth going with them!

We went from Fresno to LAX to South Korea to Hanoi, and finally after an overnight stay in Vietnam, we were on our way to Laos....It was so surreal, but so real because I can guarantee you that 90% of the passengers on that last flight to LAOS was all HMONG....Like older HMONG parents, grandmas and grandpas. Sadly, I was the only young person, but I enjoyed it!

Landed at 10:30 AM on November 30th in Laos and I go to do my visa and all in that 20 min process, I misplaced my brand new camera! I know, just my luck, I was sure that was going to ruin my trip, but o well, one of the cousins, let me borrow theirs and that's how I got all those amazing pictures!!!

You know the feeling of landing in a new airport, you want to look and see how beautiful it is, well it is different here! I was like Dad, this is it? Nothing special? Like no tall buildings and freeways and cars??? Nothing, it was a dirt field and the little airport in the corner! Wow, I then realized I was no longer in a country of luxury.

My aunt (Dad's side) came to get us...and we went straight to their house! Yes, that is a house in LAOS. I was amazed by how all the houses were so advance. I mean there are still some living in real HMONG houses made of sticks and straws, but this was one of the better ones.

Had lunch and went to my other Aunt's house. (My mom's half sister)
Came back to my other Aunt's house and my mom was Santa, gave away all the things she brought to them! Hmong clothes, and regular clothes. Like 5 big suitcases full!!!

We had dinner and went to the Hmong New Years in that town, Phoun Xai.
It was small and barely anyone there. Went back home and got ready to go on our road trip to Xieng Khoua and Laung Prabang.



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Things I will miss...

My Chingus!

My wonderful Hmong Friends!

More Friends...

My YPP cousins!!!
See you ladies soon and hurry back!

The kiddos!

The food...

I know there are more that I cannot think of at this moment, but Korea will be missed!
Even the air because I am sick now and I blame the Fresno air!

Last, but not least I will miss you guys and Hadong....(So Yeou, Yeoung Ju and Nicole!)
It will not be the same without me, but we will always have our great month of memories! In Time, we will all meet again!

Miss you all, see you soon!!!



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Last few words about this crazy adventure!!!

Wednesday, November 16

As I am sitting here remembering all the good times and bad times in SK...I am so proud of myself, I really didn't know if I could have lasted this past year! I mean, it is a whole year away from family and friends. It took alot of courage I know and I am so proud of those who are away and still are! They are truly my inspiration to travel more and see the world.

When I arrived, it felt as I never left, except I could understand everyone talking! Because there were like a million Asians still on the flight! Until I got to LA, then it was like, O I am not in Korea anymore!

Sunday, November 20

I have been back a few days now and boy am I tired!!! Been going everywhere like crazy and sleeping like crazy! Went shopping and it felt so great, so perfect, where I belong? hahaha Reality is slowly kicking in because everyone keeps asking, are you going back? Are you staying? What are you going to do? Mualaiyo? LOL I don't know..I just don't know yet! Give me a few days and then weeks and then just give me til Jan. I think I will know by then! If not, o well I will figure it out day by day!

Been hanging with the kiddos and just relaxing...
Giving my Princess Carra a bath! She said monster!
Visiting Baby Aubreeah with Bryant!

I have also been eating so much since I got back..Normal American, Mexican, Hmong and junk food! I do miss Korean food now that I know I can't just walk down the street and have it.
And not enough, I cannot get away from kimchi and soju!
Hanging with the cousins!!!
Us just being silly...

No place like HOME!

O Korea, I shall come visit again soon, it might be sooner or later than plan, but I will return to visit my hangul chingus and my megu chingus. I miss you all and will always remember the good times!!!

Until a new adventure.....


Cont...Last few days...

Sunday, November 13

Woke up and went to meet the gang for pho! Our famous place in Seoul...not just for pho, but for a sandwich too! Who would have think that it would be my last time eating there! I am going to miss going to Seoul and meeting there for lunch like every time! After pho, it was massive shopping, but didn't really get anything too special! I have nothing really for people, but I am going to wait and not give out any gifts til after my other trip from Laos...

So shopping was a success with So Yeoun, Young Ju, and Nugee....Ate Korean pancakes! And had lunch again! :) I know all we do is eat, eat and eat!
The girls came up from Hadong to visit me before I left! What great friends I have, I know they love me! Who doesn't? JK

I truly have been blessed to meet everyone that I did and they each made my journey a little more homey! I might of missed out on all the great people if I hadn't gone on this amazing adventure! I still cannot believe it has been a year!

I don't like saying good byes, so it was all more of see you later! I told all the Korean Chingus that I will def go and visit in 2018 for the Olympics. How fun? I mean we are all planning on it, let's see how many of us will actually go?

Went to costco to end the night and then Sheng's for dinner! After dinner, Nugee and I went to her place in Uijeongbu! An hour and a half train ride, but it was all worth it! She needed help doing some of her errands.... What a nice cousin I am? hahahaha
Woke up later than her the next day cause she had work and then I went to meet her for lunch. Ramen it is and it was delish! :) We later met up with Choua and Toni for a last dinner together at Nugee's fave chicken sandwich and brownies place! Stephanie's Cafe!!!

Last photos in SK with the ladies!!!
Choua, the amazing photographer!!

And then a last lunch date with my dear cousin Nugee Yang in South Korea!

After lunch I headed to Sheng's and I didn't have a subway map! I made it all the way! I am so proud of myself, I am officially a Seoul Girl, Sheng says! I know, I mastered almost everything and I am already leaving...It's ok, I might return, who knows what's in store for me?

Went to Sheng's, took a nap and went shopping again! There were things that I needed and what better more than last minute shopping that overflowed my luggage! I threw away more clothes and it still didn't fit...The joy of traveling overseas!!! Great last dinner with Sheng and then Starbucks to collect my free planner, I wanted it to be from SK, so I have something for myself, since I didn't get anything for me to remind me of that place! Thank you to everyone who contributed, esp Nicole! :) I won't tell if you won't!

Thanks again Nugee and Sheng for having me when I was homeless in South Korea!!!

O Korea, I will miss you!



Last few days in SK!

My sweet Nicole, you are awesome! Planning everything to the perfect gift to my journey! I love it and will always treasure it! I can't help. but feel special every time I open it! This was the last meal in Hadong with the people I love! Missing a few!

Grown ups being silly!

Me in glasses, weird, but I think I do need them!

Hadong, my home that I know I can always go back to! I miss everyone and everything about it!
After an eventful Friday night, and cleaning out my house...Staying up til 7 in the morning, not a good idea if we are going to make the morning bus to Seoul! Sat afternoon comes and Nicole and I headed towards Seoul....

A taxi ride from my house to the bus terminal 3,000
A four hour bus ride 22,900
An hour taxi ride 17,000
Getting ready to see friends Priceless


To me, I did not know that Choua and Nugee were planning a surprise dinner for me!
Thank you ladies! YPP!

The group before I arrived, I was running late!!! I mean I didn't know! If I did, I would have been the first one there! Thank you for coming, May, Mai, Pajai, Kou, Kate, One Shot, Toni, Sheng and of course Nugee and Choua!!! Kahmbye, you and Sam were there in our hearts!
Group Photo!

Just the ladies!!!
Then we went to a coffee shop and did a little photo shoot that I will share on FB!
Not the best, but so worth all the memories with my friends and cousins!
I will miss you all and South Korea! Come back soon, or I will come back!



Friday, November 11, 2011


My last day of work went great! Many happy tears and sad tears! A boy wrote me the most touching letter ever! I cried in front of him reading it! I know, I couldn't hold it back! I did the best I could, I just couldn't hold it back anymore! I love my kids and the people that I have encounter over this amazing journey! It is still unbelievable that I am leaving in a few days! I mean I am done with work, no more teaching!!

I feel bad cause these kids are all so innocent, they are used to the fact that a new teacher will come, but they never know who and how that person will be like. My kids are so sweet they were like we will always like u better. Some of them cried and I felt bad, i didn't want them to be sad, but it was all happy tears! They were like no cry, you are make me cry! LOL

I have been so grateful to come to this wonderful town and work in such a beautiful place full of nice people and they are all so welcoming. I still have to talk about all the things that I have been receiving! Hadong, you got the best of me, now I have to live up to higher standards.... I got the feeling of a small town child! Now I know, I really want my children to grow up in a small close knit community and appreciate everything around them!

Great last dinner with the friends of Hadong!!! Pictures and stories to come soon, cause it is about 7 AM and I am going to Seoul to meet with the EEs and Choua! I am going to do my last walk and hike in South Korea!!! I still have so much to do before I leave. Now it seems like I will never leave this place. It really seems like I am going on a vacation and coming back home in a few weeks! Home I mean Hadong home, but sadly I will be in the U S of A and I am scared!!!

Nugee, Sheng and Choua see you ladies tomorrow!!! Or let's say in a bit!!!

Nicole and Melinda love you! Couldn't be happier with you ladies in Hadong!

So Yeoun & Young Ju...What can I say, you ladies made my month all the better!!!

Mr. Noh you are just you!!! Nothing to say!!!

The guys of Hadong, Jinyo, (JOSH) thank you for all the jokes and laughter!!!

Thanks to Matt and his family for a great experience!!!

I'd do it again in a heartbeat!!! Just need the right time and place!

5 days!!!



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sweet November ♥

Sweet November is here!!! You know what that means!!! My one year is around the corner!!!
Celebrate before I leave or celebrate when I get home? Just kidding, I am just ready to go home and see what LIFE holds for me!!!

Last weekend in Hadong! Excited and scared still! Sheng, Nugee, Kou and Boom came to visit Hadong for a last time! Ate delicious food and good company with all the friends of Hadong....

The girls arrived Friday night, and we went out to dinner with the lovely Hadong ladies....Saturday morning, we slept in and met Nicole to go eat jajamin...Across the bridge! It was so full filling...Then coffee at the famous place that over looks Hadong, but we had patpingsoo and tea instead!

With Nicole!!!

The EEs in Hadong minus Maychee! Shengmee mentioned that we all posed the same!
The day was perfect, a little warmer than usual, but it was a perfect day!

This is the same view, but I love how it is different each time I take a picture of it!
Thanks to Nugee's camera!

Headed over to the Persimmon Festival! Nothing too exciting, but we got some wonderful, not so wonderful memories! Nicole is the only one laughing!
Our jump picture didn't time right! :) But we were starting to jump!
After an hour of resting, Boom and Kou cooking, we went over to So Yeoun's house for dinner! It was delicious and there was so many food! Great dinner!
A picture of their lovely family plus me! I love her parents, sometimes I wished I spoke Korean so I can talk to the elders...I love talking to older people! Makes me miss my parents, Grandma, Uncles and Aunts!!

Last meal with my EEsm Kou, and Boom in Hadong! We'll meet again in the U S of A!
As tired as we all were from a night of drinking and singing....We went to Jinju to catch a movie and had STARBUCKS!!! Much needed!!! In Time was a great movie, Justin was smoking HOT shirtless!

Days are going by so fast and there are so many things to do still!!! I am not feeling anything anymore, it just all seems so surreal. I am finally happy to say that I am going home and that my chapter of New Adventures in South Korea has finally almost coming to an end! I am ready for a new chapter!!! Bring it on World!!!
One day at a time, one day can change anything!



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Outings with the EEs and Choua!

Weekends are going by too fast and I have less and less time to spend with my Korean friends...
This weekend was all filled with eating and more eating....Cooking and laughing....I love going to Seoul and cooking Hmong food with my EEs....Feels just like home! Pepper and everything...

I was super tired from eating and hanging with my Hadong Chingus...Got home, showered, and slept for an hour... Walked in the dark to the bus terminal and slept on the bus all the way there, best bus ride ever! I like it when I sleep, wake up and then I am there at my destination!!!

On the way, we stopped to capture the season change.... FALL is here and we love FALL!

Pho...Taste almost like HOME...Double the price too!!!
Sao and his girlfriend met up with us for lunch.
Then we headed over to Choua's Fave cupcake place!
Royal Cupcakes
It is delicious and a little pricey too! But I haven't has a good cupcake in a long time and this hit the spot for my craving!

Red Velvet...O so sweet and yummy!

Weekend was relaxing and great! I am going to miss the business of Seoul...Subways, walkways, buses and even the crazy taxis.... The thought of not coming back to see my Seoul Chingus with a four hour bus ride is kinda bittersweet! It's going to cost me a plane ticket next time!

Came home to relax and had a walk with my unnies....Met So Yeou's parents and made me miss mine! Her parents are so nice! Only if all of our parents all spoke one language!

About 16 days left!