Thursday, November 11, 2010

Update 2010

Since I moved to Tumblr, I haven't been writing about my adventures in SE Asia, so I thought I'd stumble on back to my tried and true I have heard rumors that Viet Nam is shutting down access to blogs, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see if this rumor is true. In the past few months, I've visited Shanghai and Hong Kong for conferences--truly inspirational conferences on reading and technology--Chiang Mai, Thailand for October break, and on December 5th, I will be flying to Angkor Wat to run a half-marathon with some ladies from SSIS. Yes, I'm in my thirties, and yes, I've given up smoking and drinking, and yes, I'm running a half-marathon. I'm a 33 year old cliché , but I like it that way. That about sums up my life from August to the present. 

Here's the big news...I turned in my resignation to my boss last week. That's right, good night, Viet Nam! Michael and I have spent what will be a total of three years living in SE Asia, and now, we're ready to return to the states. I have to admit that I'm a little frightened to be leaving the comfort of teaching abroad: paid apartment, plane tickets home, healthcare, good money, etc. Overseas teaching is a strange and fantastic adventure, and I will miss it, but will hopefully return in the future. Maybe, Eastern Europe? As far as New York goes, I'm not quite sure what I want to do with my life. I am thinking about continuing teaching, but I am also thinking about teaching yoga, working at a bookstore, wandering the streets of New York... I've also thought about dancing again in some form. I would like to explore a little more of the world and return to teaching in a year or two. Although I'm 33, my comparison for my decision comes from an experience in fourth grade. At 10, I think I was 10, I decided to quit dancing for one year. I decided that dancing was a waste of my time, and that I should do something more important with my life, like skateboarding. After a year with the board, the copy of the board Michael J. Fox rode in Back to the Future, I desperately missed matching movement with music, so I returned to dance with renewed passion and vigor. I hope my adventures in New York and a break from teaching allow for reflection and renewal. I want to be a passionate, energetic, engaging teacher, and I think that means taking a break every once in awhile.

We have a few more adventures planned this year, so I'll keep you up to date. We're going to Laos over Christmas break, Bali during Tet, and relaxing on a beach somewhere during Spring break. Other than traveling the world, I'm trying to inspire young minds to engage in critical thought--it's a grand experiment. 

With Love,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Moving to Tumblr.

Read the same old thing, but now at a new site!

;) Karinna

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Gourmet Shop in District 7

Mun, standing next to a mountain of croissants
 cà phê đá, no sữa (milk)

I am not alone in calling the Gourmet Shop "my kitchen". The Gourmet Shop in Phu My Hung, District 7, is my go to for a morning cà phê sữa đá and ham and cheese croissant. There's seating outside and air-con seating upstairs, but I'm often in a rush, grabbing food to go. The owners, Quyen and Mun are lovely sisters who work in the shop on most days, greeting customers with a smile. They're super friendly and are always willing to chat. Great food and smiles, nothing better! I wanted to take a moment to share my favorite restaurant and kitchen with you because walking past it or popping in for food makes my day, every day.

One last note.

I also recommend any of the desserts in the glass display and the lentil salad. I love how the lentils pop in my mouth, and oh, the goat cheese--yum! I sound like my mom. Hahaha!

Thanks, Gourmet Shop.

P.S. They deliver, but maybe not to the states. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Two Things

1. Finished grading essays, so I scribbled. I know. Such talent, no training.

2. Michael's mug is in the yearbook. Love.

Friday, June 4, 2010

"Picking flower by leg"

I really want to know what the game "making me broken" or "hand balling" is all about. 

Click on the program picture to get a better view of activities--read the bottom, right corner.

It makes me happy.

I am reposting a link Sandy had on her g-chat. I loved it. 
The link for this postcard is below. Thanks, Sandy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wildlife At Risk

On Saturday, Michael and I took the National Honor Society students to volunteer at Wildlife At Risk. WAR is located out by the Cu Chi tunnels, so we were able to volunteer at the institute and then climb down into the tunnels used during the Vietnam/American war.

Our students cleared brush, raked leaves, cut up fruit and veggies, and fed the endangered animals during our time at Wildlife At Risk. We loved the otters and bears, and one of the gibbons "loved" us. Her long arms wiggled out to grab hair, scratch arms and make us (me specifically) squeal. I have to give the gibbon a break because she was previously living in an abusive environment, and she doesn't like women/girls.Needless to say, we won't be sitting down for a chat and a coffee any time soon.

After volunteering at WAR, we were off to the Cu Chi tunnels. We toured through the tunnels used in the Vietnam/American war and were even able to shimmy our way through miles and miles of tunnel. Well, the kids climbed down into the tunnels. I freaked out due to the lack of air and space and made the entire crew back out, so I could get to open air. One of my more memorable moments as a leader. 

After our trip to the Cu Chi tunnels, we climbed back into the van and promptly fell asleep after a long day in the sun. I had a wonderful day with this fantastic group of students and Mr. I. Hooray for NHS!