Music To Travel Asia By

Every few months I like to make a playlist of whatever tunes I’m currently listening to at the time. It’s a good way to document my life through the years and see how my collection has expanded and become more eclectic over time. Each playlist is like a time capsule into my younger self. The mystery still remains as to why I chose to put an embarrassing amount of Jesse McCartney, Ozzy Osbourne, and Queen in my junior high mixes. {not actually embarrassing}

I am enclosing my Asia playlist in case you get the urge to do a little spontaneous traveling; or if you would just like some recommendations to listen to from home. I know there’s some way to add a playlist to your blog so you can listen to it from here, but I’m not a smart enough cat for that. Do with them what you may. In random order, here are some of my present favourites:

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¡Viva La Independencia!

I live in a country where people will find any excuse to have a party. I hate it. It’s not in my nature at all. However, I am finding myself a lot more inspired to find reasons to celebrate life! Because it is Mexican Independence Day, I’m planning a full-on ‘grito’ celebration for these Asian-raised children who may never get a chance to experience the real thing — unless I get my say in the matter of them coming to visit me in Oaxaca. So I am going to go out on a wire to celebrate my home country, though I am far away, with a few alterations:

  1. We do not have local beauty queens to sing the national anthem horribly off-key, (although we all know I qualify – puh-lease).
  2. We do not have enough people to make a parade worthwhile, no cowboys to ride into town on their horses, and definitely no impressive fireworks.
  3. Although it can be easily arranged, I have chosen to veto the tradition of smashing flour-filled eggs on each others’ heads. You’re welcome, Belinda. That alteration is dedicated to you.

This year, my family will be celebrating Mexican Independence Day from 5 different countries. I don’t know how much each of the family members outside of Mexico will be able to celebrate, but I (family rep for Southeast Asia) have planned a cultural immersion evening; latino music and a Oaxacan feast with all the food we would typically have on the night of the Grito. Horchata, tacos, churros, and platanos fritos (fried plantains)! It will be my first attempt at trying to make all these dishes from scratch and so far away from all the ingredients I need. With all the Asian twists I’ll have to give it, it’s not promised to be very authentic, but it will at least temporarily satisfy my cravings.

How can you not love how festive they are for special days!

How can you not love how festive they are!

Most MKs have difficulty answering the question, “Where are you from?” For me, that question is easy. No matter how long I’ve lived outside of Oaxaca, I have always considered it to be my home. Although I will confess, some days I don’t feel like divulging my entire story to a stranger when they’re just trying to be polite, so I’ve come up with a short answer: “About an hour north of LA”. The difficulty lies in when they ask further questions about my schooling and family, then I have to fess up that I only lived in Simi Valley for 2 years. When people hear I grew up south of the border and notice my skin colour, I just know I’m not going to get out of that conversation for a good 15 minutes; and truthfully, sometimes I just don’t want to talk about it.

Do you ever wish your life were more boring so people would be less intrigued??

I sometimes feel like I’m alone in that sentiment…

I miss my Oaxaca sunsets with all my heart.

Although I’ve seen my fair share of the world, nothing holds my heart like this place.

En todo el mundo no puedes encontrar a una gente mas patriótico ni mas amable que los Méxicanos, y me siento orgullosa de ser considerado uno de ellos. Extraño celebrar este día tan especial con los que amo mas en todo el mundo. ¡Un día regresaré y celebraremos el Día de Independencia juntos otra vez! ¡¡¡¡Viva México cabrones!!!!

Lost In Translation

Working as a nanny for several different families for the past few years, I have watched my share of kid movies. I’m a bit of a snob, really, when it comes to what I’ll watch. But I bamboozle the children into thinking I’m letting them choose the movie, when in reality, I pull out 2 or 3 movies I wouldn’t mind watching (for the millionth time), and I let them choose from my options. Ha. Ha. Suckers… Old Disney movies are the best!

However, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train your Dragon, and Tangled are the exceptions to my rule. Kudos to this generation for making clever, funny animated films that don’t result in all the grownups watching it in the theatre with their children dying from asphyxiation. On that note…

In Tangled, specifically, we love the wit, we love the frying pan, and we love this scene.

Am I right?

Am I right?

We also love their floating lanterns. I’m pretty sure that Tangled is to blame for the floating lantern fad. Before we knew it, everyone wanted to use them in their weddings, people were burning down buildings and starting forest fires from not “sending them off” properly, and every single female on Pinterest had pinned the picture of the floating lantern festival in Chiang Mai and added that to their bucket list.

How could this not start a trend?

I feel like something bigger is happening…

As it turns out, sending these things off is a lot harder than the animated characters on screen made it look. I know what you’re thinking… “Wait, what?” But it’s true. We bought our very own lanterns, imported directly from China, and these were the instructions we were given:

1. After the distribution of fuel to packaging equipment Kong cross wire in the side of the field again deduction presses The fuel-pressure lock firmly.

2. A person XuYuan light take up a Top;
Another person fuel ignited the four angle.

3. Wait for that the heat enough light, lanterns person lest loose A top hand, changes grips under the light to encircle, Has when the lifting force may let go releases for flying.

4. XuYuan light rose slowly the sky, do not forget Wishing oh.

Notice item:
1. Should choose at the option open, calm environment released for flight. No fire ban in areas. the tall building the floor, and so on have covers under the thing to release for flight, must leave outside the airport 10 kilometers from flying.

2. XuYuan light can only be used for the distribution the special-purposeof fuel,prohibited by any burning Replace.

3. XuYuan light are on the rise, that of the flying, cannot the long time not put, and the Flight not to be append the foreign body.

4. Children must be under the custody of the adults use.

The first time we lit a floating lantern was for my 22nd birthday and it was a disaster. It resulted in the-almost-burning-down of our neighbour’s chicken coop. Oops. But the second time we made sure to not forget ‘Wishing oh’, and it turns out that’s the step you can’t skip.

Best wishes to you on your future floating lantern endeavours. May the odds be ever in your favour, or may you just learn Mandarin so you don’t get lost in translation…and don’t forget Wishing oh!

100 Days Of Summer

Today I celebrate 100 days of living in Asia.

Although I have many more days left here, I decided I would do a little recap to catch you up, through pictures, to where I am today!

JUNE:

  • I turned 22 very shortly after “getting off the boat” and we all went out to dinner to celebrate!
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Obviously still a little jet lagged…

  • Immediately taught 2 weeks of K, 5th, and 7th, then we took off for a few days of R&R in Davao.
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I loved my morning quiet time view (especially when compared with dry Southern Cal!)

Neo and I spent most of our days by the hotel pool.

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The last time I’d gone swimming with this kid he was still in diapers!

One of our last days in Davao we went to the croc park. We got to feed ostriches, tigers, and crocodiles.

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Each time the ostrich would peck at my hand, seeds would spray back all over me and I would squeal; sure gave the guys working in the park a laugh.

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So right here, I was weeping on the inside and making small whimpering noises. A tiny little fence was all that separated my body from a tiger’s mouth. And no, this is not the same as a Thai monastery tiger you can hand feed and snuggle with, this was the Jurassic Park of tigers. I’ve seen the movies; I know how this story ends.

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The guy in charge of the tigers was like 12; not very reassuring for me wanting to live through the experience. Needless to say, I survived…and I think I’m a tougher cat because of it. Check that off my bucket list.

On our way out of the park, we stopped in the gift shop to rehydrate and it’s a good thing we did. These signs were worth it!

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Apparently this is an actual game?

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Sorry, that is not a good enough reason to have a croc in your “residence”!

  • Our last day in Davao was also Philippine Independence Day!
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We love the Republic of the Philippines!

JULY:

  • Our home country’s independence day was here before we knew it.
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We celebrated by sending off red, white, and blue Chinese floating lanterns.

  • July also brought conference with all the other New Tribes missionaries on our island. It was a wonderful time getting to know all the other missionaries and hang out with their MKs too!
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I loved being able to help out with childcare with these lovely ladies. I also got to lead worship for a couple of the sessions.

AUGUST:

  • For Belinda’s “25th” birthday, we went to Duka Bay for the weekend. It was exactly what each of us needed. A little R&R, sunshine, waves, and a break from the view of our school room.

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    The perfect end to our school year and celebration of B’s life! We all returned with jellyfish and coral reef owies, but oh, so worth it!

  • I’m just going to brag a little about myself… I successfully made angel food cake without a mixer. Difficult to do for an amateur baker! Not every cake mixing will make you break a sweat!
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This was the end result of my birthday labour of love. So classy with a match as the candle.

SEPTEMBER:

  • My precious little niece, Rosalie Lyn, made her dramatic entrance into the world on September 3rd! I love starting a new month with new life!

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    As you can tell, we are all pretty smitten of our new little one! The (immediate) Loker family count is now up to 14!

  • We even celebrated little Rosie’s BIRTH-day all the way in the Philippines! She is already loved by so many people!

    Any excuse to party, am I right?

    Any excuse to party, am I right?

  • A first this month for me: making my very own homemade doughnuts without any of the needed tools; quite successfully too!

    As if this wasn't a challenge enough, the electricity went out as I started frying them.

    As if this wasn’t a challenge in and of itself, the electricity went out as I started frying them and I had to work by flashlight. Oh, Philippines – what you do to me…

  • This last weekend we went for a walk around the tree park to take some family pictures and topped it off with a picnic in the park!
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I love me some Moffits!

  • And here are the people I spend the majority of my time with:

    ...lucky them! :) just kidding.

    …lucky them! 😉 just kidding.

  • I am so happy I could be a part of the Moffit family for the past 100 days! Here’s to the next…however many I have left!

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