Packing Up the Tent

Last night I packed up the tent in my Grandma’s backyard. It may seem like a simple task, but the stories and meanings behind this task was very heart breaking and emotional. Packing up the tent felt like breaking a fragile porcelain bowl filled with precious droplets of memories—memories of my family and our one-year journey together. Nostalgia and sorrow flooded over me like a tidal wave crashing into an earthen wall. Why does packing up this tent bring me so much pain? Why is this empty space covered by a tarp have so much meaning and significance? Continue reading Packing Up the Tent

Joani, My Second Chance

Being stuck together with your family for a year is quite a feat. When I say “stuck” I don’t mean the staying in the same house for 18 years kind of “stuck” (because I already did that). I mean really stuck. For a whole year as we traveled around the world, we shared the same food, slept in the same beds, used the same bathrooms, fought for the same computers, watched the same TV shows, and all suffered the invasion of our private space. But being “stuck” is also what brought my sister closer to me. This trip not only gave me back a sister, but also a friend.

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Boy to Teenage-hood

Who is Nathan from his Sister’s eyes?

“If Olivia and Joani aren’t going, then I don’t want to go either.”—that was my little brother, Nathan, at age 5. He was refusing to go on an exclusive trip with just my parents to Vietnam, because Joani and I weren’t going. Even though my parents already applied for his visa and made arrangements he still stubbornly refused. Lots have changed since then. For one, now he would jump at a trip to go to a different country, especially if he gets to go alone without Joani or me. Of course there’s a lot more than that: he’s more talkative now, more out spoken, more adventurous, and has even acquired the teenage “attitude” and presence. Despite the changes from Nathan being a boy to a rising teenager, he still will always be my sweet, little kid brother. Continue reading Boy to Teenage-hood

Traveling and Praying Through the Nations