I’ll tell you of Ecuador

I’ll tell you of Ecuador, and all of its splendor

With passion my memories race

In the sunshine, the mountains, my heart, it grew tender

When I unpacked my little suitcase

 

My arrival was quick; ’twas late in the night

And I watched the bright lights so intently

At two in the morning, awaiting daylight,

I drifted to sleep oh so gently

 

Weeks passed as I learned to write and to speak

And to navigate all on my own

I greeted new friends with a kiss on the cheek

And submerged myself in the unknown

 

I visited cities with lights of warm gold

And beaches with waves of cold vigor

My eyes, they saw creatures, so loud and so bold

Would I ever find anything bigger?

 

Like a flash of bright light, four months had gone by

A plane swept me up and away

And an emptiness held me, its embrace a bit shy

So I smiled and told it to stay

 

It’s a feeling that lingers, just under my chin

A warmth and a chill mixed together

And I begin to remember the sun on my skin

The vendors, the mountains, the weather

 

And I can’t help but miss the places I saw

and the wonderful people I met

So I lower my head and begin to withdraw

But remember there’s no need to fret

 

I’ll tell you of Ecuador, and all of its splendor

For I have begun to agree

In the sunshine, the mountains, my heart, it grew tender

When Ecuador opened to me

Pre-Departure Korean Immersion

Regretfully, in fall 2016 the Korean Conversation Club met on Wednesday nights, which is when I had Spanish class.  So, to continue learning about South Korea before I move there to study abroad in spring 2017, we met at different Korean restaurants to eat together and talk about Korean customs.

First we went to Midwest City to Korea House https://www.facebook.com/Korean-House-117502098268996/ Our host and guide was Cassade Davis, who studied abroad in at Kyungpook National University in Daegu for a summer program, then returned in spring 2016 for a full semester.  She speaks Korean well, which surprised the restaurant owners. She taught me a few basic phrses while we were there. Cassade explained the basic chop stick table manners, and several other cotstoms and norms for meals and in general. We had kimbap, dukbokki, kimchi, bulgogi, and the accompanying banchan. All of which was delicious.

I’ve since gone exploring for all of the authentic Korean restaurants and markets that I can find, along with people I’ve met who have either studied abroad in Korea before, plan to, or are actually Korean.

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a short list of things I am grateful for

I am so happy. I couldn't pinpoint why or when this happened but over break I've realized that I am so, so happy. I am blessed beyond belief and so grateful that even though I deserve nothing, God sees me and wants so much more for me. And so, here is a short list of things I am grateful for.


My mom, and also all of the cats and dogs that she takes care of while I am away at...

College. The place where I have met so many incredible people, including but not limited to:

Lucy
Jaci
Ciera
Riley
Jake
Madison
Zach
Serena
Ann
Ryan
and Austin

I'm also grateful for the old friends who I know love me so much more than I deserve:

CARSON
Hanna
Regan
Mia
Jadyn
Erin
Kendra
Nayzak
Taylor
Shaylee
and Ivey

Speaking of Ivey, we had coffee just the other morning and in talking about Arabic, law school, and studying abroad, she reminded me to be so grateful that I have hope and a future.

Those last two, they're probably the most important. Hope. Future. I am so incredibly excited for everything that is to come for me, and more so for what I will be able to do for others; help them see that they have hope and a future as well.
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a short list of things I am grateful for

I am so happy. I couldn't pinpoint why or when this happened but over break I've realized that I am so, so happy. I am blessed beyond belief and so grateful that even though I deserve nothing, God sees me and wants so much more for me. And so, here is a short list of things I am grateful for.


My mom, and also all of the cats and dogs that she takes care of while I am away at...

College. The place where I have met so many incredible people, including but not limited to:

Lucy
Jaci
Ciera
Riley
Jake
Madison
Zach
Serena
Ann
Ryan
and Austin

I'm also grateful for the old friends who I know love me so much more than I deserve:

CARSON
Hanna
Regan
Mia
Jadyn
Erin
Kendra
Nayzak
Taylor
Shaylee
and Ivey

Speaking of Ivey, we had coffee just the other morning and in talking about Arabic, law school, and studying abroad, she reminded me to be so grateful that I have hope and a future.

Those last two, they're probably the most important. Hope. Future. I am so incredibly excited for everything that is to come for me, and more so for what I will be able to do for others; help them see that they have hope and a future as well.
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Yemen Civil War

In October, I attended the panel discussion with Dr. Landis and Dr. Mahdi. The discussion was about the civil war in Yemen and the events that led up to the war. I thought this was interesting because I was not aware that there was even a war happening in Yemen. We hear about the Syrian Civil war with the rebel groups, ISIS, and the Assad Regime from mainstream media, but barely a single thing about Yemen. Dr. Mahdi mentioned was that 80% of Yemenis need humanitarian aid with basic needs of water and food and there are 3.5 million internally displaced people in Yemen.

For the last thirty years, there has been many conflicts occurring in Yemen. One of them is the North and the South have been fighting for power and influence. The socialist party controlled the South, while the GPC control the North. Both had difference agendas and interests culturally, tribally, and politically. The GPC eventually obtained power and Ali Saleh became the first president. When the ruling party collapsed in 2011 during the Arab Spring, Saleh stepped down with the agreement with the UN. Then, the Houthi slowly gained more and more power, spreading across the North and took control of Sanaa, the capital city.

I think it was interesting when Dr. Mahdi said that John Kerry’s tactic would not work any longer in Middle Eastern conflict. Many of the Yemenis believe that the United States has a big part of the conflict between Saudi Arabia. There were many groups and tribes that were ready to fight against the terrorist groups, but the U.S. did not reach out to them for help or alliances. Instead, the U.S. supported Saudi Arabia to take down the Houthi rebels. Dr. Mahdi wants a more sustainable way for peace, than the United States being involved with the fight against the terrorist groups and then leaving the situation when the threat is gone. I agree with Dr. Mahdi we need to have a better solution towards theses conflicts because when we pull out of countries, we are leaving a country in pieces and it becomes a power struggle between conflicting parties.

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Asian American Student Association

This year I chose to be a part of the Asian American Student Association again. Later year, I was a Freshmen Rep for AASA and this year I was luckily chosen to be the Homecoming Chair.

Homecoming was honestly a whirlwind from planning out everything that we were going to do to coordinating people, practices, and teams. We worked hours and hours pomping, painting, and planning. I never knew how much I would learn to dislike making small wads of fabric and placing it in chicken wire.

It was all worth because we place first as Yellow Submarine with Pi Phi, Sig Ep, and SGA! When I saw the awards announcements at the Homecoming game, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders because I did my job as AASA’s Homecoming Chair and we won first place again!

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VSA Lunar Moon Festival

Back in September, I attended the Vietnamese Student Association’s Lunar Moon Festival. They had multiple booths from different organizations before the main program started. It ranged from food stalls to games to arts and crafts. One of the booths that I went to was one that was making Chinese lucky charms. It was kind of hard to make a first, but I eventually got the hang of it!

After going around a couple of booths, the main program started. There were an assortment of types of performances that groups performed. There were traditional dances to hip-hop routine to pop Vietnamese music. My favorite performance was not even Vietnamese. It was the OU Arashi Taiko performance. If you don’t know what OU Arashi Taiko is, it is a club that is based on Japanese drumming. It was pretty cool because it was a lot different from the other performances through the night. Their routine was upbeat and had a lot of energy to it.

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International Bazaar

I actually accidently bumped into the International Bazaar. I was walking by the Bizz when I saw that there were a bunch of booths and people getting food! So I decided to go over and check it out. It was pretty cool because there were booths of all different countries represented there. My friend, Heidi, was running the South Korean booth. At the South Korean booth, they were writing people’s names in Korean characters. Mine was pretty cool! I just wish I could read it! A couple of other booths I liked were the Middle Eastern ones. Especially the one that had the food! They were giving out samples of bakalva and hot tea. The both were very delicious as the tea and the bakalava complimented each other.

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A Little Spanish For Your Life

If you don’t know, I am currently studying Spanish as my minor. And a challenge of studying a foreign language is actually understanding what a native speaker is saying. What I do personally is listen to Spanish music and watch Spanish-speaking movies on Netflix. Here are some of my current favorite songs and movies I recommend! Enjoy!

Music:

  • J Balvin – You might have heard him sing the Spanish remix of Justin Bieber’s Sorry. J Balvin, to me, kind of mixes reggaeton and R&B beats together.
    • Solitario
    • Safari
    • Primera Cita
    • Ginza
  • Shakira – She’s a classic if you don’t know this lady! I honestly like listening to her sing in Spanish than in English. I just like her energy and vibe a lot more when she is singing Spanish!
    • Chantaje ft. Maluma
    • Rabiosa
    • Nunca Me Acuerdo de Olvidate
  • Prince Royce- Prince Royce is a great Bachata singer. He just has a sweet voice that will make you feel better any day. He has a great mixture of songs from ballads to upbeat songs, so you have a variety to listen to!
    • Me Encanta
    • Darte Un Beso
    • Te Robaré
  • Jesse and Joy- If you like ballad and acoustics, this duo is for you! I love Jesses’s voice with the combination of the instrumentals in the background.  They are great to listen to if you need to calm down or study.
    • ¡Corre!
    • Llegaste Tú
    • Dueles
    • Me Soltaste
  • Becky G – If you love Pop, Becky G is for you. She just started recently singing in Spanish, but her songs are pretty darn good! They have a good beat to them and are pretty easy to understand.
    • Mangú
    • Sola

Movies/ TV Shows

  • Narcos
  • Instructions Not Included
  • Pulling Strings
  • It’s Now Or Never
  • No Filter
  • Grand Hotel
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