The Feet of Courage

New Year Reflections: Will We Give Hope a Chance?

For 2018, I present two challenges for myself and for anyone reading this: can we show more hope, love, and courage in our daily lives? I’ll remember 2017 as a year of new encounters and engaging dialogue with people from different parts of the globe and who hold different worldviews. It is always interesting to listen to people and learn from their life experiences. One thing that struck me during my travels is that, whether they were conscious of it or not, the people I met were asking about the nature of love. We might say that love is still the most mysterious and powerful force and reality that transcends time and space. We know we need it; yet, it also seems foreign and strange because our world is littered with news of pain, suffering, and terror. Each year there are advances in technology, new innovations, and constant threat to security. Consequently, people seem to experience escalated anxiety and fear across the world. And so the world has become acquainted with fear and a stranger to love.

I wrote this poem after I participated in a group discussion concerning foreign policy and international development. It was evident that everyone was feeling frustrated at the slow pace of progress, lack of accountability, and the supposed inaction of the people ‘on the ground.’ During that discussion, I couldn’t help but think, “If we focused on what we could do, rather than what we couldn’t do, would we be able to see the positive change we’re envisioning? If we stopped pointing fingers at others and became honest with our own deep imperfections and flawed nature, would we be kinder to others?” This poem is a response to those questions. I hope it is also an encouragement for everyone who is going through dark moments.

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Queen for Seven Days: Series Review and Character Analysis

Queen for Seven Days (7일의 왕비) is a gem among a plethora of Korean historical dramas. It is a sophisticated drama that tells its story in a manner that is emotionally engaging, visually appealing, and intellectually satisfying. Although the drama isn’t considered a hit in Korea, it can be argued that it is one of the most compelling sageuk/ historical period dramas in recent years. I rarely write drama reviews since there are already so many writers/bloggers out there who give their critiques; however, Queen for Seven Days tackles so many interesting elements and themes that I think it is worth unpacking several of them. (Note: this review contains spoilers.)

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Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Book Delivery in Vientiane, Laos

Book Delivery is bringing more than books to Vientiane, Laos; it is also igniting the startup culture in the city. I recently caught up with Kingsada Sengsavang, one of the founders, and asked about their journey in building Book Delivery.

 

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I remember 2 years ago you had mentioned that you wanted to create a business. Can you start off by letting us know, what is Book Delivery and what are the services that Book Delivery provides?

Book Delivery, one of the most notable startups based in Vientiane, Laos, sells and delivers books, magazines and newspapers online. Having a hard time [finding] where to buy books (they are expensive), customers can order them on our platform and we deliver them right in front of their doorsteps. 

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Walk With Me: Remembering Those with Dementia

“Walk With Me” was inspired by the lives of the elderly in nursing homes and people with dementia. I’ve had much exposure to nursing homes since I was young and because of that, I’ve often thought about the process of growing old and what it means to live out your ‘last years’ on Earth. For some people, they approach their last years in fear and maybe hopelessness. For others, they decide to welcome their years with excitement and peace. It really is a spectrum of emotions and attitudes toward life and the afterlife.

I hope “Walk With Me” will inspire empathy and serve as a reminder that even when we are facing our own storms in life, we can still be a source of strength for others. Continue reading “Walk With Me: Remembering Those with Dementia”

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Poem: Arms of Time

Time is a gift. When we share it with others, we are giving them something very precious to us. Sometimes drops of inspiration enter my ears and allow me to tap into the palette of the universe even for just a moment. This poem came to me when I was thinking about history, the repetition of humanity’s mistakes as well as successes, and how our time seems more limited. Now this is not to say we don’t have enough time. Many people who are busy tend to say, “I don’t have time,” but as long as we’re breathing and alive, we still have time. We can always bring more positivity, gratitude, and love with every moment that we live. Let us not take for granted every second that we are given.

The Feet of Courage

Teaching Reflections from Mawlamyine

This post also appears on the Fort Wayne Sister Cities blog.

Mawlamyine

My time in Mawlamyine has been very valuable for me as a young educator. I’m always learning something new about the teaching and learning process and the strengths and weaknesses in my teaching. Some people have asked, since I had a chance to work with a very diverse group of students (and teachers), how did I approach my classes? After all, it is not easy to teach when there is linguistic and cultural diversity in the classroom. Although this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, these are typical components of my classes:

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Poem: Headscarf

A tichel, headscarf (or headcover) can signify a wide range of meanings. Each person has a unique story. My headcovering symbolizes my belief in Jesus/Yeshua as God incarnate, my Lord and Savior. Each time I put on my tichel, I remember that God is with us always: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). Not every woman who covers her head/ hair does so for spiritual reasons so it is always better to ask the person and not assume that we know her reasons.

Anyways, this poem came to me as I was thinking about a bride and a groom and how their story parallels the love story found in Scripture.

The Feet of Courage

Poem: Where Are You Love?

“Where is love? What is love?” During these past two months, students and adults have asked me either directly or indirectly these two questions, which I think we have all asked at some point in our lives. To be honest, I wondered why I was asked these questions or some version of them. It is not like I am an expert on this so I was greatly puzzled by this occurrence. Yet these questions touch the core of our souls and reveal our longing for true love, not in the romantic sense, but in its purest form. In a world that is growing colder with hate, we are all wondering if we can still know love. Although it isn’t much, this poem is my gift to everyone who asked me what ‘love’ is: