Thursday, September 30, 2010

US Visit: The rest of my time home/in the Bay

I want to first preface this entry and mention it took me multiple, multiple trips to the Internet cafe in a span of a couple of months to get this damn entry posted. So the following pictures pretty much round out my trip back home! Enjoy!
California Pizza Kitchen...where oddly I don't get pizza but small side dishes instead. Go figure.

Rooobbbbeerrrrtttt....copying my hair style!

With some of the LMU fam at the Castro, SF.

BOILING CRAB. mmmmm. Shrimp in the whole sha-bang sauce (spices, lemon pepper, etc.) with lemon juice/salt & pepper dip, sweet potato fries and root beer. I'm in heaven. Seriously.

Bubba! We've had here since I was in 8th grade. haha! I figured if I put in 20 pictures of Benji, I need to put in at least one of Bubba.

At Santana Row in San Jose for Mom's birthday.

Eating some of my favorite Chinese food: Westlake beef egg drop soup and Hong Kong pan-fried combination noodles from China House. Mmmmm!

Oh Benji! The best driving companion ever.

Taking Benji to the dog park!

Japanese bento box. Yum!

With Megan. This picture pretty much describes our friendship! <3

With my other cousin Joanna in downtown Davis. She's all grown up!

Hey, Golden Gate Bridge, Hey!!

Playing tourist with Sable in SF. I love home!

Getting Thai food in Hercules with Mom and Sable. Soooo good!

Mimosas in the Castro!

With Sable and Kristi a.k.a. Ma in SF. These two are some amazing women who are off to do great things in this world!

With David and Tin-Tin a.k.a. Joanna, my cousin. I'm so blessed to have such a beautiful family!

The family having dinner at Emeryville. <3

David sporting the gift I gave him: a Burkina Faso soccer jersey!

My Dad playing the balafon (African xylophone) that I brought back home.

With my ading, Felicia. <3

Dad in front of his new house with Daisy, his dog. She's so nice!

PaGiMa and I at a Thai restaurant in Berkeley. Man, friends since high school. I feel old just thinking about it!

Benji Boy and Mom. I really love this picture!
Much needed dinner/talk with Rubes at Platano's in Berkeley. A fellow world traveler/random adventure-seeker. <3>
Some of the things that I brought back with me. Take note of all the food!

Evidence of how much I've shopped during my short stay home. And these aren't even all the bags! Oyyy...some old habits never die.
The immediate family saying farewell to me at SFO. See you in a year!

The little bro and I. Probably the coolest person I know. True story!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

US Visit: Third Goal presentations at schools!

Coming back home, one of the things I wanted to do most were these Third Goal presentations. What is the Third Goal, you ask?

Peace Corps has three basic goals:
  1. Helping the people of Burkina Faso in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the Burkinabè.
  3. Helping promote a better understanding of the Burkinabè on the part of Americans.
I correspond with my old high school French teacher's (Ms. Mahoney) French 5-6 class and definitely wanted to meet them in person. I also connected with Ms. Bayer via Facebook and decided to do a presentation for her 8th grade class.

I used the template of a PowerPoint presentation one of my friends here used when she went back home. Talked about what the Peace Corps is, about Burkina Faso and my life here thus far. I also brought in things to show the students (currency from BF, a traditional outfit, a balafon--essentially, an African xylophone, etc.).

I had so much fun doing this and really am considering going into education after the Peace Corps. A little teaching and then who knows where life will lead me!

At my old high school. I used the picture of my training group's Swear-In Ceremony to show the different types of attire here in Burkina Faso.

Lunch break on Solano. High school memory relived, many years later!

With Ms. Mahoney and her French 5-6 class that I've been corresponding with. Great group of students!

Ms.Mahoney, one of my most favorite teachers of all time! I thank her for making me love learning the French language so much.

At my former elementary/middle school.

Bringing money from Burkina Faso was a big hit! Too bad you can't even exchange it in the US.

Teaching the kids a little French. On a side note, you can't even compare a classroom in the US with a classroom in Burkina!

The 8th grade class and I. Hilarious group of kids!

With Ms. Bayer (another one of those all-time favorite teachers) and Mr. Seishas, the principal.

I feel like one of the greatest things I'm gaining from my Peace Corps experience is this reciprocal cultural exchange that is very hard to find elsewhere. This'll sound really corny, but I really feel fulfilled when this happens.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

US Visit: LA, baby!

Ahhh yes, a LA trip was definitely in order...staying with Erica, meeting up with some close friends for dinner, good food (as usual) and good company...all in a matter of less than 48 hours! Thanks again, Maria!

I love this picture of Erica! White wine and bruschetta, compliments of Mama Dee!

Spicy and crispy chicken wings at Kyo-chun in Koreatown. Sheesh, I'm salivating over here!!

Korean BBQ with some close friends from LMU.

Mama Dee!!!

3/4 of the LMU Fam Bam.

Erica took us to this place that had blueberry and ricotta cheese pancakes. SO good!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

US Visit: Trip to SF and staying at Dad's new place

My first week at home is when Maria came to visit. First stop: typical tourist trip to San Francisco! Shopping, good food, good company...then we stayed at my Dad's new house for a couple of nights.

Shopping for clothes that I will never use in Burkina but will use when I come back home in 2011. Haha!

In front of H&M in SF with my two best friends.

Manhattan clam chowder, spicy buffalo wings and a salad. All with a SF bay view!

I love chocolate. mmmmm...

Dad's delicious home cooking!

Krispy Kreme's original donut while driving...

Thai food in SF.

Aren't my friends just beautiful? =)

At my Dad's new place, he grows many of his vegetables in his backyard. So good! It reminds me of when my brother and I were little and had this huge backyard with all these different vegetables and fruits.

Getting boba with Gina. We've been doing this since high school!

...and so my US trip continues...