Photo #141: Self Photoshoot

July 19, 2012

My brother decided to ‘borrow’ my camera today and take 30+ pictures of himself with random items in my house. It was only appropriate that I choose one of the series as my photo of the day.

Here’s the least inappropriate/pedophilic-looking one:

Photo #139: Emergency Shelter Exhibition

July 17, 2012

A donation box in one of the numerous shelters at the Emergency Shelter Exhibition displayed in Brisbane’s King George Square.

The Emergency Shelter Exhibition (ESE) Brisbane forms part of a national series, and is a collaborative endeavour of Queensland design firms to create life-size emergency shelter prototypes.

Exhibition Objectives:

  • Fundraising for natural disaster recovery needs
  • Exhibit interactive installations (shelters 5-10 m2) with reference to emergency response in disaster scenarios
  • Foster awareness of the physical & psychological recovery needs of displaced peoples following natural disasters
  • Strengthen the connection between architects and the public.

FADU: Eating Foods!

July 10, 2012

My mom made my first food request: Bun Rieu! I absolutely love this Viet dish but have never dared to make it – was delicious!

Our bowls are too small for man-servings, so pots and mixing bowls it is!

July 12, 2012

Our family’s first time trying Roo burgers! Quite delicious!

FADU: South Bank and Yumminess!

July 8, 2012

Woke up to the wonderful smell of pan fried dumplings – thank you mommy for your jet lag and waking up at 4am to make us food!

Family breakfast complete with pyjamas and bed hair

We headed down to the CBD (downtown) for a stroll and to visit souvenir shops. A bed of furries – woo hoo!

My mom really liked the trees on Adelaide St

Trying not to laugh wearing a hat from the souvenir shop. Then getting a work out pushing big metallic spheres around.

We then walked over the bridge to visit South Bank

Exact tool my brother needs to work on his bike at home is available at the Community Bike Repair Station. He wishes there was one in our neighbourhood back home! And mom holding up the Wheel of Brisbane

Mom and sister being silly and posing

The man made beach in South Bank

Can’t visit South Bank with a stop at Max Brenner! Yum yum yum

Could not pass up the photo opportunity with Pedobear! Haha

Sun going down… time to go home and eat leftovers for dinner!

FADU: Family Adventures Down Under

I’m starting up a new category of blog posts! This one’s called Family Adventures Down Under or FADU for short.

These entries will be written to share the fun times Mike and I have with my mommy (Khanh), my sister (Jenni) and my brother (Andy) as they visit Australia from July 6 to August 21, 2012.

I’m already 2 weeks behind so let’s get started!

July 6, 2012

No pictures! 😦

My mom and siblings arrived in Brisbane around 1:30pm. Customs was a breeze for them – lucky! We took the taxi home (only $40!) and chilled out the rest of the day catching up and dealing with jet lag. For dinner, I made rice with vegetarian bulgogi (made with firm tofu) and stir fried veggies.

July 7, 2012

Eggs and bruschetta for breakfast – yum! Then off to Davies Park Market in West End to check out the local produce. On the way back, we visited Chinatown where mommy stalked up on Asian necessities to make Bun Rieu – my first food request, haha. Of course, knowing my mom – she also stocked up on enough things to make 3 other dishes. Had sushi, crepes and bubbletea while out and Domino’s Pizza for dinner!

Stole these pictures from my mom’s camera:

Waiting for the bus to the market!

For whatever reason… my mom was super fascinated by this building

Fam pic in front of Chinatown gate

Andy sashaying in public… πŸ˜›

Now to find room for all the groceries!

Versatile Blogger Award

A long overdue thank you to Edward from Echwalu Photography for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award 2012. Yay!

Here are the steps for receiving this award:

  1. Name the blogger who awarded you this fantastic award
  2. List 7 random facts about yourself
  3. Award 15 other bloggers this award
  4. Enjoy!

7 random facts about myself:

  1. I’m turning 25 (quarter century, woo hoo!) next week, and my family is in Australia to celebrate with me! Not only that, my mom will be turning 50 next month and our family will be together to celebrate her birthday as well.
  2. I am so easily startled but love sneaking up and scaring the daylights out of other people. I want a black morph suit.
  3. I started blogging in January of 2010 without expectations of following through, but here I am! And so glad too! Now I have at least 2 years of memories to look back on in in the future.
  4. I buy postcards with much enthusiasm but always fail to actually mail them out to family and friends…
  5. I will neglect everything to finish reading a good novel. One of my favourite authors is Michael Palmer.
  6. I love taking pictures but hated lugging around my DSLR during everyday life. I now own a point and shoot (Canon S95) and take it with me wherever I go so I don’t miss out on photo taking opportunities.
  7. I like buying my groceries online and having them delivered to my house – thank you Coles!

Award 15 other bloggers this award

I’ve been very lucky to accumulate a number of blog followers over the past little while, which is great because it also leads me back to their blogs. I now follow a number of bloggers, a few of whom I’d like to nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award 2012!

  1. Petra’s 365 photographs – Love her photo a day postings!
  2. Nonoy Manga – A 17yo Filipino high school student with lots of talent and gems to share in this one!
  3. Griffin’s Grub – Food, food, food! Love his detailed posts and willingness to share with people!
  4. Photosteam – A graphic designer with many amazing pictures. I especially like the ones of his travels!
  5. Capture the Captivating – She’s definitely captured some great photos! And love the artwork she sometimes posts!
  6. pawsforamoment – A blend of writing and animals – a lot of nice articles dealing with the current world of animals!
  7. The Better Man Project – Evan regularly records the life lessons he learns on a daily basis while trying to be the better man – very inspirational!
  8. Short stories from life – Manoj spins fantastic tales from his life – always a pleasure reading them.

Thank you everyone for your support ❀ I hope you will enjoy checking out the blogs above! Have a nice day!

[Related post: One Lovely Blog Award]

Update to my photoblog

Hey everyone!

Hope you are all doing well πŸ™‚ I’m about to buckle down and do some studying but just wanted to let you know that I finally made an update to my photoblog, yay! Nearly 50 pictures were added, although many are probably familiar – please take a look!

Hope you enjoy, would love to hear any feedback you might have πŸ˜€

The world’s first tuition-free online university

An old professor of mine recently shared this link:

It is the University of the People‘s website, “the world’s first tuition-free online university dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education.”

From their website:

The University embraces the worldwide presence of the Internet and dropping technology costs to bring tuition-free undergraduate degree programs to qualified high school graduates around the world. UoPeople offers Associates and Bachelors degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science.

With the support of academic leadership from top universities and having accepted more than 1500 students from over 130 countries to date, UoPeople is well on its way to becoming a global higher education leader.

As you can see, there are currently only 4 programs up and running, hopefully more will be available in the future. And as of now, the University of the People is not an accredited university but they are in “the process of applying for accreditation from an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.”

Initially, the course itself was completely free except for an application fee. Otherwise, there were no costs associated with materials and exams. However, starting next application cycle, the university is asking students to pay a $100 per end-of-course exam fee, if they can. Students who cannot afford the fee are referred to a “Micro-Scholarship Portal to enable donors to contribute directly to students in need of assistance. Additionally, students may apply for a UoPeople scholarship to cover up to the full cost of the Exam Processing Fees.”

This university is the first of its kind and I hope to see it flourish. Hopefully they will soon become accredited and be a stepping stone towards opportunities otherwise not available to many people around the world. πŸ™‚

Photo #134: First Roo Burger!

July 12, 2012

With family visiting, it’s time for my sister to make an appearance in this photo project!

We had kangaroo burgers for the first time, yum!Β  Although it made us feel a little weird because we had just petted and adored live ones a few days earlier at the zoo.

Thinking about Phase 2 of MBBS

That time of the year has finally come!

As we head into the new semester, all second years need to start deciding where we’d like our paths to unfold for clerkship beginning next year.

What is clerkship? It’s when we stop learning in class (Years 1+2) and start learning in the hospital (Years 3+4). Finally, yay!

Year 3 comprises of 5 hospital rotations, each 8 weeks long and must completed in the following order: General Practice, Surgery, Mental Health, Medicine, and Medicine in Society. We can start with whichever rotation, but they must follow that order.

Year 4 will continue with more rotations in other specialties including Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics.

So now the question is, in which order do I want to complete my Year 3 rotations and more importantly, which Clinical School would I like to attend?

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to pick my current hospital, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital (RBWH) as my first choice and hope to start with Medicine in Society.

Medicine in Society sounds particularly interesting. As international students, we have the option of organizing a rural rotation back home or stay in Brisbane and complete it in the field of Rehab, Indigenous Health, Geriatrics and/or Palliative. I don’t plan to go back to Canada for any rotations until 4th year, but I’ve always found Palliative Care and Geriatrics interesting!

Why RBWH? It has many perks including being a huge quaternary and tertiary hospital (largest in Queensland) and only a few minutes from home… πŸ˜€

I’m glad I’ve finally made up my mind. Our allocation system will be opening a week from today. I hope I’ll get my first choices!

Photo #128: The 4-Leaf Clover

July 06, 2012

My family have arrived safe and sound! Also lucky to not have any troubles traveling or going through customs!

My sister received her birthday present from me – a 4-leaf clover charm from Pandora for her bracelet. The meanings I want it to convey:

  • Luck, naturally symbolized by the four leaf clover. Wishing her the best of luck in all her endeavours in life!
  • Emerald green, the colour of her birthstone. I can’t afford the real thing right now, this is the best!
  • Heart, the shape of the leaf segments. Love her of course!
  • The 4 leaf segments, the remaining members of our small family.
  • The stem, small and sometimes unseen, represents our dad. The strength and support for our family!

Photo #124: Our Last Family Photo

July 2, 2012

3 years ago today, a great father left this world – mine.

This man fled Vietnam by boat and survived years in a refugee camp during which time he nearly died – more than once.

When he finally made it to Canada, he met his daughter for the first time – me.

With literally the clothes on his back, he endured hardship and racism in a new country – without speaking the language.

But he laboured hard, lived meagerly and sacrificed – he made a living.

He embraced a new culture and nourished a growing family – built a strong foundation for a new beginning.

He bought a car and soon he bought a house. He educated his children well and took his family on vacations – accomplishments many take for granted.

Everything was going well. Then came life-changing news – the diagnosis of liver cancer.

Five years followed. Happy moments. Hard times. Surgery. Chemotherapy. Pain. Relapses. Hope. Family.

The father once so reserved now spent hours a day just talking with his children – he wanted more time with his family.

The dad who preferred staying in to save money now encouraged his children to enjoy the pleasures of life as often as possible – he had regrets.

The man who never liked being the subject of photography now wanted to be in as many pictures with family as he could – he didn’t want to be forgotten.

The husband who seemed so strong now often spilled his fears as well as tears – he was afraid to die.

The man who told us to share with him all that was in our hearts because he was going to die in 3 days – he foretold his death. Β 

The man who hugged us, who kissed us, who cried with us and wished he didn’t have to leave us – he accepted his fate.

The man who had to remain sedated until he passed away – hopefully he knew no pain.

The man whose breathing slowed until he took his last breath – died surrounded by a stronger, more loving family.

The man who has shaped the person I am today – my father.

Dad, I will forever miss you and love you. My memories of you and your teachings will have a permanent place in my heart.

Today, in his memory, I post the last picture we took together as a family – Jenni’s high school graduation on June 24, 2009.

Photo #122: Coffee Club’s Big Breakfast

June 30, 2012

We bought a Coffee Club deal off Groupon for $22 – any 2 breakfasts off the menu + 2 coffees/teas. Finally went on Saturday! Both of us ordered the Big Breakfast: Grilled steak, chipolata sausages, bacon, eggs, tomato, mushrooms, toast and a hash brown. Yummy! But needless to say, could not finish!

The best part? The Big Breakfast regularly costs $22.90 and we got 2 plus drinks for less!