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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Blog

So, its been years since I have written in this blog...not sure anyone is really out there looking at this!  It was previously used for my travels to Asia with my good friend Ashley.  Now, this is going to be a way to share some of my experiences- since my life has done a complete 180!  I am now married, have a baby and currently at home before I have to go back to work in August.  I am dying to release some here goes nothing:)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I have been home for over about 2 weeks now and who knows if anyone is even checking this blog anymore but you can check out my teacher web has pictures of Ashley and I at our group home. Just click on the gallery page! If you want me to send you some other pictures just let me know.

I am glad to be back in the USA although I find myself looking back at my Asia pictures everyday. It was truley a great experience.

Kacey's teacher web page:

Monday, June 25, 2007

Traveling back home

On our last day we went to the beach and caught some rays! We met an American girl from Colorado there who is just traveling the world for 6 months. It was nice to talk to another American because they were hard to find in Vietnam!! The beach was really beautiful and relaxing for our last little adventure. After that we packed up and flew from Hue to Ho Chi Minh and now I am at an internet cafe in Seoul, South Korea. We fly to L.A. in an hour and then to Cincinnati. We will get home around 6:45 on Tuesday night.

We slept the whole way on our overnight flight last night and took a 2 hour nap here at Seoul's airport. (they have really comfortable seats to lay on:)

Unfortunately I caught a bug yesterday and had a really bad fever but I think it was one of those 24 hour bug's. I just have a cough and a runny nose now (I feel bad for Ashley because I don't want her to get near me and I don't think she wants to get near me either!)

We are looking forward to our own beds, regular food and coffee, and going on a run!! I know Ashley misses Curtis and is looking forward to seeing him...

Overall it was an amazing experience and I am soooooooooooooooooo happy I went. We brought back the artwork from the group home and we are looking forward to displaying it somehow!

Thanks for staying in tune with the blog. I will talk to you all soon...


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day in Hue...

Hue has been a beautiful and cultural place in Vietnam. It is fairly central and lies on the Perfume River. Ashley and I took a tour on a dragon boat to visit some tombs and pagodas today. It was very hot but very informative/beautiful. I think my favorite part was meeting and talking to all of the other westerners on the boat. We met some English, Germans, Spanish, French, and a guy from Amsterdam. It is fun to exchange stories and hear about everyone's adventures.

I got these shoes before I left from Cincinnati...they are Reef's and they have a secret compartment on the sole of the shoe where you can put keys, money, and miscellaneous things. They have become a huge hit when people see me messing with them. Some people want to buy them from me...:) they would be a huge hit all over the world!!

We got back and have no idea how good it feels and how thankful I am everyday for it!!! We had some dinner at Lac Thien and had some Vietnamese food. At this restaurant a guy invented a bottle opener to open beers so Ashley and I got 2 free!! We also signed our names on the wall...(Ashley put GO XU!! and WHO DEY!!!)

We are now at a post office blogging this and surrounded by young Vietnamese boys playing video games!!

Tommorow is our last day we fly out from Hue tommorow at 6pm to Ho Chi Minh...hopefully I will blog about our last day. We plan on visiting the city here in Hue!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

We are now in Hue

Today we got up early, went to breakfast and walked down to the Cham museum in DaNang. The Cham museum is suppose to be a main attraction in DaNang and has sculptures from the Cham Dynasty. Ashley and I both were quickly going through it but we found the structure of the building much more interesting than the stone Elephants and Buddhas...

We got back to our hotel...I didn't mention this earlier but we had a stalker at the hotel we stayed at. He was googly eyeing us and was insistant on taking us on a motorbike tour. We tried to avoid him as much as possible and were glad to be leaving the hotel.

We got on a train to head to Hue. The train was filthy and the bathrooms were horrendous with just a hole and feet prints on the ground to put your feet. I know this is disgusting but I am sick too from travelers diarrhea I got after eating the big shrimp and crab!!!
Also when Ashley and I were sitting in our seats all of a sudden the person's feet from behind us was between us and her feet smelled horrible!!!! There was also a cute but annoying girl in front of us for 3 hours smiling and taking our picture. You can only smile and give thumbs up so many times before losing your patience.

We have been good to all the kids begging for money though, we carry candy now and hand it to them and give them American change. They are happy with us but always want more.

We got to Hue and got swarmed by taxi men. You would think the paparrazi was after us, we had to yell at them to get away and finally got a metered taxi to take us to our hotel. We just had dinner and are sweaty and gross and short tempered.

Tommorow we are going on a tour of Hue on a boat for only 2$US!! We are looking forward to a good last day in Hue...Monday we fly around 5pm to Ho Chi Minh City, then to Seoul, Korea, then to L.A. then to the good old Nati!!

By the way, I have not been able to read your comments for the past 4 days because the computers won't read it in English so I look forward to what you are saying!!

Chow, YO NORA!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Group Home Adventure

So we got up this morning and went to the group home in DaNang. We had an awesome experience and the kids were so happy!! A lot of them were mentally retarded, handicapped from Agent Orange, and other birth defects. We got there and the kids were clapping and so happy to see us!!

Our first lesson we had them draw with oil pastels and paint with watercolors. Their artwork is unique to each individual child and they loved having us there. Lots of high fives, hugs, asking us to draw them pictures, and many kids loved playing with our digital cameras (they liked seeing themselves on camera). We them showed them how to make pop up cards and gave them candy...honestly just smiling and hanging out with them made our day. We were so focused on the artwork but the actual experience with working with all of them was priceless!! We donated all of the supplies including scissors, glue, paper, brushes, paints, markers, and oil pastels. They were very grateful...I look forward to showing you all pictures of them.

Then in the afternoon we got to go to another group home and spend time with a little older kids with less severities. It was more like a vocational school where they learned to print, embroider, sew, and other practical skills. Here the students learn a trade and then get a job at around 18 years of age (lots of them are amazing artists they drew pictures for us and there was no way Ashley or I could teach them that skill in a day). Their facilities were poor and they need sponsors and resources to help these children have a life.

Afterwards Ashley and I got our train tickets to Hue where we go tommorow. We met some teenagers at dinner from Pittsburgh who go to boarding school who are here in Vietnam to volunteer. They were great to talk too and very mature for their age!

We are wearing down and ready to leave but look forward to a good nights sleep in our nice hotel.

p.s. only a few more blogs because we come home on Monday.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Sorry I did not write a blog yesterday...the computer here in DaNang's hotel wasn't working...

Yesterday we started off the day by meeting the woman helping us with the group home. She gave us some suggestions and let us know a little bit more about the conditions of the children. We went to another bookstore here in DaNang and got some more things for the kids and some candy.
It felt good to get this accomplished.

We then met 2 guys at 11am who were taking us around on motorbikes to the Marble Mountains (Many buddah and pagodas, they are 5 mountains that represent the elements of the earth). It was a rough journey walking up very very steep steps and climbing our ways into caves. The best part was meeting an old woman who showed us a hidden laying buddha. We got to light incense and really experience their awesome culture. It was absolutely gorgeous!!

Our tour guides also took us to Hoi An, a town about 15 minutes away that is famous for tailoring clothes and is just a beautiful city near the beach. Of course we got some more clothes made. I got an awesome coat and Ashley a coat and dress. (by the way our pants we got made in Bangkok did not fit that great and we were disappointed) On our walk through the city we met Minh who took us into his house and served us lemonade. He served in the Southern army and loves Americans. He was a bit loopy but we were glad we got to see the inside of someone's house. Minh is also a painter and we bought some small ink drawings.

We stopped at China Beach and walked around. Neither of us were wearing our swimsuits so we just put our feet in the water and gave all the little begging children surrounding us quarters...they would not leave us alone!!!!

Our tour guides stopped us at Red Beach and at an American base camp. It is completely desolate and you can tell this country is very poor and damaged from the war.

We were very appreciative of our tour guides on the motorbikes. They were awesome and it was the best feeling riding on a motorbike...very empowering and a thrill!!! They tried to get us to go on a tour with them to Hue on motorbikes...very tempting but Ashley and I like having our refreshing showers at night after sweating disgutingly all day!!

They took us to an all Vietnamese bar where we enjoyed Tiger beer and then had the most amazing seafood. HUGE shrimp and crab. It was outstanding but my stomach is paying for it today!!!

Having the tour guides we got to know so much about communism, the war, and their unique stories. You are not suppose to speak about the government in public (no freedom of speech and the government has little money and the money it has goes to roads and construction). One of our guides fought for the South and has 3 gun wounds to show for it. He said it has taken him years to get over the traumatic experiences but such a good man who is married with 3 kids.

We got home around 8pm stuffed and tired and fell asleep. Its now Friday and its Ashleys Bday!! Boa one of our guides is going to buy her a cake today with her name on it. We kind of celebrated last night but I woke up and gave her the gift and card that I got her. Its kind of weird having a bday here in write her some great emails to wish her a Happy Bday!!!!

This blog is getting quite long and I still have much to tell...this morning we went to the group home did art lessons and going to another one this afternoon!!! (it was incredible:) and i will write more later once the day is finished...