Posted by: tiffonthego2 | April 11, 2011

It’s been 4 months.

It’s been 4 months. Sorry blog, I did not mean to abandon you.

But sometimes taking time away and looking back brings new perspective. Re-reading some of my older entries, I remember how acutely I felt the things that I did over the year. I remember the anguish, the unknown, the sadness, the injustice, the anticipation, the joy. I want to believe that I’ve grown since my first post. Maybe?

Grad school has been eye-opening, the study of social welfare is so rooted in social justice that I have never been so keenly aware of the disparities in society or that brokenness of humanity. But I’ve also never felt so small, or that that I know so little.

Anyways…to count the many blessings this year, snapshots of life:

Retracing family roots in Macau.

Reunions and Pot-lucks.

Outdoor Ice-skating in summer weather, this represents LA for me. 🙂

Central Park after a long winter.

Boston is to picturesque.

 

He is good.

Posted by: tiffonthego2 | December 14, 2010

Stones into Schools

The plane trip back to HK is one of the few times in a year I will sit down and read a book, just for fun. Over the years, I have managed to finish at least one easy-reading book a year just during my 12-15 hour flight home. I usually just go to the bookstore at the airport and pick from the row of bestsellers. I find that this helps time pass faster than watching a bunch of movies, that is if i’m even fortunate enough to be on a personal-tv flight.

I’ve read books like P.S. I Love You, The Chosen, and yes even book 1 of the Twilight saga. I usually choose something that I know will be pretty brainless, or will have a captivating storyline.

But this time around, I was drawn to a non-fiction book, and it’s not even the first book in the series, but I’ve been completely touched by the story told in this book.

Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson

http://www.stonesintoschools.com/

This is the follow-up book to his bestseller Three Cups of Tea. I’m not done with this one, but now I really want to read the first one. It’s really a simple story, a man that runs a little NGO of misfits that builds schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan with the simple belief that education brings peace and better quality of life.

It’s really a book of stories of the team’s adventures, but the destitute and hunger for learning depicted in these pages really humble me and I haven’t been able to put the book down.

Sigh, this was a nerdy post. A friend asked me why I didn’t post more often, but I could only respond that I only post when I feel inspired.

I’m looking forward to good times with friends and family back at home. Happy Holidays to everyone. :0)

He is good.

Posted by: tiffonthego2 | December 2, 2010

World AIDS Day

 

Today is World AIDS Day.

As of 2009, an estimated 33.3 million people were living with HIV/AIDS.

1.8 million people died of HIV/AIDS.

16.6 million children were orphaned because of HIV/AIDS.

 

Take a moment to remember the people behind the numbers.

Take a moment to educate yourself: http://www.avert.org/world-aids-day.htm

Posted by: tiffonthego2 | November 20, 2010

represent!

rep·re·sent/ˌrepriˈzent/Verb

You’ve gotta REPRESENT!

That’s what I hear all the time during class. But what does that really mean? In our cultural competency class, we discuss issues that are so heavy, and really a lot of times, seem like there is no answer to. Racism, Ageism, Sexism, Ableism…the list goes on.

Something I’m beginning to notice is, I’m expected to represent. My gender, race, religion, etc etc. In fact, the moment I open my mouth in class, I am speaking on behalf of whatever it is people identify me as. And the thought of this really overwhelms me. There was once a time when I refused to take Asian American classes because I thought, I’m not Asian American, I’m Asian, I grew up in Asia!! But now I wish I knew more, I wish I cared more in the past. It doesn’t matter what experiences I’ve had, or who I feel that I am inside, the reality is, the moment I speak, I represent.

Now if I could only be a better representation… :0\

This made me laugh:

Represent? http://boonesentertainment.com/t_shirts

Posted by: tiffonthego2 | November 6, 2010

The homeless capital of America.

96,169 people will be homeless at some point this year in LA County alone.

on any given night 48,053 people will have no home to sleep in.

 

i spent all day wading through DPSS lines today helping people sign up for food-stamps and general relief. the questions are now, “will my kids and i have a place to stay tonight?” and “will i finally have something to eat tonight after 2 days of nothing?”

 

i need an attitude check.

just saying.

Posted by: tiffonthego2 | October 16, 2010

Resilience.

Wow. So much has changed and progressed since my last post that I don’t even know where to begin. But I’m going to just keep it to 2 points.

1. I am now a graduate student in social work. [Thanks Alvie. hehe.]

School has been unbelievably busy, where sometimes I feel like not even a moment of my time is my own. Hundreds of pages of readings, 9-5 classes, then squeeze into that afternoon and weekend seminars, and trainings. It’s unbelievable the hours of lectures and cups of coffee I have been through since school started 4 weeks ago. I guess thats why they say to develop good study habits when you are younger. New environment, new friends, new atmosphere.

2. As a part of school,  I am now working in AIDS intervention.

I feel like the moment I tell people this, their eyes grow big, and a mixture of shock, fear, interest, respect…etc. flashes across people’s faces. It’s such a infamous issue, but yet, for come reason, still quite a mystery for many. And I say that as a person who is still learning. But I guess the question that I’m learning to answer is, are my clients dying? Yes, just like the rest of us. But with the help of medication and social services, they are also living full and meaning lives. And with that…I have really been thinking about what resiliency really means.

I know that I am the social worker, and that I should be somehow imparting help and care for those that I serve, but I think what I have come to see is…I get more out of my clients. I feel like it’s almost wrong for me to counsel them and advice them on how to live or what to do…because really, they are my teachers. In the face of something as frightening and life-changing as HIV/AIDS, and for many of them, a strew of other problems such as homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, etc, I am floored by their resilience. When every single day of life hurts, resilience is choosing to live.

I have get a lot of questions from Chstn community about my work. About values, and the restrictions of working in a secular agency…  And all of that really chewed me up initially. But I think I’m starting to learn to just lay the issues at His feet. I’m trying to ask myself, WWJD? or really, not what He would do…but WHO He would BE for these people.  Just some food for thought…

Micah 6:8   “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your Gd.”

I have become a better driver through absolute necessity. In stop and go traffic, I was able to sneak in this quick pic. The sight took my breath away. It’s when I see this that I just feel in my heart, Yeah…He’s there. He really is.

Sorry for not updating for so long. Thank you to those who have still been f@ithfully prying for me.

Posted by: tiffonthego2 | August 23, 2010

Pr@y for China and Pakistan.

Worst flooding in a decade.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/world/asia/23flood.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/world/asia/23pstan.html?src=un&feedurl=http://json8.nytimes.com/pages/world/asia/index.jsonp

Posted by: tiffonthego2 | August 18, 2010

I’m back!

As I write this blog entry, I am sitting in the UCLA dining area. This is where I will be starting graduate school in Sept, I have officially made a full circle and come back. It’s a weird feeling, the buzz and feel of campus is exactly the same.

Returning to the States has been a little bit of a reverse culture shock. Not so much the actual culture, but just being surrounded by friends and family again. Everyone seems to have grown up and moved on, but it’s good to catch up and reconnect. Community is such a blessing, I guess I never really saw it that way.

So this is the website picture of UCLA, it never actually looks like this…but UCLA, hello again!

HE is good.

Posted by: tiffonthego2 | August 9, 2010

How do I understand this?

I studied Psychology, I’m supposed to understand at least the basics of the reasoning behind the actions and thoughts of people with depression. But I feel like nothing really can prepare you to live with someone with this illness. Sometimes I let it get the better of me, sometimes I can’t stand that it drains all the energy and joy inside of me, and tests my patience’s end.

But today I learn that, sometimes, loving someone is being their punching bag. Absorbing  the complaints and taking the swings, because honestly, sometimes no one even listens anymore. A tearful pryer at the dinner table reminds me that…’you can’t do that’ actually means ‘I’m scared you will get hurt,’ …that ‘you can’t leave my side’ actually means  ‘I’m afraid to be alone,’ …and that ‘you don’t do anything right’ means ‘I want things done the best for you.’ I realize that I forget frequently that this suffocating love is…well…love.

Maybe new perspective is what I need.

Posted by: tiffonthego2 | August 2, 2010

Thank you home.

Being at home has been such a blessing.

I went back to read my last post, and realized how emo it was, it was weird reading it, almost like I didn’t write it myself, but I guess so true in the moment, and maybe even so now but experienced differently?

I was in HK for 3 weeks, and my time is up, but I few like I’ve only been here for a few days. When given the opportunity to rest, I feel like I can’t get enough of it, sleeping until whenever, swimming, going to see friends. I feel like I’ve been waking up at 7am all year.      :0P

Now that we have moved into the new apt, I just never want to leave home, well first of all, it’s quite a bit farther than I have ever lived, but also because it’s so comfortable.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful to just be at home.  And maybe for the first time ever in life, I’m really appreciating just the ins and outs of living w/ my parents.

This may be the last time I “live” at home, I mean, I will visit, but it will not be the same.

我的家, 谢谢你!

Beach downstairs from my apt. More rocks than sand, but hey…I’m not complaining. G@d is too good to me.

And to answer the question I keep getting. I will be continuing this blog, I’m sorry that I have not been too fa1thful.

2 days ’til returning state-side.  :0?

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