Monday, February 28, 2005

One week to go

Wow - Its amazing how close we are now! Begin thinking about packing and things...Heres a copy of the packing list for download. Also manteling service is coming up on Tuesday. All team members have planned on meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the Ham Will Food Court to have dinner together before going on to the Manteling Service in Peale Chapel at 7:00 p.m. Also since we're meeting at 6:00 for dinner, there is no meeting at lunch this week.

Kumar

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Almost there!

Wow, it is hard to believe Spring Break is almost here. Eight more days until our team leaves for Vietnam. It seems like yesterday we had our first team meeting and we were trying to remember each others names. And today, we are friends.
Today, I have learned that we have met and our financial goal! That is AMAZING! It was only a few weeks ago we needed $7200 (at the beginning of February). Now, today, we have more money than our expenses require. We will be able to buy much needed supplies for the two communities we are visiting. All it is now is getting ready for the trip. I know I cannot even think about it until I get through midterms! Thank God they are almost done for me. Old Testament on Friday and Russian (oral part) on Monday. Then I will be able to go shopping and start packing.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Countdown

19 days remaining until we leave (as of Feb 14th)

Visas

Nga emailed us all a little while ago saying she has received all our visas (except Eric's, but he will get it soon too when he sends it in).

Sincere thanks to the Vietnamese Embassy for recognising our team's purpose and our values and extending the generosity that they have!

I just felt like posting about the visas as well because its one more step towards our final goal. And its a major one! I couldn't go to the SBMW trip to Rome in my sophomore year because the Italian Embassy decided not to offer me (and another international student) a visa to their country. I was bitter because we had to drive in Level III Storm to get to Detroit to apply in the first place! to make a long story short, it worked out well in the end because I got to join the Lakota team to South Dakota where I learned so much as well!

But yeah, so we're almost half-way there with the Visas in our hands! The other half still remains to come - the airplane ride halfway across the world!

Garage Sale Outcome!

We held a Garage Sale in the Hamilton Williams Campus Center Food Court on Saturday 2/12/ from 9 to 3. I wasnt there the whole time. I could barely make it to help tear it down at 3 because Thanh and I were at the math competition. But it went really well. Thanks to all the individuals and groups who donated their items which we could sell. We ended up raising $700 for the team and we are almost there for our fundraising budget! We targeted it to the Delaware community who also showed up to support our team! The Delaware Gazette also helped by putting our advert in their classifieds as well as including a little "blurb" in the "Around the World" section! That was cool!

A lot of credit also goes to Melanie Hill who worked so hard at the garage sale inspite of facing such a difficult time personally. You're great Mel, incase no one has told you yet ;). Many people from our team worked hard to make the garage sale a reality and guys, this was well worth the effort and the time!

Hip Hip Hoorah!

Saturday, February 12, 2005


Faculty Luncheon


Saturday brunch in Smith

Yay Team!

My love for the team grows more and more as each day goes by. I remembered very well the day the team leaders got together to select the team. It was a DIFFICULT job. Many people were interested in our trip and many essays were strong. Even before the application was due, people who spotted me in the elevator, in the mail room or when I was on duty round, reiterated their interest in the trip after recognizing I am one of the team leaders. Lucky for me, I didn't have to promise anything to anybody because it was a blind selection -- meaning, I did not get to see the name while reading the application. Mostly, I based my judgement on the essays. Those who made it definitely had very strong, touching and meaningful essays. If I have not been the one proposing the trip, I don't think I could have written as good an essay as my team members to pass the selction. (Luckly me..and the moral of the story is..propose a trip..jk). As hard as we tried, a lot of time, we left it up to God to decide who should go. Our team is God's choice and He was so right and so kind to bring us together.

I really think we have grown much closer to each other now. I enjoy knowing each and everyone of you. We have almost made it through the financial obstacle. It is amazing how we do it. So dedicated, so passionate and so successful. We raised almost 7,000 dollars in less than 1 month. It was such a superb achievement. I thank you for your hard work and I am sure the children in Vietnam appreciate you a lot for this.

There are some pictures I took at the faculty luncheon on Friday Feb 4 and from the little Smith brunch we had together before the seminar on Saturday Feb 5. Nice pictures!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Vietnamese New Year

I believe its the Vietnamese New Year today - the year of the rooster. Chuc Mung Nam Muoy!

Dr. Flamm from the history department had come to our meeting, at our request, to talk to us about the Vietnam war. I felt that he is an excellent speaker because he didnt ramble like a lot of people do. He went straight to the point and covered both perspectives - the American and the Vietnamese. He hasnt been to Vietnam yet, but what he said about today's Vietnam echoed what I have read in books, heard from Thanh and Nga and some other news sources I read regularly. That showed me how meticulous he must be when he reads and talks to people to keep the truth and chaff out whats not. Overall, I was impressed with Dr. Flamm and his knowledge and learned a lot. Some facts I remember from the talk - US forces sprayed 19 Million Tons of the defoliant named Agent Orange. There are children still born today with deformities caused by Agent Orange coming in contact with their parents or grand-parents. More than 2 Million people were killled or severely injured in the war from the Vietnamese side - thats 10% of their total population. There are still unexploded mines and bombs in the country which kill hundreds of people in Vietnam even today. Mind-boggling!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Meeting Minute - February 1

I think we got a very productive meeting with lots of stuff got discussed. Good news at the end of the meeting, we have confirmed funding from WCSA and our deficit is only $4533 now, much better than $7000 earlier.

- Visa application: we decide that the $65 fee for each person will be taken out from the team budget. Kevin, who has got his own money order, can give his money order to Lisa or Eric who will submit their visa application later. The team will reimburse Kevin then. Please get your documents to Nga ASAP or let her know when you are expecting your passport.
- OWU Luncheon (Feb 4): cooks are needed in Nga's apartment from 3 p.m. onward on Thursday. Jess volunteered to drive to Chi Phi to fry spring rolls at 7 p.m. and Mel will help pick up the ingredients at 3 p.m. Remember to post up flyers and distribute inviations to your professors. If you have extra, drop them in the Chaplain's office so others who need them can take from there.
- Asbury Church Spaghetti Lunch: Chaplain will confirm the date this week
- Garage Sale: collect items
- Writing to department:Sociology/Anthropology and BoMi: Nga, History and Econ: Thanh, IS: Matt, Jess and Eric
- Donations: make an effort to talk to your doctors, dentists, hotel owners, etc. to get as many items as we can.
- Agent Orange documentary: will watch after the SBMW seminar this Saturday. Jess has suggested the Tree house. We need a VCD player to watch the VCD.
- Vietnamese dinner: Luong and Lisa cannot do Friday 11th, can we do Friday 18th then? Please let me know.
- 3 copies of the passport, 2 copies of the insurance card and the emergency form should be returned to Matt by this Saturday. Matt's box is 3012.

Important date to remember:
• Faculty Luncheon: February 4 from 12-1:30p.m. in SciCenter
• Garage Sale: February 12 Hamilton Williams Campus Center
• Spaghetti Dinner at Asbury United Methodist Church: February 20, 2005
• Pizza Delivery: January 20, Feb 25, Feb 27
• SBMW Seminar: February 5 1-3p.m. in Benes room
• Manteling service: March 2

I told you, we got a lot of things taken care of at this meeting. And if you are still reading, reply to this email and tell me what is the number you call for emergency in Vietnam? (Hint: Kevin read it aloud today)

Keep warm,

Thanh