Honey’s Day to Find Freedom has Arrived

Today is a special day. It’s the day I become truly free. Some people call it dying, but I call it leaving the constraints of this body and the cares of the bodily experience, and being free– truly free.

Photo by: Derold Sligh

Photo by: Derold Sligh

That’s me, with my human.

Her name’s Mom. My name’s Honey. Mom named me that. I thought it was because of my fur color, or my amber colored eyes, but nope, Mom says it’s because I am so sweet & the whole world should know it.

Before I tell you about my special day, let me tell you a little about my life with Mom.

Before I met Mom, I had a rough 3 years. I ended up living on the streets of Daegu, S. Korea and was picked up by a fireman who took me to an animal shelter. They took a picture of me and that’s how I won Mom’s heart- she volunteered at the shelter and saw the photo on the shelter’s Facebook webpage. The shelter was closing down and planning to euthanize all the remaining animals there. I thought that would’ve been my day to transition into freedom, but first I needed to experience this beautiful, life-changing thing called love.



Honey shelter photoMom came to visit and take me to the vet. She read that I was sick, that I probably needed surgery on my injured leg. Honey- day 1I had a really high fever, open wounds on my skin that were infected, a sinus infection, some heart issues, you can see that I needed to eat, and you already know about the leg.

I chose Mom because she’s brave. I knew she was strong enough to handle what would come our way in the next 11 months.

Mom couldn’t take me home that first day, she had to make arrangements, and I was a little scared for her to leave. OK, REALLY SCARED! I wanted her to come back and get me. I HOPED beyond hope that she would.

Honey- adoption dayAND.. SHE DID!

She took good care of me, wiping my nose, cleaning my wounds, giving me medicine several times a day, teaching me the rules, boundaries and limitations of her house.

LOL ~ I got blood everywhere~ the walls, the floor, the bed~ I would sneeze and it just went flying. Mom never complained and patiently cleaned things up, spoke kindly to me and showed me I could trust her. I’d never had someone love me like that before.

I did things for her too. I took her on lots of walks, about 6-8 a day. After a while, my injuries healed, my leg became strong, and we started jogging together……. I really liked that!

I even made dog friends! Life with Mom is so much better that my first 3 years!

Honey & Dukyu playing

Only trouble is: I have a problem with biting. It’s not solely my fault. I have a brain problem. They say “schizophrenia.” I don’t know what that means, exactly, I just know that I see and hear things that others don’t and they scare me– A LOT! I try to get away from them but I can’t. I even pee myself sometimes when I have “an episode” as Mom calls it. I had an episode last night & Mom cried. I guess it’s because she knows how hard they are for me and that they’ll end today. She’s very brave, Mom is. Every time I have bitten someone, she doesn’t freak out, even when it’s her I bite. She doesn’t hit me or say mean things. She reminds me that it’s bad behavior and I can’t do that, but always in firm love.



It’s been a whole month since I last bit anyone. The muzzle has helped a lot, even though I absolutely HATE it.


Which brings us to today. Today, Mom is allowing me to be free.

Honey backpack

I know it’s really hard for her, she tried so many things to help me get better: different collars, special trainers, backpacks, different aromatherapies, Reiki, a behavior specialist, the list goes on. She just had a hard time accepting that I wasn’t going to get better, that I’d never stop biting people. You see, I literally am out of my mind sometimes and I can’t distinguish reality from the things going on in my head.

Finally, she realized what the only choice left was: she had to euthanize me.

Not only is Mom brave, but she is also a positive person. She said we’d make the most of our time left, do the things we enjoy doing together….and we did.

Last weekend, I got to play with Dukyu at my favorite spot. It was so much fun!

Honey chasing birdsI also went on many long walks and runs with Mom and I played in the river with the birds. They love to play chase!

They even came back to the park today and played chase some more!


We had lots of snuggles today, and every day really, but especially lately. My snuggles seem to comfort Mom.Snuggles

Can you imagine: A HUMAN— caring enough about ME, that she is COMFORTED by my presence!?! What a great life these past 11 months have been!


We played fetch, and I got to run around FREE … Running FREENo muzzle. No collars. No backpack… just me, the wind, and the smell of freedom on the horizon. That’s what I imagine leaving this body feels like…. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Finally, it was time for the last stop: to see my friend, Dr. Nam. He loves me almost as much as I love him. This day was hard for him too. He cried, right alongside Mom as they helped me transition from this body into freedom. What a comfort to be with the the two humans I love the most on this earth, until the very last moment of my life on this earth. Mom massaged my head as I fell asleep. She kept saying, “I love you, Honey. Thank you. Thank you for everything.” as I made my way to the other side.



I love you too, Mom. And, THANK YOU! You showed me a love that I never knew existed. I gotta go now. Be brave. Keep running. I’ll be with you, even though not in this body, I’ll be there in Spirit, running right beside you– running FREE.




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Intuitive Card Readings

Media portrays (tarot) card readers in some unusual ways. Typically, you see a woman with a few piercings, head wrapped in a scarf, sitting in front of a crystal ball in a dimly lit room.tarot card reader I’m writing this post to shed some light on intuitive card reading- what it is and what it isn’t.

First, let me get this out there: *I use the word God, Spirit, Universe, Divine Intelligence, Divinity interchangeably, because these words all represent the same thing, but speak to each individual differently. For example, one person might have negative feelings towards the word “God” because of past experiences in his life. This holds a negative charge with him and he will automatically put up walls that hinder the message from reaching him. Conversely, the same may be true for another person who hears the word “Universe” because he isn’t used to hearing that word associated with God. No matter what word(s) you use for Divine Power, the message is from the same place. Use the word that speaks to you and your truth.

What is a card reading?

Quite simply, it is God/Spirit/Angels speaking to someone, (the person who has asked for a reading) via cards and a reader. God can speak to people in many ways, through the Bible, or other sacred text, nature, a message from others that speaks to your Spirit, billboard signs, internal impressions/umptions, animals, the list goes on and on. Card reading is another form of God speaking to others.

It is a message regarding the current path you are on. It is NOT set in stone, meaning, Spirit is giving you guidance based on the current path you’re are heading on. If you change your course/habits/mind/thoughts, the course will change. I won’t get into the deep Spiritual laws here, but as you likely know, words and thoughts have creative power. You WILL see a manifestation of your current thoughts/words/actions, whether positive or negative. This is the law of attraction in its simplest form.

Each card represents a message, but when you have an intuitive card reading, you are also getting information beyond the card(s). An intuitive card reader has a gift of intuition, meaning she is able to know things without having learned them. This information comes from Spirit and is only given for validation, insight and direction. It’s important that you find an intuitive reader who works from a high vibration. For obvious reasons, if you go to a reader with a low vibration, her intentions are not usually pure and don’t come from a place of Love. Rather, they come from a place of ego, greed and exploitation.  It’s also important to note that every person has intuition (an inner knowing). When you attune yourself to listen to your intuition, your path will be made much easier. [An intuitive reader is someone who has a heightened sense of intuition.]

tarot card decksWhat deck of cards should an intuitive card reader use?

It is up to the reader to decide which deck she will use. There are literally thousands of decks available, and most card readers have multiple decks. Which deck she chooses to do your reading from will heavily depend on the type of question you have, as well as what the reader is sensing will work best. It is not uncommon for a reading to include cards from more than one deck.

What an intuitive card reading isn’t

An intuitive card reading is not set in stone. As mentioned above, it can change if you change your thoughts, course, mind, etc. Think of it as a snapshot into the future of your current path. Taking at a precise moment in time, with many variables which may cause change.

How much does a reading cost?

Each reader may charge different fees, according to how she is led. This is a sensitive subject for many people, which I personally find interesting. Why does it bother someone to pay for a reading? Is a laborer not worth his wages? You wouldn’t go to work, using your skills, talents and training and not expect to be paid for your efforts, right? Absolutely you should get paid. Since there is a wide range of price points for readings, you can surely find a reader who is cheaper than the reader you may be seeking right now, but here’s some insight: if the guidance you’re seeking has led you to that reader, isn’t that in itself some guidance?

I hope that this post has brought some insight and clarity for you. Should you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment or contact me. Love and Light!

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Bali~ Take 2

My first trip to Bali was filled with lots of sightseeing and moving around the island. However, last summer, I spent a month in Bali and basically just chilled on the beach in SANUR, got massages everyday, walked a lot, ate some fantastic food and hung out with  friends. Since my first blog has most of the touristy stuff, I wasn’t going to blog about my second trip, but decided to give some updated info and tips that weren’t included in the last blog. Here it is in short form:

Note: entry visa (for US citizens) is now $35 not $25.

The Areas

Kuta: party, backpacker area. Lots of shopping, nightlife, a great beach and not too far from the airport.

Seminyak: Right next to Kuta. Best place to watch the sunset. Must go beachside at least one evening to enjoy the music, food and sunset. This is a higher end of the budget (for hotels) area but if you don’t know the area well, you won’t know where Kuta ends and Seminyak begins. Huge department store shopping here as well. Posh party area.

Sanur: A much more chill side of the island. This is where most of the speed boats port to/from the Gillis, Lombok, Lembongan, etc. Known for having an older retired expat community. LOVE THIS AREA because it’s not overcrowded and so touristy (compared with Kuta and Ubud). Plus, my friends are there. This is where I rented an apartment for the month.

Ubud is another place in Bali that is a good place to visit. Monkey temple… don’t take snacks in your bag. Haaha It’s a bit touristy in Ubud too but if you like Yoga that is THE PLACE. The rice fields there are quite nice to look at as well.

You must go to the GILLI Islands (Avoid Gilli T overnight if you’re alone, either of the other two would be fine) you can take a speed boat (Recommended company on my first blog). But do stay at least one night and do a snorkeling day trip.

Lembongan (Island) is AMAZING too. There are tons of hostels if you get off the boat and walk to the main road. People will try to hassle you (in the name of helping) to find a hostel for you. If you don’t mind giving them a cut, it’s easier that way. Sunset (where the boat drops off) is a must. They gather the seaweed at that time and it’s gorgeous.

Getting Around

SUPER IMPORTANT: if you’re gonna take a taxi, only take BLUEBIRD GROUP. They are honest and regulated. They have the website on the car and a car number. DON’T BE FOOLED BY LOOK-A-LIKES… website must be there. Others’ meters are rediculous.

A bemo is basically a minivan with the doors optional. If you take a bemo, don’t negotiate a price. Get in, tell them when to stop, pass them the money (Indonesians pay 4-5,000 IDR, but you’ll likely pay a bit more, not double that though) and get out. They will likely try to get more, just walk away. This, of course, depends on where you’re going. If you’re just riding down the street, take a bemo. If you’re going to another area, take a taxi.

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My Mongolian Adventure

Mongolia, as a country,  seems to be a destination less travelled. I know only three friends who have been there, but all of them said it was worth their time and money to visit. I had tried to plan a trip during the (Korean) holidays of Buddha’s Birthday and Children’s Day (early May), but things just didn’t work out. Why, you ask? Well, early May is the tail end of Mongolia’s winter and thus riding camels is not an option at that time, not to mention the cold temperatures. Camel riding was one of the main reasons I wanted to go- so I postponed my trip.

Mongolia’s peak tourist season, and for anything requiring one to go outside really, is late May- early Sept, with June & July being the ideal months to visit. Mongolian winters are HARSH, to say the least. Average temperatures drop to -30 C (that’s -22 F)!

As it turned out, one of my close friends was planning a month-long trip to Mongolia for our university’s next break. So, we decided to take the trip together.

For the sake of this blog, I will stick to the highlights, cautions and information only, but let me first put this out there: I couldn’t have done this trip with anyone else except Frances (the woman I went with).

Mongolia is one of those places (and the tours, one of those adventures) that will test the relationship you have with the people you’re traveling with.

I’ll expound more about that in a minute.

  • Tours

I’ll assume you’re taking a tour, as there really isn’t anything else to do there. First, you should travel with someone.Tours are much more expensive when going solo. You can have people you meet in Mongolia join a tour you plan to take, but in my opinion, that’s a big emotional risk- not what I would want to do- for sure.

We booked a 15-day tour through Khongor Expeditions. I can’t say enough (good things) about this company! There are tons of tour companies out there, and almost every guest house organizes tours, but Khongor came highly recommended, has great reviews and simply is the place to book your tour(s). They are slightly more expensive, but rest assured, they are worth it!

We talked with several people while at various sites, and they noted how often their drivers got lost, adding hours and frustration to travel time. Some mentioned that their drivers would drive sleep deprived and drunk from the night before, not to mention the lack of problem-solving skills when faced with flooding, flat tires, sand storms, etc. Fixing a flat in Mongolia We experience flat tires, sand storms and flooding, but with a confident, kind, competent driver and guide. This made our trip!

I will let you go through the different tours available, but here are some general recommendations/musts:

  • Camel riding in the Gobi Desert
  • Horseback riding
  • Sand dunes (Gobi Desert)
  • White Lake
  • Khuvsgul Lake
  • Reindeeer families (Western Mongolia- need at least 2 weeks in Mongolia to do this)
  • Ger stay (you’ll stay in gers every night with Khongor tours)
  • Star gazing (You can do this after the sun goes down. It doesn’t have to be a planned event in your tour. I literally CRIED my first night when I went out to relieve my bladder, looked up & noticed the most brilliant night sky I have ever seen in my life!)

With our 15-day tour, we covered most of Central, Northern and Southern Mongolia. We didn’t go far east or far west, but we happened upon a reindeer family who was traveling for Naadam (see below).

  • Food

2014-07-05 19.42.35The staple food in Mongolia is lamb, potatoes and carrots. Expect this in every meal you have (breakfast is usually an exception to this rule). If you are a vegetarian, vegan, or have special dietary needs, you can ask your tour company to adjust the menu for you, although, it should be noted that you’ll likely not have a lot of variety or choices~ it’s just a part of the adventure. Mongolians tend to eat lots of fat on their meat in order to pad up (insulate themselves) typical meal for winter. If you’re not a big fan of eating hunks of fat, just ask them to remove it for your meals. Additionally, Mongolians eat EVERY part of the animal. Don’t be alarmed though, they realize most foreigners aren’t keen on that and won’t likely serve innards to you. Another great reason to book a reputable tour company: they are used to (and are able to) meeting the needs of tourists.

If you happen to be an adventurous eater, Mongolia provides some great things to try: various forms of camel, sheep and mare milk. 2014-07-12 07.23.14 milk treats








In particular, their national beverage, Airag-  fermented mare’s milk- should most definitely be sampled.  We had various forms of yogurt, cheese, dried milk treats and even got to observe one of the host families making yogurt.

  • Landscapes  Khuvsgul Lake

The main reason to go to Mongolia is to take in the wide open landscape. While riding in your jeep/van/bus all day, you’ll take in some truly magnificent landscapes. It’s very common not to see anyone else for (literally) almost an livestockentire day. You will get to see plenty of livestock roaming freely, which is a site in and of itself. I had never seen yaks,  kites (I learned that that’s a bird lol), hawks, nor camels freely roaming land before. I had seen a few of those animals in zoos, but not in “real life” in their own natural habitat. WOW!! Riding a camel in the Gobi Dessert was definitely a highlight for me.


Nature is also your toilet while you’re in Mongolia. Nicer toilet Some camps have a latrine but you often hope for the wide open landscapes as the heat makes the latrines quite hard on the nose. If you have “stage fright” about doing your business out in the open, you may want to reconsider a trip to Mongolia. The fun part is, you can make some memorable stories! I can now say I have used a YAK as a shield from my fellow travelers’ eyes while doin’ the do outside. hahaha Mongolian adventures, indeed!

  • Naadam

Naadam is Mongolia’s biggest holiday/festival and occurs in the month of July every year. It lands on different dates each year, 2014-07-05 15.00.29so be sure to check the world wide web for specific dates. We happen to be “on the road” (on our tour)  when the capital city of Ulanbaatar (UB) planned to hold the grand “three games of men”: wrestling, horse racing and archery. Fortunately for us, our tour guide and driver helped us find a local festival where we spent a few hours watching the games and enjoying the food.

Naadam in UB is by far the largest celebration of the games, but be careful as it is high time for pickpockets to take advantage of tourists not paying close attention to their belongings.

  • Challenges

Let me try to keep this brief, but you are roughin’ it! Sleeping on hard, lumpy “beds” for most of the tour, with your travel companions 24/7 (or however long your tour lasts- in my case 24/15), and basically are never separated from one another. No, not even to use the restroom. Showers are available about every 5-6 days and the daytime can be quite hot. Roads don’t really exist so you’re on very bumpy terrain for hours at a time, sometimes as much as 13 hours a day. While this makes for really good memorable moments and lots of adventures, it’s not always easy to stay happy and friendly, especially if your personality is not that positive to begin with. lol Fortunately, we (my travel companion and myself) are quite positive people who have mature communication skills. This was key for us staying good friends throughout the trip. I bring this up because it is something you must consider when you’re deciding to go and with whom you’ll go with, especially if you plan to add strangers to your tour group.

What to bring:

  • Wet wipes (enough for the entire tour)
  • snacks (you’ll be limited on what you’ll be able to purchase, and may only stop every 5 days or so)
  • Baby powder (it will keep you feeling fresh and is also a great way to “dry clean” your hair)
  • Warm clothes to sleep in (it gets cold at night)
  • Headlamp
  • Extra batteries (or a charger with adapter) for your camera. Electricity is sparse at best.
  • Small items you can give as gifts to your host families and to your your guide/driver.
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel towel
  • Washcloth (this was a life saver for washing my face)
  • comfortable shoes (for both riding in the car and for hiking)


Most hostels are in apartment buildings and it’s quite alarming when you first rock up to them. Don’t worry, most of them are nice inside. I recommend Khongor Guest House, or if you’re looking for more of a lively backpacker vibe, go to Golden Gobi. Both are in a great location and within walking distance to food and shopping in UB.

Lastly, as always, I’ll include a budget guide! These are peak season prices, but it’s likely you won’t go in the winter. What would be the point!?!

Tours– plan for $100/person / day (booking with 2+ people): $1500

Accommodations (when not on tour): $12/night/person

Shopping (souvenirs): $150

Meals (when not on tour): Foreign food ~ $12 per meal, Local food~ $4 per meal.

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Volunteering on Vaction

On Christmas Day, I made my way to Chiang Mai, Thailand to begin my volunteering adventure vacation. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACOSA is the organization I decided to become involved with and, after going through the application process, was approved to spend 5 weeks of my winter vacation volunteering at Baan Yuu Suk, their first and primary shelter. [A new location, Baan Yuu Suk 2, is scheduled to open later in the year.] Because of the holiday season, all the girls were off from school and 27 of the 34 girls at the shelter went to spend a week with their families, most of whom live in the Hill Tribe lands of northern Thailand, near the Burma (Myanmar) border, some taking 3 hours to get home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeven girls didn’t have a safe place to visit so they remained at the shelter. Although disappointed that I would miss a week with those 27 girls, I was happy to have the opportunity to learn the names of, and bond with the 7 remaining girls.

For New Year’s Eve, we all settled in one of the four houses on Baan Yuu Suk (BYS) and watched a movie, then chatted around a bon fire.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Just before midnight we lit fireworks, oohing and awwwing at the beautiful colors and crashing sounds of the firecrackers bursting in the air. 2013-12-31 23.23.26 We ushered in the new year by sending lanterns full of wishes into the night sky. It was a great time!

We took the girls ice skating, which was an adventure for all of us. There were only two of us volunteers who had ice skated before (it was only my 4th time) and it was the girls’ first experience on ice. 2013-12-30 20.48.27 What a hoot! I had a minimum of two girls hanging on to me at a time, doing their best to stabilize themselves and find their feet on the ice. It amazed me at how quickly they learned. At different paces, almost every girl went from clinging onto the side wall to standing – and moving- all by herself on the ice rink. Of course, at first, I heard a lot of “I can’t”s. My calm, confident reply, “Yes, you can. I’m right here to help you.” It took some girls longer to trust me than others. Not all of them chose me as their “coach” for the night. Some independently ventured to figure it out themselves, some got aid and instruction from Merry, the other volunteer who had skated before- who actually knew what she was doing on the ice. 2013-12-30 20.16.53Rahtee was fantastic! She worked at it, slowly and steadily, and she eventually skated on her own, without holding onto anyone or anything. Although I did catch a glimpse of her holding another COSA sister every now and again to aid in that sister’s stability. Way to go, Rahtee!

2013-12-30 20.50.35

Gig was my favorite to watch though.  She was super clumsy on the ice and I think she spent more time falling and sitting on the ice than she spent standing on it. She was able to laugh about it and I think she found such joy in the process of it that she didn’t mind all the falling. She is the one girl who got me on the ground. lol She skated right into me, grabbed me with a big hug and fell backwards, unintentionally of course. She just couldn’t seem to keep her balance. We had a good laugh, got up and continued on. Isn’t that how life is, though? We fall down, get back up, and hopefully carry on with joy.

The 27 girls came back after a week’s time and school resumed to a somewhat normal schedule. There were mid-terms for the middle and high school girls so there were always a couple girls here during the day, the schedules were one-on-one-off. 2014-01-12 17.04.27Basically, we volunteers would walk the 12 elementary school girls to school at 7:20am then come back to the shelter and hang out with the girls who were off from school. Playing games, talking, helping them study their English, etc. If no one wanted to hang out, we’d work on projects for the organization. I especially loved our morning walks (to school) with the girls because they usually ended with a dozen hugs! The pick-up walks, at 3:30pm, began with a dozen hugs, so they are also a favorite time for me. lol

2014-01-18 10.03.50

Weekends are the busiest times as we have English lessons for 3 hours (90 minutes for each level, dividing the 5 levels among the volunteers),then a late afternoon activity, usually some kind of arts and crafts. SAM_2018 We made New Year’s Eve hats, friendship bracelets, had manicure parties, and I am hoping for a super bubble activity before I leave. 1528576_10201498072081912_581286986_n

On Children’s Day, which was January 4th, the local school had a celebration that we took the girls to. 2014-01-04 18.47.12The older girls joined and it was a morning of great fun. We had taught the girls a couple dances in English class, and they ended up performing it in front of almost a hundred people at the celebration! BRAVE girls! A few of the girls won prizes in a drawing. 2014-01-17 18.27.07 May won a new bicycle! She kept the plastic on it until it refused to stay attached. She wanted to protect it from scratching. That evening we had an ice cream sundae party.

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The girls got to choose their toppings and boy did they load it on. They sang a bit of karaoke in the soon to open BYS Cafe as well.

I have just one week left at the shelter and it is really gonna be tough to leave.

2014-01-06 15.28.05 2014-01-12 17.09.12

2014-01-06 19.04.06 I have bonded with several of the girls and I feel myself tearing up even now as I think about departing. My plan is to return on my next vacation, just four months from now. Who knows, maybe I can recruit some other people to come with me and share the fun! Are you up for it?! ^^

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Get Involved in the Fight Against Modern Day Slavery

Nestled in rural Chiang Mai (Thailand), not too far from the Tiger Kingdom, is an amazing shelter called Baan Yuu Suk (pronounced bahn yoo sook). BYS1This shelter is home to 34 girls, aged 6-19, who were at great risk (and some rescued from) to become victims of human trafficking. These girls are from the Hill Tribes of northern Thailand, where their existence isn’t really even recognized by the Thai government. Despite being 10th + generation Thailand-born, the government doesn’t provide them with Thai citizenship. Thus, they are stateless. This statelessness causes great obstacles in the areas of education, travel, work, geographic location in general, and whole plethora of other areas. Because these girls essentially don’t exist on paper, it is quite easy for a trafficker to exploit both them and their families.  That’s where COSA comes in…

I “happened” upon an organization called COSA, Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia, while searching for volunteer opportunities in the area of anti human trafficking. COSA seemed to be a perfect fit for the contribution I wanted to make and I started the application process to volunteer on my next vacation.

COSA believes in “Prevention through Education” which basically means that by providing a quality education, not only through high school but in some cases, on into university or vocational training, these girls are given a fighting chance to earn a solid income for themselves and their families. In Thailand, as in many parts of the world, children are expected to contribute to the (financial) betterment of the family. There is MUCH less emphasis on individualism than on family and the group as a whole. This is of particular challenge due to statelessness. Without the documents to prove their rights, these girls are denied an education beyond high school. However, most of them don’t make it past an elementary level due to this need for them to contribute. Girls are often sold into brothels in order fulfill loan obligations her family might have, or simply as a way for the girl to provide additional income for her family. It’s hard for us to even fathom, but this happens every single day, all over the world.  These children must stay in school in order to escape this destiny. Yet another task that this organization takes on, getting proper legal documentation for each girl, so that she can get a proper education and be successful in life.

The girls live, play and learn at Baan Yuu Suk, go to quality schools in the area, and are growing up in a safe, loving environment where they can have opportunities that may not have existed for them if they hadn’t come to COSA.

Volunteering has been a major part of my late teens/adult life. I have been exposed to many different organizations, and have even co-founded a non-profit organization myself. It’s not easy running an organization, nor is everyone really in it for the good of others. In COSA’s case, however, I must say that I have been extremely impressed with the vision, operation and hearts of those involved. If you’re looking for a place to plant some seeds, financial, time, talents, or even literal seeds- they do organic farming too, I would highly recommend this organization! I have spent 4 weeks (so far) here and plan to spend my next vacation volunteering again. You can check out my other entries about my volunteering experience here, but I wanted to dedicate this entry to getting the word out about COSA. Many of my friends have tons of gifts to give and are looking for a place to give them. Might I humbly recommend this place as a place to start!?

For more information, or ways you can become involved/contribute, please check out their website: www.cosasia.org. Together, we CAN make a difference in the fight against modern day slavery!

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Home is where the “familiar” is

It has been said that “Home is where the heart is” and I would have to partially agree with that. However, I have recently decided that the feeling of familiarity is also a vital factor. I have lived abroad 6 1/2 years of my life. I feel connected to the countries in which I have resided, and to some that I have only visited. So what exactly makes one feel “at home?” Is it time spent there, connections made, property purchased, or familial ties? Of course, it can be any combination of these things, or then again, none of them at all.

One thing I recognized as a common bond of the places I have referred to as “home” is a sense of familiarity. When I know how to find the things I want to find, get where I want to go, and have some sort of connection to the people and place itself, I tend to call that place home.

I have now lived in three cities in Korea: Ulsan, Seoul and now Gyeongsan/Daegu. Ulsan is what I would consider my Korean hometown. It’s the place I started my Korean life at, the place I know very well, and the place I have several close friends in. It has an extremely special place in my heart, in spite of the mere 12 months living there. Seoul, although I was never “in love” with the city, definitely grew on me and I learned to be very fond of the capital city, for many of the same reasons I mentioned regarding Ulsan. Lastly, I have been in Gyeongsan (just outside of Daegu) for just over 4 months now. I am adjusting to it and find that any discontent, or longing for another city rather,  stems from not yet having a true sense of familiarity.

Last week, I traveled to Seoul and as I saw familiar landmarks from the bus window, I became energized with excitement. It was at that moment that I realized this familiarity was so important to me.

So, if you find yourself in a place that you’d rather not be living, try to get out and familiarize yourself with the local markets, stores, people and activities. You just might find that you’ll be wanting to call that place “home.” Many blessing to you as you find your path that leads you to your home.

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