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Archive for the ‘World’ Category

Where were you 7 yrs ago?

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Seven years ago I was in Rayong, Thailand teaching English.  I was talking to my Mom on the phone getting caught up with the happenings in Seattle as well as in Thailand….then my Mom casually tells me that a plane has just hit a building in New York.  Surprised to hear this news…I asked her to tell me more details?  My wonderful Mother wasn’t really paying attention to the news.  I shouted across the dining room that I was using the phone in and asked my British friend to turn on the news…sure enough…a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York City.  My mother had given the impression that it was small commuter that had flown off course and hit just some building?  My mother is not a woman of details…well during this conversation she wasn’t.  As I half listened to my mother on the phone and half listen to the news on the TV a second plane flew into the other tower of the World Trade Center.  The room went silent, and everyone in the room started to gather around the TV.  At this point I told my mom “I Love you…I gotta go”.  We gathered around the TV, people from all over the world, all of us could not believe what had just happened.  and it wasn’t over.  A few minutes later the first tower fell, then the second tower.  I remember the TV saying “America has been attacked” and “Major attack on the US”.  All the American travelers were advised not to travel to Southern Thailand,  the US embassy issued a warning that it was unsafe for Americans to travel, we were advised to stay where we were until “They” could figure out what to do?  The next couple of hours were very strange around the school..very quiet.  A few days later…I was teaching English in a 5th grade classroom at a public school in Rayong, Thailand.  It was a typical day, me in front of 45 thai students, me not really knowing how to speak Thai, and them not really know how to speak English.  Normal day…then from the back of the classroom the kids started chanting, yelling, cheering, laughing, “Bin Laden, Bin Laden, Bin Laden!”   I didn’t know what to do?  What was I supposed to do?  I don’t know how these Thai kids feel about the United States?  Are these Kids doing anything wrong?  I was nervous, nervous about all the other 5th graders in the world that were cheering and chanting, excited to see America attacked?  All I could do was give them a positive impression of an individual American?      Our world has not been the same since.  Seven years ago today…the World went to war.  Seven years the United States has been fighting the “War on Terror”…and why are we in Iraq?  Happy Patriot Day!

I gotta get back on my bike….keep on pedaling!

Man Zou is a common phrase in Mandarin. It is more of a philosophy than anything. Man Zou literally translates to "Walk Slow."

"Slow and steady wins the race," they say. This is at the heart of the meaning of Man Zou. Walk slowly and you won't fall. Act carefully and you won't go wrong. A slow walker is faster than someone who walks fast but always has to stop and rest. Persistence is important in learning or doing anything.

To explain a little more in depth, read this quote from The Challenge of Trekking in China by Kyle Acierno:

"I recently underwent the most thorny, intricate, and demanding trek of my life. China is no walk in the park. The county is extremely diverse, and with diversity comes complexity. There is no smooth road laid for backpackers and attempting to do anything or get anywhere can be incredibly arduous...I really needed a break and I didn't know where I would be next. I sat down to a plate of rice noodles and peanuts. A hardy meal for a hardy man. A giant of a woman served me, but with her giant body came a giant heart. With a quick phrase that I have become accustomed to, she filled me with self-assurance that I needed for the rest of my trip. ?Man Zou!? she shouted with a big smile on her face. This literally translates to ?Walk Slow?. To me this means more then just ?be careful.? To me this means take the time to see the wonders of life. The power it gave me changed the rest of my trip. From then on everything went smoothly...I learned a lot from this Trek. I learned the beauty that exists just off the beaten track. I learned that anything amazing takes time. I learned just how much you could learn from people without even using language...By taking the time to notice all the small things in life you can really appreciate who, where, and what you are. Patience, persistence, and practice makes perfect."