Feb. 24th, 2017 09:52 pm
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I got the formal offer. I'm moving to Vietnam. I jumped for joy when I saw the offer in my inbox... now I can rest.

Now... Bek.
We've been able to maintain this correspondence for four years. It's amazing. I always think of writing him when something big or small happens. He's such an important friend to me, and some of the the best memories I have of Uzbekistan (small, simple moments like walking for a few blocks in the snow to buy some snacks in the corner store; going out to have a breath of fresh air after lunch; getting stuck in the office for another overtime and still enjoying the company) are with him.
I regret not saying a proper goodbye, but I suck like that. I never know how to say goodbye. I always lie and say I'm going to be back.
But then, maybe (hopefully) I've grown up a little now?
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Hokkaido is <3, probably my favorite place in Japan.


I'm still feeling a confused sort of happiness (and fear) about Vietnam.
It will be a big adjustment mainly because I'm such a shy person and it will be my first time living on my own in a foreign country for more than a few months at a time.
Still, I am very very thankful -- the job is a dream come true for me (and my parents). 


Jan. 26th, 2017 07:16 pm
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Got the pre-offer and experienced ecstacy :))

Now I have to work on gathering the pre-employment documentary requirements, wait for feedback after they get in touch with my references.... I wish everything could be settled already. This entire experience has been very stressful though it will be worth it if I push through in my move.

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I got the Vietnam job. Now putting together the requirements for the pre-offer >> negotiations >> formal offer.
I'm thankful, this is all because of Him, by His will.
At the same time, I feel strangely less elated than I thought I would.
Hmmm. Maybe it's because I waited so long for the decision that some of my excitement died, but I'm sure my heart will pick up speed when the pre-offer finally comes.

Back from wintry Japan. It was <3 as usual.
I love Hokkaido.
I wonder when I'll be able to go back.


Jun. 13th, 2016 11:15 am
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I just returned from an exhausting 8 day work trip. So exhausting that I started becoming weepy during the trip and Ive remained in that condition since coming back. Im very grateful for the opportunity of course and it is just nuts because the past two times I was on mission; it appeared that Sho-kun was also in the same area for work. So near yet so far. T_T

But - happy to note that my Arashi obsession has calmed down significantly. It's always good for everything to be in moderation anyway.

Highlight of last week was of course the surprise bridal shower we held for my dear Chinky. I just met some of the other girls in the entourage last week and I thought to myself that her friends are such good-looking people. Im the least good looking one hehe. She's going to have such a gorgeous entourage (not counting myself hoho) - I need to hit the gym again and reduce my ice cream intake :p


May. 31st, 2016 10:24 pm
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Life is good.
Major deliverable submitted last week, praise the Lord. I can take a break from that for a while, pending questions/requests for revision.
Got a present for the kids of the lady who has been helping take care of our household matters for more than ten years... that felt good. Sometimes I feel like there is no act of kindness that is completely unselfish because you still do these things to feel good or to ease your suffering. Like my donations to animal welfare organizations and sponsorship of rescued animals - I can't really call it unselfish, because seeing suffering animals depresses me. And doing something for them helps ease my pain. But this present for our ate's kids -- I feel convinced that it's one thing I did without getting anything in return (except, obviously, now I can write this and feel good about what I did).
But I do a ton of stuff for myself as well, come to think of it. I treated myself to a major thing this week. And then... I'm back in Ho Chi Minh (but this is for work). Still, it was such a comfortable trip!
And Viet Nam... for some reason... always feels like home.
I lived here for a few months in 2011 and made some very good friends; is that why?
I love it here.
I was semi-forced to stay in an expensive hotel tonight because this is where my boss is staying and we're leaving for the field early tomorrow and it would be too much hassle for me to take a taxi from another hotel to her hotel... so I gave in and just booked here as well. Because of this, I will not be able to save any of my per diem. Oh well. Sometimes, we just have to choose the path of least resistance.

I've also been thinking... I was talking to my mom a few weeks ago about how I've never made any friends by myself in the gym, even after going to the same one for almost 9 years. My mom, on the other hand, quickly made acquintances at the gym she's been going to for just two years or so. I asked her why, and she said that maybe it's because I don't look at people. And it's true. I don't go to the gym to make friends but the real reason I don't make eye contact is because I am a very insecure person. It's true. At the office, I generally don't look at people either. So after my mom brought that bad habit of mine to my attention, I tried making eye contact with people I meet in the corridors at work, and found that it really does make a difference. So yesterday, I ended up talking to two random people and all because of making eye contact. To be honest, I was only that pleasant because I mistook them for someone I ought to know (namely, my mentor's husband), so I was like all smiley and they were all smiley in return, and then I was like "are you Frank?" And they were like "no, I"m not Frank -- Oh, so that's why you greeted me so nicely". haha :)) So yeah, I should be friendlier.

Another lesson learned - prioritizing my health has helped me claw back my sanity. I burnt out but I couldn't afford to stop working, which the doctor actually said I HAD to do since I was in really bad shape, but I tried to do things in moderation - I've been paying attention to signals from my mind and body; I stop working when I hit a certain point of not thinking quickly enough; I've been exercising a little bit. And I feel so much better. I feel that I'm more productive as well. So now I live in fear of burnout. And only because it hurts my productivity. I'm not sure if that's ironic. But whatever. As long as it helps me stay healthy.. :))

Eyes open

Feb. 11th, 2016 07:46 pm
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So tired and still have much work to do when I get home. The above pic was taken a few years ago. I think my eyes have changed. I've noticed that my eyes now look tired in pictures. I will probably never look so carefree again. But well, I've had my share of carefree days I guess.


Feb. 6th, 2016 08:23 am
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Saw the below picture here on tumblr, and it got me thinking that I want to add plants to all my working areas. I want to start taking care of desk plants - like small succulents? I've been thinking that I should be more hands on with our garden at home.

The below from this list also makes me happy! (although the title of the article is a bit bitter: "19 tiny plants to cheer up your sad work desk") - I will request some to be sent down from my hometown :) <3

Back to work


Feb. 5th, 2016 09:19 pm
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- "Are we still human?"
- "[      ] is dangerous to your health"
- Extensive travel and exposure to water and food that we're unused to; pathogens, irritants that we have not yet developed a resistance to
- Extended periods of sitting
- Reliance on computers
- Opportunistic feeding on missions; and reliance on fast serve, oily, high-sugar, high-salt content food that has been questionably prepared
- The job matters. It affects the lives of entire communities, including vulnerable populations + mistakes are costly (human, financial, and reputational costs) = high levels of responsibility, pressure, stress
- lack of sleep
- no set work hours


- back pain in my early 30s
- legal blindness and really my eyesight keeps getting wore
- borderline burnout in my early 30s
- panic attacks and crying spells
- asthmatic cough
- fat
- no exercise
- limited social life
- some worrisome executive check-up findings
Sometimes I lose sight of WHY. I know why, but I don't feel it.

Mirrored by experiences of colleagues
- sickness
- hospitalization
- breakdowns
- poor social skills


Health is the most important thing, yes.
But how do we balance this with this profession, really?


Jan. 30th, 2016 10:45 pm
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Back from a week-long work trip to an IP area in the Philippine Cordillera.
Lost my temper during a meeting with government officials, and felt terrible afterwards, so I asked my best friends if they could meet up tonight when I get back to Baguio City.
Had this for dinner:

Plus talk of both serious and light things.
Everything is so easy when I'm with them.
But then - some of us have known each other since we were 5 years old.. and we've all been best friends since we were 14 years old, which is almost 20 years ago.

I feel loved and blessed.
And now, back to work - have to submit a report tonight.
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Had to leave early this morning for a business trip and when I got back online, saw that David Bowie passed away. I was shocked because I'd just been reading reviews of the (apparently brilliant) album he has JUST RELEASED. I was never a hardcore David Bowie fan but I know his passing is a big loss to the music world.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Bowie.


Next, well the Myanmar project is still extremely challenging. Looking forward to April.

Need to catch up on work for VIE. My mentor's project, so I want the output to be the best I can give. There have been delays, and I want to make up for it with an amazing output. I must work on it tonight after all meetings for the day are done.


My days off (I took a full day off yesterday!!!! - although I was worried about work) have more variation now.... Like yesterday, I finished the newest Robert Galbraith (pen-name of JK Rowling) novel and played a little one my 3DS - so no binging on TV shows, which used to be just about the only thing I did on days off. I have to say that it was the least enjoyable of the Cormoran Strike series (the first two novels really had laugh out loud moments), this one.. not so much. Also, it was much gorier than the first two. One of the things I found quite novel about this crime fiction series is that the descriptions of the crimes were not so... morbid. But it was still an enjoyable read. Could hardly put it down. I'm tempted to write more but want to avoid spoilers for anyone anyone who might be reading this and might be interested in picking up the book. :))

Now moving on to...

Now back to work. 

My tweets

Nov. 23rd, 2015 12:00 pm
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On Sunday

Sep. 20th, 2015 03:59 pm
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Criminal Minds Season 9 Marathon!
And for the first time in years, I don't have to worry about getting some emergency email that will require me to suddenly work late on a weekend.

Oh yessss.......................................................
I may take a nap later on.
Oh yesss........................................................

Thank you God.
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Wrote this in response to a link on facebook describing "Five Books that Dump You into a Pit of Despair":

I tend to stay away from books that I know will be absolutely depressing, because I really don't like sad stories. But I read the Handmaid's Tale, and it didn't quite 'plunge me into a pit of despair' (I actually found 'The Robber Bride' more emotionally affecting). The 'sad' books I've read that stand out because of how they affected me are 1) 'Waiting' by Ha Jin; 2) 'The God of Small Things' by Arundhati Roy; 3) 'Shalimar the Clown', by Salman Rushdie; 4) 'A Separate Peace', by John Knowles; 5) 'The Good Earth' by Pearl S. Buck.
'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell was pretty sad as well, actually. The movie is very different.
Recently, 'The Snow Child', by Eowyn Ivey.

As for painful reads - 'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver. I never finished it.
Frustrating - 'Deathless' by Catherynne Valente

I will update with more details on each novel tomorrow.

Did some quick internet research on one of the books listed on the "books that will plunge you..." site - "The Girl Next Door", which was based on a true story. The interpretation as well as the true story are both unbelievably horrifying. The movie, "An American Crime" was also based on those same events. *shudder*

I was able to get some work done today, but was not able to finish everything I wanted to.
A Filipina lady I met the other day (staying at the same hotel) told me this morning that I "work so hard" (she's seen me working on my laptop during breakfast two days in a row). I hope I can still be considered hard-working. I worry about becoming lazy, losing focus, not being as efficient as I used to be.
No evidence of that so far... no one has criticized me at work, and I only have one project that is seriously behind schedule, but slipped deadlines are not always my fault...

I'm worried about this one project. I feel we really need to push back the date of project closure, so that we have a little room to breathe. I will email people on this tomorrow. :(

Now, sleep.
I woke up this morning right before my dream reached its climax -- I was just about to step into a Sigur Ros concert. For some reason, in my dream, Arashi was also scheduled to hold a concert in that same city, and I was thinking that they (Sigur Ros and Arashi) are somehow always linked. In real life, however, my (true) love for them is probably the only link between the two groups. :))

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Working Saturday.

This was taken earlier today in my apartment in Hanoi. :)

Life here has been busy, fattening, hot (literally, sweltering hot) and good so far. :)
For some reason, I'm less lonely right now than I was while I was in Lao. I think I will be able to handle this trip better. I hope to meet another good friend like Galit.

I have a paper to finish. Be back later (or tomorrow).


(Go Do!!!!)



Here's a picture of my Baby Bear that my mom took in Manila last weekend. Isn't he such an adorable little baby?


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