Category: Journeys

28-Day Solo Motorbike Trip across Vietnam

“When life gives you a unique time window, take advantage of it to forge new life experiences,  learn and grow, or just mint some beautiful memories ”

For me, such an opportunity arose again in the second half of 2017, the last time being in 2015, when I spent two months in Fiji Islands, Australia, and New Zealand. Having since acquired the soul of a wandering backpacker, it took me no time to embark on a serendipitous adventure that I had fantasized for some time – a solo motorbike trip across Vietnam. Starting in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and ending in Hanoi, after 28 days and more than 2000 kilometers on the road, that fantasy became a reality.

Bing Maps Directions trip planning traffic cameras more

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37 Days in Fiji – Some Quick Reflections

Sitting on the plane to Sydney Australia still feeling surreal, I am trying to unwind the past 37 days living and working in the Fiji Islands…time rewinds back to two months ago, I was about to graduate from Columbia Business School’s full-time MBA program:

Friends: “Plans before you start working?”

Me: “Going to Fiji to help start a new micro-finance business.”

Friends: “Wow awesome…where is Fiji?”

Those were the common reactions: Where is Fiji? What are you doing there? How did you land this opportunity? Most people probably only know of Fiji from the bottled water in the cover photo, so here are some quick house-cleaning items. Continue reading “37 Days in Fiji – Some Quick Reflections”

Kenya Chapter 5 – A Legendary Day & The Grand Finale

Thursday was the last full day of our stay in Enoosaen, I decided to take a leisurely morning stroll to explore the surrounding areas. Having seen the sugar factory in the distance for the past few days, I decided to walk toward that direction. If there is one thing that is the most impressive about Enoosaen or Kenya is how warm and welcoming the people are. No matter where I go, almost everyone (from kids to adults) who I waved or said “Jambo” (Hello in Swahili) to would wave back and gave me a big smile. Imagine how people would react if you do this in New York, China, or other countries. Slowly the sun rose above the hill, and I have walked past a small stream where our bathing water came from, said hello to scattering groups of kids going to school, and along a field of plantation to the factory. Occasionally a truck would pass by carrying a full load of sugar canes, stirring up the dusts on the road. It has not rained legitimately in quite several months… Continue reading “Kenya Chapter 5 – A Legendary Day & The Grand Finale”

Kenya Chapter 4 – Meet the Girls of EnKakenya!!

Day 3 in Enoosaen, we finally got to meet the students of EnKakenya for Excellence (KCE)!
 
After getting some quick breakfast (chapati with fried eggs) near the guest house, we did our usual walk to school to conduct our first interview with the girls. 
 
By the time we got there, we were told by Madam Gladys, the head teacher, that the girls would be out of class from 1:00-1:30pm and 3:30pm after. With three hours to kill, we decided to start party planning for the feast tomorrow. Remember Nik and I talked about buying a goat or two to throw a feast for the entire school on our way to Enoosaen? Oh yes, it is happening 😀 and in Kenya/Maasai style! 

Continue reading “Kenya Chapter 4 – Meet the Girls of EnKakenya!!”

Kenya Chapter 3 – Field Work & First Encounter with the Maasai

Disclaimer: Originally wrote these travel diaries to share with my friends in China but realized that I cannot share them with my friends in the U.S., I will start translating the older posts when I have the time :).

第三天终于开始了Field Work。在这里要再次介绍下EnKakenya女子学校,非洲部族的禁忌风俗,以及妇女权益问题。

  • 肯尼亚很多部族保留了很多古老的风俗,其中包括Female Genital Mutilation (FGM,又称Female Circumcision 或割礼)和Forced Early Marriage。
  • 女生8-9岁已经开始不在是孩子,13-14岁则已经被视为成熟妇女。而在这一过程中必须被实行割礼,否则会被视为不合格的女性,被部族人唾弃。这一传统导致了曾经高于90%的女孩儿要经受不同程度的FGM,非常严重的就不细说了,网上有图有真相。Dr. Kakenya五岁就被父亲订婚,13岁经历了村落组织的割礼。FGM医学上没有任何价值。肯尼亚2011年才制定法律明令禁止,但还是有很多村落暗中保持了这一传统,仍有不少女孩儿要经历割礼,还未完成初中学业便被婚嫁。
  • EnKakenya女子寄宿学校的目的就是为女孩子提供一个安全的成长环境,优质的小学初中教育,防止FGM和早婚早育。每位家长在孩子入学前必须签订合约不对自己的女儿进行割礼。

一早在学校小镇上的办公室采访了几位学生家长, staff member Unice,和学校七位local board member 之一的Roselyn. Roselyn是Kakenya的阿姨,人非常温柔亲切。采访主要针对学生们在1)Confidence & Leadership 2)Aspiration 3) Willingness to give back 4) 家长和学生对FGM的态度几方面进行了调查。 Continue reading “Kenya Chapter 3 – Field Work & First Encounter with the Maasai”

Kenya  Chapter 2 – 8 Hour Road Trip: Off the Map & Under the Hill

Disclaimer: Originally wrote these travel diaries to share with my friends in China but realized that I cannot share them with my friends in the U.S., I will start translating the older posts when I have the time :).

时隔4天后终于回归到内罗毕,这四天可以说是目前人生最精彩的一段🙏🙏,就算没水没电没Wi-Fi没有干净的厕所,离开Enoosaen也实在依依不舍[爱心][爱心][爱心],在此补完前几天的游记。

在肯尼亚的第二天一早与Dr. Kakenya 讨论了工作计划,4天的Field Work主要是采访学生,家长,教师, 为设计衡量学生成长的方法收集信息。

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Kenya Chapter 1 – First Day in Africa

Disclaimer: Originally wrote these travel diaries to share with my friends in China but realized that I cannot share them with my friends in the U.S., I will start translating the older posts when I have the time :).

傍晚到达肯尼亚首都内罗毕。去Camp的路上让接机的大叔带着买了路边的烤鸡,超级入味!

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