Monday, January 30, 2012


Quote for the week: At school in one of my classes we were talking about being culturally sensitive.  We took a "quiz" at the beginning and it was not as easy as it sounds. Two of my friends were joking because they did really bad on it, and the one girl said to the other, who is Chinese and Vietnamese, "How did you fail the culture quiz? You are culture!"

These same two friends took me to eat sushi for (almost) my first time. I felt so "cultural" that I wanted to share the experience with Burke, who had never tried sushi before. This week was Restaurant Week in Norfolk and a sushi restaurant with an affordable lunch special was on the list. So, I took Burke out for a lunch date yesterday.

Let me tell you how it went. Burke ordered teriyaki chicken. It wasn't that he was afraid of trying the sushi. He just wanted to make sure he would have enough to eat. He ate the California rolls that came with it, but they were a little bland. I, on the other hand, wanting to be the adventurous one, mistakenly ordered the "sushi bento" which the server told me was like a chef's special. What came out was 5 pieces of straight raw fish. Not even in a roll or anything! My hypothesis is the chef was just being lazy. I was a little appalled, but I was determined to give it a try. I ate 4 of my 5 raw fishies. It wasn't good to me, but I got it down. (However, all the rest of the day, when I thought about what I had eaten I had to fight an intense gag reflex.) Maybe I will be a little less adventurous next time.

Also, Burke turned out to be a pro at eating with chopsticks. I don't think I had ever witnessed this skill of his before. I felt like an idiot with mine. So, that's how our "cultural" lunch date went.

Later on that same evening, our Puerto Rican neighbor knocked on our door and gave us a plate of unknown fish that he had cooked. I wasn't hungry but I did give it a least it was cooked! It was pretty good. What a nice neighbor we have!

Some students on campus put together a medical Spanish class that they are teaching once a week. I started going to it and it is so great. I have missed practicing Spanish and I have forgotten a lot! Just being back in an environment where we have to try and converse in Spanish is doing wonders for me, but it's especially exciting to try and apply it to medical principles.

Also speaking of culture, last weekend we went to the temple with my mom and dad. Afterwards they took us to the NC Museum of Art for a Rembrandt exhibit. I like going to art museums but I'm certain I can't appreciate it like many others can. It was hilarious because they showed so many paintings that they once thought were by Rembrandt, but then decided that "it couldn't possibly have been the master because of [this or that] imperfection." Suuuuuuure......

How's that for a week of culture?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bird-watching and cattails

Just because I love so many of these photos....

While in Utah we took a little walk to get some fresh air on a beautiful day. Beth taught us about some of the birds we saw, and we discovered the joy of spreading cattail seeds. 

Beautiful Farmington Bay

Dillon was the first to play with the cattails

But everybody took their turn.

It's kind of like a big dandelion

Simple beauties, simple pleasures, happy memories.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas for New Years

My side of the family celebrated Christmas late this year, but all of us were able to get together except my sweet brother in Monterrey (and we sure missed him!). 
It was so lovely to see our niece, and most of our long weekend in Utah revolved around her. I was quite alright with that. 
How could I resist her?

She's a restless one, so "Christmas Eve" included a fairly abbreviated nativity. It's amazing what you can do with only a few towels and scarves for preparation!

I really can't express how nice it was to be together with my family again. I absolutely loved to see the thoughtful gifts that were given

and to watch my parents in the roles of grandparents.

Somehow, despite the hassle and expense of travel, it's always worth it to be together with our family.