Goodbye 2016. Hello 2017!


Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. After my last post, I started my final year in my Master’s program and things just got crazy busy. I was also working at the same time and just somehow allowed a lot of the fun things to slip through the cracks, including this blog. But it’s a new year and that means a fresh start, right? I’m ready! So here is a brief summary of where I’ve been the past few months and what lies ahead in 2017!


Night -blooming Cereus


I’m back! It has been such a busy couple of weeks…I organized an event on campus, started a new job, and had midterms. I’ve had a lot of fun while being busy because these are all things that will give me great experience and help me figure out my career path but it has been exhausting. I just finished my last midterm exam this morning so I wanted to celebrate with a post of something happy and light. Thus, I present to you the night-blooming cereus! (more…)

Taking a Walk to Fight Breast Cancer


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year I decided to join the fight and participate in a walk put on by the American Cancer Society here in Honolulu. Like a lot of people out there, I have family members who have fought and some who are still fighting this disease. Leading up to the walk, I learned a lot about what the American Cancer Society does with the money raised, including making mammograms available to women who need them and funding research to not only find better ways to fight the disease, but to hopefully one day prevent it from ever occurring. That is something I will definitely get out and walk for! (more…)

Returning to Hawaii & Reverse Culture Shock


Just a little over a week ago, I returned to the US after living in Japan for two years. I really loved my time in Japan and the move back was somewhat bittersweet. I expected that I would miss all the things I loved about Japan (friends I’d made, delicious Japanese foods, exploring the country and culture, etc.) but I was also really looking forward to seeing friends and family, eating all the foods I’d missed, and just generally being home. And I was returning to Hawaii, a gorgeous place to visit and to live, so really there were a lot of positives, too. What I did not expect was to return to Hawaii only to feel completely out of place and almost a bit like I was visiting a new foreign country. I was completely surprised to feel this way and more than a little dismayed. This is what is known as reverse culture shock. I just read a very interesting post on the topic by Tokyo Five and posted my initial thoughts there in the comments but here are my thoughts after a few more days back in Hawaii. (more…)