A Young Hero Laid to Rest

This morning I read a news article online about the death of a teenage boy in Australia, who sacrificed himself to save his brother’s life from the raging floods recently ravaging Queensland. Without so much as a thought for his own safety, 13-year-old Jordan Rice insisted the rescuer (a good Samaritan) save his younger brother Blake first as the two boys and their mother were stranded on the roof of their car to escape the rising floodwaters, even though Jordan himself couldn’t swim and was reportedly terrified of the water. Moments later, before the rescuer could return for them, Jordan and his mother were swept away to their deaths among the violent torrents.

The full story can be found at the Herald Sun.

It really is a heartbreaking story, and my heart goes out to the rest of Jordan’s family for their loss. However, more than that, this boy possessed true courage, selflessness and righteousness, and for that he has my utmost respect, admiration, and sympathy. I hope the world will be inspired by his heroic actions and keep his memory alive. God has called this brave soul to heaven, and I pray his young spirit rests in peace.

Live a good, just, and loving life.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with PBC

Yesterday night was our PBC Christmas gathering. It was one awesome get-together. Copious amounts of Rock Band, billiards, Monopoly Deal, and crazy good food, late into the night.

When we were young, my Mum used to whip up this awesome dessert called a Trifle for our family gatherings every year–layers upon layers of custard, whipping cream, liquor-soaked pound cake, and colourful fruits and berries in a huge crystal dessert bowl. Beautiful. So yesterday my little cousin Natalie and I decided to make our own trifle for the gathering… It was a big success. 😀

We worked hard to make it aesthetically pleasing, as you can see below:

Yes, people: WE MADE THAT. Impressed? Hehe. 😉

It was so great to spend time with everyone again yesterday. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope you were all able to celebrate the weekend in a meaningful way and with loved ones. I know I did!

In my case, I am thankful for love and for life, and having many amazing people to share it with. Each and every one of them are a blessing to me!

This year I broke the usual traditions and went to attend Oktoberfest for the Thanksgiving long weekend. Actually, a group of us from PBC Toronto traveled down to the Kitchener-Waterloo region to join Hoi Nguoi Viet Kitchener-Waterloo to represent the Vietnamese-Canadian community in the Oktoberfest parade. We needed to wake up super early (by that I mean 5:30AM!), so it was an overnight trip with lots of preparing and bonding. In the morning it was freezing and we stood around amidst the line up of floats and paraders for a good while, dancing and huddling and shivering in our traditional Vietnamese clothing… which, I might add, is very thin. Then when the procession began to march, the sun came up and the rain started pouring. Luckily us girls had these awesome Vietnamese hats (nón quai thao) we could use like umbrellas, haha. Despite the cold, the rain, and the horse droppings along the 5km walk, I feel that we helped to represent the Vietnamese community well and had an awesome time doing so. And a huuuge crowd came out to watch! I’m totally in for doing this again next year. If all goes as planned, we’re going to have a FLOAT, too!

Photos can be found at the following links. Photographer: My papa! 🙂

Oktoberfest 2010 – Floats & Paraders

Oktoberfest 2010 – Cong Dong Nguoi Viet Tu Do

Our success could not have happened without our many supporters who put such great effort and enthusiasm into all that they do. Thank you to everyone: the diligent organizers, our designated drivers, superb cooks, energetic participants, encouraging parents, avid supporters, among others. I am sincerely thankful to be a part of this amazing, inspiring, close and caring group of individuals.

As for the X JAPAN concert… I don’t think I’ll be blogging about that. It’s not that I have nothing to write or too much to write… I just simply can’t find the perfect words to describe it, so I’ll just conclude by saying that it was possibly the best night of my life. It’s hard to imagine how anything in my life will ever be able to live up to the hype of that one evening, hahaha. 😛 Thank you to my awesome old friend who got us second row seats right in front of Pata and Heath! WE ARE X!!!

Tet Trung Thu, Mid-Autumn Festival 2010: Harbourfront Centre, Toronto

Saturday, September 25, 2010: Harbourfront Centre, downtown Toronto.

This year’s Lantern Festival was organized by Hoi Nguoi Viet Toronto (VAT). To me it was different from previous years when I had volunteered. Members from the Vietnamese Student Associations at York and Ryerson performed at this year’s festival. The weather was gloomy so the turn-out was actually less than I expected to see. The performances went pretty smoothly though, despite the wind and chill in the air (and even a little rain).

Photographer: Stanimir C. (Thank you!)

Complaint about this year’s TTT: “Why don’t I see any Freedom flags?” said my unhappy Mommy and her friends. That is not a good sign…

{Edit: 05/12/2010}  Forgot to add this although I uploaded it a while ago. Thanks to my Papa, here’s the video of VSA York University’s performance:

Enjoy!

Quick update and some thoughts…

On break from studying. Second year is tougher but so far really awesome. First year courses are a total bore compared to this. My first second-year biology lab was like a slap in the face. So much work… so little focus.

ANYWAY.

Upcoming events I may blog about:

1. Sept 25: Tet Trung Thu (Vietnamese Mid-Autumn/Lantern Festival) @ Harbourfront Cntr, Toronto

2. Oct 07: X JAPAN concert @ Massey Hall, Toronto

3. Oct 10: DTNPBC @ Oktoberfest parade with Hoi Nguoi Viet Kitchener-Waterloo

4. Oct 22: Dalai Lama Public Talk: Human Approaches To World Peace @ Rogers Cntr, Toronto

Actually, my dear friend and senior, Ray, recently joined the Canadian Forces and left for his training on Saturday, September 11th, 2010. We all made some very awesome memories with him that week before he left, and will always wish him well on his endeavors, whatever may come his way. However, PBC events and meetings will always feel a little strange without him around, because he never misses any and we’re so used to seeing him. We often wonder what he might be doing at the base, since I haven’t heard from him since he left! I hope we hear from him real soon and I hope he knows how much we all love, support, and miss him very much. Ray, your family and friends are all super proud of you! Keep doing what you’re doing, we’re behind you every step of the way. 🙂