Tag Archives: event

Lights in the Dark

25 Sep


Celebrating the 4th At Mark Twain Days!

6 Jul

“We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.”
~ Mark Twain

Lafayette, we have arrived!  Once again on American shores, we celebrated this 4th of July at the all-American “Mark Twain Days” festival in Hannibal, Missouri.  Surely you’re familiar with the famous mid-western author?  

Hannibal is his hometown, and they have hosted the Mark Twain Days for as long as I (Olivia) can remember. Frog-Jumping Contests, Fence-Painting Contests, Art and Craft Fairs, Races, Parades, Mud-Volleyball, Tom and Becky competitions — it’s great fun for everyone! If you’re looking for a bit of traditional American culture, this is it!

Wushu Festival

20 Nov


Review of the Wushu Festival! (I waited way to long to post this 😦 )  The festival (held Oct. 18) was absolutely amazing, so many students of martial arts you almost didn’t know where to look.  The Shaolin Temple has been home to martial art enthusiasts for many years now, with hundreds of kung fu schools popping up at the foot of the mountain’s temple.  Thousands of students come to train at the school, primarily local farming students who use this as perhaps their only opportunity to gain an education and some good food.  For many, the training in reading and writing alone (one of the main tenants of martial arts is the ability to learn from the writings of the masters) is a great benefit of the program. The self-discipline and values it instills into them is another.  To be honest, I can’t imagine very many American kids being able to go through the rigorous training these kids go through.  That said, they seemed generally healthy, excited, and ready to go on Festival Day!

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The Festival itself is really hard to get into. . . the cost is outrageous and you have to work your way onto one of the tour buses. Since they try to encourage a diverse group of travelers (India, Iran, USA, Russia, France, Germany, Kazakhstan. . . dozens of countries made a showing), it’s not always easy to grab a spot on the bus.  Everyone (not just our group, literally EVERONE), piles onto buses that are required to meet at a certain point on the highway and form a caravan.  This caravan drives the last 45 minutes or so together until they reach the foot of the mountain.

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There, the schools have lined up thousands of students in  row after row of various events (saber fighting, boxing, drumming, kicking) that you along the road.  It’s considered the “welcoming party” and you watch as your bus passes by.  This goes on for another 45 minutes – 1 hour as you drive up the mountain to reach Shaolin Temple.  There, you enter the temple’s fighting grounds, watching a few major performances and then wandering around the school as you please.  Thousands upon Thousands of students line the roads and practice in the larger areas to demonstrate their skills and abilities.

Kids that look like babies doing the splits in a tree, while the older boys throw each other about and contort into unbelievable poses for 30 minutes at a time.  Must admit, I let there feeling part inspired in the power of humankind and part ashamed of myself for my own lack of will power.  Those boys and girls were working all day long, moving from one torturous stance to another, completely ignoring the gaping onlookers wandering through.  Definitely impressive!


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At the end of the day, everyone returns to a large natural amphitheater set where  you can see up and down the mountain valley.  Once it is dark, the students begin their large musical dance, an hour of breathtaking scenes accompanied by heart-stirring melodies.  It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of beauty.  I’ll be adding videos as soon as I can upload them.   All in all the event was a massive success. . . I am absolutely returning next year, I can’t even imagine missing it!


Program picnic!

21 Aug

Yesterday we were invited to attend a picnic hosted by the new University president at her home. Since she is still remodeling, wasn’t that lovely of her?  We had pork sandwiches, Cole slaw and a baked potato dish.  Delish! 🙂



Rose Petals Shower the Statue of Liberty

8 Jun

In honor of D-Day and the veterans who could not make it to France for the memorial events, France was gracious enough to send helicopters over a memorial at the US Statue of Liberty. The helicopters poured out one million rose petals.  What an amazing gesture!


Celebrations! I won an award :)

25 Jan


“Epiphany 2014: Dates, Customs, Scripture And History Of ‘Three Kings Day’ Explained”

6 Jan

“Epiphany 2014: Dates, Customs, Scripture And History Of ‘Three Kings Day’ Explained”

via “Huffington Post

“The Feast of the Epiphany, marking the end of the 12 Days of Christmas and the new season of Epiphany, is observed on Monday, January 6, 2014.

Epiphany — which is variously known as Theophany, Three Kings Day and El Dia de los Tres Reyes — is a Christian celebration of the revelation of the birth of Jesus to the wider world. This is embodied most in the story of three wise men visiting a newborn Jesus with gifts, found in the Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12.

In this story, Magi (wise men) from the east follow a star to Jerusalem . . . . “

Seoul Rose Garden Festival

20 Jun

I’m Back!

Yes, it’s me, the Procrastinating writer. Once again I fail to keep this up-to-date with my travels. But today, you are in luck! I come with fresh photos and news about my venture into the Seoul Rose Garden Festival today.  


Seoul Rose Garden Festival!


Rose Garden

To clear up some confusion (I admit to being one of those bewildered), there are two names here to take into account. The Rose Theme Garden is the name of the location/garden. It is open 365 days a year and can be viewed at any time. It boasts of 20,000+ Roses in nearly 300+ varieties, but there are many other kinds of flowers as well.  You can find dozens of little ponds, Continue reading

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