So I leave Dallas on Tuesday. Yikes! And that will officially mark the end of my three years at a mission intern with Global Ministries. I plan to write several posts about the transition and some reflection, and I thought that I would begin with a countdown of the most memorable moments as a mission intern. By memorable, I of course mean mostly hysterical and ridiculous.
10. Cheese Cat: I’ve been trying to learn Spanish since I arrived in Dallas (with moderate success). At junta every Tuesday, we all introduce ourselves, our name, where we are from, and answer a silly question about ourselves. One week the question was “what is your favorite dessert?” I answered that my favorite dessert is “gateaux queso” meaning to say cheesecake. I forgot, of course, that gateaux is cake in French NOT Spanish and gateaux is very close to gato or cat. So my favorite dessert is apparently “cheese cat.”
9. Another language snafu: My very first day in Hong Kong, I was eating lunch with my supervisor. He told me that we needed to get me an “octopus,” and I replied, “maybe another day” since I REALLY don’t like seafood. He saw my reaction and started to laugh and then explained that Octopus is the name for the transit card used throughout the city, and I needed one to use the train!
8. Tornados are real life: One day at dinner in Dallas a few months after I arrived, we were sitting around the table talking about weather and the storms last year. We were kind of joking around, and then I said that I had never lived in area with tornados before. One of my housemates turns to me and says “so in all seriousness, if the sirens go off and we are at home, we go to the bathroom in the first floor hallways and wait it out.” And I said “Got it.” Because in Dallas, tornados are real life.
7. Filipina sleepover: While in Hong Kong, I spent about three weeks in the Philippines on exposure and had the opportunity to travel to Leyte (the province most affected by the typhoon last year). We drove for about 30 hours, and finally arrived in the province. We bathed, ate a real meal, and prepared for bed. One of to women said “Katie, you can sleep here next to me.” And so I slept wedged in between about eight other women, and after spending 30 hours in a car, just stretching my legs felt fabulous!
6. Who’s your favorite dictator?: My house hosts a community meal every Monday night, and sometimes we have a large number of people who do not know each other, so to bring everyone together, we ask a question and then go around the table each sharing our answer. One week, I asked the question, and asked my favorite question, “who is your favorite dictator and why?” Everyone immediately freaked out, and stared at me. The answers also sparked an awesome conversation! My favorite dictator btw is Mao.
5. The “easy” hike. Hiking is incredibly popular in HK, and everyone told us that every route was well-marked, with handrails and super easy to follow. So Beth (my fellow mission intern,) my friend who was visiting us, and I decided to go hiking one Saturday. We choose a level 2 after many reassurances that we could handle it. There were no handrails. It began with a 45 minute, 45 degree hike up the mountain to begin the trail, and ended with a 45 minute hike down a rock path to the street level. It was not a level 2 in my book! I continued going hiking in HK and began to really enjoy it, but never the 45 minute uphill starter.
4.Indian tacos: One day my co-worker said to me, “we need to go to this taqueria because their tacos taste like Indian food!” So a few weeks later, we went to the taqueria, and I ordered two moles tacos. And they tasted exactly like Indian food! Best tacos ever.
3. “Let’s get a cat and name it Larry:” Beth and I were watching Modern Family one day, and we saw the episode were Lilly deals with not getting a baby brother by saying that they should “get a cat and name it Larry.” So I turn to Beth and say, “let’s get a cat and name it Larry.” And we did. We adopted a tabby from the SPCA and named her Larry. Larry chose Beth as her favorite, and Beth brought her back to the US with her.
2. (Almost) Lost in Chiang Mai: My fellow female young adult missionaries and I spent a week in Thailand, and we travelled up to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand for a couple of days. One night, we went out to night market to get some dinner and do some shopping. For some reason, I decided not to bring the name of our hotel written down in Thai. Mistake number 1. We ended up talking late into the night and then hunted down a tuk tuk (the motorcycles with the cab attached) to take us back to our hotel. We all piled in, only to realize that we did not know how to get back to our hotel. We pulled out a map, and tried to locate it knowing the it was over the river. So we started off. Luckily, we had the world’s most amazing tuk tuk driver, and he took us to another hotel, talked to the receptionist and managed to figure out where we were staying. So we made it back safe and sound!
1. Monkeys!: Many of you know this story, but Beth (my fellow mission intern and I) began playing tennis in HK. We were playing tennis one night out in the mountains, and heard some rustling in the trees. Suddenly, a group of monkeys climbs up the fence, drop down onto the court, and start running towards us. Beth and I look at each other and say “run!” We both take off towards the apartment, run inside and quickly shut the door. We try to catch our breath and start laughing because we just got run off a tennis court by a pack of monkeys!
So these have been just a few of the most memorable moments from the past three years!