Day 2: Borobudur

Sleeping on Saturday night was hell ya uncomfortable because the air condition was breathing asthmatically and I an older Italian woman was snoring and farting. I ended up closing all the curtains around my bed and sleeping naked; which is something a person shouldn’t do in a semi-public place. Although I went to bed at 10PM, I think I only slept for an hour and … Continue reading Day 2: Borobudur

Day 1: Yogyakarta

  My flight to Singapore suddenly landed in Kuala Lumpur. The landing wasn’t sudden, but my realization that I was in fact headed to in Kuala Lumpur didn’t dawn on me until I was already en route. I had been focused on organizing Trinh’s flights through Singapore that I hadn’t remembered that mine was through Malaysia. I felt like a flight attendant who knows what … Continue reading Day 1: Yogyakarta

The month before turning 29

These are thoughts and activities from August – September 2018 Our trip to Bangkok began with Trinh and I playing billiards in the Saigon Airport Bar. This is the only place where we ever play billiards, despite the fact that the ground floor of Trinh’s house is a billiards saloon. I guess that with the airport’s windows looking out on taxi-ing planes, fancy drinks served … Continue reading The month before turning 29

UNLEASH INNOVATION LAB 2018

What is UNLEASH? I’m going to be in Singapore for eight days for an Innovation Lab, UNLEASH, which unites and sponsors travel and accommodation for 1,000 young professionals from 106 countries and divides them into 8 large grouped-themes based on the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) that the Talents are working towards in their careers and studies. The participants of UNLEASH are modestly called “talents” and … Continue reading UNLEASH INNOVATION LAB 2018

Gordon’s Visit to Saigon

Friday, October 20th 2017 Friday was Vietnamese Women’s Day, which is kind of like Mothers’ Day & Valentine’s Day put together. After work, it was raining and I walked to a small mobile phone shop near my house and bought Trinh a used dark purple Fitbit HR as a gift for Women’s Day. Then I got a call from Gordon, my uncle, that he was … Continue reading Gordon’s Visit to Saigon

Impressions of Yangon

September 2017 The Shwedagon Pagoda dominants Yangon’s skyline and the city’s exotic and sleepy vibrations. Trinh and I could see the Pagoda in-full from the rooftop of the Lavender Hotel. The first time we rode our impatient elevator to the rooftop and rounded the corner to view the Pagoda was awe inspiring. Its perfect golden spire totally captures the imagination. The jungle trees growing between … Continue reading Impressions of Yangon

Lunar New Year 2018 in Penang & KL

This Lunar New Year, Trinh and I spent 5 days in Malaysia’s Penang (wiki) Island and Kuala Lumpur (KL) cities. It was Trinh’s first time in Malaysia and my second trip since visiting Lang Kawi Island and KL in 2013 before heading to India. (Quick blog on Lang Kawi Island, 2013) Living in Asia since 2012, I have normalized seeing surprising things, grown accustomed to being … Continue reading Lunar New Year 2018 in Penang & KL

Reflecting on Being 27

Looking back on the past year, when I was 27, it has been a step forward regarding career and relationships. I remember at my high school prom a Jesus-looking young gun raised a toast and said, “ A step not towards love is a step well wasted”. That was too profound for high schoolers – but lets trace my steps when I was 27. 27 … Continue reading Reflecting on Being 27

Hong Kong | August 2017

Being in Hong Kong the last five days have been a thought-provoking experience and an exercise in patience. I’m on a package tour with Trinh’s family. Of course, package tours are not my style, but it’s a chance to get to know the family and experience being on one of those “matching hat wearing follow-the-flag” tours. This is my second trip to Hong Kong. My … Continue reading Hong Kong | August 2017

Friends in Bangkok

In 2009, I summed up the season in London by what I learned from the new and old friends that grew as I wandered through the UK and Europe; An Early Conclusion (2009). I’ll sum up the nine-month season in Bangkok in just the same way. Trinh’s willingness to fly to Bangkok at least once a month made our regional relationship simpler. We shared a new … Continue reading Friends in Bangkok

Technical Proposal: All Children Reading

  The attached PDF is a 26-page technical project proposal for the All Children Reading grant (2015). It includes a Background, Application, Viability, and an M&E Plan.  The proposal was conducted as a technical writing exercise. The authors are masters students at the University of Pennslyvania; Matt Kelly, Murni Leo, Janice Kim, Megan Shug, and Deren Temel.       Slides from Proposal Presentation   Continue reading Technical Proposal: All Children Reading

Policy Brief: Expanding Vietnamese Private Higher Education

Abstract: This brief provides recommendations to assist Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training reach its goal of 40% private sector enrollment. This brief begins by explaining Vietnam’s rationale for expanding higher education enrollment. It explores the historical context of Vietnamese higher education policy, discusses the results of past reforms and notes how academic quality, financial stability, and low reputation hinders private sector enrollment. It concludes with … Continue reading Policy Brief: Expanding Vietnamese Private Higher Education

Video for an Curtin U. / UNESCO MOOC

At the very beginning of the internship period, I was called into a room with the deputy director of UNESCO Bangkok and my manager to discuss UNESCO’s submission to an Environmental Studies MOOC. A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course, which is basically a course that one can take over the Internet. MOOCs herald themselves as the dawn of a new era in higher … Continue reading Video for an Curtin U. / UNESCO MOOC

A Chapter on Student Mobility in Asia-Pacific

During October, I was in the thick of the internship. I was working on the database, preparing documents and presentations for my manager, proof-reading submitted case studies for a UNESCO publication, and writing UNESCO’s chapter submission to a book about Higher Education Internationalization in Malaysia.  Initially, my manager turned down his friend’s offer to submit a UNESCO perspective chapter to an upcoming book about higher education … Continue reading A Chapter on Student Mobility in Asia-Pacific

Infographic from Project Implementation Data

After having constructed the database, I had to extract a “learning” from the data. The learning that I did extract was a loose sense of the region’s need for more information sharing about the diversity of assessment procedures, assessment criteria, and student’s rights throughout Asia-Pacific. With this in mind, I was assigned to design and construct a summary dashboard of this “learning” to convey to … Continue reading Infographic from Project Implementation Data

Implementation Monitoring Database

UNESCO Bangkok’s main strategy in higher education in Asia-Pacific is aligning the region’s qualifications assessment procedures around ideals of sharing, fairness, and transparency. UNESCO supports regional assessment alignment in the hopes that alignment will help mobile students successfully have their home-country higher education degrees/qualifications recognized when they move to another Asia-Pacific country. The main crux of this strategy is the 1983 Convention, and the revised … Continue reading Implementation Monitoring Database

Public Speaking for UNESCO

Over the course of the internship, I’ve been the emcee for two regional meetings and a panelist during the 16th APEID Conference. As the emcee, I facilitated two meetings both populated by regional stakeholders in education research. As a panelist, I discussed students’ impressions of quality education to an audience of 200 regional stakeholders. These public speaking opportunities were a highlight of the internship. Continue reading Public Speaking for UNESCO