Thursday, 31 May 2012

Burma Superstar

Burma Superstar that is what you are, comin from afar, reachin for the stars, run away with me to another place, and we rely on each other uh huh,  from one corner to another uh huh.

Up to this point in my life, my exposure to Burmese culture,  is limited to eating at a restaurant in San Francisco called Burma Superstar. A really, really, yummy restaurant, but still just a restaurant nevertheless. This, however, is all about to change as we got our refugee family placements this week and I will be working with a Burmese couple and their three sons. Anyone needing a quick geography lesson, here you go:

I am really excited. Probably not as excited as they are to escape persecution, poverty, and life in a refugee camp but hey it's all relative. My team and I will actually get to meet our family next week and then the resettlement process will begin. I can only imagine what all of these these families are experiencing, being so far from "home" and all the people they left behind, so keep them in your thoughts and prayers in the weeks to come, if you're into that kind of thing.

While I'm on the topic of faraway lands, let me tell me about another thing I got involved with recently: CISV. Never heard of it? It's ok most people haven't. It stands for Children's International Summer Villages. The website says it best, "CISV is a charitable, independent, non-political, volunteer organization promoting peace education and cross-cultural friendship."

It's like this -when I was 11, instead of wanting to go to a regular summer camp or spend my free time splashing around the pool, I decided that I wanted to go live in Finland for a month with other 11 year-olds from around the world in an international village. Imagine an Olympic village but with less body builders and with more of a vacated public school vibe. Somehow my parents did not think this was the worst idea I'd ever had and let me go. Thank you Mom and Dad.

Anyway I did things like live with a Finnish family for a weekend, experience a traditional sauna, and represent our country with rice krispie treats and Bruce Springsteen songs. I  mean Born in the USA, how could Flavia from Brazil not return to her county with a better understanding of American culture after that?

In all seriousness, it was a life changing experience. I had pen pals from all over the world, literally. Not to mention a junior counselor named Sonu, who would call me sometimes in the middle of the night from India. Ahhh memories....Point is it's a great organization, so I have connected with the Auckland branch to help spread the CISV love.

Alright, enough about world peace and global blah blah blah, let's get to things that really matter:

That's right Adam and I had our first New Zealand mini golf experience, or putt putt as I like to call it. It was really just a warm up for another sport we tried out this week: Bowling.

Bowling that we think of in America is actually called Tenpin Bowling here and the bowling I'm talking about is more similar to Bocce. There are bowling clubs throughout Auckland and Adam and I are always passing the Mairangi Bay Bowling Club. So when we saw that they were having an open day where you could just try it out we were there. Here is Adam in action:

It's actually a lot harder then it looks. The ball is weighted and depending on how you hold it, it curves a lot after you roll it. We had a great teacher and had a lot of fun. Who knows maybe by next summer we will be sporting our all white gear and be lawn bowls professionals.

In the meantime, it's another 3 day weekend for us and we are off to the Bay of Islands. Hopefully our B & B is as pretty as in the pictures:

Russell, NZ here we come!


  1. I think it's so great that you are getting involved with both of these organizations :-) Praying for you and the family from Burma!

  2. Wow Katie, this is so exciting! If you can rent "Burma Veejay" it is definitely worth watching: