Tuesday, April 26, 2011

tauranga, new zealand: a very ideal "jojo-city" if i must say.


new zealand's given Maori name is "Aoteaoa- the land of the long white cloud." ... not that i could literally ever be on a white cloud, but i reckon if i could imagine myself being on one, i think i would have the same feeling of when i was in new zealand for my holiday ... amazing, breath-taking, refreshing, and it was just darn beautiful... hands down, one of my most favourite places on earth that i love love love.... (did i mention LOVE?). i was only there for a week but i realized tauranga is like a little wrapped up beach-culture-country-side-cute-cafe city... a very ideal 'jojo-city' if i must say... it was great reuniting with old friends and making some new ones too and to top it all off- these photos above are taken on one of my every day walks where i was staying in 'Gideons Fields' which was incredible.

but i must mention that i went to new zealand mainly to photograph my friends, lauren and sefo's wedding. i met them back on the ship tour last year and was great seeing them again... but just our luck, it rained on the Big Day which was a challenge but it was alright... theyre islanders! ... no worries- it didn't phase them. :) we ended up getting some great shots either way and ended up being such a sweet simple wedding...


Monday, March 07, 2011

go, see & listen & to tell ...

its quite simple really... i go to the nations, meet amazing people, hear their story, write a few notes, snap a few photos, capture some footage ... and i get to be a part of telling it... i not only find it as my 'physical staff responsibility' being part of this YWAM organization, but a calling... to go, to see & listen, and to tell... this is what makes the ship ministry real and why i love what i do... to put names to faces and tell their true personal stories.

with all that said, check out some videos i edited... this is why we do what we do...

* filming credit shout out to nick verwymeren & stephanie anderson... whoop-whoop.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

cyclone yasi... bruised, but not beaten

there's a first for everything... so why not experience my FIRST EVER cyclone in tropical queensland! ... and while were at it, why not make it the most severe storm in Australian history to ever hit the coast?! ... well thats what we got ... im sure you heard it all on the news, but on february 2, Cyclone Yasi packed winds up to 300 km (186 miles) per hour and was declared a "category 5" cyclone (the highest rating) and it was headed straight for our Northern Queensland Coast... yup, the very coast where i live...

when you are preparing for a natural disaster to hit, you never really know the severity of it until its ACTUALLY happening and then you find yourself taping up your windows or filling up water bottles or finding an extra mattress to keep in your bathroom (you know, just in case the roof of your house caves in and you need shelter during the storm)... things like that, i never thought i'd ever find myself doing.... but i concluded that its better to be safe than sorry... words i grew up with but have more truth to it when you are preparing for the ugly Yasi to come barging through your door...

the anticipation of Cyclone Yasi grew and grew until it hit the coast at about midnight. all i remember was the night being so hot with crazy, strong, loud winds that hit our house like i've never felt before... morning came... the winds subsided and we knew we were all safe. thank God that there was no severe damage to any of our property and the worst of the worst was pretty much ripped out trees everywhere and no electricity for a couple days... and c'mon, for a category 5 cyclone, we were really really blessed and God really had protected His people with no deaths from the whole storm ... like i read on a local paper, "we were bruised, but not beaten"... and this storm was just another thing to make Australia come together...

Here's some photos that my friend Gerald took the day after the cyclone hit Townsville:


dare i say it... fair dinkum.

january 26 marks Australian Day ... hmm. how shall i explain what this is? ... well, according to wikipedia, australia day is the official national day of Australia. the day commemorates the arrival of the first fleet at Sydney Cover in 1788... and a whole load of other history tid bits that i can't bother to mention at this moment... but its also a day to reflect on what the Aussies have achieved and what they can be proud of! ...

all is know is, that as a foreigner living in this amazing country for nearly 4 years, have found a deep appreciation and love for this nation and its people. some of my closest friends i've made over the years have been australian so though i still may consider things oblivious, i've learned how to adapt to their ways, their lifestyle, their foods, their sayings, their shopping, their accent, their culture and their 'oh-so-loving' humour... and so we dressed up for a traditional aussie bbq, marked ourselves with aussie tattoos and gear & celebrated and enjoyed a massive bush dance! ... thank you australia for being so dang awesome... and dare i say it... fair dinkum.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

san london frisco


ahh. san francisco... another day trip worth mentioning while i was back in california. my good friend sam (that i met and worked with in australia), came to visit me in san jose for a couple days before he returned to his English home-land after his around the world ticket. so i was very priviledged that san jose made the cut on the itinerary and have "THE samuel nudds" to my hood. so of course i had to bring him around san francisco! ive been there a million times but its always fun bringing a newbie to the city. it was an adventure and a half taking the 'BART' (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and finding our transportation from place to place... From clam chowder bowls at Fishermans Warf to the buzzing shoppers in Union square and to of course, the always windy and cloudy Golden Gate Bridge... it was awesome... sam, it was nice having you 'guys' visit... see you in 'San London Frisco' one day...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

a chilly california coast day trip ...


i really do love california.... the city, the snow, the mountains, the ocean... all within hours drive from where my family resides... there's a gorgeous city called monterey, along the coast that i was able to visit a couple times for some special day trips with my cousins and old friends. it was absolutely gorgeous and being on the coast and on the ship all year, it made me feel so nostalgic. Walking along cannery row, feeling the amazing sea breeze, eating the yummiest clam chowder, and all the other things that make up a 'chilly-california-coast-day-trip' brought me smiles ... highlight? ... check.