31 December 2011

Farewell 2011

The time has come, the end is near… 2011 is coming to an end. When we were about to head into 2011, I was prepared for many firsts in this year. A lot of firsts came along, but not the kind of firsts I wanted or expected.

14 December 2011

My Miss Saigon

I'm not the biggest musical fan, because it's just odd to me that people start to sing during an act. Nevertheless, every now and then, I'm intrigued by a story and I can't help myself from going to a musical anyway. Miss Saigon is one of these stories and today was the day that I went to see the musical.

04 December 2011

Mystery gifts

Last year I already posted a blog about receiving a gift from a Secret Santa, who turned out to be a son of my uncle's colleague. This morning I received another mystery gift, but this time it didn't took me long to find out who the sender was.

30 November 2011

Treasure time

My precious watch broke :-(

When I got home from work today, somehow I was playing around with my watch while I was reading through my emails. All of a sudden, my watch broke and I just looked at it for a while. I realised that my watch is not just a watch. Besides from symbolising time, it's also a symbol for some priceless memories of Africa for me.

13 November 2011

Six: a defining age for my godchild

My niece and godchild Gia-Hân (Noa)

Time flies and 'they' do grow up so fast. I'm not a parent, but I do have a lot of nieces and nephews, whom are the reason for me relating to this cliché. My godchild will be turning six tomorrow and I can still remember the day that she was born like it was yesterday. (Yes, another cliché) As a godmother/godauntie, I'm suppose to guide and protect her throughout her life. It is a task that I take very seriously, but now I'm wondering how I can protect her of what is yet to come.

06 November 2011

Africa on my mind

One of the many breathtaking sides of my beloved Africa

I have been fortuned and blessed to been given the change to travel around our world a lot. Throughout my journeys, I have met so many great and wonderful people. Home is where the heart is, therefore, I often say that I don't know where my home is because my heart is divided over so many different places in our world. New York has been on my mind quite often lately, but my mind has wondered off to Africa on many occasions today. There is no doubt that Africa is the continent that I love most. The countries, the cultures and its people have enriched my life to the fullest. I will definitely elaborate more about Africa in a future blog post, but for now, all I can say is:

Africa, my beautiful Africa, I miss you more than words can express...

21 October 2011

Life vs. Death

Life vs. Death

There's a fine line between life and death. You would think that someone who has experienced how thin this line truly is, would enjoy life to the fullest. The words 'Carpe Diem' (seize the day) seems simple, but living up to it is more difficult than you think.

14 October 2011


Wordfeud is a multiplayer word game application for iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone and Android devices. It's basically Scrabble, but named differently. I've been playing this game for months and in the beginning I’d play this game with random people, because not many people I know had this app. This sure has changed. All of a sudden, it has become a real trend. Nowadays it seems like everybody is playing Wordfeud.

10 October 2011

iThanks Steve!

Wednesday 5 October 2011 started like any other day of the year. Yet, the day turned out to be a very sad day for many fans of technology. This day marks the passing of the legendary and visionary Steve Jobs. It is no secret that I am not the biggest fan of Apple and yet, I cannot help myself from feeling extremely sad when I heard the news about Steve Job’s death. He has changed the way of living for my generation. I have never met the man, but I have a lot to be grateful for because of this man.

21 September 2011

DADT policy repealed... finally!

Tuesday 20 September 2011 has been a very important day in the history for the military of the United States of America. The country finally came to it senses and officially repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The revolution of social media

I’ve made the conscience decision to stay away from Facebook for a while. I've noticed that my sarcastic status updates were taken serious by some of my friends. I didn’t want to worry people unnecessary, therefore I went MIA for the last weeks or so.

13 September 2011

Quote of the day

Mother Teresa has always been one of my icons. This quote of hers will be my quote of the day. I'll do my best to spread out kind words to the people around me. It's such a simple deed that can mean a lot to others...

11 September 2011

My memory of 9/11

As the entire world is looking back on what happened ten years ago, I think back at that 11th of September as well. 9/11 has had a huge impact on New York, the United States, the world and it’s marked as an important chapter in the history of my life.

07 September 2011

My colleagues

my colleagues and me

I want to dedicate this post to my colleagues at ‘van Houten&co’. Although I’ve only been working with them for six months, I can already conclude that they’re a bunch of fun people to work with.

29 August 2011

What the mind knows is not always how the heart feels

You go through life with ups and downs. We tend to linger on the downside of life quite often even when we know it’s the happy moments that we should treasure. Our mind knows all this, but somehow our heart works differently. What the mind knows is not always how the heart feels...

26 August 2011

My dedicated volunteers

I've posted a blog about volunteers before. A couple of days ago one of my volunteers at work said that he had seen my website and I promised to write a blog about him and the other volunteers. This is me keeping my promise...

Longing for September

August is not my favourite month to say the least. It reminds me of things that I rather not be reminded of. As September is right around the corner, I'm seriously dreading this coming week.

14 August 2011

Please stop trying to set me up people!

I don’t know why it is that people have the need to set me up. Apparently I need to be in a relationship to be happy (according to these people). Truth to be told, I’m pretty content with life at the moment. I seriously don’t mind being single. I’ve got so much going on in my life that I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

05 August 2011

Forgive me

Forgive me

It’s been almost three years since I’ve seen you
A freaking nightmare that came true
Still can’t believe that you’ve been taken away
All because of a stupid decision that I made that day

I understand why God wants you so near
But now I´m here on earth with all this fear
People tell me that it was just meant to be
But all I want is for you to forgive me

I know life is not in my control
Nevertheless, I´m left with a mourning soul
My mind knows the truth and what is real
But that´s not what my aching heart says or how I feel

I really really want you to know
That I´m so so sorry that I made you go
I still can´t believe that you had to die
Now I´m left here on earth to cry

Still waiting on God to explain to me why
I never had the chance to say goodbye
Or why He wants you instead of me
I need these answers to set me free

All the tears that I shed at night
Simply proves that what happened is not right
I´m waiting for that flood of rain
To come and wash away my pain

If you could look inside my heart
You would see how it´s torn apart
I need you to be able to forgive
This is what I need to continue to live

Let’s just hope that this grieve will be worthwhile
For one day we´ll get reunited and I get to see you smile
Don´t know when this day will come
Just know that it will be freaking awesome

Have a blast in heaven up above
Know that I´m sending you all my love
You´re so so missed down here
But in my heart is where I keep you near!

01 August 2011

Dinner with colleagues

I hosted a dinner for my colleagues today. I’m having the house for myself, because my sister is on a holiday for two weeks. I’ve been thinking to organize a get-together for a while now and when I asked around they seem to be up for it as well.

25 July 2011

Forever 27 Club

Forever 27 Club is a name for influential artists whom have passed away at the age of 27. People in this club are: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Kobain and many more. Yesterday it became clear that Amy Winehouse has now joined this club. Since I’ve turned 27 two weeks ago, I’ve thought a lot about this number and life in general. The passing of Amy Winehouse is seriously a wakeup call for me...

18 July 2011


People around me often find me a bit weird and to be honest, they're probably right. You can’t put me in a box. I often dislike things that many people do like and I  like things that ‘normal’ people hate. One of the ‘odd’ things that I like is to work. I don’t find myself to be a workaholic, but apparently my friends don’t agree with me.

15 July 2011

I know, I don’t get myself either

A friend sent me this picture the other day and said that this has me written all over it. Loesje is a well known phenomenon in the Netherlands that is popular for its one-liners. ‘Troost je, ik snap meestal ook niks van mezelf’ means: Comfort yourself, most of the time I don’t get myself either.

I do understand why my friend has sent this picture to me, because I am a complicated person. Truth to be told, I don’t get myself most of the time so I how can I blame my friends for not getting me? The way how my mind works is a complication of itself so yes, this Loesje phrase has me written all over it indeed!

11 July 2011

Only one year left!

I've got one year left to fulfill my life schedule!

When I was younger, I’ve set out a whole schedule for my life: graduate at 21, meeting the one during university, getting married at 24 and pop all my kids out by the age of 28... Well, none of it came through and since I’m turning 27 tomorrow, I’ve exactly one year left to make my last deadline!

04 July 2011


I’m in transition to make a couple of important decisions concerning my future. These are the decisions that you’d rather avoid to make, simply because you don’t know where the road will lead you. This quote is a reminder for me that everything will be okay in the end. The decisions that I’m going to have to make won’t be easy, but I need to keep in mind that everything happens for a reason.

Yes, an optimistic Bao-Nhi for a change, at least I’m trying to be. As soon as I’ve chosen my next path, I’ll definitely let you know how the outcome of my decision turned out to be!


30 June 2011

Graving for Duke John

People who know me, know that I enjoy a good drink every now and then. Ever since last week I’ve had this odd graving for beer. Since I’m Dutch, you might assume that Heineken is my favourite brand of beer, but on the contrary! As popular as Heineken might be worldwide, my absolute favourite brand is Hertog Jan. Which would be ‘Duke John’ when translated to English.

I’ve had a rendez vous with my beloved Duke twice this week and we will meet again tonight. Since prince charming is nowhere to be found in my life, it’s a good thing that I’ve already found my Duke! ;-)

29 June 2011

'I love you'

I, love and you: three simple words, but once put together, all the simplicity disappears. The depth of these words combined is so profound that it’s almost impossible to describe. I often wonder why some people can use these words so often and so easily.

27 June 2011

Bring your niece to work day

Linh-Dan at the office @ Enter

My niece has swimming lessons in the building next to Enter (one of the offices) where I work at. Last week she had dance lessons nearby as well and afterwards she had to wait for me to finish work before we could leave. I sat her down next to me and let her make a drawing. When I was finished with work, she didn’t even want to leave. I seriously hope that she doesn’t share my working genes, because having a job at the age of five is seriously tooooo young! ;-)

25 June 2011


Volunteering comes together with dedication for me. People volunteer because they stand behind the work that they do. They don't need acknowledgement in terms of payment, because they do this act or deed from the heart. I was reminded of this again this evening.

24 June 2011

Quote & anecdote

I had a meeting with my boss this week and was reminded of this quote. At one point he said: ‘so you’re 24? 23? 22?? You can’t be younger than 20?’ Me: I’m 26! He: ‘Well, then you’re very young spirited’. Not quite sure whether it was mend as a compliment or not. Later that day one of my teenagers said that he thought that I was 19. So I guess I don’t need to worry about getting older, just need to mature a bit ;-)

21 June 2011

Monday dinner @ Rolf’s

IVI's (International Volunteers & Interns)

I’ve been thinking about South Africa a lot yesterday. My mind wondered off to the Monday dinners that I used to have with the International Volunteers and Interns (IVI’s) at Rolf’s house. At that time Rolf Weichardt was the Centre Director of YFC Cape Town (now he’s the National Director of YFC South Africa) and he and his lovely family welcomed us to their house every Monday evening. Today was one of those days that I really wished that I could go back in time to one of these Monday’s.

20 June 2011

Lousy friend

Some of my great friends

Friends are one of the most important things in life for me. I´ve been blessed with many great friends, whom I´ve been taking for granted lately. I´ve been too occupied with my own life, but this is gonna change. I´ll do my best to be a better friend as of this moment!

05 June 2011

Longing to be elsewhere

I know that I’ve often been MIA (missing in action) on my blog these last two months, but to be quite honest, I didn’t had much inspiration to blog anyway. My mind has been wondering off like crazy and it's been hard to get a grip of my thoughts, let alone expressing it all in words.

27 May 2011

Happy birthday Shorty!

There are times in life when you run into people who you immediately connect with. Amy Shortenhaus aka Shorty sure is one of these people for me. I met Amy on February 13th 2008 in Cape Town. We’ve only spend six weeks together in South Africa, but this short time together was enough for us to stay connected for a lifetime.

23 May 2011

Karaoke genes

Karaoke, a sure given for a fun get-together with a group of friends! Whether you like it or not, just add some booze to those who don’t, and everybody is enjoying themselves. I myself love singing and am no stranger to karaoke. I guess it’s kind of logical, since I do have Vietnamese roots so karaoke is simply in my Asian genes!

16 May 2011

Love my BB!

Whenever I get a new phone, a whole lot of reseach takes place before I actually get a new phone. I have been in doubt about the Iphone for a while, but a touch screen is simply not cut out for a person like me. So I ended up researching the Blackberries. It was a neck-to-neck race between the BB Bold and the BB Torch... In the end I decided to get the Bold and I LOVE it!

02 May 2011

Queen’s Day

Queen's Day @ Amsterdam

April 30th is Queen’s Day in the Netherlands. I haven’t been able to celebrate this national holiday during the last three years, because I was abroad. This is the day that I really miss my home country when I’m elsewhere in the world. Queen’s Day truly is one of the best days of the year in the Netherlands.

26 April 2011

GlowGolf Houten

The glow in the dark midget golf court just opened in my hometown Houten last week. My friends and I have been in anticipation of its opening, just for the sake of having an excuse to be a child again I guess. We were planning on going together today, but everybody was too busy unfortunately. Therefore I decided to go with my cousins, which turned out to be a lot of fun too ;-)

11 April 2011

So not Dutch!

24 things that are associated with Holland

Last week a question on the Dutch gameshow ‘Ik hou van Holland’ was: ‘What do you associate with the Netherlands?’. De 24 answers above were most answered by a random selected audience: Amsterdam, Johan Cruijf (legendary football player), de Wallen (red light district), drop (liquorish), drugs, being cheap, bicycles, cheese, windmills, wooden shoes, tulips... and so on.

I understand why all of the above is being connected with my beloved country, it’s partially true and partially stereotypical of course. However, last Saturday there was a shooting at a mall in the Netherlands. A shooting, that is something that I (and many others in the world) associate with America, not the Netherlands. A shooting with a dramatic outcome... so not Dutch!!

06 April 2011

The bible: trendy or not??

The book that I’ve literally been ready all my life is the bible. It is the book that holds the record for ‘most sold book’ all over the world. I remember my parents having this old fashion bible when I was a kid, but these days you also have trendy bibles.

01 April 2011

Who is Bao-Nhi?

I like to ask people questions with a certain amount of debt, because the answers to these questions helps you get to know that person better. I’m good at asking these things and even better at avoiding answering these questions myself, but every now and then, even I don’t get away without answering. Two years ago a question was thrown back at me and as simple as the question seemed, I had a lot of difficulties answering it. The question was: who is Bao-Nhi?

19 March 2011

This too shall pass

In the year of one's and first, week 11 is my first 'off week' of the year. I have so much on my mind and there's so many things that I could say, but I choose not to do so. I need time to figure things out first, time to think about life. During these times of trial I always remind myself of the quote: 'This too shall pass'. I'm desperately waiting for this moment to come. I know that it will, I just need to wait patiently for it. Tomorrow will be a brand new day and week 12 is coming up soon... I'm looking forward for this fresh start and will find positive inspiration to write new blogs. Until then, I'm leaving you with this message:

Treasure the precious moments in life and live it to the fullest! Times of trial will come, but this too shall pass...

13 March 2011


My thoughts and prayers have been with Japan and those who are affected by the tsunami since last Friday. The footage shown on the news have put me in awe. It’s hard to imagine how Japan will ever overcome this disaster, but we need to all come together and rise to the occasion to help as much as we possibly can.

12 March 2011

Bye bye ONVZ - Part 2

In my previous Dutch post I wrote about me leaving the ONVZ (again). Now that I’ve actually said goodbye, I’d like to post a follow up on how I said goodbye to my colleagues.

09 March 2011

Bye bye ONVZ

Since this post is ‘dedicated’ to my colleagues at the ONVZ, it just made more sense to write it in Dutch. Next posts will be in English again, as usual.

In één van mijn vorige blogs heb ik al uitgelegd dat afscheid nemen niet iets is wat ik graag doe. Toch is het moment daar dat ik weer afscheid ga nemen van de ONVZ. (Vorig jaar nam ik ook al afscheid omdat ik voor lange tijd naar het buitenland vertrok.)

08 March 2011

Letter to Heaven

I’d like to share an anecdote of today with you... When I came home from work my niece (4 years old) ran up to me and asked: ‘auntie, auntie I need an envelope!!’. It seemed to be very important to her so I went straight ahead and got her an envelope. She put her drawing in it and wanted me to write ‘Heaven’ on it. It was then when I realised what she was trying to do.

07 March 2011

Sweet goodbyes

‘I hate goodbyes, but then who doesn’t? I haven’t exactly made it easy for myself by leaving so often. Leaving comes together with goodbyes. My previous journeys has taught me that I’ll never see most of the people whom I’ve met again and that is okay, because the memories that we’ve made will last and remain in my heart for a lifetime.’

05 March 2011

Wish upon a star

I don’t know what it is, but I have always been fascinated about the moon and the stars. Especially when you have a clear sky... it’s just very magical to me. It gives me a soothing feeling where I get taken away from my daily life, which is much needed sometimes.

Do I ever wish upon a star? Sometimes! I don’t really believe in it, but when I see a falling star, I just don’t want to take a risk by not wishing upon it.

Well, it’s another clear sky tonight so I’m gonna head out to witness our magical universe. Next time that you’re outside on night with a clear sky: just look up, let it sink in and embrace the beauty of the moon and the stars!

04 March 2011

Bruno Mars

The first time that I ever heard his voice was when I heard the song Nothin' on you. I remember turning the radio louder in the car and wondering who it was. I was instantly 'sold’ when I saw the music video. After Googling this fine young man with this AMAZING voice, it was kind of a letdown to find out that he’s from 1985... another dream shattered since I don’t date guys who are younger than I am! ;-) Nevertheless, I’m still very much mesmerised by his gorgeous voice.

Don’t give up your right to vote!

Last Wednesday was another election day in the Netherlands. This time you had to choose the members of your province. Many Dutch people don’t find this election to be of much importance, but that doesn’t mean that you should let your vote go to waste.

03 March 2011

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Happy is the correct answer, isn't it??

I gave my friend Larissa a Hello Kitty friends book. It’s the type of book where you answer questions about yourself and what you wish for the owner. While I was answering the questions, I stumbled upon one that I honestly could not answer: What do you want to become when you’re older (grow up)?

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