20 December 2012

Life… an ongoing unexpected thing

Life is something that has been around as long as we know it. You would think that something that's even older than humanity itself, would be predictable by now, but it surely isn't. I've been offline for a while, because I was busy dealing with life, like any other soul on this planet. Trying to write a new post has made me look back at these previous two months. All I can say is that it's truly better to look forward than the other way around…

20 October 2012

Going offline for a while

It has been exactly a month ago since I last posted anything on here. I've been MIA, I know. A lot has been going on and I need some time to figure everything out. There is no need to worry, I'm not disappearing from the face of the earth! I've, however, decided to go offline for a while. You won't receive any Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, blog posts or any other social media from me during the coming weeks. Before you start celebrating your walls staying clear of my spam, don't! Because I'll be back! J

20 September 2012

Throwback Thursday: My 'little' nephews

I'm a very proud auntie of many nieces and nephews. I'm dedicating this Throwback Thursday to two of my beloved nephews: Khanh & Duy. The age difference between us is only 4 to 6 years. Perhaps it's because of this that I seem to get and understand them better than my other siblings.

17 September 2012

The undiscovered country

The title of this post comes from a line from Hamlet. We've been discussing Shakespeare at uni and I was just struck by how he mentioned heaven as the undiscovered country. It's so simple and yet genius.

13 September 2012

Throwback Thursday: born in the land of opportunities

Born in the land of opportunities
(first picture even taken of me)

Yesterday was election day in the Netherlands and the right to vote has crossed my mind a lot.  It is easy to take for granted that we're able to vote in a country like the Netherlands. I feel very lucky to have been born in a democratic and liberal country where I get to vote and therefore have a say in what needs to happen .

My life would have been different if I was born in Vietnam. I wouldn't have had the same opportunities and chances in life. I'm not saying the one is better than the other, but no one can deny that the place where you're born has a great influence in the course of your life.

I'm thankful for my Vietnamese roots, but also very grateful for being Dutch and for the rights that I have in my home country. 

Being born in the Netherlands has literally changed my life! 

06 September 2012

Throwback Thursday: Baby Nha's determination to live!

I'm blessed to have met so many brave, strong and admiring children. One of them has been on my mind a lot these days so I've decided to devote my Throwback Thursday to her: baby Nha.

03 September 2012

First week as miss Vu

For those who haven't been keeping track: I've made a career switch by saying goodbye to my life as a youth worker to teach English at a high school in my hometown. The school year started last week and I SURVIVED! ;-) Just kidding, I seriously love working at Houtens and I thoroughly enjoy teaching and being  able to work with my students.

I already have a cute and funny anecdote.  I was catching up on the summer holidays with one of my classes (I also taught them English last year). All of a sudden one of my students said: 'Bao-Nhi, you've got some serious swag!' Me: 'Excuse me?' Student: 'You know, swag: S-W-E-K' This is how you would spell swag in Dutch phonetically. I tried to keep a straight face… so adorable! haha

I must admit that I still need to find a way to balance teaching, private life, social life, study life, volunteering and my workshops, but I'm sure that I will get used to it in a couple of weeks. At the end of the day, I still need to clear my thoughts. I've been turning to my journal a lot these days so chances are that I won't be posting much on this blog these coming weeks. Seriously sorry for that, just need to give myself time to adjust to this new life schedule.

Enjoy September…


30 August 2012

Throwback Thursday: big brother & mini me

I was uploading a throwback photo on my Instagram of my brother & I and realised that this is one of few pictures that I have with him. I have a different relationship with my siblings than most siblings have with each other. My sisters are pretty close and my brother and I are both sort of loners. Because we are both loners, we have a different relationship with one and other than my sisters have with us. My brother and I rarely speak with or to each other, but when we do, it's short and to the point. Somehow we always manage to understand each other. We both share a profound love for sports, especially for football. We support different clubs and don't mind rubbing it in each other's faces whenever our favourite team beats the other team.

Although we don't have the close-24/7-communication-type of relationship, I know that I can always count on my big brother. He's probably the one who I would call if I needed to be bailed out of jail, because he would never judge me for whatever I've done, simply because I'm his little sister. Not that I would ever end up in jail of course. J

This throwback Thursday is for you big bro!

28 August 2012

First teaching day

Today was my first 'real' teaching day as a teacher. Blog posts about my new career will definitely follow in the future. Just wanted to share this picture that my friend Walker (his name is Danny Walker, but I call him Walker) dropped in my mailbox today. Only thing that the message said was 'Thanks miss Vu!'.  Funny Walker, very funny! ;-)

23 August 2012

Life's not easy, but so worth it!

My friend in the States just sent me this image. Just wanted to share it with you. Life isn't always easy, but it's definitely worth it!

Sweet dreams!


20 August 2012

I'm Dutch not Vietnamese… right? Soooo confused!!

People close to me know that I'm pretty touchy when it comes to my ethnicity. Whenever someone says that I'm Asian or Vietnamese, I always correct them by saying: 'I'm Dutch with Vietnamese heritage'. It's not that I'm ashamed or that I'm running away from my Asian roots, it's just simply that I feel totally and utterly Dutch. This has always caused confusion and difficulties in my life and it’s the main reason why I literally have an identity crisis since forever.

19 August 2012

You can have more than one 'the one'

Despite of the heat wave that is going on in the Netherlands, the summer is coming to an end for most Dutchies as study and working life is about to start again. I don't know if the end of summer is the reason, but many people around me are going through breakups. All I can say is: yes, it might suck now, but it will be okay! 

18 August 2012

Bye bye summer…

Although there's a heat wave going on in the Netherlands, the end of my summer break is near. I'll be diving back into my study books on Monday and be back at work on Tuesday. Before returning  to the hectic working life, I want to look back at these previous weeks first. What a summer I've had: South Africa, Trai He Thieu Nhi & Fladderen are just a few things to mention that have made this summer very memorable!

13 August 2012

Every tear has its own story

I was enjoying the shower of falling stars with my friends last night. As I was witnessing the magical sky, my mind drifted off and my friend caught the single tear of happiness at the corner of my eye. He gave me a hug and said: 'There's nothing wrong with showing your tears, it shows that even Bao-Nhi is human'.

11 August 2012

Wishing on a star

I've a huge fascination for the moon and the stars. When the sky is clear, I often stay up late at night just to look up above for hours and hours. There is something magical about looking up there into space and seeing those bright dots in the sky. It gives me a soothing feeling and makes me feel at peace.

09 August 2012

I'm special, my name says so!

People often ask me what the meaning of my name is. This is rather complicated to explain, since I go through life with several names. My Dutch name is: Bao-Nhi Vu, my full Vietnamese name is: Maria Vũ Nguyễn Bảo Nhi, my nickname is: Titi and then I have a bunch of aliases… confusing, I know!

08 August 2012

Beer, my kind of drink!

I think that it's time for me to write a post about something that is very important to me: beer! There is a huge argument/disagreement about beer not being a ladies drink. If you Google it, then you will find polls about men finding women less attractive when they drink beer. Well, I say I drink whatever I like and those men can go find themselves some posh wine zipping ladies! ;-P

07 August 2012

God is good

I was born and raised as a catholic. From the age of twelve till sixteen, I got lost for a bit, but re-found my faith at seventeen and never doubted my Lord ever since. The last eleven years has been challenging at times and I've had my fair share of ups and downs, just like any other human being on this planet. I simply ordered myself not to ask God the 'why' question, because I knew that He knows best and someday He would make me understand. This is easier said than done of course.

These last couple of years, I've really been wondering about the purpose of me still being here on earth. People around me were taken away from me and they all got to be with Him. I never asked Him why, but this left my heart aching and not understanding the situation.  I kept on living like I think that He would want me to continue. I'm doing what I do best: working with youth.

Throughout my work, I'm starting to receive glimpses of what He still has in store for me. This summer has given me a lot of time to think and to reflect on things, on life. I'm starting to see that He has a greater plan for me and that is why He doesn't want me near Him yet. This summer He's clearly showering me with love through my volunteers, my South African friends & family, the children of the Vietnamese summer camp & the five boys.

Summer is not over yet so who knows what else He has in store for me. All I wanted to say is that: God is good! I know that I don't often say it out loud, but I truly believe it. I still don't always understand, but He does and that is all that matters.


06 August 2012

Trai He Thieu Nhi 2012

This summer has been a rollercoaster ride between my youth work, South Africa and two children's summer camps. It's all good though, because there's nothing I enjoy more than to work with youth. My last post was about me preparing to say goodbye to Cape Town again. Once I got back in Holland, I had two days to prepare myself for Trai He Thieu Nhi and didn't had time to write another post until now.

23 July 2012

Counting down...

Bye bye Blouberg :-(

My last weekend in Cape Town was a very good weekend. Despite of missing out on seeing Plush perform, the weekend has been a very good ending of my return to Cape Town.

21 July 2012

Plush: more than 'just' a band


My favourite band from South Africa is Plush. My big bro Emelio happens to be the bass player of the band, but this is not why I like them so much. I genuinely like their music and enjoy their performances. During my time as an intern in Cape Town, I basically forced every YFC IVI (international volunteer and intern) to listen to their albums day in and day out.  I should have asked them for royalties, ‘cause I made sure that the IVI’s didn’t leave South Africa without buying all their albums J

18 July 2012


My favourite street in South Africa

Ever since the first day that I arrived in Cape Town, I instantly felt connected with one place: Blouberg (Blaauwberg in Afrikaans). The YFC Cape Town IVI (international volunteers and interns) house finds itself in this area. I can still remember the very first day that this place concurred my heart: February 13th 2008. The view from the house is one of my favourite sights in the whole wide  world. It looks over the ocean with Table Mountain on your left and Robben Island straight in front of you. It is obvious that it’s a gorgeous location, but what is it about this place that has imprinted itself on my soul?

16 July 2012

And so life continues…

The last time that I wrote to you was when I was 27. Now, at 28, I don’t feel any different than when I was a year younger. The day that I wanted to pass by so fast, is in the past now. It is literally an end of an era for me. Life happens, whether you want it or not. You just need to learn how to deal with the things that are thrown at you.

11 July 2012

A day like any other day

I’ve made it perfectly clear that I want tomorrow to pass by, since it is a day like any other day. People around me don’t seem to get it though. I know what I want and especially what I don’t want. Why can’t people just let me be?!?!?

Ariel and catching up with J&J

It is no secret that my favourite movie of all time is Disney’s the Little Mermaid. It was the first movie that I’ve ever seen in the theatre and I can honestly admit that I’ve watched the movie over 3000 times. What is it about this movie that gets an (almost) 28 year old woman so intrigued?

09 July 2012

Good to be back in Cape Town

It's so good to see 'my kids' again!

I’ve been in South Africa for a couple of days now and it is really good to be back. Here’s a brief sum up of what I’ve been up to.

04 July 2012

Happy Independence Day!

The 4th of July is the day that the Americans celebrate their independence. In 2012, it is also the date that I’m returning to Cape Town. Exactly four years ago, I was celebrating this American holiday with  my friends from all over the world at my house in Blouberg. As I just got back home in Cape Town literally two hours ago, it is nice to think back at these fond memories.

To all my American friends:
Happy Independence Day!

03 July 2012

Returning home

Can't wait to see 'my kids' again

I've always said that the Netherlands is my home country and that I have several places in this world that I call home.  'Home is where the heart is' could be a phrase for my memoire;  I've been blessed to be able to travel around and meet people who have become friends and some whom I even consider as my family. I'm about to return to one of the places that I call home: Cape Town.

02 July 2012

Bye bye Enter…

For someone who doesn't like goodbyes, I'm sure not making it easier for myself by creating these situations regularly. Although I'm very excited to pursue my career as an English teacher after the summer, saying goodbye to my career as a youth worker is bittersweet. I guess that this is a good thing, because when it's difficult to say goodbye, it means that the time that you've had with the people has been good. This is why I'm dedicating this post to my (former) colleagues and my dedicated volunteers.

27 June 2012

Not MIA anymore…

Forgive me for I have sinned, it has been two and a half months since my last post… I'm not confessing, but in a way I do feel guilty for holding out on my thoughts online. I don't know why, but some of you are actually interested in my sarcastic and somewhat negative view on things in life. Thanks for the messages and checkups on whether I'm still alive or not. I'm happy to announce that I won't be MIA anymore.

2012 has been a rollercoaster ride so far and I just needed to focus on life away from the digital world for a while. I've got a couple of hectic days left, but things will be relatively normal again at the end this week. So be aware folks… miss opinionated is back whether you like it or not!! :-)

11 April 2012

My ohrwurm a.k.a. earworm

I often have a song that gets stuck in my head for days, sometimes even weeks. I can literally listen to one song over and over and over and over again. This used to annoy the hell out of my sisters when we were still living under the same roof. What can I say, the repeat button is my best friend! :-)

06 April 2012

Good Friday

Don't I just have the most perfect timing? Just when I posted my previous blog, it dawned on me that it's Good Friday. What a good Christian girl I am… venting about loyalty and betrayal on the day that Jesus was crucified and sacrificed his life for us. Thinking of this makes what I was worrying about seem so meaningless. Note to self: turn to your bible next time!

Loyal until betrayed

To whom it may concern,

There's something that has been bugging me for a while now and I just don't know how to solve it. You cannot control life, but you can control the people who you let in and out of your life. I have issues with letting things (and people) go. If I was able to do this as easy as I wanted, my life would probably be so much less complicated than it is now.

01 April 2012

I'm fine

When I was living in South Africa, my big brother Emelio used to say this acronym whenever I said that I was fine. I can't exactly recall what it was, but when I Googled it, 'Feelings Inside Not Expressed' is probably closest to what he used to say.

14 February 2012

My Valentine...

Exactly ten years ago, I've had the privilege to meet an extraordinary young man who has influenced my course of life during this last decade. Valentine's Day is my 'anniversary' of my meeting with Ravi. I wanted to write a blog about my hero, but then realised that I already wrote about him last year. You can read about this brave young man in my post 'My Valentine Ravi'.

I just wanted to post another short message to share with you how grateful I am for Ravi. Meeting him has made me even more determent to work with children and youth, it increased my passion for development aid and it has made me wanting to make a difference in this world even more. He has been in my heart throughout the last decade. I'm still imagining him being somewhere out there in the world, having a loving family of his own and living the wonderful life that he deserves.

Dearest Ravi, if you were ever able to come across this message... know that you've made a huge impact on me and my life. Thank you so much for showing me the true power and perseverance in life. I will forever be indebted to you.

Lots of love,

24 January 2012

Stoked for the rendez vous with the Gassibe's!

Emelio, Claudine & Carla-Ann Gassibe

2012 has not give me much to be excited about yet, but despite of what is going on in my life, I am very thrilled about tomorrow! After 3,5 years, I will finally get to see my big brother Emelio and sister Claudine again!

17 January 2012

Standing at a crossroad

We have different seasons in life and currently I'm standing at one of those crossroads that will define my next season. I'm coping with everything so please know that there's nothing to worry about!

One of my good friends emailed me this poem written by Kit McCallum. It's reflecting my thoughts and feelings, which I would like to share with you...
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