Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Increased My Skills by ONE Point! - Day 30 of 30


Field Research Report:

My decision to blog for 30 days revolved around many interests of mine. I am pursuing a Public Relations major; within Public Relations, one must have an impeccable writing style. In high school I was the Chief Editor of my school’s newspaper and I really loved working producing articles and stories. Throughout my journalism classes through high school, I was constantly being taught that blogs were becoming a huge part of journalism. So when my family and I took a trip to Vietnam this summer, I started a blog that I would continue to write in every single day that I was there. For two weeks, I blogged about all the new sights that I was seeing, the different culture and new experiences that happened to my family and I while we were touring Vietnam. During that time, I looked forward to blogging, it was a channel for me to share to family and friends back at home, what I was experiencing. I found that I instinctively used my writing skills from English and Journalism classes acquired during my high school years. My own personal interest in blogging has pinpointed my desire to learn how to be a better writer.

I started my 30 day research project towards the beginning of my second semester at Anderson University. During this time period I had to familiarize myself with my schedule of classes, as well as time to do my homework and find time to blog. To gather data for my project, I took a practice editing in context SAT test. After I completed the test, I recorded which questions were asked, and my score. For the next 30 days I blogged at: http://losesightoftheshoree.blogspot.com/ . After the 30 days are completed, I will take another editing in context SAT test with different questions. Once I have completed the test, I will compare the pre- blogging score and the post- blogging score. From there, I will see if I have increased my writing skills, based on that test. I wanted to research if blogging can contribute to writing and communicating more effectively. I chose to blog for 30 days because I was curious to see if writing every day without any limitations, could improve my writing skills.

I can tell that I have become a more effective writer. Based on my SAT context and editing results post- blogging, I have improved by one point. When I write, I am more intentional to write in a way that people can understand. One problem that I hadn’t thought about before starting me research was finding time to blog. Blogging usually takes up two hours of my day from brainstorming about what I want to write about, writing my blog, editing it, adding pictures, and then posting and sharing it on social media. When I originally had the idea to start blogging for 30 days, I had no idea that it would require so much time. Especially during the week days, I had to spend a lot more time doing school work then I was used to. I think that the more I write, the more I can improve. I found that blogging has increased my love for writing, and I have received many positive comments towards my writing.

After blogging for 30 days, I will take a break from posting blogs every day. However, based on my own observations and people’s comments, I will probably blog a lot more. Blogging not only has given me a way to express what is on my mind, but at the same time it also has improved my communication skills. In the future, if other researchers would choose to enhance the research that I had done, I would suggest taking a more extensive test before and after blogging.

 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Drinking & Partying Happens at Christian Colleges - Day 29 of 30

It haven't even been through a full school year at college, and I feel like my world has grown bigger times infinity. I've talked in previous blog posts about how I have grown spiritually and mentally, but my eyes have been opened to many different situations and facts about the world that I live in.

I thought that I knew everything that there was to know about life coming in to college, no way was I going to be that "innocent" freshman that everyone refers to.

Wrong. Would ya look at that Marisa you DON'T know everything. (typical teenager thoughts right?)

I thought I would share one of the things that I felt completely blindsided by coming to college.

Drinking and partying still happens at Christian colleges.

I don't think I realized how much of the population drinks and parties. Back at home, I was never exposed to that kind of life, and I never had close friends or family that drank for recreation. I heard of parties and I heard of people getting drunk during my high school years, but it never affected me, so I never really paid that much attention.

I remember the dean of students explaining that he was aware that there is partying.
 "If you want to party, you can find a party, if you want to get drunk you can find somewhere to do that. This is real life and you have the choice of how you spend it." It's funny how I can still remember that now.  
 I guess you could say that I was naïve about partying, but I am so grateful that I have friends who I could discuss this with, and share our views on it.  At my school we have a dry campus policy, which means that for as long as we are a student, we cannot consume, buy, or be associated with alcohol. Even if you turn 21 while you are a student, you cannot consume alcohol.

I really like that he treats us as adults and doesn't deny that there are a portion of students who party. And don't get me wrong, I would say that the majority of students at my school DON'T drink. But for the portion that do, it really threw me off.

I haven't been to a party, but hearing about them and knowing people personally that have been affected by drinking, has made an impact on my life. It made me more aware and knowledgeable about that kind of life, so that I can talk to others and help them. As well as making me more aware, it also helped me to be less judgmental, and I'm still working on that.

Talk to you tomorrow!!!!

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Monday, March 10, 2014

5 Things You SHOULD NOT Bring to College! - Day 28 of 30

 
 
 
1.       You DON’T need to bring ALL of your clothes. Trust me. I have a lot of clothes and I wanted to bring them all. I organized my packing, by packing for seasons:
 
Move in day:
 
 - Bring SOME summer clothes (you’ll have a couple weeks before it turns to fall)
 
- Bring fall clothes (Jeans, long sleeves)
 
- Bring light jackets
 
Fall break: 
 
-Take home all summer clothes
 
-Bring all your chunky sweaters, puffy coats and your beloved UGGS to take back to college
 
  Winter break: 
-Take home any clothes that you haven’t been wearing & that are just sitting in your closet
 
Spring break:
- Depending on how the weather is playing out and when your spring break is, ideally you should take home all your winter stuff (especially your snow pants and boots)
                           -Bring all your summer stuff back
 
 
2. Your whole book collection. I felt obligated to bring some of my favorite books just in case I got bored and needed something to do. Ha, when am I ever bored? Anyways. Now they’re just sitting underneath my bed taking up space.
 
3.  Your entire shoe collection. I brought all my shoes, ya know just in case! Leave some shoes at home and bring some with you to college. When you go home, you can switch them out.
 
4. Candles. Yes I know how good Bath and Body Works Candles smell. They’re my fave too. But most dorms have a no candle rule. Bummer.
 
5. Your high school mementos.  It’s college now, no more letterman jackets from high school, I’m sure they’re warm, but you can save wearing it in your own town.

 

 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

5 Items You MUST Bring to College With You - Day 27 of 30






1. A broom and/or vaccum.

I know cleanliness supplies is at the bottom of everyone's list for their dorm shopping spree, but when you live in one room, the things you track in with you from walking back from class, all that stuff ends up on the floor, then onto your bare feet and then into your bed. (I even bought a Swiffer too)

2. A good sturdy backpack.

We aren't talking over the shoulder big purses any more ladies, this is college now! For my birthday last summer, I asked for a Northface backpack, its expensive but very durable. It also has a "rape whistle" attached to it!

3.  An Ethernet cord.

For all the clueless tech people out there like me, this is a cord that plugs into the wall and then plugs into your computer. It streams the local internet access instead of the wireless internet connection. There are so many times when the wi fi is down or is just being SUPER slow, and I plug my Ethernet cord in and it is faster than a bullet!

4.  A printer!

This was one of the most debated purchases that I made when buying things for college this past summer. It's an investment but definitely saves you time during the day. Sometimes going to the library is a long walk!

5. A microwave & fridge

My roommate brought the microwave and I pretty much use it everyday. Whether it's making popcorn, or warming up leftovers it's very useful! I also have a mini fridge that I keep my fresh fruits, veggies and juices in. I came to realize I wasn't offered as much fruits and veggies than I was used to being offered. Having a fridge fixes that.

Talk to you tomorrow!
Marisa

Come back tomorrow for 5 things you should NOT bring to college!!!

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

10 Things Christians Say - Day 26 of 30



  1. "It was a TOTAL God thing!"
  2. So #blessed
  3. "Dude. Have you HEARD his testimony?! It's incredible."
  4. "Are you going to small group/focus group/youth group/accountability group?"
  5. "We'll be praying for you."
  6. "Have you heard Hillsong's latest album?"
  7. "It's going to be an awesome time of fellowship."
  8. "Which church service are you going to?"
  9. "I'm just really struggling with that."
  10. "Can I pray for you?"


Friday, March 7, 2014

A Few of my Favorite Things - Day 25 of 30


Fuzzy socks on snow days and warm cozy blankets
Encouragement notes in my mailbox and texts from my family
Cute rain boots that shield me from cold slush and wet rain
These are a few of my favorite things
 
Hot Teavana tea and my mermaid cup mug
Sushi and hall mates and Chooey with scarfs
People with servant hearts praising the Lord
These are a few of my favorite things
 
When the MP sucks
When the finals come
When I'm feeling stressed
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Use Silence to Your Advantage - Day 24 of 30

One of my favorite artists is Audrey Assad. She's a Christian song writer, with a heart full of love for God, that she expresses through her songs.

My favorite, that I've been listening to on repeat is, "Restless"...
 
When looking up the song on YouTube today, I came across this video that she and two other worship pastors were talking about being "restless".
 
She mentioned where her inspiration for her lyrics came from and she shared that they came from St. Augustine.
 
"Our heart is restless, until it rests in you."
 
I think it's so easy to wake up, think about what you need to conquer during the day, dread it and then never stop moving until you hit you pillow that night. Am I right?
 
Often times, we're filling our lives with tasks, or distractions that make us restless. And being restless is not where you want to be in life. It's not satisfying, and it's not a warm and fuzzy place.
 
Instead of flopping down on your pillow at night, and immediately grabbing your phone and checking the latest posts on social media, what if we used that time to be intentional about reflecting on ourselves?
 
Our hearts and our minds can never be fully rested unless we cast our restlessness upon God. He can take it. Throw it at him, amidst your reflection.
 
In this video, Audrey and two other worship pastors talk about how being in silence and just reflecting can be the greatest place.
 
Silence is the best thing ever sometimes.
 
Are we using it to our advantage?
 
Talk to you tomorrow,
Marisa
xo
 
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Three Favorite Dishes in Vietnam - Day 23 of 30


This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the country of Vietnam. If you want to look at some of my Vietnam blog posts, go to 2013 in the archive to the left.
I never wanted to leave that country, and I fell in love with the food there. In many places, Vietnamese food is considered to be one of the healthiest cuisines.
 
 
 
  • My first favorite food that I was able to experience is Pho. Pho is known as Vietnam’s unofficial national dish and is eaten for just about any meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) because it is so filling. It is a dish with rice noodles in a meat based broth. Usually accompanied by basil, lime and other greens.
 
     
  • My second dish, Lychee Fruit is a native fruit to China, and is very popular in Asian countries. It has a pink-red shell encasing a fragrant, juicy white pulp.
 
  • Lastly, freshwater prawns another food that I was able to eat in Vietnam. Freshwater prawns are very widely seen on Vietnamese dinner tables. Freshwater prawns are loosely described as shrimp except that they are larger.
 Traveling is a passion of mine, and I am so glad that I was able to experience Vietnamese culture and enjoy their foods!
 
Talk to you tomorrow!
Marisa
xo
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How We Saved Pepper (My First Dog) - Day 22 of 30


 
Pepper was my first dog and my first pet that I actually really cared for. The story, of how we got him, is kind of funny...

My mom's best friend's husband, Sal*, was in a animal care taking job and came across a client who was about to be put in hospice. Sal's client told him that she was planning on having her dog put to sleep with her, because she didn't want her dog to be sad when she wasn't there anymore.

Sal knew that the dog wasn't ready to be put down, and proposed an idea to her. She agreed to his proposal, in that if he kept the dog, that she wouldn't put him down.

That's where we come in. Sal approached our pet-less family asking if we would consider adding a dog to our family. He couldn't keep the dog, but he couldn't bear to watch the dog have it's life ended when it wasn't time.

So we gladly adopted him, my first dog ever, a Lhasa Peeka-Poo mix named Pepper. When Sal first approached us about Pepper, he had the idea that he was around four years old. Then he corrected himself, saying Pepper was 6 years old...finally when we adopted him, we found out Pepper was indeed around 10 years old, not as young as we thought.

I was in 7th grade, and my little sister was in fourth grade. I thought adding a dog to our family would be great, and my sister was beyond ecstatic, printing off pictures of him and bringing them to school, to show him off.

Pepper had big bug eyes that popped out of his head, with long floppy ears and long legs that would prance sometimes when we took him on walks. When mom came home from work, and we were all in the kitchen, he would flop down in this yoga position, with his legs all sprawled out. It was the funniest thing.

He really took a loving to mom. He would stay with her at night, sleeping with her in bed, and laying with her on the couch. He also loved to join me on "rides" if he heard that word, he would start jumping and get really excited. I loved driving with him and taking him on a trip to grandpa and grandma's house.

Within the last year, Pepper's age started really showing. He was 16 years old, and had many health problems that were really sad to watch.

It's been officially six months now that we made the decision to put my beloved doggie, Pepper to rest.

Having Pepper with us for as long as we had him, was such a blessing. He could have been buried with his previous owner, but instead he got to spend it with us. He taught me responsibility and how to take care of something, he brought smiles and laughter into my life and he will always be my first pet.

I love you Pepper and I hope you are getting many pupperonis in doggie heaven.

Talk to you tomorrow,
Marisa

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Remember Nhu: A Story of the Hurt and the Healer - Day 21 of 30

I wrote this article a year ago or two and I thought that I would share it with you all. This is a journalism feature that I spent a lot of time researching and interviewing for, and is one of the greatest pieces that I have written!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Remember Nhu: A Story of the Hurt and the Healer

By Marisa Leach




  Terrified. The only word to describe the pain and hurt inside your heart as you sit in the back seat next to this stranger of an American business man that has bought you for 1,200 dollars this weekend.

  Terrified, for what you know is about to come.

  As the taxi that you are riding in comes to a halt in the front of a hotel, you numbly step out of the car and follow this man into the hotel.

  He tries to make small talk as you make your way down the hotel hallway, to the room that you will be confined to for the next 48 hours.

 But you know he isn’t interested in who you really are.

  Silently praying you ask God, Why me? How could you let this happen to me?

  At twelve years old you have your virginity stolen that night.

 

  Sadly, this is only one out of nearly 12 million stories about children that are used in the sex trade.

  As repulsive as it is to think about people “buying” children to use for the sole purpose of sex, every minute, two children are sold into the sex trade.

  It was November 2003, when Carl Ralston of Akron, Ohio was attending a missionary conference in Cambodia, as part of his final project to graduate from Malone College, when he first heard about the hidden crime of the sex trade industry.

  After Ralston came back to America, he could not stop thinking about a story that a missionary shared a group.

  The missionary speaker told the congregation at the conference of a 12 year old girl Nhu, who was recently sold by her grandmother to the sex trade industry because of her Christian beliefs and as a source of income.

  At that time the missionary had not heard any up- to- date information about Nhu.

  “I instantly broke down crying for the last half hour of the seminar, and I was just overwhelmed by the thought that here’s this 12 year old girl, that is my sister in Christ and she is being raped repeatedly,” said Ralston in a documentary of Nhu’s story.

   When Ralston heard about Nhu he felt that God put on his heart, “Remember Nhu….remember Nhu”.

  “At that moment I knew I couldn’t continue to live my life the way I had before. I knew I had to dedicate my life to doing whatever I could do to stop this,” said Ralston.

  Intensely motivated to find and save Nhu from any further hurt because of the sex trade, Ralston went to Phnom Penh, Cambodia where the missionary thought Nhu might be.

  Dedicating his time and money to help Nhu, Ralston flew several times to Cambodia in attempt to find her, leaving his successful Independent Insurance agency in Ohio.

  Trying to find Nhu in Phnom Penh, Cambodia was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Phnom Penh is the capital of Thailand with millions of people populating the city.

  Ralston had no other information on where Nhu was sold to or where she was, all he had was a picture of her, adding difficulty in the search process.

  After showing Nhu’s picture to what seemed like a thousand villagers, by the grace of God on the sixth trip, Ralston finally found her in July 2006.

  Ralston found Nhu by way of a villager who knew that he was looking for Nhu and had seen her working at a hair and nails salon.

  Once Ralston knew that key piece of information, he found her working at a hair and nails salon.

  “There’s no other way to put it except that God interceded,” said United States Operations Director of Remember Nhu, Jim Hixenbaugh.

    Hixenbaugh learned about Remember Nhu when Ralston came to Grace Christian Missionary Alliance church in Middleburg Heights, Ohio to speak about the story of Nhu.

  Deeply affected by the horror of the sex trade, Hixenbaugh knew that he had to serve in any way that he could with Remember Nhu.

  “God spoke to me, when I heard Carl’s story. It hit me deep inside and I knew I had to do something to increase my involvement in this organization.”

  Ralston was prepared for the challenges that were placed in front of him as soon as he found Nhu, but the joy and relief that he knew that he could help Nhu turn her life around oversaw any roadblocks in the way.

    Once Ralston met Nhu, naturally, she was a bit distrusting because of what she had gone through. 

  “She did not like me at first because she had been abused by other white men. But she was very polite,” recalled Ralston.

  After about a year and a half of their relationship of Ralston going back and forth to Cambodia to visit Nhu, she and Ralston established a father-daughter relationship. 

  Nhu’s story was much like the story that you heard in the beginning of this article.

  At 12 years old, she was sold by her grandmother for a couple days at a time to an American businessman, and was raped repeatedly, confined to a room for at least 48 hours and had no access to food or water.

  In the next six months she was sold to two more pedophiles.

  Statistics show that one third of the sex trade customers in Thailand are American businessmen, and 15-20% of their Gross Domestic Product is the sex trade.

  “American men are known as ‘sex tourists’ in these countries, some men will come to Thailand for three months to go on ‘vacation’, and shop for girls to rape. Once they find a girl that they like, they buy them,” said Hixenbaugh.

  For months after she was sold for the third time, Nhu begged and begged her grandmother to let her attend school to gain education in the hair and nail business.

  Her grandmother finally relented and Nhu, who was 14 years old at the time, worked as a janitor at her school to pay for the education that she was receiving there.

  After Nhu finished her education she was hired at a salon, working 12 hours a day with two days off a month.

  During the time that Ralston was looking for Nhu many ideas of how he could help Nhu had been contemplated.  

  As soon Ralston had met Nhu, she expressed how much she loved working with hair and nails and a strategic idea of creating a salon completely run by Remember Nhu took its course in Ralston’s heart.

  Before girls are sold to a man for sex, the parents usually bring them to a salon to be “prepped”. They have their children undergo a complete makeover, to make them look older and more attractive.

  Knowing that that is what happens before the girls go into the trade; Ralston thought that would be the perfect way to save the girls before they go into the trade.

  “The purpose of the salon is to intercept these girls as they come in. The workers at the salon know what is going on and as soon as they identify girls coming in to be prepped, they approach the girls family and explain to them that they don’t have to send their child into the sex trade and that we can take care of them,” explained Hixenbaugh.

  Ralston opened the Agape Beauty Salon in Phnom Penh, Cambodia debt free and Nhu was the first employee. Many of the employees of the Agape Beauty salon are friends of Nhu that lived by her.

  “I told her [Nhu] we would like her to be the first employee of Remember Nhu. I told her we wanted her to go to school half the day and teach the girls from her neighborhood Cosmetology. She asked ‘When can I start?’ that was one of the happiest moments of my life. At that point I knew Nhu would be safe,” Ralston said.

  Although Ralston had saved Nhu he knew that his job was not over. One of Nhu’s hopes was that she would be the last girl that would ever have to go through what she had to go through.

  With that, Ralston, just a local man of Akron, Ohio created the organization     Remember Nhu in Cambodia but is now, mostly centered in Thailand, to prevent children from ever having to be sold into the sex trade.

  “Remember Nhu has a network of Thai people who talk with each other. The villagers and the Thai people are a communication system to Carl [Ralston] so that he can approach the chief of the village for permission to approach the family of a child at risk of being sold into the trade,” said US Team Leader for the Overseas Missions of Remember Nhu, Chuck McMannus.

  Ralston and his team of Remember Nhu staff are informed of at risk children where the parents are not there anymore, or they are alcoholics or are in a vulnerable position of being sold because the family is very poor and needs the money.

  Once Ralston and his team understand the situation, they approach the family and lay out what Remember Nhu will do to help their child and them.

  “We have a network of pastors, teachers, neighbors who refer children to Remember Nhu. Most of our referrals come from our girls themselves. Remember Nhu’s staff talks to the children and their caregiver and get information on the child. From there, a form is signed by the caregiver giving permission for the child to live at a Remember Nhu home,” said Ralston’s wife, Laura.

  The main goal of Remember Nhu is to prevent children from ever having to be sold into the sex trade and globally one million children are sold into the sex trade a year.

  Once Ralston and his team explain what Remember Nhu does, and the guardians or parents agree to the partnership, the child comes and lives in one of Remember Nhu’s homes.

  At this time Remember Nhu operates 12 homes as a safe haven for children in danger. The locations of these homes are found in Thailand, Gambia, India, Myanmar, Philippines and Cambodia.

  Once the child and the family agree to Remember Nhu’s partnership, the child is brought into the home and is provided everything that is essential to growing up to be a successful citizen of their society.

  Raising the children in the Remember Nhu homes keeps them from ever going back into the trade because of money issues with their family.

  “Once girls are in the sex trade, they’re damaged forever. Even if they do get out of the trade once they are out, they are viewed as unclean and dirty by spectators,” explained Hixenbaugh.

  Because the girls have an unclean reputation after they are out of the trade, nobody will hire them for work.

  The girls find themselves then forced to go back to the sex trade because they have no way to get money except for that.




  “About 95% of girls go back into the trade once they are out. Remember Nhu is all about prevention,” McMannus said.

   Throughout Asia, Remember Nhu’s homes are run by Christian villagers that give up their lives to help improve others.

  Depending on the need, they house at the most 60 children per home. Currently, Remember Nhu’s homes range from 18 children to 50 children but one home will not have more than 60 children.

  “We want our homes to be homes with a family atmosphere,” explained Laura.

  They will not house more than 60 children at one time because research shows that going over 60 children in a home turns the home from a home into an orphanage or institution.

  “Remember Nhu takes care of children until they reach the status of an income producing member. While they are housed in our homes, we teach them what they would learn in school including speaking English. We also teach them job skills that they can use once they are at the age to get a job,” explained Hixenbaugh.

  Along with the educational needs that the children in Remember Nhu’s homes have been deprived of, most of them are disconnected from a personal relationship with a responsible, caring adult.

  Since 2007, Remember Nhu has opened the doors of their homes in Thailand and Cambodia and has embraced over 50 short term mission teams of adults to interact and form relationships with the girls that they house.

  Chuck McMannus, mentioned earlier, recently went to Thailand’s Remember Nhu home with Grace CMA’s mission team as US team leader for the second time.

  “I didn’t know about the sex trade. I was naïve. When Carl [Ralston] spoke about it, I looked it up and researched it and I knew I had to do something,” said McMannus.   

  McMannus’ mission team that he led and traveled with was made up of 12 eager and very selfless individuals from Grace CMA church that endured many countless endeavors as they made their way to the Thailand home located in a small village, 20 miles away from Chiang Mai.

  “Most teams visit the homes in Thailand, as this country has the most in country staff and is also the most set up to receive teams. Some teams go to Cambodia. For teams that visit Thailand, they will do cultural activities such as, elephant shows, temple visits, hill tribe visits, cultural dinners, work on the property, do crafts, teach English and spend time with the children. In Cambodia, teams will visit the Genocide Museum and/or Killing Fields (from the Pol Pot Regime) and spend time with children,” explained Laura.

  Although the team does not stay on the Remember Nhu home grounds due to the way that Americans are accustomed to their luxuries, they spend the day at the homes from 8:30am to 8:30pm.

  At first when the children at the homes meet the mission team they are a bit weary, because of their past but that is why the team is there, to build relationships with them.

  “For the first time, the interaction between us and the children is stranger to stranger, the kids there range from 5 years old to 15 years old. The younger ones are usually more trusting, so once we interact with them and show them that we are there purely, to love them, the older kids are drawn to build friendships with us too,” explained McMannus.

  The interaction between the children and the mission team consists of friendship building while also teaching them songs, how to play music, teaching a little bit of English, crafts and jewelry.

  “Jewelry is a very effective activity to do with these girls because not only can it teach the girls how to use their abilities to create something beautiful, but jewelry making is a skill that can get these girls jobs when they get older,” said McMannus.

  At the Remember Nhu team report earlier last month, many team members had the chance to talk about what an impact going to Thailand and seeing and interacting with the girls at the home made on their heart.

  Many of these people sponsor one of the Remember Nhu girls and had the chance to meet their sponsor child and build a personal relationship with them.

  Sponsoring a child is the greatest way that one can contribute to the aid of these once victimized girls.

   Anyone who chooses to do it can provide the money for a child to have an education, take care of themselves as far as dental and physical needs they may need and also can also provide love to a child that may not have ever experienced that before.

  “The growth of Remember Nhu is only limited by the amount of sponsor families we have for our children. The more sponsors we have the more we can grow,” said Hixenbaugh.

  As of now, Nhu lives in Thailand for a third of the year and is now 22 years old.

  She recently has made her first trip to the United States with Ralston and his wife Lauri to share her story and was amazed at the simplest things that we take advantage of.

  Through the painstaking times of hearing about Nhu as a 12 year old girl being in the sex trade to the joyous times of looking at her now as an strong, confident woman, Ralston kept to his heart and continued and will continue forever to heal the hurt and right the wrongs.

   

Thanks for listening...

Talk to you tomorrow,
Marisa
xo

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

10 Signs You Live in Cleveland - Day 20 of 30

1. Rolling your eyes when you hear other states complain about their 20 degree weather and a couple inches of snow.


 
2. Don't even say that traitor ex- Cavs name...
 
 
 
3. Pride in the Cleveland Clinic. 15th straight year of being ranked #1 in the nation for their heart center.
 
 
4. Cheering tirelessly for our sports teams...every year.
 
 
5. You learn to just embrace the bi polar Cleveland weather.
 
 
6. You worship Bob Feller.
 
 
7. $10 bleacher seats at Indians games in the Summer?! Count me in!
 
8. Cedar Point is the land of dreams.
 
 
 
9. It will always be the "Jake" and the "Gund"
 
 
10. You know several people who have hit a deer.

 



CLEVELAND ROCKS, CLEVELAND ROCKS, CLEVELAND ROCKS, CLEEEEVELAND ROCKS!
Talk to you tomorrow!
Marisa
xo
 
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Q and A VIDEO with my lil sis!!- Day 19 of 30




Well, my whole entire family is in Indiana right now! They all came to spend the weekend at my great- aunt Elaine's house for her 85th birthday party. It's been a great weekend so far, and one of the best parts is spending some time with my lil' sis!

I thought it would be fun to spotlight our sisterhood on this blog so here are some fun questions and answers that we did!!!Here is the video! We had a lot of fun doing this :)

 
If the video above isn't working, follow this link to watch it on YouTube!
 
Talk to you tomorrow!
Marisa
xo
 
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