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Joseph Kony. Infamous leader of Christian terrorist group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has been reported to have abducted over 30,000 boys and girls in Uganda in the past nearly 30 years, forcing them into becoming child soldiers and sex slaves. His sole purpose is to maintain his power.

 

Despite his heinous crimes and inhumane actions, he has yet to be found and arrested. However, because the majority of the world does not know who he is, Kony remains invisible

 

In order to spread this message, please take 30 minutes to watch this video and share it with everyone you know. Together, we can demand justice and change the lives of children who deserve to live and return home to their families.

 

 

I pledge to help make Joseph Kony famous by watching and sharing KONY 2012. I will use my voice to influence cultural and policy makers to raise the profile of the conflict. I will Stop at Nothing.

Sign the Pledge

Join TRI or Donate to Invisible Children

 

 

 

 

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I guess at one point in our lives, we go through the “grown-up” phase. Like the time when littler me walked around the house in my mom’s heels, while wearing her expensive jewelry and carrying her designer bags trying to convince everyone I was a “very important person” with a “very important job.” My real phase started when I was in middle school though. There was a group of high school girls sitting at the back of my bus and every morning on our way to school they would always do each other’s make-up while talking about boys and the next parties and occasionally complaining about their unbearable AP classes. I would enviously look back secretly wishing for the day I could wear make-up, talk about boys, and, well, carry around big binders. My extensive knowledge of high school life was disappointingly useless as the actual day arrived but that’s beside the point. The phase gradually faded out and a few years later I came to a point where I asked myself for the first time: “What’s the rush?”

Maybe it’s because I’m turning 20 in just a few months or maybe it’s from being back home, but I’ve been doing some reflecting. My mother always says that when we’re younger, we want to grow up faster, but when we’re older, we want to be young again. If asked, I’d always say that I wouldn’t do anything differently in my life but sometimes I wonder why I didn’t enjoy more of my time just being a kid. Why I tried pleasing people who didn’t care and took people who did care for granted. I wonder why I argued with my mother so much and why I gave up doing things I liked. There were times I chose my friends over family, didn’t apologize for my wrongdoings, or held endless grudges instead of letting go and moving on. Sometime between then and now, I started taking for granted that I would see my parents when I came home from school, that they would bail me out of trouble or that we’d always have time to hang out later.

My grandmother passed away almost 3 years ago, and being at her funeral took away the fantasy that my parents were never going to pass away. It’s a ridiculous, unrealistic notion to think that they’re going to live forever, but it was the first family funeral and it was like real life had slapped me in the face.

Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and focus entirely on the things that revolve around us. It’s easy to forget to thank the people who’ve been there unconditionally and it’s easy to assume there’s going to be tomorrow. It’s impossible to live a perfect life and we learn important lessons along the way. But to take a moment and let the people in your life know you love them, appreciate them and cherish them is something we should all learn sooner than later because to miss that chance would be the biggest mistake of all.

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I’ve yet to get a driver’s license. I mean, being a student in Tokyo, you basically live on trains. The average person who lives in Japan their whole life probably spends about half of it getting crammed in a train. Unless you’d rather splurge most of your hard-earned cash taking cabs. The astronomical cost of simply sitting in a car and getting a ride could give you an anxiety attack.

Besides, a car isn’t really necessary in Singapore either. Public transportations and taxis are all extremely cheap and a good thirty minute walk will mostly likely take you to your destination anyway.

Supposedly, there’s a … challenge in getting a license here. It takes a myriad of ridiculous written exams, driving tests and some kind of theory class. So even if I did anticipate learning how to drive, I’d need months and months before I’m even qualified. Supposedly. Being told this, you’d think that everyone driving around is some kind of wizard for even being able to get their hands on a wheel.

But I almost got hit today. Crossing a pedestrian walk.

You can see how it can be confusing as people here seem to view this as a road decoration more than an actual symbol. If you’re in the city, there is no way you won’t encounter a jaywalker. Out of the five you nearly run into, one is at least bound to be an old lady/man or a group of screaming teens. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush. Funniest part is that there is most likely a crosswalk just 10 meters down, but they’d prefer to jump out of the bushes, out of nowhere, and proceed to take the death walk. You can imagine, being in the back seat of a taxi accelerating towards a frail lady crossing the street. Fences were actually put up along the roads to prevent further occurrences. Yet, it seems some people would rather go through the trouble of climbing over them and dodging every other car as they run for their lives. A concrete wall could be placed and people would probably instead drill their way through.

To me, there are three kinds of drivers in Singapore: foreigners, Singaporeans, and taxi drivers.

Foreigners politely (and safely) let you cross the road. They come to a full break and do a little wave as if to say, “Go ahead, I won’t run you over.”

Singaporeans are slightly impatient. They’ll let you cross, while inching closer and closer and as soon as it seems you’re out of the way, they’ll whiz past.

Taxi drivers. I could do an entire monologue on them. It’s like risking your life to even try. One step off the curb while these bad boys go by and you need to check, double check even, that your foot is still attached to your leg. They do not inch closer as you cross; they come at you full-speed like a bull chasing a flag. Spot a taxi meters away as you make your way across and start to panic because they may catch up before you reach the other side.

Being in a taxi is a whole other experience. Ironically, consider yourself lucky if you get the chatty ones. Usually, they’re calm enough to take notice of the living beings around them. It’s the intensely quiet ones who seem fixated on the road you should be worried about. Looking out the car, checking to make sure every person you fly by is alive, not quite as fun.

So yeah, I was almost hit by a cab. I’m pretty sure he was yelling a million profanities as if it were my fault. Yes your honor, I take full responsibility for crossing the road as the green man was flashing in my face. I started to bring out my fight face but he had the advantage of being in a car and all. And seriously, I wouldn’t want my headstone to read Beloved Daughter. Run over by Taxi.

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aka Valentine’s Day

But these would be special any day

February 14. Single people: signal to mope, groan, cry, bring out the ice-cream (in whichever order).

I’ll come clean and say that Valentine’s Day has never been of any significance to me. I don’t think it should not exist and I don’t mind not having a date this year. I’m just saying that even when I was in a relationship, I never saw what the big deal was. I never expected my boyfriend to suddenly drop a ton of cash and have something extravagant planned or to especially lavish me with love and affection on this very day. It’s kind of a given to be well treated and be told that I’m loved and appreciated. Besides, I love surprising my boyfriend when he least expects it and to give him gifts just because. And when February 14th comes rolling around, things just become a little overdone and predictable.

All that said, I walked around the mall the other day and for a change, didn’t feel indifferent about being engulfed by the overwhelming amount of pink and red heart balloons and big giant teddy bears. I guess more precisely, I was relieved.

It may sound silly, but when I think of all the hatred and anger in this world, having a reminder that there are still people falling in love gives me a chance to restore some faith in humanity.

Sure, it’s far over-commercialized but where there is so much chaos and uncertainty, I think it’s good to shine a light on a positive aspect of society, even if it’s for one day.

Before I finish off, I have to say that being single on Valentine’s Day is not the end of the world. Take the time to tell your family and friends you love them and most importantly, (the most cliché it gets) take the time to love yourself. Wake up with a smile and feel confident. I mean who knows, it could end better than you expected. 😉

‘till next time!

Something cute 🙂

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