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Friends

Deborah didn’t live in my dorm my freshman year, but that didn’t stop us from becoming the most dynamic Asian and Mexican duo ever. After our first hilarious meeting (which involved her pretending to be pregnant and me thinking she was on heroin) she never thought I would actually call her for lunch. Well I did, and three bajillion bubble teas later, we are still closer than ever.

So when she asked me if I could take her engagement pictures with Justin (who falls into my super nice and funny category) I agreed in an instant. I COULD write about how they both met and fell in love and blah blah blah, but who wants to read that? Well, I am sure a lot of you do, but I am still not going to write it. These two just click; not only are they perhaps the most animated couple I know, but they make each other laugh a lot and are just a blast to hang around with. One of my funnest nights in my life was a night with these two in Hong Kong (from what I remember anyway).

Again, as with most of my closest friends, I have had the amazing opportunity to travel with them, share stories with them and see their relationship blossom into something special (even if it takes a little kung-fu).

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for these two (a rarity in gloomy Seattle).

I can’t wait for their wedding and the cute little half asian babies they will have in the future.

Congrats Deborah and Justin!!!!!

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Whenever you live in a dorm, you will meet people that you will keep close to you for the rest of your life. I am lucky that I have so many close friends from that one amazing freshman year at the University of Washington. Katherine did live in the same floor as I did, but we didn’t really start getting close until our Sophomore year. After we both made fun of each other’s race, we knew that we would be evil best friends for life. I can’t really be evil with Greg since he is, without at doubt, probably the nicest guy I know. That is a hard title to keep, since I know a lot of nice guys.

After a successful visit in San Francisco and a road trip up to Seattle, Katherine had asked if we could do her engagement session when we were both in Seattle. We picked a day and voila, in true Seattle fashion, it was raining hardcore. It wasn’t going to deter us though, we got some rain gear and stole an umbrella from the University Village (OK Borrowed). There really was no need for it though, because as soon as we got out of the car the rain let up and the sun came down.

It was great. The light was just A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I could go on and on writing about these two, but you can just tell from the pictures that they belong together. I have had the honor to laugh with them, party with them, travel the world with them and basically have been blessed to see their relationship blossom to where it is now.

I can’t wait to see the rest.

Congratulations Katherine and Greg!!

Before I start, some great zingers from Cynthia.

Cynthia: I got excited because I thought all these things had my initials C.R. on them, but then I realized it means Costa Rica.
Me: (smacks head)

(on four hour shuttle to Manuel Antonio)
Jake: Look at those insane clouds. Must be crazy rain.
Cynthia: Oh, I thought it was snowing.
(whole shuttle turns to face Cynthia)
Byron: You thought it was snowing? in Costa Rica?!
Krissie: Oh don’t mind Cynthia, she is one of those that talks before she thinks, but we still love her!

La Fortuna was definitely a place that surprised us, but I quickly realized that we couldn’t come to Costa Rica without visiting at least ONE beach town. I considered a lot of the popular choices, such as Jaco or Playa Hermosa, but the Hostel manager recommended I check out Manuel Antonio and I am definitely glad I took his advice.

Turns out the people we hung out with the most in La Fortuna had also decided to join us on our trip to the National Park and beach. Kristina, Jake, Jeff, Byron and second Jeff. We also ran into Elena and Nate, another two that had left La Fortuna a couple days earlier. One thing about backpacking is that you meet people that you would never have the opportunity to meet in other circumstances. So you create a bond with these people that is hard to explain. Each and every person had a story, an open heart & adventurous soul that fostered and make the experience so much more fulfilling.


Our hostel, Vista Serena, had one of the most amazing views of the beach and jungle.

Yes the pictures above me show me being a badass on a hammock trying to make you jealous of my life. And the second pictures shows me falling out of said hammock.

The first night in Manuel Antonio we quickly were reminded of the fact that we were in a rainforest. It rained; A lot. All night and early on the next morning. Luckily we were too lazy to wake up and go to the park that early so it worked in our favor.

We quickly made new friends.

No wonder movies are filmed here.

Im sure you people that have been to Costa Rica know that it is hucking fot and humid.

In case you get lost in the Jungle. Im sure Indiana Jones used these all the time….

Kick ass picture my sister snapped of me.

Duh…because I have to now.

So I have been white water rafting before. I even did Class IV rapids in freezing water. So, I figured that doing a three hour tour of Class III and IV rapids in Costa Rica with my sister would be no biggie. Piece of cake. La di da.

I. Was. Wrong.

Where to start? Cynthia’s mind is elsewhere recently, so I have been working extra (and spending extra) hard at trying to get her mind of things. I figured traumatizing Cynthia by putting her on a small boat with huge ass rapids coming at you would do the trick. Little did I know that I would be the one who ended up being traumatized. Like I said, I have done this before so I thought I was set. Nope. Last time you would do one huge rapid, then have a little break. Then another one would come up, then you would have another little break.

Not in the Rica of Costa.

It was rapid after rapid, non stop pure adrenaline for three straight hours. THREE. Im surprised I am able to write with my hands at the moment since tomorrow I am sure they will be incapacitated. Apparently the day before, out of seven boats, five had flipped over on a certain rapid.

Long story short. I was thrown off the raft on a Class III rapid. I don’t exactly know what happened, but I know that we hit a rock and as soon as I hit the water, in less than two seconds I had already swallowed like half a gallon. Also, those rivers all filled with huge ass rocks that hit your body all over the place as if you were some punching bag. It hurt; a lot, but not at the moment since your adrenaline kicks in. I thought everyone in the boat had fallen in, so I was literally looking around for Cynthia while rocks were hitting my back, legs and arms. In case you fall off, you are supposed to lean back, put your legs up and let yourself float down the stream. But those rapids almost fight against you when you try to do that.

Cuts and bruises all over my body. I also thought I had smashed my finger to pieces. Just bruised though.

Turns out that Cynthia did not fall in. She was actually the only one to stay in the boat while the rest of us were massacred by the Toro river. Ironic, how the girl that was the most terrified during the whole thing, was the only one not to fall off. She was definitely scared though because she saw how white my face had gotten and apparently I “looked like I had died”.

That was one hour in.

Only two more to go after that little accident.

Also, about 5 minutes into the trip, Cynthia’s paddle got tangled in a vine and was lost. Hilarious.

No words or pictures could explain how amazingly beautiful it was white water rafting down this river in Costa Rica. I suggest you watch Jurassic Park again, and you will get some clue. The rainforest, Waterfalls, river; everything was beyond incredibly beautiful. I mean, you are paddling down this river and you look up at the cliffs and see huge waterfalls coming down from the top of the rainforest. It was so breathtaking that I am going to use breathtaking at least three times in this sentence……breathtaking.

Tomorrow? Bruised and battered 5 hour ride to Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.

Tfaith 10

Since we are not millionaires, none of us were really able to go to Tfaith and Cornel’s wedding down in South Africa. So of course Tfaith and his family decided that a Seattle reception was in order. This being the main reason I went to Seattle in the first place. I was still the only one to visit them in South Africa, so I win the most awesome friend award just for that alone.

It was such a great weekend because I got to see and hang out with my friends that I consider more like brothers.

Tfaith 1
College would have sucked without these guys.

Tfaith 3
Omid was finally able to do a keg stand that lasted for more than 3 seconds. (the tap was broken)

Tfaith 4

Tfaith 6

Tfaith 8
Omid and I have great taste in shoes.

Tfaith 9
The food was fantastic

Tfaith 7

tFaith 2
South African BFF!!!

Tfaith 5
I like this picture because Tfaith and Cornel are being completely inappropriate.

Tfaith 11
Cornel: I am so excited!! Its a BBQ cooking set!!!!
Us: Do you even have a BBQ grill in DC?
Cornel: No……