JUNE 2014


#152 Hidden Cash

01 June 2014 // Bakersfield, California

The mysterious @HiddenCash paid Bakersfield a visit. Local news caught wind of it, and since there usually isn’t anything this eventful going on around town, people flocked to Centennial Park. Three envelopes were found and I have a feeling that the other two were found “quietly.” (No horseshoe pit was left unearthed.) It was fun getting to see people from around town getting out of the house and into the park for a change.

#153 Frugatti Friends

02 June 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Got to hang out with Jasmine, Meaghan, Chris, Aubrey, and Dee at Frugatti’s in the evening, which led to an Instagram War and a walk around the park. ’Twas a good gathering of people, which worked out quite nicely since half no longer live in Bako, or are on their way out.

#154 Mentoring Sammy

03 June 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I had my last session of mentoring Sammy for the year. I’m going to miss this opportunity, but I’m glad I’ve made the most of it. Just by showing up and honestly often not knowing what I was doing, I got to observe Sammy grow a lot more confident and at ease. I definitely think anyone who has an opportunity to mentor should really look into it.

#155 I.V. Deli Mart

04 June 2014 // Isla Vista, California

I took a fairly spontaneous, low key 24 hour trip into Isla Vista, my first time since the tragedy last month. This was such a familiar spot during my two years here that it was kind of intense to see something like this set out in front. Still, I also got to see all kinds of reminders about how powerful of a community this is.

#156 Ocean Breaks

05 June 2014 // Isla Vista, California

During college, I was spoiled and got to start most mornings by walking along the bluffs and watching waves crash. I thought I would relive some of that while visiting I.V. I don’t know how long I spent out here because I lost track of time, but it was a wonderful way to do so.

#157 MSW Party

06 June 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Deanna’s MSW program threw an end-of-the-year party that I was able to also attend. They had some amazing taco trucks and a DJ present, and I also got to meet a lot of the people in Deanna’s social work program that she keeps talking about. Four more days until she graduates!

#158 Deanna’s Grad Party

07 June 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Deanna threw a great graduation party at her place to celebrate. Yes, she had a party the day before, too, but that one was for her program and this one was for her friends and family. We enjoyed a good gathering of people whose company we Love and had some fun times in the pool, eating, talking, and of course, playing the legendary Ungame. (Therapy the board game.)

#159 Two Year Anniversary

08 June 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Deanna and I celebrated two years of being together with a night out that ended with drinks at the Padre. It’s been a crazy, crazy two years, and we’ve probably seen a decade’s worth of moves, changes, and major life events, but there’s no one I would’ve rather shared that wild ride with than Deanna. It’s been such an eventful time in our lives that I was thankful for the chance to go on a sweet, slow date where we got to enjoy life with each others company.

#160 Wool Growers

09 June 2014 // Bakersfield, California

The wonderful Peelers treated Deanna and I out for an awesome Basque lunch at this Bakersfield staple. My pickled tongue sandwich was amazing, and I enjoyed talking to the Peelers about Oregon, helping others, and other adventures.

#161 Deanna’s Graduation

10 June 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I got to watch Deanna walk across the stage and graduate with her Masters’ Degree in Social Work. I am so thankful to get to see her chasing her dream of helping others, and accomplishing big things along that path. She’s got everything it takes to be an amazing social worker, and she will for sure contribute something amazing to the world of helping others.

#162 930 Olive Drive

11 June 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I moved out of my apartment in Bakersfield. While I never got extremely attached to this physical space, it was still my resting grounds during a little season of my life focused on rest, presence, and simplicity. Looking back on the way I was able to make Bakersfield my home over the past year was quite reassuring. I’m thankful for all the ways I’ve grown in the process.

#163 Los Angeles to Seoul

12 June 2014 // San Francisco, California

My date of departure has arrived. I’m kicking off a month long adventure in Asia with a week in South Korea that I have been looking forward to very much. I’m looking forward to spending time with my friend Jihyun, and to exploring this culture that has become so familiar to me over the past couple of years. Excited for the adventures that lay ahead.

#164 Myeongdong

13 June 2014 // Seoul, South Korea

My date of departure has arrived. I’m kicking off a month long adventure in Asia with a week in South Korea that I have been looking forward to very much. I’m looking forward to spending time with my friend Jihyun, and to exploring this culture that has become so familiar to me over the past couple of years. Excited for the adventures that lay ahead.

#165 Seoul

14 June 2014 // Seoul, South Korea

I got to enjoy this lovely view of the city from Yeouido Park, at a farewell picnic for some folks from Jihyun’s church. The day was quite full, including reuniting with my friend Jinhee, exploring Hongdae, eating Korean street foods, visiting the free market, and then going out for karaoke. Man, this has been a great visit so far.

#166 Gangnam

15 June 2014 // Seoul, South Korea

After a morning of exploring Seoul some more, seeing a sewage treatment facility that had been remade into an awesome recreational park, and then going to church with Jihyun and listening to his stand-up (I missed that so much,) I got the chance to explore and eat dinner and shop around this little place called Gangnam. Another awesome day in Korea!

#167 Namsan Tower

16 June 2014 // Seoul, South Korea

It was another awesome day in Seoul, so much so that it was a really difficult day to choose just one picture. I got to meet up with Michelle in Sinchon and get kalbi with her and her friends. We then went to a dog café where we got to combine two of my favorite activities- drinking coffee and hanging out with dogs. In the evening, Jihyun and I went on a gorgeous urban hike up to Namsan Tower where we played hackey sack, met inspiring LiNK supporters, and had a really, really, really good time.

#168 Deoksugung Guard

17 June 2014 // Seoul, South Korea

After shopping in an open air market in the morning, Jihyun and I were able to happen upon Deoksugung Palace at just the right time- during a changing of the guard ceremony. It was a fun spectacle and a blast to watch. Afterwards, we made our way to the local baseball stadium for a thrilling evening– one of the most dramatic baseball games I’ve ever seen between the two Seoul based teams of the Korean Baseball Organization.

#169 World Cup 2014

18 June 2014 // Seoul, South Korea

I absolutely love the World Cup, and I love the fact that for the past two tournaments, I’ve been able to watch the matches from abroad. This year, I had the privilege of watching South Korea’s Red Devils take on Russia from Seoul square. There was a massive crowd, many of whom had been there since the morning. The game was fun and just the start to a long day that involved me being interviewed by British journalists, running into a Korean superstar, going on a mad scramble for Jihyun’s wallet at a palace, and taking naps at one of Korea’s most historical sites. It was a blast.

#170 DMZ

19 June 2014 // Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea

This was an incredible and surreal experience. I had the opportunity to visit the DMZ between North and South Korea and peer into the country I’ve worked and hoped to see free some day. Though that day hasn’t come yet, I still believe that I’ll see it. This is the most guarded border in the world, the front lines of a war that is still technically going on, an interesting ecological site, and a really tense atmosphere. What an experience.

#171 Itaewon

20 June 2014 // Seoul, South Korea

For one last meal with Jihyun, we went to get Korean all-you-can-eat barbecue and we definitely made the most of that meal. Multiple cuts of different meats, sides, rice punch, coffee and dessert. Afterwards, I walked back to his place through Itaewon before heading to the airport. It was a really, really good week in South Korea. No doubt!

#172 Philippine Family

21 June 2014 // Quezon City, Philippines

I made it to the Philippines and got to spend the day with some family I hadn’t seen in a very long time– my cousins Myrna and Marissa, their dad, and Ate Myrna’s husband (not pictured) and son. It was a nice arrival into the Philippines and I look forward to the rest of this Tour de Asia.

#173 Fresh Buko

21 June 2014 // Manila, Philippines

Manila means that Deanna and I are reunited for this adventure, and she’ll be joining me for the next couple weeks. It also means that we can enjoy all the mango and fresh coconut juice that we can handle!

#174 On To Bangkok!

22 June 2014 // Manila, Philippines

Dee and I spent most of the day at the Manila airport, but we made the most of our time by setting up camp at a coffee shop inside and planning out things for our next stop– Bangkok!

#175 The Grand Palace

23 June 2014 // Bangkok, Thailand

We arrived in Bangkok late at night, but after we woke up, we got to exploring Thailand’s Grand Palace. This place was ornate, with so many different sections to discover. It was definitely a photogenic location. Towards the end, I had to start rushing through this place in order to make my flight to Mae Sot on time. That made it feel all the more like an Indiana Jones adventure.

#176 Karen Refugee Class

24 June 2014 // Mae Sot, Thailand

The big reason I came to Thailand was to visit a Karen refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. It was an incredible learning experience, and I got to meet so many Karen people who told me about their culture and their history. Part of this visit involved teaching an Intro to Sociology class, and we also decided to teach them a little song to go along with the lesson.

#177 Wat Mahathat

25 June 2014 // Ayutthaya, Thailand

Took a short jaunt in to the former capital of Thailand to visit the ruins of an old temple that had been ransacked by Burmese invasions back in the day. Many of the Buddhas were missing heads, but it was also the site of the famous Buddha’s head emerging in the middle of tree roots. It was a labyrinth to be explored for hours.

#178 Wat Arun

26 June 2014 // Bangkok, Thailand

For our last full day in Thailand, Auntie Leah took us around to different sites and locations. One of the main sights we visited was Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. We got to climb to the very top, but that involved a straight trek up one of the steepest staircases I’ve ever encountered. Made for a nice little adrenaline rush.

#179 Manila

27 June 2014 // Manila, Philippines

We made our way back to the Philippines, to visit Iloilo, my mom’s hometown. It was basically a full day of travel, planes, and airports. I grabbed this shot flying into Manila, which made for one of the more epic looking plane landings I’ve had a chance to experience.

#180 Meeting Lola

29 June 2014 // Iloilo City, Philippines

One of the big reasons I went to the Philippines (and probably the big reason the whole Asia trip came together in the first place) was so that I could see my grandma for the first time in five years and introduce her to Deanna. She experiences a bit of dementia, but was super excited to see us when we came in. She was so full of energy she gave us four tours of her house and even made Deanna try out her wheelchair.

#181 Big Family

30 June 2014 // Iloilo City, Philippines

My Uncle Mars turned 80 years old, and while a lot of visitors were in the Philippines, he decided to throw a party. This probably doesn’t even account for 15% of my family on my mom’s side, which is all the more humongous that a lot of the cousins are married and have their own children. Most of the people in this bunch were the ones that live in the Philippines. Being part of a huge family is a lot of fun, though.

Philippe Lazaro365