This Week I Liked…Links

29 Aug

I really just HAVE to share 4 of my favorite links from this week:

(1)  If you haven’t heard of him already, you must watch the heartbreaking video of Song-bong Choi  from the show, Korea’s Got Talent.

  Click HERE to watch Choi sing & tell his story

(Fair warning, get your Kleenex ready!)

The story behind the singer:

Choi was abandoned at an orphanage at the age of three, where he lived for two years until he ran away due to abuse.  At only five years old, Choi lived alone, on the streets, selling chewing gum and energy drinks to survive.  Choi lived this nightmare for 10 years.  He didn’t even have a proper name until a woman running a food cart gave him the name, Ji-Sung.

Choi was inspired to start singing at age 12, when he first heard a classical vocalist at the nightclub where he sold gum.  In order to pursue his love of singing, Choi completed the GED equivalent for elementary school and junior high, and started attending Daejeon Arts High School, where he received classical voice training.

I was completely depressed after hearing of Choi’s gut-wrenching past, but also truly amazed by his ambition, perseverance and talent.  His voice gave me the chills and also brought me to tears.

For me, watching Choi sing puts so many things in perspective.  It reminds me to be grateful, EVERYDAY, for the life that I’m living and also COMPELS me to help those in my community who are less fortunate.

Coincidentally, for the past month, I’ve been researching volunteer opportunities in Korean orphanages.  If anyone knows of a non-denominational organization working in orphanages in Seoul, please let me know.

***

(2)  After hearing a story like Choi’s, I think we are all in need of good a laugh.  So, on a MUCH MUCH lighter note… or actually (ironically), a heavier note … I wanted to share with you this HILARIOUS article by Sally of the blog Unbrave Girl.

Click here to read Sally’s “Big Girl’s Guide to Surviving Asia”

Sally’s witty & entertaining stories of being a “fat” girl in Asia had me hysterical laughing.  Her insight was especially hilarious (and comforting) after my recent trip to Japan, where I found myself STUFFING my body into an ELASTIC, FLOWY skirt.  I kid you not, even the loose & effortless hippie skirt requires some sucking-in when in Tokyo.

***

(3)  Speaking of skirts & effortless looks, I can’t help but post this New York Magazine article about Jenna Lyons, the tres chic president of J. Crew

Click here to read about Jenna’s roll in J. Crew and get a glimpse of her personal, unique and masterful sense of style.

(If my compliments haven’t made it obvious enough – I’m a true Jenna Lyons fan)

***

(4) And to end this post on a fun note- I thought I’d share my song of the week.  You know, the song I’ve played over and over and over again (to the point where G starts grumbling to himself when I run to the computer to replay it), & still can’t quite get enough:

http://soundcloud.com/greco-roman/joe-goddard-gabriel

I can’t take any credit for finding this fun party song, as it was introduced to me by one of my favorite music bloggers (and dear friend), on  http://kathykearns.com/

Check her out!

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4 Responses to “This Week I Liked…Links”

  1. Morgane August 29, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    Hi !

    I was on a Franco-Korean association website and they mention volunteering for an orphanage called eastern Social Welfare Society. Maybe you can find some info about volunteering on their website http://www.eastern.or.kr/
    Also in the book SEOUL by Robert Koehler, he mentions Korea Volunteer Association http://www.kvo;or.kr and HOPE (Helping Others Prosper through English) http://www.alwayshope.or.kr, both of which work with orphanages.
    Good luck !

    Morgane

    • akonrad August 29, 2011 at 8:41 am #

      Morgane,
      Thank you so much for the tips & thanks for the facebook love!

  2. unbravegirl August 29, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    Ayelet,
    Thank you so much for including me in your list of links for the week! I am honored! And happy you could relate. Also, loved the other links you shared. MUST check out Song-bong Choi. Sounds very inspirational, indeed!

    • akonrad August 29, 2011 at 8:40 am #

      Sally (of unbravegirl.com), it’s the least I could do for someone who makes me laugh on a daily basis! Always looking forward to your next post.

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