Friday, August 12, 2011

2011 VMO Trip 2 Members

Since we all hate to talk about ourselves, each bio below was written by another fellow team member. Here are the 2011 VMO Trip #2 team members (in no particular order), let's meet them!

Andre ('Dre) Luethy

Hardworking and kind, Andrea Luethy is someone who instantly wins you over. Born in the UCLA hospital, she grew up living in the Los Angeles area her whole life until moving to Berkeley for college as an integrative biology major. Andrea’s life passion is volunteer work and helping those in need. When feeding the homeless her favorite part is when she is thanked by those she serves. To her, the feeling is indescribable. Even with her enormous heart filled with compassion for people, she still has room for love of animals as evident by her two dogs and three cats. Andrea’s plans for the future comprise of an exhilarating and rewarding life. She plans to pursue a health related career while also travelling the world. She wants to backpack across Europe and because of her Swiss heritage and ability to speak Swiss German, she hopes to live in Switzerland for a period of time. Andrea is adventurous in that she loves the outdoors and hiking. Her ideal honeymoon is to travel to a foreign country similar to Vietnam. An interesting fact about Andrea is that she is a hoarder. The most interesting item she has acquired from such a hobby is foil animals from a dessert. Because of her “gangster-ness” her friends call her Dr. Dre. She can pull of the thug look like no other. Andrea also loves all types of candy. During her stay in Vietnam, her favorite foods have been bun bo hue and rau muon xau. Andrea has many sides to her. Her greatest virtue is her patience. She is also loving and caring. You will often find her patting children on their heads. Andrea is very goofy at times and says funny things. She loves people who are funny and don’t care what others think. Andrea is definitely a great person to have in your life.

-- submitted by Thuong Tran, Junior UC Berkeley

Michelle Keyser

While I couldn’t have guessed it from first glance, Michelle Nguyen Keyser, aka “Minh Hien” or MK, is boss at tying cherry stems with her tongue. She can french braid your hair or tell you any item available for purchase from Costco. One joke about bowel movements can send her reeling into laughter. One often finds her singing or humming to herself, and sitting at the edge of a table to better accommodate her left handedness during meals. Michelle studies Integrative Biology and Anthropology at UC Berkeley. She hopes to one day explore a career in medicine as a doctor or
a career in teaching. Opening schools in areas of poverty is one of her passionate dreams. Born the 27th of December to a Vietnamese mother and white father, Vietnamese was not spoken as she grew up; however, MK is determined to learn her mothers language by listening to language tapes and even buying a Vietnamese “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. Joining VMO, she looked most forward to interacting with the children, helping the poor, and exploring the land of her mother. While she does not enjoy the native VN fruit Durian, Michelle could pass as a native in her Ao Dai. As she explores VN, her heart continues to grow as she reconnects with the
culture and people. 

-- submitted by Andrea Luethy, Senior, UC Berkeley

Donna Bui

The world began on December 14, 1992 when Donna Bui was born. Raised in San Jose, CA, Donna grew up eating chicken, watching Pocahontas, and wearing her favorite color pink. Now a 2nd year Public Health major at UC Berkeley, Donna aspires to become an Emergency Room physician while traveling the world and maintaining strong family ties. Her responsible character is best exemplified by her love and dedication to her younger siblings and high school sweetheart Ireneo. As part of VMO Donna looks forward to riding ostriches and enjoys being the favored child of her sugar momma Andrea and sugar daddy Krish. Her happiest and saddest moment of the trip was when her gaze met the blue eyes of an unshaven French boy by the name of Antoine. Although their meeting was brief and bittersweet, Donna waits for their next meeting by practicing her high school French with the rest of the VMO group. Donna Bui will be a name to watch out for as she becomes an international physician, masters seven languages, and balances her love of humanitarian work, family, and handsome French men.

-- submitted by Michelle Wong, Senior, UC Berkeley

Thuong Tran

Thuong Tran is the spunky little princess of the group.  Vietnam is a special place for her since she was born in Vietnam in a small town called Tam Ky.  She moved to the US when she was 2 years old, but her roots still lie in Vietnam.  Thuong is such a bright and happy person and she lights up the room every time she walks in with her cute little rompers on.  It must be because she soaks up the sunlight during her favorite naps out in the sun, or maybe it's her motto, "Put aside the BS and life is good."  Her positive attitude has really helped her along her path to becoming a doctor.  She is now a junior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with a concentration in Developmental Genetics.  Thuong's educational goals are very important to her, but she also establishes a balance in her life by going on hikes and doing pencil drawings during her free time.  Her free spirit also comes through in her love of dance and even though she says she can't sing, she loves listening to artists like Florence and the Machine.  She once tried learning the piano, but now she wants to learn to play the drums.  She's got a little rocker in her!  When Thuong is at home with her high school sweetheart she likes to cuddle and watch romantic comedies like 500 Days of Summer.  Every once in a while, though, she likes to watch action movies like 300.  When she's feeling nostalgic she watches her favorite Disney movie The Lion King (aka Hamlet).  Her guilty pleasure TV shows are Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars.  That's the little princess in her!  Thuong's ultimate happiness is when everyone around her is happy and she will do anything in her power to bring a smile to people's faces.  She lives her life by being a good person; her compassion and kindness is infectious.

-- submitted by Michelle Keyser, Junior, UC Berkeley

Michelle Wong

Michelle Katherine Wong, a small girl with interesting phrases, has big aspirations for her future. An incoming 4th year student at UC Berkeley, she aspires to be a doctor with a particular interest in neonatal. She Is currently majoring in integrated biology and anthropology, and her favorite class is medical ethnobotany. Her birthday is on the 20th of July, 1990, and was born in Whittier, California. Some interesting facts about Michelle include the fact that she likes to travel, and she took a Chinese instrument class. She dislikes coagulated pork blood and thinks it is incredibly disgusting. On this trip, she looked forward most to interacting with people and culture, as well as being able to see the differences in the medical system around the world.

-- submitted by Bao Le, Senior, San Jose State Univ.

Bao Le

Name:   Bao Le, a.k.a. “Mr. Steady Hand”, a.k.a. “Mr. Fancy”
B.O.D: June 10th
Hometown:   San Jose, CA
Major/College: Chemistry (w/ Bio emphasis)/SJSU

      • “I LOVE Chemistry!!!”
      • ALL sports
      • FANCY things (i.e. sport cars--BMW, Audi, Lamborghini)
      • LEARNING new things
      • HELPING people
Aspirations: Becoming Chief of Surgery and eventually owning a hospital to treat the poor.  
Motto: “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footsteps on the moon.”
Secret to Success:   Hair gel that gives special power.
Favorite word(s):   Essentially, Fancy
Worst food eaten: “I don’t know... I eat anything and everything.”
Reasons in Vietnam: Connecting to people globally and providing medical care to the underserved community.

Looking forward to: Interacting with the children and getting some hands on medical experiences.

-- submitted by Diep Tang, recent grad, UC Berkeley

Krish Khatri

Krish Khatri is an eligible bachelor and a renaissance man of sorts.  I, Donna Bui, am delighted to have an opportunity to write about the young recent graduate from UC Berkeley.

Also known as ‘Kiet” by the children in VN, enjoys long walks on the beach, candlelight dinners and photographing scenery.  Being a man of impeccable tastes, Krish loves all kinds of music and has absolutely no preference on movies.  His favorite movie, though, is ‘Inception’, and he’ll cringe at country rock. Krish’s favorite dish is ‘va trong va banh phong tom’. He has said, “It makes me feel as if life’s worries are gone and unicorns have come out to play!”

Krish hopes to become a doctor one day in order to help the poor and open clinics abroad.  There are many words to describe Krish, but the best and most accurate words are: one of my very good friends.

-- submitted by Donna Bui, Sophomore, UC Berkeley

Diep Tang

Diep Tang, who’s first name means “leaf” was born in Hoi An, Vietnam on December 21st. She aspires to become a doctor and travel the world, following the footsteps of none other than Professor Carlson from UC Berkeley. Her plans in life, along with back up plans are as follows:
Plan A: M.D.
Plan B: High School Teacher
Plan C: Filipina model
Plan D: Open a dance studio

Diep's favorite store to shop at is Express and her favorite pastry is the Viet style muffin. She claims to loath and despise curry with a passion. She is most afraid of furry animals. Her favorite TV show is NCIS which is also known as “the worst show ever to air on TV”. When asked what she looks for a in a guy she provided this list:
1) Tall and handsome.
2) Good teeth and a nice smile.
3) Soft hands.
4) Must be intelligent, masculine, and can cook.
5) Family oriented and respectful to the wife.
6) Does NOT want someone that is conceited or talks too much.
For dating purposes, race doesn’t matter but for marriage prefers Vietnamese.

All jokes aside, if there is one phrase that can sum up Diep Tang, it would be the following: Diep is the kind of person that can turn any frown upside down with her beautifully radiant smile and personality.

-- submitted by Krish Khatri, recent grad, UC Berkeley

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