Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
January 28th, 2005
Pilsen 2004


¡Feliz cumpleaños!

Last summer, as you may recall, I went on a mission trip with nine other juniors to the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. This trip wasn’t so much about the work, as it was about the people. One of these people was Gustavo Macias – we liked to call him “Tavo.”

He’s a somewhat quiet, likeable guy, and I’m convinced that he’s a pyromaniac. Anyhow, today’s his birthday, and I’d like to wish him a very fun weekend, since life in Pilsen tends to be pretty boring, according to Tavo and his sisters.

He’s into Star Wars, and I suppose he wants a gift that relates to the film. The only thing I could think to do was to show him the Star Wars Atmosphere worlds. He uses dialup, though, so I know his birthday would be over by the time he got a chance to explore those worlds.

One thing I’ll always remember from that trip was the “waxed nickel” that Tavo gave to Steven Gunn. It’s a nickel that he bathed in candlewax – it’s just so random that I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.

He wanted to send all us missiontrippers a similar momento for Christmas, but being the procrastinator I am, I didn’t send him our addresses until it was too late. Maybe our group can make up for it by sending them a gift with the next batch of missiontrippers, sometime in June.

¡Feliz cumpleaños Tavo! And expect to hear from us soon!

(You can read what I said when I got accepted, when I got back, and when I said I’d post some pictures from the trip. That hasn’t yet happened…)


  1. If you send him a gift I would recomend a lightsaber. Who doesn't like lightsabers?

  2. Too lazy to log in to GMail to send you this, so I'm leaving a comment instead.

    AJ Arand is 2007, not 2008.

  3. Edward (aka Harrison): That might make for an intriguing gift, but I’m not sure it’ll make it to Chicago without some federal agency objecting to its status as a lethal weapon, albeit a fictional one. See this page for details.

    Brad: Thanks for pointing that out. My silly mistake. The fix will appear within about a half-hour. And thanks for the Postal Experiments link (above). That was great!