Monday, June 30, 2014

June W&W Bookworm Bookclub: Learning to Know God as Provider

This books is a real-deal life changer.

It was given to me by my former employer. Before coming to South Korea, I worked at a Christian law firm where I participated in weekly Bible studies. This book was offered to any employee who wanted to read it.

I know for a fact that since them many copies have been passed around to friends and family members because this book offers some great insights.

It's Learning to Know God as Provider by Russell Bixler.

It's a small book but one worthy of reading. In fact, I think its smallness makes it easier to process. The arguments aren't long and drawn out but are simple to understand. It also makes it easy to revisit at a later time.
To understand the book, you must accept the truth it uses as its premise. The truth that we live in a spiritual world. There are angels and demons. There are evil spirits fighting against you.
The author goes on to explain that we can have a spirit of poverty, worry, false guilt or any number of things battling against us.
He gives us his personal story regarding the spirit of poverty. Basically, he says that when you are plagued by this spirit you may earn $60,000 a year but you need $61,000. It never seems that you can make enough money.
Another thing the author addresses is being prideful of our income. For example, we may feel we are worth X amount or that we deserve X amount in income. When we think this way we are forgetting that God is our provider, not ourselves. We are NOT dependent on our income. There are so many other ways God can provide for us and meet our needs.
If you are struggling with finances. debt, worry, guilt or any other evil spirit then I highly recommend you read this book. It is truly insightful.
Have you read this? What did you think? Are there any books you'd consider life changing?
If you'd like to link up your favorite June book reviews, please do so here:

You can read the May reviews HERE

Also, don't forget to grab a button!

Wit and Wanderings
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Candy and Spam: Holidays in Korea Part 1


Experiencing the holidays and celebrations of another culture is a fun part of traveling. We've been in Korea for almost a year now, so we've seen some interesting things come and go. Today, I'll just share a handful of the holidays with you.

Pepero Day came around on November 11th.  This is a day that would make Hallmark proud. Hershey should stand up and take notice. This day is entirely devoted to exchanging packages of wafer like cookie sticks.
 Some are dipped in chocolate, others have a chocolate filling. Some have nuts. Some don't. When I first saw them, I figured they would have a fake sweet taste and be pretty disgusting. After receiving several packages from my students, I discovered that the chocolate dipped with nuts is my favorite flavor.

 According to my students, this day was originally a day to celebrate farmers. According to Wikipedia, people originally traded Pepero with wishes of becoming tall and then. It also pointed out that the date, 11/11, resembles the cookies sticks.

Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th but it is a day for women to buy men gifts. Stores go crazy with big displays of imported candy, Pepero and Spam gift sets.
SPAM Classic

Men return the favor on March 14th or White Day. Again, the stores are filled to the brim with trinkets, chocolate and Spam. On both holidays, children brought me chocolate and handmade cards.

I'll tell you one thing. This country has candy marketing down pat. I wish I would have taken pictures of the outrageous displays. Even sidewalk vendors set up to sell candy and cheesy gifts.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The First Day of Summer

Summer is here!


The Hubster and I went out for lunch and stuffed our faces with some much loved and highly anticipated tacos and burritos. Yummy in my tummy!

After that we headed out to a flea market sponsored by one of the English churches in the area. The proceeds went to sponsor their mission trip to Turkey.

I purchased 5 shirts for the equivalent of $10. Here they are:

 There are two teal colored long sleeves, a heavy gray button up cardigan and a pink sweater. Apparently I'm trying to infuse some more blue into my wardrobe.

What do you think of this one? I'm not sure how I feel about the pattern. Also, it's a little long but not long enough to be worn with just leggings.  Now, that I'm seeing in these photos I'm liking it even less. I think I'm going to try to sell it.

Afterwards we stopped at Daiso, Korea's version of the Dollar Tree, and I stocked up on stickers for my students. If you remember, from this post, I have a class obsessed with princesses and fairy tales. So I thought they would love these:

I also bought some thread so I can sew buttons back on the shorts that I bought from the online flea market a few weeks ago. I picked the shorts up to wear them for the first time Saturday morning and the buttons popped off in my hand!

Then, we wandered around until we found a hair salon that wasn't overly crowded and went for a haircut. My friend, a native Korean, had written down my requests (a simple 1-2 inch trim) at the top of the page, next to my name written in Korean and my husbands requests (he had been growing his hair out to donate but wanted it all made even with his bangs) at the bottom of the page, also next to this name. At first the hairdresser thought both requests were for me since I was going first. But in broken Korean and lots of pointing, I did my best to show her that the top portion of the paper was what I wanted and the second part was for my husband. She said "okay" and nodded.

Once I was in the chair, she held my hair and showed me where she would cut. It was about two inches so I agreed in Korean. It wasn't until she was midway finished that I realized she DIDN'T understand that one request was for me and the other for my husband. She was cutting all of my long layered hair even with my bangs. Thank goodness I'd been growing out my bangs for years and that they currently reached just below my shoulder. Otherwise, all my hair would be ear length! Mercy!

Needless to say, my feet will be on South Carolina soil before I attempt to get another haircut. By that time it will be a  suitable length to have the layers put back in. Until then, it will just hang limp beside my head.

How did you spend your first day of Summer? 01 02 12

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Visiting Changwon

When my husband taught in Korea before he lived in Changwon. He met some very good friends there, one of whom we try to visit on a regular basis.

We usually take the train down and visit for the day.

We eat lunch, go to the flea market and check out the nature scene.

We went to a brunch restaurant. I had a mushroom Panini with a salad and pickled radishes. Pickled radishes are a Korean favorite and I always pass mine along to my friends.
On our first visit we went to the marsh.
On our last visit, we went to the South Sea. We collected shells and drank tea at a German tea house.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Burger King Fail

Oh Burger King! What were you thinking?!

A couple of Sundays ago the Hubster stopped into Burger King and grabbed me a chocolate sundae on our way home from church.

I looked down and there was a soft serve sundae topped with a piece of cardboard.

There wasn't a plastic spoon, not even a cardboard spoon, but a rectangular piece of cardboard sticking out of my sundae. I didn't have a camera with me so I couldn't capture the sheer lack of spoon-ness that Burger King had placed in my sundae.

I attempted to scoop up my first bite, only to realize that the cardboard was, in fact, really thin cardboard. It required a lot of torque to lift the ice cream. I overestimated and the spoonful of ice cream catapulted into my hair.

Smooth move.

So I re-strategized. I was able to get the ice cream into my mouth if I dipped it, rather than scooped it. In the first couple of bites I realized that I really don't like the taste of cardboard flavored ice cream.

Do you know that ice cream is wet? Do you know what happens when cardboard is repeatedly dipped into something wet? It collapses.

You can't scoop ice cream with collapsed cardboard. Not going to happen.

So, my ice cream sundae melted. And I drank every bit. Wouldn't you?

PS: I linked up with Mingle Monday.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Club Reminder!

Don't forget the monthly book club is coming up soon! Please stop by on the 30th to link up your favorite reviews from the month of June!

1. You can get the button here:

Wit and Wanderings

2. You can pin  your reviews to this group board.

3. You can read last months reviews here.

See ya on the 30th! 01 02 12

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Throw Back Thursday: 2006

We arrived on Saturday. Our car is packed with several suitcases, bedding and milk jugs filled with water from our tap. My friend Chassidy is with me. My little sister has brought a friend, too .We have brought enough clothes to last us a month, but we are indecisive and a tad bit insecure so we will go through all of the clothes in a week.

We unload our car and then head to Kroger’s where we will buy a week’s worth of hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwich supplies and junk food. Then we dress in our swimsuits and head to the beach on one of the two golf carts we have. As it gets closer to dinner time, we head back to the beach house.

Back at the beach house, we fix our hair, spritzing our hair brushes with Hollister perfume and apply several coats of lip-gloss before hopping onto our golf cart. We take a few pictures and then we are ready.

We cruise down the strip at the family campground my sister and I beg to go to year after year. At first we are the lone golf cart, circling the park, occasionally breaking off down a side street for a change of scenery. We are always early. We don’t want to miss a minute. We live for this week all year long. Gradually, the sun lowers itself into the ocean and the others begin to come out. We continue to circle, passing each other, giving out appraising looks. The sun has set and we begin to wave, to call out to each other.

We cruise around the strip, sometimes pulling over to chat. But most of all, we just ride. We sing out, verses from our favorite songs. We pass a particularly attractive boy and yell “Hey, hey good looking, whatcha got cookin’?”, and then a shirtless one “No shoes, no shirt, no problem”.

The sky grows dark and our golf cart weak. We check our cell phones for the time. It’s close to eleven and we head back to the house, saying our goodbyes. Some nights we push the golf cart up hills and to its home in the tiny garage.

We slink into our room after murmuring a goodnight to my parents. Crawling into bed together, we giggle over highlights from the night.  In our chats, we’d talk about  boys, tanning and clothes.

As we grow older, things change. Slowly, time pulls us apart and there are no more beach trips.

 Once, we promised that we would be old ladies together, racing each other down the nursing home hallway in our tricked out wheel chairs. Now, we move in different directions. We are no longer as close as we were as girls. We each have new responsibilities- me to my husband and her to her husband and their three, beautiful daughters.

 But we are bound to each other by the late night conversations and rainy day rummy games of our girlhood. Though we no longer live in the same city, see each other often, or vacation together we share a bond that no one can erase or replace.

Whether you read this or not, you'll always have a place in my heart. And, if the time should ever come, an eager wheelchair racing partner.

*This post was inspired by a Mama Kat prompt. 01 02 12

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Just a Regular Day

What does your run of the mill day look like? I'm going to give you a rundown of what my day looked like on Friday.

Rachel Rewritten

I usually wake up at 9am but since my husband's schedule was switched to a later one, we both slept in until 9:30.

He showers, I exercise.

I shower, dress in a t-shirt and workout shorts and make lunch. I don't dress for work until later because I am notorious for being clumsy so I'd hate to spill something on my work outfit while I am making or cleaning up lunch.

Friday, we ate fish (from the freezer section at Costco), homemade mashed potatoes and "fresh" corn that tasted like it was intended to feed my pigs.

I finally dried my hair and dressed for work. Here's what I picked out:

Ignore the white dot on my nose. I'm pretty sure it's on the camera as my pictures I took of my husband that day also had a white dot. He must be taller than me because it fell on his upper lip.
Here's a side note about this dress. I bought it online from a Facebook flea market group. I could have sworn the dress was navy with white stripes. That's even what I asked to purchase. I met the girl in the dark and it still looked navy and white. I took it home and realized it was royal blue and neon yellow. Totally not my colors! I think it looks okay with this white cardigan though.
And I wore these shoes:

Sporty huh? I wear my tennis shoes to work and then change into my heels or flats to teach because I walk 1.25 miles into work. The other teachers wear their heels to work and then promptly change into their choice of Hello Kitty shower shoes or bedroom slippers.  You can read what my student's think about my style HERE.
We both ate a ham and cheese sandwich with a pickle and chips for lunch.
At work, we told our director that we wouldn't be signing a contract for a second year. That means we're on the job hunt again. 

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oldie But Goodie #1: My Fish and Loaves Story

Hi there!

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite posts from my previous blogs to help you get to know me a little better.

This post is entitled, My God is an AWESOME God and is from Nov. 2013

So do not worry ,saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and these things will be given to you as well. -Matthew 6:31-33
When we arrived in Korea we learned that we would be paid on the 15th of each month. This meant, on October 15th that we would be paid for a weeks worth of work and would not receive a full paycheck until the middle of November.

We had several unexpected  out of pocket expenses such as physicals and alien card fees. We also needed things for the bathroom, like a shower head an a toilet seat.

We'd saved money to bring with us but these unexpected expenses cut in quite a bit.

Now, we come to the week before payday.

We got down to our last several thousand won (I can't remember but I think it was around $50ish). (1,000 won is just under $1) This had to get us each 2 meals a day  for a week and a  six pack of 2 liter water bottles. We also usually buy a small snack to get us through the afternoon. 8 hours without eating gets to be a long time!

Our cupboards were down to 2 slices of bread, 3 slices of ham, a couple slices of processed cheese, onion, a box of cereal (no milk)and 3 packs of ramen. We also didn't have enough water to make it a week.

We've slowly learned that in this country it is usually costs more to buy groceries than it does to eat out. We could easily spend $50 on groceries and not make it a week.

Mike and I prayed that God would get us through the week and that we wouldn't be miserably hungry. We usually purchased snacks to get us through the 8 hour shift, but it looked as if we wouldn't be able to afford them this week.

On Sunday we bought a pizza box. It included a pizza, chicken tenders and fries and spaghetti. We were able to eat all day Sunday and lunch on Monday from this box. Monday we stopped and bought drinks for later in the afternoon.

However, the amount of spaghetti we shared left us hungry part way through work. It was Pepero day. A day devoted to cookies sticks covered in chocolate and other toppings like nuts. Teachers and students often exchange these treats. We didn't have any to give out, but God blessed us greatly by having students gift us with a couple boxes of them. We were able to have our snack after all! I truly felt has if God had had some marketing guru suggest Pepero day just to help Mike and I out of our hunger!

Monday night we ate more leftover pizza and left over chicken from Friday night. On Monday night Mike calculated our cash in hand to be 20,000 won (just under $20)

Tuesday morning, Mike counted our money and determined we actually had 40,000 won. It was as if God had come into our apartment and slipped us a $20.

Tuesday we went out to eat for lunch. Mike had a rice stir fry type dish and I had a noodle soup. Our typical orders at this restaurant. Usually, it costs us 8,000 won. This time it was 7,500 won. This allowed Mike to buy a Pepsi, for a pick me up. Another food related blessing came today. We had been helping a student prepare for a speaking competition. Her mother dropped off two loaves of coffee and nut bread for the teachers to share.

Wednesday, we ventured to McDonalds and discovered that (Praise God!) they were running specials. We both ate full size meals for the same price as two Happy Meals. Towards the end of the work day, I was starting to get hungry. Suddenly, I began to smell cinnamon. One of the managers had gone out and purchased brown sugar cinnamon pancakes from a street vendor. Knowing my love of sweets, she graciously shared with me.

Wednesday night, our next door neighbor and former boss dropped off a bunch of extra bananas. I ate mine for dessert with melted pieces of chocolate that were a gift from my student. We have enough bananas to each eat one for a snack tomorrow afternoon.

Tomorrow, God has provided enough money for us to keep up our traditional lunch with the teachers at the food court across from our school. I'm so looking forward to a warm bowl of curry.

We've yet to see what God has in store for the rest of the week but I am confident he will provide. Ever since we've started tithing we have never needed for anything.

I feel as if I am living the story of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fish. 01 02 12

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tidbits from Taegu

Living in a foreign country and teaching English, I hear a lot of funny things. I thought I'd take a minute to share some of them with you.

1. I have one class of all elementary school aged girls. They drew pictures if me in various clothes. They've taken to calling me Princess Rachel. The picture on the right is a fairly accurate depiction of my outfit.

2. A coworker explained that she was teaching a lesson on foreign foods and asked me to explain chicken pot pie. I did and when she asked where to get a pie crust from, I told her that I usually make my own but she could probably buy one if she didn't want to. Her response:

"Really? It is possible to make a pie crust yourself!?"

3. "Teacher, do you live in Korea.?" This one speaks for itself.

4.. It was just a usual , happy day. My co-teacher took one look on me and pronounced that I looked "hard". Hmmmm

5. I once went to dinner with a former coworker. As a side we were served what looked like colored bits of Styrofoam. She tried one and then told me I should eat them. "Try, it", she said, "It's delicious. It has no taste."   Wait...what?

6. It is very popular to cut meat with scissors here. Some times we do activities in class that require me to give the students scissors. One student received a larger pair than the other students. She refused to used them because they are "kitchen scissors".

7. This winter I  came into work with a cold. My former coworker explained to me that drinking cold water in the winter causes colds.

8. I was eating a pork chop in the teacher's room. My co-teacher looks at me and says she's never seen anyone use a knife on pork before. I'm sorry I forget to pack my chainsaw.

9. One day, I brought a sandwich, jumbo pickle, chips and fruit for my dinner. My coworker asks, "Is that all you are eating? That would be a snack for me." She then proceeded to crack open a small can of corn to eat for her dinner.

10. And most recently, "Teacher's nose looks like monkey nose." Thanks guys, really. 01 02 12

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nothing, If Not Honest

My students very rarely refrain  from telling me what they think. My Monday/Thursday high-schoolers are no exception.

I walked into the classroom and greeted that as I usually do. Kip looked at me and exclaimed, "What happened to your clothes?"

Quickly, I looked down and scanned my clothes for signs of stains or tears. Earlier in the day, I'd had a narrow miss with a student splattering red sauce near me and I thought, perhaps, some had spilled on me and I'd overlooked it. I saw nothing.

"What's wrong with them?" I asked him.

"They've changed."

"No", I insisted, "I've worn this all day".

"No", he said, exasperated at my ignorance. He pointed to my sundress and heels.

"Your style. It was bad. It got better"

*Inspired by a Mama Kat prompt 01 02 12

Sunday, June 8, 2014


The Mama Kat prompt that intrigued me the most this week was about a memorable summer. Whenever I think of that summer, I think of Tim McGraw's song "Seventeen".

Seventeen only comes once in a lifetime
Don't it just fly by wild and free
Goin any way the wind blew, baby

My 17th summer was a major turning point in my life. It was this summer that I began to chart the course for the rest of my life.

Seventeen, livin on crazy dreams

As summer approached, I faced the decision of choosing between spending a week with the Amish or a month long Governor's School at the College of Charleston. I chose Charleston and  it was a decision that changed everything.

Prior to that summer, I dated a boy for several years. By some standards, he could have been considered mentally or emotionally abusive. Despite my straight A track record, he told me I was stupid and that no one else would want "a girl like me". Whatever that meant.

That summer, I met my friends. Friends that I still hold dear to my heart. They encouraged me to end the relationship and stood by me when it turned it explosive. We went on picnics, shopping excursions and beach trips. We played board games, went on scavenger hunts and to the Imax. We laughed, and made enough inside jokes and memories to last a lifetime.

Legs hangin' off the Bayou Bridge
Feedin' fish potato chips
And talkin' about the mysteries of the universe
Yeah, the world was somewhere else
We had the Summer all to ourselves
And the stars went off like fireworks
 That summer, I opened my heart to another boy, and he broke it. At the time, I was devastated. Today, I am much stronger because of it. If we had stayed together, he would have become my crutch. To this day,  I cannot thank him enough. It was just what I needed to help me feel free.

The summer ended and I was ready. Ready for love, ready for college, ready for God.
Rock and roll and faded blue jeans
And standing on the edge of everything
One of my dear friends convinced me to attend Converse College and I truly believe that was the perfect place for me at the perfect time. Her friendship led me to the friendship of others who taught me a lot about my faith.
In addition to healing my heart and helping me to choose a college that summer gave me one of my closest friends. Luisa and I have  stayed close since that summer together. We spent even more time together in college. Out respective campuses were only minutes apart. She was the Maid of Honor in my wedding and, regrettably, I will be away for hers. She is a true friend and always will be.
My 17th summer gifted me with a free heart, a new found strength, and a second sister.
Seventeen only comes once in a lifetime
Don't it just fly by wild and free
Goin any way the wind blew, baby
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ingredients for a Perfect Summer Sunday

What do you think makes for the prefect summer Sunday?

Here are my ingredients for a delightful day:

1. A good night's sleep.
         My husband and I like to stay up late on Saturday nights. We play board games and watch movies, but sometimes we stay up too late and I don't sleep well.

2. Going to church
     I love going to church and being with other believers. I love learning to look at Scripture in a new way. And boy, do I have the "noise" part  of making a joyful noise down pat.

3. A nice cold drink
    I'm thinking a sweet iced tea, a very sour homemade lemonade or a chocolate pineapple shake from the Sonic. This Sunday, I chose a chocolate chip blended cream from Starbucks.

4. Writing time
    Whether working on my book idea, blogging or journaling this time really relaxes me. I love the feeling of "being in the zone".

5. Down time
    I love to spend time just hanging out with my hubby. We've started watching Copper on Sunday nights. Have you seen it? It took me forever to realize where the show got its name.

6. Comfort food
     I like to make a big batch of something delicious on Fridays so we can eat it all weekend long. This weekend I made chicken and dumplins. The only downside was that I had to eat it in front of the floor fan to keep from having a heat stroke.

Mix together in appropriate proportions and enjoy!
If you want the recipe for chicken and dumplins, keep reading!
Rachel's Chicken and Dumplins

7-8 pieces of bone in chicken (I used 5 legs and 3 thighs)
Bay leaves
Small Can of Corn
1.5 Onions
3-4 Spicy peppers
2 Cups flour

Put the chicken in a big pot. Cover with water. Add in 2 bay leaves, S&P, and one chopped onion. Add a handful of garlic cloves, if you'd like.
Bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and let simmer for two hours.

Remove the chicken from the pot. Turn the heat down to low. Pull the chicken off the bone. Discard the bone and skin.

Use a colander to separate the chicken stock from the cooked onion and garlic. Discard the onion and garlic. Return the stock to the pot.

Return chicken to the pot with half a chopped onion and one  chopped carrot, chopped peppers and the corn. Let simmer for half an hour, until heated through and the carrot is soft.

Make the dumplings by combining flour with 2 tablespoons cold water. Mix to form a sticky dough, adding more water as needed. Form one inch balls.

Place the balls in the stock and cover. Do not stir. Swirl the pot gently, if need be. Cook for 5 minutes.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Summer Bucket List

Mingle 240
Today, I'm joining the party over at Life of Meg.
Click on over to read what everyone's planning on doing this summer.
As for me?
  1. Hit the beach
  2. Try Ice Flakes
  3. Try honeycomb ice cream.
  4. Visit the flea market in Changwon
  5. Go to the traditional market
  6. Zipline
  7. Sign contracts for next year's job
  8. Spa Day/Pedicure
  9. Read the new Outlander book
  10. Make fried doughnuts
  11. Hit up Coldstone
  12. Apply for freelance jobs
  13. Double the amount of pages in my book
What's on your summer bucket list?
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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Jane of All Trades

I've held quite a few jobs, but I can't really say I have a career. I graduated college about 3.5 years ago and I majored in Creative and Professional Writing.

I love writing and I want to make a career of it. I can't imagine going to school for something different. I think those 4 years really helped me to hone my skills.

I've been a baseball scorekeeper, concession stand worker, cashier, freelance writer, customer service rep and legal assistant. Now, I'm teaching English. I do not foresee myself continuing to teach once we return to the States. (Although. I have tinkered with the idea of teaching Pre-K.)

I love to learn new skills and have many interests, so its been hard for me to pick something that holds my interest and I feel I can commit to for a long period of time. That being said, my two favorite jobs have been working as a legal assistant and a freelance writer.

So, I'm in the perfect phase of my life to consider what career I would like to enter into. At the moment, I have a couple of dreams mashed together.

1. I would like to have a substantial amount of my income come from freelance writing. Yeah, I know, this isn't really a "new" career but one I've wanted to truly break into for a while. In the past, I've picked up side jobs here and there.

2. I would like to own a bakery. I'm not entirely sure I'd want to be the 5am baker, but I like to create flavor combinations, and design marketing.

3. I think I would also like to go into event planning. I really enjoy putting together events. I like to plan menus and decorations.

This post was inspired by a Mama Kat prompt. Hop on over to check out the other responses and to link up your own post.

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