There is a Quaker saying: "Let your life speak." Describe the environment in which you were raised - your family, home, neighborhood, or community - and how it influenced the person you are today. (200-250 words)

My sweat glistened as I biked through the narrow alley of my neighborhood, constantly searching for an adventure. I could feel the sun, scorching its heat upon my sweat-dampened shirt and burning my feet through the sole of my sandals. But I didn’t care. It was home — the electrifying, motorbike-filled Ho Chi Minh city, where I was raised.

At twelve, spurred by a sense of adventure, I traversed the Pacific Ocean with my family to settle in a one-room apartment in Portland, Oregon. I struggled at first. Twelve years old me was homesick, lost, and lonely. I felt like an alien who had just descended upon a foreign planet — a complete stranger to the language and culture of the place. Yet I pulled through. I learned everything I could. From learning grammar on Youtube to conquering my shyness through discussion with my peers, I persevered.

Soon enough, I learned to embrace the rich cultures of America — all of its quirkiness — through many awkward conversations and cultural shocks. More importantly, I found my community: a derpy, caring, funny, and adventurous group of friends who I can’t imagine my life without. We jammed to K-Pop, cracked cheesy jokes, ranted about our boba addiction, and we even had 3 A.M life existential talks...

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