Monday, October 7, 2013

Little Exciting Things about Atlanta

I visited Atlanta a week ago with two other friends, and during our short visit, I discovered some memorable things about Atlanta, and they are not about the old boring Coca-cola museum, or Aquarium. These were the places that not so much touristy but we decided to visit it anyway, and they easily became my highlight of my trip.

1. Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Shop
Hidden gem, so hidden that we had to figure out how to get into this coffee shop. It is located inside an apartment complex, and you have to buzz the coffee shop and let them open the gate. A twenty minutes drive from downtown, and you'll enter a coffee shop with one of the most beautiful view. You can either enjoy the nice interior decor or go out and sit by the river, sip your cup o Joe and lost in the beauty.

2. North Point Community Church (30 min from Atlanta)
I have been listening to Andy Stanley on and off, and I would not miss the opportunity to visit his church personally. I know this is not everybody's cup of tea, but if you like a good and sound biblical teaching, visit this church and your soul will get nourished. One piece of advice: try to come to the morning service since you will be seeing Andy in his flesh, not his video (as in the evening service that we came to)

3. Park 75 Lounge and Terrace
Part of me always and will forever always enjoy the ambiance of a serene lounge - with live music, good drinks, and great friends. Unfortunately, Columbus has little to offer in this area so I have to hunt for a great lounge every time I travel. This one was a wild card; pulled up my Yelp app, looked for a hotel around downtown and found this spot. 95% satisfaction, with the 5% being an absence of live music. But nevertheless, great drinks, sumptuous desserts, and great conversation. What a nice way to end a long day

4. Global Soap
Global Soap is an Atlanta-based non profit organization whose work is to provide millions of people with soap. They recycle partially used soap from hotels into new bars and distribute it to people who need it around the world. Why soap? More and more research have revealed that a simple hand-washing practice could reduce disease-related diseases and school absenteeism significantly. I think we in the developed world tend to underestimate this simple and ordinary practice. Currently, they have distributed their recycled soap to 31 countries - a pretty remarkable achievement for a four years old organization.

It is truly an honor to have this experience. Derreck Kayongo, the founder and also one of 2011's CNN Heroes, was kind enough to refer me to his Executive Director, Sam Stephens, who then agreed to meet and talk with us about Global Soap. I am always thrilled to absorb lessons from experienced people who have gotten their hands dirty in the business of changing the world. Sam is truly an inspirational and visionary person and we really enjoyed our one-hour meeting and tour around the facility.

with Sam Stephens, Executive Director of Global Soap

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