Hoda Assadian Portrait

Hoda Assadian
Episode 86

Join host Japhet De Oliveira in this episode as he sits down with his guest, Hoda Assadian, for a captivating conversation about childhood dreams, multilingual abilities, and her enduring love for Italy.
Libsyn Podcast
"My biggest joy in life is care and love for people and showing that to them. I think in our world we need more compassion. We need more love and we need to take care of one another."

Narrator: Welcome friends to another episode of The Story & Experience Podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira with his guest today, and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, welcome friends to another episode of The Story & Experience Podcast. I'm delighted with our guest today. I met them at a particular event where we brought lots of leaders together at Adventist Health. At the dinner we got to talking and I was like, this is going to be a great podcast. It's going to be a great session. So let's just dive straight in. I just want to explain to anybody who's listening to this for the very first time, we have 100 questions. The first 10 I'm going to ask, and then the guest gets to choose between 11 and 100 where they want to go. And as they get closer to 100, it becomes a little bit more vulnerable, more open about things that actually shaped them into the leader that they are today. So question number one, here we go. Could you share with everyone your name and of course, any pronunciation issues we should be aware of?

Hoda Assadian: Awesome. Thank you, Japhet. I'm excited to be here with you today. Well, my name is Hoda Assadian. The Hoda part I think, my first name, no one has mispronounced it. It's pretty fairly easy. But the Assadian part, sometimes people have struggled. Assadian, Assadian, different things, but I always try to stick with the Hoda part so it's easier.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you ever have to tell them it's Assadian? Or do you just let it go if they say-

Hoda Assadian: For the most part, I let it go. Because usually after I introduce myself, then I have to introduce my family. There's so many mispronunciation on their names as well, so I'm just like, you know what? I'll just let it go. There's going to be so much corrections that need to happen.

Japhet De Oliveira: This is good. This is good. Well, brilliant, Hoda. Could you share with us what you do for work?

Hoda Assadian: Well, I'm the operation executive for our North Coast network here at Adventist Health. I've been in this role since August of last year.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, fantastic. All right. So what does it mean, operations executive for a network?

Hoda Assadian: We have a few hospitals in our network and before that I was full-time at our St. Helena Hospital, which is actually our oldest hospital at Adventist Health. I was the operation executive over that hospital and then we started having the networks, and now I oversee for our networks the operation role. Basically it's the day-to-day activities that happen at the hospital. So mostly talking about our operating model, how are we as an organization, as a hospital deciding to really run our hospitals day to day? So I work with all of our leaders, with our PCEs, with our CMO, with our executive officers, trying to develop what that daily operating model looks like, and then implement it throughout all of our hospitals.

Japhet De Oliveira: So if there's ever, I don't know, some kind of panic, you'd be the person to bring all of these together.

Hoda Assadian: Yes, and I'm actually pretty good at that. In my experience at St. Helena, we had two hospital evacuations in the first six months that I was there full-time. So talking about getting everyone together and working as a team together, that was definitely an experience and one that I will always remember.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. Well, I know that North Coast is extremely excited that you're working with them and help in all of their hospitals and bring efficiencies and operations. It's fantastic. I'm glad for that. That's great.

Hoda Assadian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, let's talk about this morning. When you get up in the morning, what's your first drink of the day? Do you drink water, a liquid green smoothie, coffee, tea?

Hoda Assadian: I wish I can say ... your liquid green smoothie sounds fantastic but no time for that. I usually start, I have to start with water because I have to take my thyroid medication every morning. So it starts with definitely a big cup of water.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. Do you drink lukewarm water or straight out of the tap?

Hoda Assadian: Tap mostly.

Japhet De Oliveira: Tap, okay. All right. So Hoda, where were you born?

Hoda Assadian: Well, I was born in Australia. I am originally from Iran, but my father and mom at the time, they used to work over there. So I was born in Canberra, Australia. Canberra is the capital of Australia. I think many people don't know that because everyone knows Melbourne-

Japhet De Oliveira: They like to go to Sydney.

Hoda Assadian: ... and Sydney. Yeah. So I was born over there.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's fantastic. Did you grow up there a long time?

Hoda Assadian: I was there till I was almost I think two and a half, three years old and then we went back home to Iran. And then I came to the States as a student in 2007 to do my master's degree here, so that's how I migrated here.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. That's fantastic. Have you been back to Australia since you're a little kid?

Hoda Assadian: Yes, actually a few years ago with my husband. I've always wanted to go back and actually go to the ... and I work in healthcare and in hospital, so I've always wanted to go back to the hospital that I was born. Finally, a few years ago for the new year ... because we had to be in Sydney for the New Year's. But we planned our trip in a way where we went to Canberra. We started in Melbourne, Canberra, and then ended up in Sydney. It was just amazing to be there. I could remember, and maybe it's because of the pictures I could remember some of the places, but it was awesome to be back.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. Okay. Now when you were a kid, what did you imagine you would grow up to be? Operations, right?

Hoda Assadian: No. Actually, as I said, I'm originally from Iran, so I wanted to be a human rights ... At the time, I didn't know it's human rights lawyer, but I wanted to be a lawyer and defend woman rights. From when I was a little kid, whenever I saw things that I was like, why can boys do this and I can't? So it always raised the question. I always was the little kid in school where I was standing up for the girls. Our schools were separated so it's girls school and boys. I would always stand up for them, so I wanted to be a human rights lawyer. And then in my teenage years I wanted to be a journalist so I can broadcast about everything that's happening back home in Iran and the Middle East. So far away from what I'm doing right now, but I love what I do. I'm very passionate about what I do every day.

Japhet De Oliveira: So this is not on the list here, but I've got to ask, you speak two languages then?

Hoda Assadian: Well, I speak more than that.

Japhet De Oliveira: How many languages do you speak, Hoda?

Hoda Assadian: Of course this language that I grew up with is Persian, Farsi. And then I lived in Italy for my teenage years, for a few years, so I speak Italian and then I studied French. So I do speak French and I understand a little bit German, just because my best friend lives over there. So I do understand a little bit, and then English of course.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh my goodness, a little bit of a linguist. All right. That's great.

Hoda Assadian: Yes, and you know what? I've lived here in California for all since 2009, and I still don't speak Spanish. I understand it because it's so close to Italian. I just need to take a course.

Japhet De Oliveira: You do, Duolingo.

Hoda Assadian: So maybe this is going to be my 2023 commitment, midyear commitment. By the end of the year, I'll take Spanish courses hopefully.

Japhet De Oliveira: I've heard the Duolingo app is amazing.

Hoda Assadian: Yes, that's true. So maybe I'll start that.

Japhet De Oliveira: It is a little bit relentless, I will say that.

Hoda Assadian: Very true. That's what my mom is doing and whenever we're on the call she's like, "I'm on Duolingo. I can't talk right now." It's like, mom, it's me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Exactly. It is relentless. Personality, would people say that you were an introvert or an extrovert and would you agree?

Hoda Assadian: Mostly extrovert. Growing up, definitely an extrovert. But I don't know, maybe as I'm getting older, I do have some times where I-

Japhet De Oliveira: Introverted moments?

Hoda Assadian: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But mostly extrovert and I think people would agree.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. And then habits about, are you an early riser or a late night owl?

Hoda Assadian: It used to be a-

Japhet De Oliveira: Late night owl?

Hoda Assadian: ... late night owl, for sure. But now I have a 16-months-old, so ever since she's joined us, that is all forgotten. So I would say now I'm an early riser.

Japhet De Oliveira: Right. Yeah, that ever goes away.

Hoda Assadian: Yeah, I don't know if it's ever going to go away. But it's certainly, it's totally fine and I'm good with it.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, that's good. All right. First thing this morning as you woke up, what's the first thought that went through your mind?

Hoda Assadian: Well, it's crazy that we had this scheduled many weeks in advance, and unfortunately last night I lost my uncle.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, my goodness.

Hoda Assadian: My mom's brother, and we were very, very, very close.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, I'm so sorry.

Hoda Assadian: Thank you. All of my childhood memories are full of him and my cousins and the wonderful time we've had together. He died back home. My mother is there, my cousins, everyone is there. It's hard to be far, especially when you're grieving. You want to be there with them, grieve and go through it all together. So this morning when I woke up, I was thinking about him. He had a very beautiful way of saying hello to you, in his way. I woke up with his hello in my head, like he's telling me good morning and hello. So that's the first thing that came to my mind this morning.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's heavy, Hoda. And many of the most amazing people that we have in our lives live on when we talk about them, when we share the stories. Yeah, that's great.

Hoda Assadian: Definitely. Definitely.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow, that's intense. I'm sorry. I am sorry for your loss, but I'm glad that you have great memories of him.

Hoda Assadian: Yes, that I will cherish forever. He was ... and now my daughter has an uncle, my brother. We're only two. So I see my uncle and my brother as how he is with my daughter, and that's pretty amazing. Because that's exactly what I experienced as a little girl-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic.

Hoda Assadian: ... with my uncle and now my daughter gets to have that same experience with hers.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. Well, that is good. That is good.

Hoda Assadian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: Here is the last one of the set that I ask, and then the floor is yours, Hoda.

Hoda Assadian: Awesome.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's a leadership question, are you a backseat driver?

Hoda Assadian: I hope if you ask all my direct reports, they will tell you no, that I'm not. So hopefully. And my philosophy is, I need to hire the right people and help them, coach them. Be their helping hand but really let them run the show and make the moves. My role is be their coach and remove barriers really essentially for them. So I hope that's what they will say as well.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. We will just do a little poll, a poll with them right now and ask them.

Hoda Assadian: Awesome. Awesome. I'm pretty sure you have all of that, Japhet, in your back pocket.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, that's great. That's great. Here are the results. All right, the floor is open, Hoda. It is 11 to 100. Where would you like to go?

Hoda Assadian: Oh goodness. All right, let's start with 16.

Japhet De Oliveira: 16, all right. Here it is. Oh, this is great. Tell us about one of the places you've traveled and why you wanted to go back.

Hoda Assadian: Oh, this is a hard one. This is pretty tough. All right. We did talk about Australia, fortunately-

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, we did.

Hoda Assadian: ... that was good. We covered one. I would say, well, there's so many places that's coming to my mind and different reasons why I want to go. But I think this is the common problem my husband and I have, is every single place we go we're like, "Okay, we got to come back next year" and those next years never come. So that's why it's a pretty tough one. But I would say Italy. Just because as I said, I spend my teenage years over there in Rome. It is my second home. I love it. Every time I go, it's just fabulous. The food, the environment, the-

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, ridiculous.

Hoda Assadian: ... vibe, it's just ... I could definitely go there every month of the year.

Japhet De Oliveira: You'll have to create a little bit of Italy where you are.

Hoda Assadian: Yeah. So I would say, I would definitely say Italy.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's fantastic. I totally agree with you. It is a great, great country.

Hoda Assadian: It is.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, that was 16. Do you want to go down or up?

Hoda Assadian: Let's go to 17.

Japhet De Oliveira: 17, all right. Here we go.

Hoda Assadian: I'm just taking one up.

Japhet De Oliveira: One up. This is very risky. Here we go.

Hoda Assadian: Oh, boy.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. Share what day is most special to you on the calendar and why?

Hoda Assadian: Most probably my daughter's birthday. So two comes in my head, it's my daughter's birthday because it's pretty significant. It's the day I became a mother. It's the day that she was born. A lot of things have changed in our life for the good. She's just the sweetest, most adorable little girl, so definitely her birthday. I did not have a great postpartum journey at the beginning. I did struggle as a woman. We started having a family later in our life. I was in my late 30s when we started and I think that had a big impact. Because I had my career all built, making a lot of progress and everything. And then having control of everything, and all of a sudden this little one came and I have no idea what I'm doing. My life is out of control.

Japhet De Oliveira: No parent does.

Hoda Assadian: Exactly. Exactly. But at the end of the day, it is one of the most beautiful days of my life. Can I have a 17.1 as well?

Japhet De Oliveira: Sure you can, because I'm going to cover the 17A in a second.

Hoda Assadian: My favorite holiday is the Persian New Year. We celebrate, the first day of spring is our new year. It's birth, renewal, rebirth and all of that. It is my favorite holiday to celebrate, and it's kind of like Thanksgiving. So the family-

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? So people come together?

Hoda Assadian: Exactly. It's not about partying how we do New Year's. It's all about family. You all get together, grandma, grandpa-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good.

Hoda Assadian: ... the entire family gets together. Aunts, uncles, it's huge. It's usually really big, really loud, crowded. But it's just one of those days that it's just beautiful and very, very important to me.

Japhet De Oliveira: What's the holiday called?

Hoda Assadian: It's called Nowruz. It means new day.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, you got to say that again so I can get it right.

Hoda Assadian: Nowruz.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nowruz.

Hoda Assadian: Nowruz. It means new day.

Japhet De Oliveira: New day, I like that.

Hoda Assadian: Exactly.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Hoda Assadian: So that's also my favorite holiday. I know you didn't ask me about that, but I just had to say it.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. So that was 17.1 you pointed out. I got a 17.2. How did Mother's Day go for you?

Hoda Assadian: It was really beautiful. In the evening I had to travel for work. So it was kind of odd where I had to pack and get everything and my daughter is kind of upset seeing me packing. But it was beautiful. My husband had planned us having, in the morning, breakfast together. My daughter is still 16 months so she couldn't do anything, but her daddy did everything on her behalf. And just being together was the most important thing so it was great. Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. I had a friend of mine who, he happened to be away for work and life on Mother's Day.

Hoda Assadian: Oh, boy.

Japhet De Oliveira: He asked his little kids to take care of their mom that morning with the breakfast and they forgot. So I'm glad yours went extremely well. That's fantastic. That's great.

Hoda Assadian: That didn't go well, I guess.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, so that was 17.2. Where do you want to go next?

Hoda Assadian: 17.2. Let's go in the 20s.

Japhet De Oliveira: 20s, oh.

Hoda Assadian: Let's do 25.

Japhet De Oliveira: 25, all right. Oh, share with us the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.

Hoda Assadian: Oh, like scenery?

Japhet De Oliveira: It could be scenery. It could be ... I mean, yeah, anything.

Hoda Assadian: The most beautiful thing I've seen. Aw, then again I have to say my daughter.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, that's good. That's great.

Hoda Assadian: Oh, as you can see, she has a big, big part-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful.

Hoda Assadian: ... of my life right now. So I think all the questions are going to be somehow related to her.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's okay.

Hoda Assadian: But yeah, I think the most beautiful thing, it's definitely my daughter. I would say in the scenery it's New Zealand.

Japhet De Oliveira: Sure. New Zealand's gorgeous, yeah.

Hoda Assadian: Oh, my goodness, gorgeous. You're in a painting, it feels like. It's like, this is surreal. So in the places that I've been, I would say New Zealand has been definitely the most beautiful place.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Don't tell Australia.

Hoda Assadian: No, I know. I know, but it is. But I have to say it, right?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, I know.

Hoda Assadian: And as I was telling you, my husband and I, whenever we go anywhere we say, "We've got to come back." New Zealand is one of those places that we said, "We're going to go back." We're actually going to go and live there for six months, so we can road trip from south to north-

Japhet De Oliveira: That would great.

Hoda Assadian: ... every single place. So it's one of those countries.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's very Australian of you.

Hoda Assadian: Very true, but it was lovely. So my daughter and New Zealand.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, that's good. Brilliant. That was 25. Where do you want to go now, up or down?

Hoda Assadian: All right. Let's go in the 30s, 37.

Japhet De Oliveira: 37, oh.

Hoda Assadian: Oh boy, my daughter again?

Japhet De Oliveira: You chose these, I mean, what do you like most about your family?

Hoda Assadian: Oh, my god. All right. I'm not going to say my daughter, even-

Japhet De Oliveira: Even though you're saying that.

Hoda Assadian: ... even though that's my answer. Okay. I'm going to choose something else. All right. I would say what I love about our family is, we're always there for one another. Life hasn't always been easy. My mom and dad have sacrificed a lot. They're still back home in Iran right now. I am a US citizen and I have applied for their green card. But unfortunately because I am from Iran, it takes much longer than anyone else to go through the process. So me being far away, miles and miles away with their only grandchild. And my brother also lives here so we're both here. They're on the other side of the world, but we always know we're just a phone call away for one another.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Hoda Assadian: With my family, it's the same thing with my husband, with his family. So all of us just together, we're always there for one another and always take care of the family. Family comes first. We take care of one another.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. That's really good. I think that's really important for people, if they can find or they can build their family that way. That's great. That's really good. That was 37. Do you want to go up or down?

Hoda Assadian: Let's go in the 40s. I'm trying to go up. Oh, gosh.

Japhet De Oliveira: I'll let you know when we have time just for the last two. You're doing really well. You're doing really well. So where in the 40s would you like to go?

Hoda Assadian: Let's do 47.

Japhet De Oliveira: 47, all right. You just met someone. What would you want them to know about you and why? Everybody listening to this, you just met Hoda, what do you want them to know about you and why?

Hoda Assadian: I have a daughter. Oh, goodness me. I hope one day she listens to this podcast and know how much this mama loved and cared about her. But well, I really want them to know maybe how caring I am. My biggest joy in life is care and love for people and showing that to them. I think in our world we need more compassion. We need more love and we need to take care of one another. Growing up in different parts of the world, traveling in different parts of the world and living in different parts, what I have learned is, we have so much similarities than differences. But it's so unfortunate that sometimes we focus on the differences, even though we have so much, so much in common. I love them to know that I may have an accent, I may look a little different, but I am caring and I'm loving. I'm here to help you out.

Japhet De Oliveira: I've heard, Hoda, obviously a little bit about you as well from some people and you're brilliant as an operations executive, but you're also really good at building community as well. That's a testament to this answer as well. It's true. It's important to you, and I think you bring it to work as well as your life. So thank you for doing that.

Hoda Assadian: Thank you. Thank you, makes me very happy to hear that. So thank you, Japhet.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, it's good. It's good. All right, where next now?

Hoda Assadian: All right. Let's go to the 50, 55.

Japhet De Oliveira: 55, all right. Share, if you wouldn't mind, about something that frightens you.

Hoda Assadian: I think most of all, I will say losing a loved one. As I said, I'm a sensitive person, I would say. And I know, no one wants lose a loved one, right? But especially, I carry a big sense of guilt with my parents. As I said, they've sacrificed so much for us, making sure me and my brother, we have a great future. We have everything in our life. And now that I am at a point where I can give back to them and I can be there for them, I'm here thousands of miles away and I can't get them here.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's hard.

Hoda Assadian: Right. It's really hard for me, and for those people who work with me, they all know about this. It's been something that bothers me every single day of my life. I have done literally everything in my power that you could imagine, to see if I can expedite in any way their process to get them here. I haven't been successful so far. So I think I'm scared that, you never know what life-

Japhet De Oliveira: True.

Hoda Assadian: ... how life will turn-

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's true.

Hoda Assadian: ... any day for any of us, right?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, true, it is very fragile.

Hoda Assadian: I'm scared that something could happen to them, and I'm not even there. I'm not even there to be by their side and hold their hand and take care of them. So that's I think my biggest fear.

Japhet De Oliveira: I for one, and I'm sure many others will feel the same way as well, I hope you are reunited soon-

Hoda Assadian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: ... and it all works out. Yeah.

Hoda Assadian: Thank you. Thank you so much. Awesome.

Japhet De Oliveira: That was number 55.

Hoda Assadian: 55, all right. Let's go to the 60s, guys, 61.

Japhet De Oliveira: 61, all right. Here we go. Tell us about a time in your life that required incredible courage.

Hoda Assadian: Oh, wow. Personal and work, or either?

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, you get to pick.

Hoda Assadian: Okay. Well, maybe I got to share my personal life. There was a movement back home in Iran, and it was the year, it was 2009. It was our elections and all of the younger generation, we had voted for a reformist at the time, hoping that he would be elected and a better future for all of us. We all believed after the elections, that the elections were stolen. As a 20-something-year old, me and all of my friends, we went on the streets to protest. We were doing peaceful protests, nothing else. Unfortunately, they were brutal and they were trying to crack us down. In one instance, as we were just holding our hands up, with a piece sign up, they came and started hitting us with their batons. We all ran away and I lost my brother. I couldn't find him. And after a few seconds we started going back again, because I was like, I can't find him. Let's try to go back and see where he's at. I was with a friend of mine, and I saw a young boy up the street bleeding from his head. He caught my eyes and attention, so I was just looking at him. As we were getting closer, it was my brother.

They had surrounded him and they were hitting him, and trying to capture him and take him away. It was hard for me to watch, of course. I'm like, I can't go home without my brother and telling my mom and dad that we came to this peaceful protest, and they took my brother away and I just went home by myself. So I rushed in. I rushed in the middle, and I hugged him and surrounded him. They were saying, okay, they're going to take both of us away. I was like, "It's okay. You can take me. I'm not going to let go of my brother." And after a few minutes as they were hitting us, they took us in the street and they said, "All right. Because of you, we're just going to let both of you go."

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, my goodness.

Hoda Assadian: "Just go, just go back home and don't come on the street." So I think that day ... when they tell you, sometimes you get a courage from somewhere that you don't know how you get that energy really from, but that's how it was for me. I would not leave my brother and just go home, right? I think that was the time that I needed to be courageous and I needed to step up. And fortunately it all went the right way, that it should have gone. So I'm very fortunate that we're here today.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes, indeed.

Hoda Assadian: Things could have been very different.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes, indeed. Wow, that was unexpected. But I'm too, I'm glad that both of you made it and survived to tell the story.

Hoda Assadian: Awesome.

Japhet De Oliveira: There is still hope. There is still hope.

Hoda Assadian: Yes, there is. There is.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. So we have time for the last two.

Hoda Assadian: Two.

Japhet De Oliveira: Where do you want to go for your last two? I can't believe the time has gone by.

Hoda Assadian: Let's go to the 70s. But then maybe the last one we'll come back down so it's not-

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? All right. So the 70s, which number in the 70s?

Hoda Assadian: 74.

Japhet De Oliveira: 74, all right. Oh, this is great for you. In fact, again, it's random numbers. Great. Here's the question, what gives you hope?

Hoda Assadian: I think the generations that are coming up, they're the young girls and boys who are speaking up in everything that they do, right? We're not just going to settle for the status quo and we're going to be fighting. We're going to be talking about ... right now in Iran, the movement of Woman, Life, Freedom that's going on, women standing up. And even here with everything that's going on, again, the younger generation are the one who give me hope. I'm hoping for a better future for this world. I know world peace doesn't happen in a day and it's pretty big. But maybe it will with this generation, that they have access to many things that we didn't. They know more. They can read more. So with all of that, I think hopefully things will be different for our world, for the better.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. I like that, Hoda. That's great.

Hoda Assadian: Awesome.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. We're down to our final one now, final number. Where would you like to go? Yeah, that was 74.

Hoda Assadian: Should we go to the 80s or back to the-

Japhet De Oliveira: Your choice.

Hoda Assadian: ... teens? All right. Let's do 83.

Japhet De Oliveira: 83, all right. This is another brilliant one for you. Think about your favorite childhood memory, what was it?

Hoda Assadian: Oh boy, there are so many. I'm like, which one?

Japhet De Oliveira: I can tell. I can tell.

Hoda Assadian: Yeah. Oh, it's going to be tough. Well, I would say most probably, my father, who I have taken a lot from him. So whenever if you meet both of us, you will be like, oh my God, you're so much like him, in my character, everything. Everything. So I would say, one of my favorite memories of our childhood is him on the weekends making us the most amazing fancy breakfasts.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good.

Hoda Assadian: And I always, during the school days, it was our daily fight that I don't want to have breakfast. He would be like, "No, you should have breakfast. It's good for you. You can't leave the house without having breakfast." So that was our weekdays. But then on the weekends because I was relaxed ... during the week, I wasn't relaxed. I had to go to school. Even though I loved it, but it wasn't relaxing. So I was like, I don't feel like having breakfast. But then over on the weekends, it was the best thing ever. He spent time and of course, me and my brother helping him out as well. But there was a theme every week of what we're going to be making. What are going to be the ingredients, and what are we going to be making? So it was a fun time, family time together, making sure we're making the best breakfast. And then mom would join and the four of us will have the best breakfast ever. I think that is certainly one of the best childhood memories.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's a great memory and a great place for us to end the podcast for today. But thank you, Hoda. Thank you for sharing so honestly about your family, about your own development and the skills you've brought to the table. I really appreciate it. It is good. I want to encourage people to do the same thing, Hoda, that you and I just did now. Just sit down with a friend, ask good questions, get to know each other. Maybe even have a cup of tea with each other. I think that we can build good communities together just by hearing from each other good things that we're doing, things that we've learned, and all the things that we can do to change the world and make it a better place. So thanks again. God bless you, and God bless all our listeners until we connect again.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for The Story & Experience Podcast. We invite you to read, watch, and submit your story and experience at adventisthealth.org/story. The Story & Experience Podcast was brought to you by Adventist Health through the Office of Culture.