8 months ago, I arrived here in Korea in an emotional frenzy. I was overwhelmed and even slightly appalled at this crazy culture. My training was humiliating, and my stomach was in knots with nerves. Wow, so much has changed!
Now it's time to start saying goodbye, or rather "see you later" to some of the most precious people. These people have walked with me through cultural chaos, and most importantly they have made my year here in Korea completely unforgettable.
The hardest part about being a traveling girl, is that every time you embark on something new, you're also saying goodbye to people you've grown to love. It's painful really.
But "Cheers!" to you girls! You are incredible and beautiful and strong and courageous and fun and you are bright and shining souls in this world. I really love you.
Thank you for letting me sit and observe your Birdie Reading class that first day. You were such a calming resource, always willing to help me understand life and work at CDI.
I've loved hearing your stories, learning about your life, your interests, your fears... You've been such an inspiration!
Thanks for all you did as HI, for all the hard work and monotonous trainings you had to attend while we all slept in :-)
Thanks for listening to my own thoughts, for encouraging me, for being vulnerable and allowing me to learn from you.
I am so honored to know you, and excited to watch your life continue to impact this world.
Thank you for being such a fun and interesting and engaging friend. Your contagious laughter is more beautiful than you realize.
I will never forget our all-night Dongdaemun shopping extravaganza and our shopping hang-over feast at the top floor of the complex :-) Wasn't that the first time we had kimchi fried rice with CHEESE!? And we ate all the burnt crispy rice? Haha.
Thank you for being such an encouraging coworker, for always being willing to help and to explain things, and to offer your own ideas and advice. You've really helped me to be a better teacher.
Most importantly I've appreciated and fully enjoyed the times we were able to hang out and talk. Thank you for sharing your life with me, for being so honest and caring. And thank you for listening to my thoughts and fears and joys.
I'm going to miss you like crazy, but at least you're still here for a few more weeks.
For everyone else who is reading this...for those of you who don't have the privilege of knowing these two lovely ladies...
I posted this for a reason. Cherish your friends. Learn about the people around you. Learn FROM the people around you. Never forget how we are all connected.
at 10:33 PM
You're probably tired of seeing these funny little faces. Sorry. But these are some of my friends.
These are the kids who smile at me, play tricks on me, work hard for me, and remind me that Korea is a beautiful place.
These are the kids who sat through long boring lectures on The History of Denim, The Naming of the Species, The Theories of Afterlife, The Evolution of Pond Life, etc.
These are special students. And this was our last class together :-(
This is Daniel. We call him Dr. Daniel. He was the only boy in this class of crazy girls. But he held his own. What a sport!
at 10:47 PM
I've been here for 8 months now, and this crazy wild city has become a home to me. In my comfort, I so quickly forget how foreign it really is!
Tonight I wandered around Myeongdng, taking pictures of the night lights, the people, and all the excitement. While this is normal stuff to me now, it isn't to you, and I thought maybe you'd like to see more of Seoul and the places where I spend much of my time.
Myeongdong is for super-shoppers. They have just about anything you could be looking for from name-brand clothing to knock-off underwear. You can spend hundreds of dollars in the stores, or just pocket change on the street. Honestly, it is an overwhelming place at times.
I don't shop very often, but I like to visit Myeongdong for the coffee shops and the food. Sometimes I meet friends there, sometimes I just wander, and sometimes I sit in a coffee shop and read or write for hours. My most recent exciting discovery is a bakery called Bread Talk where you can get fresh, warm, real blueberry muffins. They are delightful, and a rarity!
I also want you to know that I took lots of pictures tonight and not one picture of myself and my hair looked really great tonight! So yeah, I just thought I'd mention that.
See anything you're desperately needing or wanting? Let me know :-)
at 7:47 AM
I went snowboarding this weekend. I bruised my butt. I'll let you use your own imagination to think about how that feels.
I also am aching in these places:
But I'm feeling great! Haha! Really!
at 1:18 AM
Well friends, I'm back. I mean, I'm still alive.
I know my blog has been pretty boring lately.
I survived through a month of teaching intensive classes. It was a difficult month and I was exhausted in every way possible. I worked really hard. But I'm finally feeling refreshed and re-inspired.
I'm glad to have time again. I need time... time for ME, time for adventure, time for learning new things and time for exploring this city.
So what am I doing with my free time these days?
I'm learing Tae Kwon Do!
And I'm LOVING it!
at 10:11 PM