Sunday, January 16, 2011

The End.

My journey to Korea and the beginnings of this blog started in September 2009. I sit here, over a year later, in a packed apartment, hours away from my next adventure. I only look back fondly!!

It has been an awesome year! An awesome, AWESOME year!

My adventure to Korea started as an outlet of exportation-- for a few reasons. I wanted to live abroad for a while to experience life outside of America. I wanted to do something out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I wanted to explore a future or potential in travel journalism. I wanted to see Jesus and his kingdom outside of what i was used to. Well friends, i did it! And God had SO much more planned for me.

A few things i learned/was reminded of this year:
- this world is HUGE and my place in this world is very small
- some things just don't make sense to me, and probably never will. i'm "ok" with that
- i value communication, more than ever before
- i don't want to be a travel journalist (but i still love to write)
- Skype should win an award
- the media is an interesting machine often mastering the art of hype
- kids are kids... things they say are even funnier in a foreign language
- Jesus and his beauty is always present-- however, so many people have yet to see it
- i have learned the value of being present... wherever i am, just being completely there
- there is something really rich about sitting on the floor sharing a meal with friends family style
- im an awful chopstick-er (even after a year.)
- non-verbal communication is an artform
- i love Korean food. Especially kimchi. And will probably always eat it.

I feel as if i am a different woman today than i was boarding the plane here. I have done some wicked awesome things. Seen some crazy things. And lived in a freakin' foreign country alone. I've met some awesome, awesome people-- friends! And been confronted with the realities that being American affords one in a foreign country and have been challenged to understand and assimilate into a culture that is completely unlike mine. At times, it has been frustrating, but it has been rich! I love Korea. And the general kindness and generosity i was shown by many Korean friends-- and strangers for that matter-- made my transition and daily life here unbelievably smooth.

I feel blessed for the opportunity to live and travel like i have for the last year. I am thankful that God, in his perfect timing and goodness, opened doors and showed me the bigger reasons for living in Korea. He really is control of life-- and despite my doubt, he has BIG things planned for those who love him and are called according to his purpose. I am thankful for my church and the community of people i met. I am thankful for the opportunity to travel to Nepal-- and for the opportunity to serve with MountainChild when i return to LA. Again, God is SO good to me! His timing and workings in my life are beautiful and SO good. His love for his children is so grand!

All that to say, this is the end. SoKo bound no more. SoKo has been had and it was good! On to the next chapter! Blog? Maybe. (actually probably- but not for a while.)

What is that you ask? Well, first, a sunny vacation in beautiful Thailand! After that, rest and reunion with my loved ones.

Thank you Jesus for life and for the promise of abundant life! You are good... and dang, my heart beats for you. Wherever-- whenever-- whatever... i'm in! All in.

Signing out...


how about a few pics of my last day, just to finish strong.

funny faces.

more funny faces.

My coworkers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Year Ago Today.

Today is January 13th. A year ago today i arrived in Korea.

That, my friends, is crazy! The goodbyes have started. The packing is almost finished. And i anxiously hold two plane tickets. 1 roundtrip to Thailand for a much needed vacation! And 1 oneway ticket to a new chapter in California. If you couldn't gather it on your own... that holds for me a bag of mixed emotions. Thankfully it's less than 25kg as i'm not a fan of those extra baggage fees. But, undoubtedly, a little weighty still.

My massive, human-sized duffel bag (in which my sista Jugie can fit in) on the other hand, is right around 25kg and i'm wondering how the heck im going to haul it to the bus stop. I hope it doesn't snow.

But that's besides the point! : )
Today is exactly one yea... and DANG! It was good.

Hello security check.

Anyang (hey!) Korea!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Walk in the Snow.

So, i finished my classes at 1:40 today. I don't finish my day until 6. After a massive dumping of snow, which had me tied to my desk, i decided to take a walk to run some errands. While it was bit chilly of a walk, it was beautiful! As i walked, i was overcome with thankfulness for this year and the time i've spent here! My time here is wrapping up quickly... maybe a little too quick! I'm going to miss it here so much! So, in light of that, here's my "i'm going to miss you Korea" list. And a list of things im looking forward to in California.

The Miss List
- having to walk everywhere and having everything within walking distance
- delicious Korean food literally on every corner
- my co-workers/friends (sad just thinking about it!)
- "free service" (that being the extra things you get at restaurants or when you buy cosmetics)
- tteok, jjimpang, kimchi, chamchi kimbap, sundubujjigae, hobak juk, makoli and pajjeon pat, and other Korean deliciousness
- the crazy things i see walking to and from work everyday (near car accidents, crazy delivery boys on pimped out crotch rockets, girls walking in 3 inch snow in 6 inch heels, cute little kids all bundled up, etc.)
- the awesome public transportation and crazy taxi rides
- watching people work out in public exercise equipement and some of the funny things i see them doing on the track (i will not, however, miss the ajjumas rockin' hot pink work out attire walking little dogs whose fur has been dyed a similarly awful color.)
- sharing a meal with friends, sitting on the floor, eating family style
- the little ESL glitches my students make and the awesome dictionary words they pull out (like cerebral hemorrhage = scrape on my head?)
- my tutor student JiEun
- the amusement my kids get when i can understand them or say something in Korean (or the laughter that erupts when i butcher some Korean word)
- my lovely Korean friends!!

Things im looking forward to
- WARMTH-- though be it be a relative term
- seeing my family
- weekend gatherings with my family
- coffee with my best friend
- being able to go shopping, or actually do just about anything without all eyes on me
- buying shoes
- reading the newspaper
- wandering around Target without getting bumped into or hassled to buy something with a loud speaker by a woman wearing a hanbok
- driving
- dyer dried jeans. and socks. and underwear. towels. heck... dry it all!
- whole wheat everything
- Mexican food
- driving and listening to the radio!

Well.. there you have it. Hate to get all sentimental... but it's all hitting me! Korea... you've been good to me! I'm going to miss you!
More to come soon!

(i successfully wasted an hour... time to go home!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Day of My Last Week

Wow. Hard to believe that this time next week i'll be finished with my teaching contract and sitting in an airport in China.

More to come on that soon... but here are some visuals of me finishing up my time in Korea! Man, im going to miss this place! : /

Making kimchi with my sista Monica.

Learned how to make delicious Korean food!

Eating fish. Red bean filled, fried fish. YUM!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years!

Happy New Year!
2011 is going to be awesome!

Eating my first bungeoppang. Deep fried, red bean stuffed fish. yum.

Monica ssaim documented the occasion.

Danced in the New Year with some awesome ladies!

lovely ladies.

Welcomed up the new year's sun with some lovely friends!

2010 was awesome. Full of change!
2011... i am expectant!! Big things are a comin'... i feel it!
All of it to the favor of my King!
: )

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Korea

"Jeolgeoun kurissamassa"

This Christmas was the first spent away from my family, and well, i am thankful for two things.
1. That it went by rather quick, and
2. For the people here who made it awesome!

It's hard being away from loved ones during the holidays! Familiarity. Tradition. Mom's home cooking! You know, the little things that warm your heart! When you live across the globe, it is a little hard. But, even though a few tears were shed sharing Christmas with my family over skype... "i had a lovely holiday" (said in a Brittish accent)!

Christmas Eve was spent at work where i watched the first 40 minutes of Elf five or six times. And not just any Elf-- Elf with Korean subtitles. My kids loved it. I found myself mid-evening sitting at Kimbap Heaven on my Christmas Eve dinner break enjoying a less than delicious bowl of bibimguksu (mixed vegetable/chile paste cold noodle dish). My meal was quickly redeemed by the Christmas Eve program on a TV overhead featuring Korean pop stars and their renditions of English Christmas carols. Epic i tell you. I sat there, next to a taxi driver scarfing bowls of rice, chuckling again to myself... "Where the heck am i?" Later that night some friends gathered at my place and we welcomed Christmas Day in with a cup of cider, a potato pizza, some Sacha Baron Cohen Youtube clips, and the company of some good friends!

We celebrated Christmas morning how all Christmas mornings should-- brunch. No rice here folks. Only breakfast food. Only Christmas appropriate American-ly delicious breakfast food. Pancakes. Bacon. Eggs. Potatoes and coffee. It was delightful! A wonderful meal with some wonderful friends... followed by an afternoon of napping, skyping and movies.

i love breakfast! i really love Christmas breakfasts!

My dear friend and our lovely host... thanks Becks!

There you have it... a Merry little Christmas indeed!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010



Sorry. That is not a Korean Wienerschnitzel. It is, however, a Korean dog soup restaurant.

Hot and domesticated. Awesome! : )

(Thanks to my friend Zeke!)