Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the final chapter

I honestly doubted at times that I would make it to this night, and as you can see from this picture Chris most certainly doubted he would make it!!! So, I'm sitting at my computer looking out over a messy, rainy Ulsan with only 1 more day left to teach. You honestly cannot imagine the emotions that I'm feeling right now. Oddly enough, I'm really nervous. I'm not really sure why I'm nervous...can't pin point it...but I feel it.
We had the first round of goodbyes today. It was a little emotional, but I think I had prepared myself pretty well! The kids were sweet! Of course, some of them were really happy to say goodbye, and I'm not gonna lie I was very happy to finish up with some of my little trouble makers, too.
Over the weekend, we hit up the last of our favorite spots in Ulsan, and we even made it to the beach again. I laid out in the sun for the first time in over a year, but Chris got really bored. So, we didn't stay out for very long. Probably best, cause I'm sure my pasty white skin probably couldn't have taken much sun! One of my students said to me today, "Teacher, your face has a tan, but your arms and legs are so white!" They don't hold anything back. It's definitely a humbling experience to work with children because they're just so honest :)
Thank you all so much for all of your love and support over the past year! Your cards, emails, care packages, voices, faces and prayers have carried me through this journey! I love you all more than you will ever know, and I appreciate you, friends and family, more now than ever before!
I'm off to finish up some packing and cleaning. I'll try to post again before leaving, but if not, I will see you all soon. I won't have a phone. So, if you want to get in contact with me either email or call my parents house or Mom's phone...I'm sure she won't mind!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Seoul pics as promised

it's true...you really can use a visa anywhere

view from Seoul Tower

worn out and hot

rice paper paintings

I love this picture!!! They start 'em young with the cameras :)

yummy Greek food...lamb skewers

doctor fish...they eat the dead skin

Gyeongbokgung Palace

I jumped in on this man's picture...he does not look happy about it :)

North Seoul Tower

Chris loved this elephant...I tried to get him to ride it :)

sumo wrestling....so funny :)

digital price tags...now that's efficient

embracing the moment in time

This weekend I officially started counting down the days. 10 more days are all that are yet to be experienced in Korea, and the feeling is surreal. I can't help but become a bit reflective as the days dwindle. The emotions that I'm experiencing are somewhat overwhelming. Change is always inevitable in life, but for some reason I feel that I'm at a major crossroads, which is so terrifying. The idea of coming home feels kind of like that wife swap show, you know where the mom and wife changes cities, families and jobs. Then she goes about the daily routines of some person she doesn't even know. I'm crazy excited to get back to the life I packed up and left at this time last year, but I'm also really nervous and a little sad to leave my kiddos and co-workers whom I've grown to know and love. I have truly enjoyed being in the classroom with students this year, and I think this whole experienced has helped me to realize that I AM a real adult. As a 20 somethin year old woman who isn't married but IS far from a child, you sometimes wonder where exactly you fit. So many of my friends have gotten married in the past couple of years, and some have even had children of their own! I couldn't be happier for friends when I see them find happiness, but to be completely honest... it's a little scary because I know this means I'm getting older! I think this year has shown me that I don't have to always have to fit into that perfect woman mold. I don't have to rush through life or push forward any faster than I'm comfortable with in order to embrace this life that God has given me! I'm so thankful for the peace of mind that this experience has given me with myself and my own place at this point in time. I can only pray that as I come home and life changes that the peace I have right now will always be with me!
I'll try to keep you all updated over the next week or so as we say all of our goodbyes to Korea.

PS-- pics are from the weekend...we took our last weekend trip to Haeundae beach in Busan

Monday, July 13, 2009

Good for the SEOUL

This weekend we took a much needed trip to Seoul. The city is quite impressive, and we greatly appreciated the cultural diversity that we experienced while there. We met quite a few people from many different areas of the world on our short visit. We also indulged in a variety of different ethnic foods! We had Greek, Arabian, Italian and of course some good old ole Western cuisine ^^so tasty^^ We're trying to quickly pack on some pounds in the final weeks of our stay in Korea, while hitting up all of our favorite restaurants. We made our way around Seoul and saw a majority of the famous sights in a matter of 48 hrs. and were completely exhausted as a result. We only messed up on the subway once, which ended with the lights going off and the very nice subway operator returning us to the station that we were suppose to exit at...oppps! You all are probably not familiar with all of the Seoul hot spots, as I was not before living in Korea, but we visited the Namdaemun Market, Insadong, Itaewon, Gyeongbokgung Palace, 63 building (to see views of the city lights by night) and Seoul Tower (for the views during the day). It was truly a rushed trip, but we beat the rain and got in all of our "must sees" in before the monsoon came! On Sunday, it rained and the wind blew like crazy. I did not pack appropriately, and unfortunately I only had a little sun dress to wear that ended up blowing around and showing my booty to a group of foreign guys^^way embarrassing^^ I'm sure everyone around me found it very entertaining that I was a weird dance in order to try and keep my dress down and my umbrella over my head, but it was quite stressful for me! We ended up eating a nice lunch, and then doing a little souvenir shopping before we headed back to Ulsan. We slept the better part of the bus ride back because we were worn out!!! More pics to coming soon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Daydreaming on Independence Day

I know, I know...I'm getting really bad about updating on here^^ really sorry^^ It's just that anxious feelings are starting to kick in about coming home, and it's been hard to sit down and put my thoughts into words. I feel like I'm constantly thinking or day dreaming about what it's going to be like to sleep in my own bed or just sit in the living room and talk to my family. Everything sounds so exciting and overwhelming. However, I know that you all are very curious what we've been doing lately! Let me back up and say that the weather has shifted in Korea. It is now summer, and summer in Korea is typically wet. When we arrived last year it rained every day and was really hot and humid, but thankfully, it has yet to get hot and humid like I remember.However, the rain has started, and it's actually kind of nice to hear thunder and see lightening. I didn't realize how much I missed storms! Not only has the weather shifted, but our schedules at school have also changed for the last time. Our semester came to an end last week, and there was a little program where the kids sang songs that they had learned over the course of the semester. It reminds me of how sweet they are when they get up there being so cute while they singing their little songs. Some days they frustrate me so much, and then other days the thought of never seeing their sweet little faces again just breaks my heart. Which reminds me, a couple of weeks ago we got a surprise package of goodies from Chris's mom, Sheila. It had a lot of snacks and things from home that we miss, and the students have loved it too because we've been sharing candy with them. Thanks Sheila!!! Everyone has enjoyed the treats, and they are holding us over until we get home. There is a lot that has happened since my last post that I don't really have time to write about. So, I'm just gonna share some pictures, and you can use your imagination to fill in some of the blanks from the events!

belly dancing

decided to try a back walk over for the 1st time in about 6 years...on the rocks

NO...I didn't fall!!! BUT a mosquito did attack me in my sleep leaving me with an alien like growth on my head that scared all my students :)
Little Jade hits Chris up for nerds everyday!!!

my Get On 2 class sings "Oh, my soup!!!" classic made up song :)

this picture just screams Korean beach :)

love tattoos from my Get On 5 girls

Well, I'm off to bed now. I hope all of you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend!!! Chris and I celebrated by sharing some patriotic songs with Korean friends in the karaoke room and watching that Transformer movie...the karaoke was amazing like always, but the movie was way too long!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

ummm...I'm Lovin' It

This weekend was pretty low key. It was nice because I was able to be really productive! Saturday, we went to the open market. I always enjoy Saturday market days because I'm able to buy a lot more. Thankfully, summer yields more variety in food. I bought fresh corn, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, watermelon and rice (of course) along with many other weekly staples. I have the corn and beans cooking right now! It reminds me of the smell of Kentucky summers :) If you walked into my kitchen right now, you would most certainly be able to tell that I'm a southern girl, one might even think that I was a farmer. I think I want to have a garden down the road of life! My Mamaw has always had a garden, and Mom has told me a number of times that I'm a lot like my Mamaw (probably the best compliment anyone has ever given me...Mamaw is the most amazing woman EVER). It just seems like knowing I grew my veggies from the ground up would make a meal seem very rewarding. Not only am I excited about the thought of having a garden someday, but I also spent the bulk of my weekend cleaning... exciting ehh??
The cleaning process started after returning from the market. I spent a couple of hours working on it, and then I took a break and went out to eat. We broke down and had McDonald's Mc Flurries for dessert! We've resisted McD's for the entire time we've been here because it just seems to be such a stereotypical American thing to want Mc Donald's. Every time we pass one there are a number of foreigners, and it just seems to scream, "American people are fat!" Yes, we became those fat Americans this weekend, and Chris really showed his US pride as he ate two Mc Flurries! He did however go for the green tea Mc Flurry. Green tea is the probably one of the most popular flavors in Korea. They have green tea everything! It's a little odd to me, but Chris loves it.
After our little break in the work day, we came back and finished up my cleaning day by mopping. Chris helped me with this task because it's awful and takes forever. I pretty much have to turn my apartment into a bubble factory for an hour and a half and then go back and try to get rid of all the suds...fun times! I didn't finish cleaning everything until 1 this morning. I had planned to go hiking with some friends, but when I got a text at 8:30 this morning I just couldn't budge. Well, I'm off to finish cooking. Hope you all had a great weekend!