Thursday, September 3, 2009

it was undeniably clear to me, i don't know why

Well, things have started to wind down here. I will be leaving Korea in less than two months. On one hand I am SO excited to get home and see the people that I have missed so unbelievably. On the other hand, I have loved my time here. Coming here was the bravest thing I have ever done and it taught me a lot about myself. I know that there is a huge world out there and I want to experience as much as possible. I will always remember and love Korea.
Being in Korea also really showed me how lucky I am. I have felt nothing but love from the people I left behind. I have always known that I have an amazing family; but being here really demonstrated that! Not to mention being lucky enough to have the friends that I do! But I have also made great friends here. People I hope to be in touch with for the rest of my life! As excited as I am to come home, I will truly miss living here. But I still have about 8 weeks and I plan to pack them full of fun! Still on the list: visit Busan and go to the DMZ. I'm full of conflicting emotions, and it will only get worse as my time here draws shorter. I'm afraid to go home and not be able to find a job. But I can take comfort knowing that I survived a year in another country and I could do it again! As The Beatles said "Everything gonna be alright" Have a good night! I am :) All my loving, I send to you!

Monday, August 17, 2009

hey, kids, shake it loose together

Me, Lynise, Jun, Jen, Brad and Katie at Suwon Fortress

Me making my wish at Namsan Seoul Tower

Waterfall in Jeju Island

Beach in Jeju Island

The group of us after the baseball on the 4th

Our tiny little beach hut at Muiido

Laura and Me in a mud pit at Mudfest

During the rafting trip

After hiking the mountain in Suwon

Snorkeling in the Philippines

i grow my own, my own seed shall be sewn

Well, I obviously have no future being a blogger. I am terrible at keeping this up! I haven't posted since the Philippines! And so much has happened since then. Around June, things got super busy for me. My friends and I went into summer mode. Even though we still had to work all summer we made plans every weekend. 

The last weekend in June Katie, Laura F., Elizabeth, Heather H., Laura L., and I went to Muiido. Muiido is a very small island right off the coast in Incheon (where the airport is). We stayed in the smallest little boxes called beach huts. We had a blast though! Sun tanning in the day and hanging out at bonfires at night. Plus, the ocean! It was a nice little girl's trip. 

The next weekend was July 4th. I went to Suji that Friday so I could spend Independence day with my American girls! We woke that morning and went to this restaurant called Butterfingers. It was so expensive, but they served American breakfast and it was delicious! After that we met up with Nate, Matt and Woody and went to a baseball game. Our team lost, but we all had a great time! The next morning Katie, Laura, Elizabeth and I went on a rafting trip with Adventure Korea. It was fun, but the rapids were kind of a let down. 

The next weekend was MUDFEST!!! I had been waiting for this trip! I didn't know too much about Korea when I came, but I knew I wanted to go to Mudfest. Mudfest takes place in Boryeong, Korea. It's right on the beach too. Basically you just cover yourself with mud! It's supposed to be good for you skin. We had a big group on us go (Katie, Jen, Lachlan, Bobby, Morgan, both Laura's, Jordana, Heather, Beth and me) We shared a room with 40 other people! That was insane, but we didn't spend much time in the room. We spent all day at the beach playing in mud.... mud pits, mud slides, mud baths... then you could go wash off in the ocean and do it all over again! It was soooooo much fun! One of my favorite things I have done in Korea. 

The next weekend was my birthday weekend! I have amazing friends here in Seoul and they made it a wonderful night!  My friend Jason, who I met at Johnny Rockets, was visiting during this week, so it was even better! On my actual birthday Jen met up with Brad, Jason and me at Hooters! We had some good good followed by some great noraebang!  

The next weekend, though, was my worst in Seoul. I found out that My Uncle Tony had passed away. I turned out to be impossible for me to go home, and it was hard. And it still is. I won't talk to much about it, because everyone reading this knows how much I love my family and my life won't be the same without Tony. I LOVE YOU TONY.

The next weekend was summer vacation and I went to Jeju island with Katie, Jen and Laura. It was a welcome vacation. BEACH!!! We laid out, went swimming, gambled, drank beer, saw waterfalls... it was amazing. Plus, the love museum was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen. We met with out friends Bryan, Lachlan, Nate and Woody while we were there and we had an amazing time. And when I got back into Seoul, MY SISTER WAS WAITING FOR ME! After being family deprived for close to 11 months it was so good to see her! We had a great time sightseeing and catching up. 

Now, life is back to normal just in time for fall. I have officially started my countdown to come home! 11 weeks now and counting! I have LOVED living in Seoul and I still have a few things I need to do, but I am definitely ready to COME HOME! It won't be long! I need my family and friends! I have missed you all, more than you could ever know! But being able to talk to you and knowing that I have your support has kept me going! This has been an adventure of a year. Unforgettable. And it's not quite over! But, we shall be reunited soon! I love you! And all my loving, I send to you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We're too good for stupid angels

Hi! Sorry I have been so bad at updating! I have actually been pretty busy, but I have lots of pictures to post! I think the most obvious thing to talk about is my trip to The Philippines! IT WAS AMAZING! I was really excited to go, but honestly, I had never even considered going before. But I am so glad that I did. It was absolutely beautiful. I have been anywhere tropical before, so I might be spoiled now! I don't know if Key West could ever compare to Boracay Island. We left Seoul at 1:30 p.m. on Friday May 1. After a stop over in Hong Kong we made it to Manila around 10:30. That night we just hung out and had a few beers at the hostel before we went to sleep. We woke up at 6 a.m. for our flight to Boracay. This was the smallest plane I have ever been on and it really freaked me out! But we madeit safely and were pumped! From the airport (in Caticlan) we had to take a ferry to Boracay. Then, when we made it to Boracay we had to take a trike (the craziest cab!) to the hostel. The hostel owner was z cool. He was from Australia and married to a Philippine woman. We hung out there for a bit and then hit the beach; which was absurdly beautiful! It is called white beach, which is a pretty fitting name. We had a really fun day just playing in the water and laying on the beach. Just to clarify, when I saw we I mean Jen, Katie, and me. Most of you met Jen and Katie at my early Thanksgiving/going away party. So the next day we got a new roommate in the hostel, a girl from England named Tam. We had met a guy from the Philippines at the hostel the night before named Jonas who told us about renting out boats and we decided to do that. We got a group of people (Katie, Jen, Tam, Jonas, A Korean girl, and a guy from South Africa whose names I forget) and we rented a boat. The boat took us around to other islands and took us to a small reef where we went snorkeling. I had never gone before and it was so much fun! It was scary at first, but we all had a blast. Then the boat took us to a huge cliff with these caves and let us swim. It was unbelievable! We really enjoyed it! That night (sunday) We just hung out on the beach and went dancing. It was fun. The next day we explored around the island. We went laid on the beach for awhile, then Jonas took us to Puka Beach. We loved that! Jen really wanted to collect shells and she got to there. Jen, Tam and me played with some really cute Phillippino kids there. Monday morning we said good-bye to Boracay and flew back to Manilla. In Manilla we went to Intramuros. It is a kept up part of old Manilla. It was really pretty, and it would take more than a day to explore it all. Unfortunately we had to fly out that night. Manilla was interesting because it a big city but at the same time it is kind of how you picture a third world country. Garbage EVERYWHERE and lots of people begging. It was truly an experience. That night we spent at the Manilla and Hong Kong airports. We got back in to Seoul at around 4:50 a.m. Wednesday Morning. And we all had to be at work at 10:00 a.m. Needless to say, we were exhausted, but it was well worth it. I have other things to write about, but I am going to leave this as a post just about the Philippines and try and get the rest posted before Sunday. Miss you all!! Love, love, love!

The group of us at dinner one night. Me, Mike, Jonas, Katie, Jen, Tam.
Some houses in Boracay.
At Intramuros in Manilla.

Me in the dungeon in Intramuros

We saw this on the boat ride

White Beach

The caves where we went swimming

Katie, Jen and me on our boat we rented

We went out on this island. It was really cool. 

When we arrived in Caticlan on our little plane

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

voices that did comfort me are furthest from my sanity

Last weekend Heather and I went to the 63 builiding on Yeioudo Island here in Seoul. It was a lot of fun! It is the tallest building in Korea. We went up to the top and got an amazing view of Seoul and the Han River. We also went to the basement of the 63 building which has a Sea World aquarium. That was fun. They had this crazy mermaid show, with an evil queen, a princess and a mermaid (or a girl snorkeling in a tank) It was pretty funny. There was one scary moment in the aquarium, though. Heather and I walked into one of the rooms and there was a little girl with a snake around her neck getting her picture taken. I FREAKED out. I was so freakin close to that thing. I just ran our of the room. It was pretty to funny... to Heather! 

We also took a paddle boat shaped like a duck out onto the Han River! That was really fun! The cherry blossoms are blooming and they are beautiful! We had a really nice Saturday! This weekend is Chinchu and Jen's birthday celebration, so that should be a lot of fun. Well, here are some pictures from the weekend!

The ducks that we paddled on the Han river

One of my classes came to visit me in the hospital

The huge 63 building!

Melissa, Scarlet and Me at dinner

Jen and Me after the game! Doosan won! 
Me and Heather watching the game

Me and the Cherry Blossoms

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

don't be confused, the way is clear

Hi everyone!

Just to let you know, I am doing 100% better! My energy is back and I feel really good! I'm still just a little slow going up and down stairs. 

So, Heather only has 2 weeks left in Korea. I am really sad that she will be gone... but I am super excited that my friend Brad will be her replacement! I met Brad during my sophomore year of college and we have been really good friends ever since. He will love Korea and I am very excited to see him again! 

I am also really excited that I have a vacation coming up! Katie, Jen and I are leaving on May 1 to the Philippines!  We are flying into Manilla and spending the night there and the next day we will head to Boracay Island for a few days! I am really looking forward to some beach time! The worst part is that we get back into Seoul at 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning and we all have to work at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday won't be the easiest day, but well worth it I imagine!

We went to a baseball game last Saturday and that was a lot of fun! There were 11 of us who went and it was so cool. The game was good and our team (the Doosan Bears) won 7-5. We were a little sad by the food selection, though. Instead of hotdogs and nachos we had a selection of kimbap, dried squid or fish soup. Gross! We know next time to bring some goodies with us!

Well, I will have a lot to write about in the upcoming weeks because we will be so busy! I hope everyone has a great Easter! I will miss being there and seeing the babies looking for eggs. Oh, and Easter dinner of course! I love you all! 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

i can't stop my mind from wondering where it will go

Hi everyone!

I am doing so much better! Thank you so much for all of your concern! Today has been a great day so far! I finally got to wash my hair and take a shower. Well, kind of. I can't get my incisions wet, but I cleaned my legs and arms. I really do feel 1,000 times better! I just wanted to post a little something to let everyone know I am doing fine!  Actually, the nurse just came in and I found out I get to go to my home tomorrow!!! YAY!! I'm going to call my mom now!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

her majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she changes from day to day


It is Tuesday night here and I am sick :(  Melissa said she would go with me to the pharmacy tomorrow. It's nothing serious, just an obnoxious cold. So I should be all better by the end of the week! Things are going good here. We got a new schedule at work (again) but this time it is pretty rad! Since one of our three kindergarten classes is now attending elementary school, we were unsure about how the morning schedule would work. Originally, after Heather's class left, My star class would have moved to her and I would have gotten a new kindergarten. But since we only had one new student, we just put all the kinders together. So every Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday I teach them and Heather doesn't have to be at work until 2:00 p.m. So Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other Friday I don't have to be at work until 1:25 p.m. I teach an extra grammar/writing class in the afternoons from 1:25-1:55. I'm sure this won't last long, but it rocks while it lasts!

Last weekend I hung out with Katie, Jen, Jordana and Laura in Hongdae. Hongdae is a university area of Seoul and we had a lot of fun! Saturday night Heather and I met up with Chinchu for dinner. Sunday was a pretty lazy day. I finished my student evaluations and watched movies. We did go to a place called "The All-American Diner" for breakfast. It was pretty good. Nothing like back home though! We may go to Suji this weekend... not 100% sure yet. 

Tonight we went to the hospital with our co-workers because Cinderella's brother died last night. He had stomach cancer. Going to the hospital is their version of going to the viewing. We walk in and they have a kind of shrine made in this special room. There is a big photograph of him and underneath it are a bunch of flowers and a table with candles and incense.  His family were wearing black hanbok surrounding the shrine. Everyone there to pay respects would remove their shoes and step up to the alter. They would light the candle/incense (not really sure) And bow deeply two times. Then they would face the male members of the family and bow. It was interesting to see, but I feel so sad for Cinderella. Afterward she led us to this room where we all ate. 

My kid's graduation ceremony was last Friday and they did such a great job! I was honestly scared about their performance. Especially the play they put on! I even dreamt about it twice Thursday night! But they were amazing! I was so proud! I took lots of videos, and I will post them on my youtube channel (blackbirdlane) soon! First they sang "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. Then they introduced each other. Melissa had paired them up and had them introduce each other. Harry didn't come to school in January so he was absent for that. So he had no one to introduce and no one to introduce him. So Melissa had him introduce me... but it was a surprise! I was taking videos with my camera and Harry walked up. Then Dylan said, "Teacher! Come up here!!" I said, "What??" And Melissa said, "Yes, Anna Teacher, Harry will introduce you." It was so sweet! I was very surprised and touched to be included! They are amazing kids, I will miss my kinders so much. Then they did reading and sang "Octopus' Garden" by the Beatles. I taught them that! It was very cute and they did a great job! Then they did the musical Huengboo and Nolboo which a traditional Korean story. 

Okay, this is getting pretty long winded and I am getting sleepy! Miss you guys so much! All of my love to you!
The kids dancing! Aren't their Hanbok beautiful??

This is Ben. He is in elementary school now.

This is my Steve!

This is Sara! She is so pretty!

This is me with my whole class! I love them!

This is me with Olivia and Ben. Do you like my Hanbok?

My beautiful girls Sara and Abi!

Three of my cute little boys Dylan, Ben and Harry!

This is Me with Shawna and Clara on Shawna's last day! I asked Shawna would she miss school and she said only me and Clara!

This is Katie, Jordana, Me, Jen and Laura in Hongdae!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

we'll search for tomorrow on every shore

and I'll try, oh Lord how I'll try, to carry on...

a tribute to *a few* of the things I am missing right now...

This pretty girl

This guy
This guy... who doesn't even have hair anymore!
Of course this guy!
These beautiful ladies
daniel z, naturally
fun nights at alley cat
fun nights at the yellow house

the cutest boys and girl that have ever lived!
drum circles!
even johnny rockets!

And of course my family, but I seem to be lacking your pictures on my new computer! Sorry! 

I miss you all!! Love, love, love!!!