On August 20th, in the year 2009, one hundred expats were thrown together for an intensive ten-day training on what to expect from life as you lived and taught in South Korea. We were told (by many speakers) that it was either going to be like a living nightmare, or as if you were lying on a bed of roses… this didn’t freak anyone out, obviously… We had three sessions a day of different workshops , and survival Korean lessons at night. We were bunking with strangers, taken to a popular Korean show, discovering noraebang (singing all night in a room with a disco ball? SICK), thrown in a bus on a three-hour drive to a Korean folk village, and ate rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I mean, I had to learn how to use metal chopsticks, metal… or I couldn’t eat my food (okay, okay… they provided forks, but I was in Asia! I had to use chopsticks…)
What I couldn’t possibly have known at the beginning of those initial ten days, was that when it was over… I would have made amazing friends (as cheesy as this will sound I have to write it) for life.
My Seoul Family was born at that orientation. Six friends, so different from each other that you would have never, in a million years, handpicked us to form a family, have lived so much life together over the past two and a half years… it is truly special. Along the way we have added additional family members, and said several goodbyes. Out of the core six, one left after the first year, and has already been back to visit us.
the original six:
But now, it is the end of an era. This past Sunday evening was the last time (I wrote this forever ago, so it was actually two Sunday evenings ago…), for a long time, that five of the original seoul family, got together.
Kathleen, the mother hen of the group, is moving to Australia. What a lucky country. I am going to miss you boo. Can’t wait until Paul, Sam, Tami, Eric, and I come to visit you and Steve!
Until we meet again.