Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bye bye Korea!!!

Tomorrow will be my last day in Korea and I am tearing up as I am writing this post!
For a year, this beautiful country with it's amazing people  and friends made, was what I called home and home it truelly was!!
Exactly a year ago, I quit my job and said goodbye to all the awesome people I worked with, packed my bags, kissed my family, friends and boyfriend goodbye and boarded the plane for my first adventure in the East. Why?
To embrace a year which I will now forever remember as my year of crazy, surreal, sometimes down right scary  "firsts"

I stepped of the Korean airport into a winter wonderland.....yes, I saw snow for the very first time and even had a mini snowball fight....

....I made amazing friends, learned how to do magic tricks, went on a winter camp, discovered the joys of Korean shopping, tried Baskin Robins for the first time as well as Starbucks..... and started my coffee love afair that would severely damage my bank account.

I finally arrived in the city that I'd call home for the next 11 months, I moved into my teeny little apartement and I met the kiddos (that would crawl deep into my heart) for the very fist time.

A dream came true when I got to see the cherry blossoms in korea - it was wonderful....

 I also watched my first baseball game ....ever and did loads of sight seeing!!!

May was higlighted by my cousins visit which included lots of laughter, sight seeing and pasteries.
There was also a visit to Seoul and I got to see one of my favorite sculptures, Rodin's work, "live"" for the very first time.....

...I also went to the lotus lantern festival and spend an evening under the stars and the most beautiful lanterns you could ever imagine.

Not only did I celebrate my first (very pink) birthday away from home (and got spoiled rotten by my co-teacher and friend, David) ...

 .....but a celebration was also held to mark  the opening of the FIFA Soccer World Cup which was hosted at home, in South Africa. Words can not describe how sacret and special it was to sing our national athem with fellow South-African friends in a country so far away and different from my own. Under the Korean moon we celebrated with a heart swollen with pride for how far my country has come!

Living in a temple for an entire weekend, tea with a buddhist monk and hikes up a bamboo forest was all "firsts" that beautified July. A newfound respect for a religion that's not my own but from which I could  learn a lot.

After falling in love with the second largest metropolitan city of the world, I just had to go back to Seoul and was'nt dissapointed....especially  after a history lesson and trip to North Korea (well, the DMZ) ...

...oh, and then there was the super fun "mud festival" where I overcame my fear for "dirty water"....for a little while!

China!!!!! I got another stamp in my passport and spend an entire week in Beijjing! It was breathtaking.
Oh, and I got to see my first of the "7 wonders of the world".

Halloween was also a first as we don't celebrate it in South-Africa....but it was sooo much fun and together with the kiddos we figured it out!

Pepero day
We celebrated "love" with chocolate sticks and lots of giggles.....
November also marked my first Thanksgiving and I decided that this is a tradition I would make my own when I go back home.

A magical tea ceremony festival......

...and a Christmas away from home but joyously spend with my closest friends.

January 2011
wined (tea'd) and dined by my new adopted korean family, seeing the inside of a 350 year old traditional korean home, winter camp, a fairwell party, Vietnam and Hong Kong (of which Ill tell you all about soon) but for now I have to finish my packing and get on that plane!!!!

It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye but hopefully I will be back soon, my lovely Korea!
For now, I am content to be clay in God's hands - happy to be shaped and used in witch ever way He see fit!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Very, very bad blogger and Vietnam....

I've been such a bad blogger the last couple of days - so sorry guys - but my life is a bit crazy right now (I am typing this post on Hong Kong airport, just to give you some insight as to how crazy it really is) and with only another 4 days left in Korea before heading back home, and way to much to do and pack before then, I hardly get time to sit down and write.

I am also taking a trip to Vietnam and I expect that I will be even worse at blogging this coming week as I am backpacking...solo. Eeeeeekkk!
I've always wanted to do a solo trip through Asia but gosh, I have to admit that it's a bit scary, especially if you keep in mind that I am going where the road leads me with not much of an idea what Ill do and where I will be. The fact that I left my lonely planet on my bedside table does'nt exactly help much either.
Wish me luck!

I promise to tell you all about it next week. For now, I plan to....

...count the bicycles...

....buy some fruit....

...and other interesting goodies from the street vendors....

....oh, and definetely some flowers......

....marvel at the people.....

...indulge in some pho.....

....visit beautiful Halong Bay......

... and well... the rest I leave up to fate!

Have a lovely week my blogger friends!!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today I am thankful for.............

Oh my gosh, I feel like I am about to burst with joy!!!!
How much I have to be thankful for!!!
Even though this is a bit of a  sad time (I only have another 6 days left in beautiful Korea), I am showered with blessings and love and  constantly reminded just how good God really is!!!

David, my co-teacher, right hand, hand bag carrier, shopping partner, confidant and much loved friend invited me to dinner with his family yesterday and I was astounded by the love and acceptance I've felt upon entering his home. His parents received me with open arms and although there was a language barrier, this didn't matter at all because sometimes you don't need words to communicate.
What touched my heart most, was how thoughtful and incredibly generous the Woo family is.
His mother cooked us the loveliest dinner, with all my favorite Korean disses - she even made some Miso soup specially because she knew how much I loved it.
I could hardly contain myself when after dinner, the brought out a giftwrapped package - a complete Korean tea ceremony set!
Words can't express how this incredibly sweet gesture touched my heart and a mere "thank you" is way to undescriptive for what I am feeling!

Last week my Tea master invited me for lunch with his family and in his 350 year old home, we laughed, dined and drank lost and lost of tea. Once again I felt right at home and very, very loved.
Today was our last tea class and afterwards he handed me a certificate as well as a lovely tea leaf shaped badge - not only an I now a qualified "tea server" but also his "daughter" :-)

Every Wednesday these two pretty, pretty girls and I meet for what we call "Tea for Three".
Together we talk about life, love and we laugh alot.
One of the saddest things for me about leaving Korea is the fact that I would have to say goodbye to them.
Tonight we "pinky promised" that Tea for Three will continue......via Skype.
So every Wednesday, despite the 15 000 km apart and the 7 hour time difference, we will have our weekly  tea dates.....and I can't tell you how happy this makes me!

Oooh, and then I was also lucky enough to win the prettiest of calendars from this blog
here and here!
Thank you so much Ashley and Danielle!
You just made my perfect day even more perfect!!

I've noticed a few new followers - welcome guys!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011


This past weekend I went to Seoul (which is the capital of South-Korea) and right at the very top of the 62 storey Seoul tower, I came across this lovely print

Can you guess who the artist is?


I have always been a fan of Mr.Picasso's work, but this print .....hmmmm.....might have just made me his BIGGEST fan!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Counting the days

In exactly three weeks, I will be boarding the plane for South-Africa.

 It will be heartbreaking to leave my beloved Korea behind but after a year apart, I can hardly contain my excitement when I think about the fact that my lovely Chris will be waiting for me, among the crowds to collect me and take me back home......

....which is where the heart is.....

....and my heart is with him!

As you can imagine, I am counting the days, crossing them from the teeny tiny calender in my diary!

This lovely calender,  by graphic designer and jeweller, Ashley  from this lovely blog would definitely help in this joyous task though!

If you would like to own or win one these cuties, go on and enter the giveaway here  and here!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dear darling diary....

One of my favorite things about the new year arriving, is the joyous act of purchasing a new diary.
I've been keeping a diary since fourteen and being hugely sentimental, I save everything in it - from movie tickets, cute candy wrappers and adorable notes to business cards and recipes. The result is a bulging book filled with way to much personal information but I don't mind - without my beloved diary, I would be completely lost.

I always feel kind of sad and disloyal when I have to stack my .....

....trusty-but-now-outdated diary .....

...on top shelf of my closet, along with all the other used diaries of years before .
                                 (yes, I keep them all and they are super fun to look at)

But soon the search for the perfect new diary pays off ...
...and in 2011, this pretty brown and pink darling stole my heart.

The part I love the most about owning a new diary though, must be that I get to start all over again.
How wonderful it is to have a  blank new year ahead with so much opportunity to ...

...cross off the days that leads up to important events
(like me going back home in three weeks time :-).....
...celebrate the birthdays of all the people you love .....

...scedule dates and fun things to do.....

...like my upcoming trip to Vietnam (yay!!)

..oh, and don't forget the resolutions!!!!