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!
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.
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!