Saturday, January 1, 2011

hello, hello, hello! happy new year from korea!
we entered 2011 a full fourteen hours ahead of you folks in EST in the states...fifteen hours for you in CST. how strange!

i've said it a million times before, but i can NOT believe it has been almost a full year since i took my leave from all i'd ever known in the western hemisphere to move here to east asia. absolutely unbelievable. where did the time go?

this year's new year's eve celebration was very memorable. until wednesday, i had completely forgotten that new year's was coming up. since moving to korea, i have lost all sense of time. in addition, koreans don't make a huge to-do about the transition from dec. 31-jan 1...rather, they more celebrate the chinese new year that takes place in early february. in passing, a friend happened to ask what i was doing for NYE and i was stunned to realize that there were only a few days left in 2010. we started planning a small get-together for our close friends in my apartment. but, as is par for my life, everyone kept inviting friends of friends and the small get-together grew to a larger capacity than my tiny apt was constructed for. we made it work, but it was a squeeze!

we started the evening by devouring an ungodly amount of pizza. let's just say that i still had 3 full pizzas leftover by the time we all had reached food coma stage. i then proceeded to take the opportunity to auction off every item in my apartment not screwed into the walls or floor. it worked out very conveniently for me & my friends were thrilled to go home with some prizes. :) i'll be moving in about 2 weeks, so i am trying to get rid of everything that is not completely necessary for survival. after the impromptu garage sale, we decided to head to a multi-bong, which is a room where you can play video games, sing karaoke, watch movies or tv, surf the internet...pretty much do anything related to technology. they are really popular here and a great way to pass time - especially for large groups of people. we managed to get an amazing room with 3 projector screens so we could simultaneously have 2 wiis & karaoke running...amazing! (even better - by the end of the night when we had spent 3+ hours at the multi-bong, we each paid $3...i love korean pricing!!) one of my favorite parts of the evening was when we were browsing through karaoke songs & got so excited to find auld lang syne. we added it to our playlist and had a very american sing-a-long...only to realize that we'd accidentally sung the dumb song 40 minutes too early. bugh -- fail! hahaha. here is a shot of some of our group post-dinner. such a fun group -- we had a great time!
we have had nonstop snow here since christmas afternoon. it makes for a beautiful view from my 20th floor window......but a treacherous commute between home & work. the roads and sidewalks are all solid sheets of ice & are so dangerous. i've seen more than one person fall victim to the sidewalks-turned-ice-skating-rinks.

i just finished a fantastic week of winter camp at an elementary school in another part of cheonan. it wasn't my school, but i was assigned there for the week of english camp. it was one of my favorite weeks of teaching from the entire year. i had a great group of kids with a good english level & fun, sweet personalities. i really enjoyed working with them and was sad to say goodbye to them on friday. here's a shot from our rousing game of hangman: ...and a few group shots. the kids whined when i told them we had to take pictures, but were amazingly enthusiastic once i actually got them in front of the camera. can you tell the teacher from the students? ;) with the conclusion of this camp, i officially have just one week left of teaching. praise the Lord! it's been a good year, but i can't lie -- i will not miss being whitney teacher.

i think that's all for this quick update. my next blog will likely be from my family's house in seoul. i will be living with them for several weeks between vacating my apt in cheonan & moving back to america. i'm confident that there are many ridiculous stories in store...

2010 was undoubtedly one of the most interesting & formative years of my life...
i wonder what 2011 will bring?

여러분 새 해 복 많이 받으세요~~!
may you each receive many blessings in the new year!


Anonymous said...

Hi Whitney,
Being from a much-previous generation, it took me a while to figure out how to reach you through this Ha! I've read all of your entries now, including the 1 Jan, listed before this one which offered the "comment" op. I do so hope you'll be able to keep this going after you're back in the states. It's a wonderful way for old aunties, and everyone else, to take a peek at your life without disturbing you.
Thank you, precious one, for taking the time to make these entries.

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