Rest assured that we’re feeling like more of a family than ever before and the decision to come to Seoul has been greatly appreciated by all. The city has lively feel to it, even when the temperatures are dropping to the single digits… eek! Good thing some of us get to stop in Hawaii on the way back before returning to our home tundra. We have discovered street pancakes, grilled from dough and stuffed with cinnamon and seeds of sorts in front of us. Most of us have ventured the metro system, discovering new sections of Seoul named Incheon, Hognvik, and Ogeum. We are adjusting to dorm life again, in the SK Global House and enjoying a sometimes twice daily dose of the CARIBOU COFFEE located in our building on the way to class.
Life here has been really nice, but we are all mentally preparing for the approaching journey home. We have experienced our last airport together. We have finished our last overnight excursion of the trip. Soon we will have to say goodbye to long bus rides. Thoughts swirl in our heads about how much we have changed, anticipation of new perceptions and how great it will be to hug our cherished families and friends. How fast these months have flown, yet how good it will be to come home. :]
Here are some random updates based on my own observations over the last week or so:
Claire has knitted a forest green hat which her mom sent her for christmas. She later converted that hat to a headband. She decorated a mosaic mask at the mask museum, though she didn’t love it, I did!
Charlotte has discovered a used book store in Itaewon and is recently rocking her new chunky scarf purchased in the subway station in Seoul.
LaVana continues to impress me with her cute and creative hair styles, she enjoyed sledding instead of skiing this weekend and always makes us laugh with her wit.
Chase utilized layers and his rain gear as a snow suit this past weekend. He wizzed down the slopes also sporting his tie dyed bandana bandit syle on his face.
Luke continues to follow yahoo sports and raves about the basketball game he has recently discovered in a nearby arcade. Also, he’s pretty good at winning card games.
Erik will eat anything, at least once. He eagerly seeks new opportunities, especially with locals and has enjoyed some fun time spent with two local girls that he, Catherine and Dave met while at the cat cafe.
Eric is growing a nice beard on his face, but he says he will shave it for Hawaii. Recently, he added a nice chocolate mosaic to one of his white t-shirts, which occurred during a run-in with Sara’s hot cocoa cup.
Sean impressed us with his snowboard AND ski skills this weekend. He also won a ski race against our guide, Kaitlyn.
Catherine recently named a classical music piece by heart that was playing in a parking lot (Koreans like having soundtracks to every aspect of life).
Caty ate dippin’ dots and giggled while watching silly sledding incidents at the ski slopes. Her bear, Bea is endeared by us all.
Dave introduced me to frozen snickers today. His Minnesotan accent is permanent and creates smiles wherever he talks.
Danny’s hair is getting tall. He and Christina tote their football player sized insulated Kazhumi jackets purchased on the streets of Hong Kong. Tonight he is going to a 4-D movie.
Lauren was saved from a runaway skiier by Royal. She has started a knitting project with yarn from a Myeongdong market.
Ingrid has nicely painted blue nails with flowers which match Skye’s. She honed in on her art skills during mask decorating at the mask museum during the last excursion.
Erin totes a Caribou coffee mug which she manages to keep unstained from her red lipstick. She famously scopes out the city life of Seoul, discovering concerts from awesome bands.
Jonathan surprised us with his singing voice at karaoke last week. The guy can sing (he can also dance)! Laughs are guaranteed while conversing with him. Especially if it involves cat woman’s fate.
Royal dared the icy moguls at the ski resort. He slightly resembles a soviet in his fur hat and peacoat.
Annemarie is slowly but surely (with Nura) turning us all into fanatics of the Tudors. She somehow manages to balance our classes with fun AND steady internship applications.
Quyen wears FUZZY white ear muffs to fight the bitter cold. She is a hoot when it comes to standing up from falling on her skis.
Clare recently entertained a friend from her year in New York who is teaching english in Seoul. She and I discovered a DELICIOUS Japanese curry restaurant named CoCo Curry.
Sara is always down for ‘splorin the nearby area. Her long white scarf is contraband near Eric’s new peacoat because it sheds. Do not try to doughnut her.
Marta’s eyes glow with beauty in the winter light, especially when her scarf is wrapped around her neck. She showed off her Taekwondo skills last week, winning one of 4 gold metals.
Maiv Yias learned to ski this weekend! A group of us watched and cheered as she made her way down the hill in her cute yellow snow suit.
Nura has had the chance to use her polysci skills in class lately. I am always impressed with the questions she asks (she understands it all better than I think I ever will!) Her hair is growing long and luxurious and she nicely pulls off elegant black nails.
Julia got to enjoy snowboarding this last weekend. She is a travelling companion to Skye, often playing games with her on long bus rides.
Christina is relied on for navigational instincts, the girl knows her way around cities! We recently discovered the wealth of free beauty products that Seoul street shops offer patrons, purfect!
Morgan took some stellar photos of a Confucian school. She also pioneered the ski slopes for the first time in her adult life AND graduated out of the bunny hill on the first day.
Skye explores the city with Michelle between home school lessons. They recently enjoyed the cat cafe. She also passed a math class with flying colors. I have been impressed with her adaptability and often wonder if I would have survived 5 months away from home at her age. It was really fun watching her ski this weekend, she is a ski racer and I’m sure misses that part of home.
Michelle home schools Skye, recently working toward a history day project focused on Korean conflict. She has been a valued blessing on our journey. Her humerus comments and intellect are much appreciated. We will have a girls night over dinner with her later this week.
Bill impressed us in his element on the slopes. His lectures offer perspective directly relevant to our experiences. We are all beginning to realize and cherish the life long friend we have made in him. We feel VERY lucky to have the Sonnegas as our leaders.
and me, Lindsey, I dared the icy terrain with non traction fake ugg boots and met my maker, falling 4 times (no injury, though!). I’m continuing to explore Seoul and loving the street food. I am constantly reflecting on how lucky we are to have the group that we do. And it amazes me that I am still making observations and gaining insight into a variety of lives.
This week we will travel to the DMZ. After our various lectures, including our most recent, WONDERFUL speaker, Chung-in Moon, we have realized that perception shapes fear. I’m sure each of us will have a provocative discussion with you about what we have learned especially in terms of North Korea. None of us are any longer worried about the venture. We will also attend a traditional dance by NANTA. Our last weekend will undoubtedly include a trip to the karaoke bar and one last drink of Soju. And then, then we will pack up and say goodbye one of our efficacious lifestyles, and hello to another.
I feel that I should thank each and every one of the parents, families and friends who have helped to shape every person in our group. We have the perfect mix of personalities and backgrounds and such would not be so without your love and support.
Trust that we are and will continue to take care of each other.
Be well out there, and see you SOON!