Sunday, July 27, 2008


So lately it seems like there has been a lot of talk about death, by both family members and friends, this past year. I'm really not scared of death because I am secure in my relationship with Christ, and when you start to fear things you stop living, and you stop trying new things. So my point of view is the fact that eventually everyones number is going to be called up and I just need to live my life the best that I can and show love to everyone I meet (even those I would consider unloveable.) Am I perfect? No, I am not. There are times when I fail at this miserably but the only thing that you can do is keep trying and to pray for strength.

But I have created a list-- I call it my Lifes To Do List. (I know I'm kind of obsessive about lists... but for me they work.) My list is divided into five different sections Personal, Educational/Professional, Cultural, Travel and Misc. I thought I would share parts of my list with everyone.

be there for the premiere of Scott's first feature/full length film
learn more about my geneology
Come to appreciate the outdoors
have a stress management strategy
Memorize the New Testament
Create a personal budget and stick with it
get organized and live simply
Be content with who I am, and where my life has brought me

Master Basic Car Maintenance/Care
Learn how to invest
have a favorite author, and know why he/she is my favorite author and read everything by them
learn to play the paino
relearn cpr and the heimlech maneuver
Learn how to throw a punch
Learn to play chess
Get my master's degree
Get a doctorates degree
Read all of Shakespeare's plays
Learn Quecha
Learn Latin
Learn Ancient Greek
Relearn French

become worldly- choose four other countries to learn about the language, customs, cuisine, art, folklore and history
See a play on Broadway
Go to all of the major art museums the met, the Prado, the Louvre, the Van Gogh museum, the Corcoran etc.
Go to a performance of the American ballet company
Live in Mexico
Live in Ireland or the U.K.
Live in France
Live in South America
learn how to ballroom dance properly

Go to Europe
Backpack somewhere
Go to the Cannes Film Festival
Go on a Safari
Explore the Galapagos archipelago
Visit Temples in Asia
Go to New Orleans and just look around
go to a baseball game at every baseball stadium in the U.S.
See the northern lights
Go to at least 25 of the 50 states capitols :-D
Go the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Visit the 7 Wonders of the World
Machu Picchu (Peru), The Coliseum (Rome), Petra (Jordan), Christ Redeemer (Brazil), The Great Wall of China (China), Chichen Itza (Mexico), The Taj Mahal (India)
Visit the Lascaux Caves in southern France
Go to Paris for a week, and just go to the museums, and the sights
Go on a trip with my Mum
Go to New England to go to the sights of famous American authors such as Emily Dickinson and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Go to Kenya
Find the village in Switzerland where the Hauptlis originated from
Go to New Zealand
Travel to 6 of the continents ( I think Antartica is unecessary)
Go to Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali, Indonesia, India, China, Mongolia
Go to Costa Rica

Feel Comfortable using power tools
Live more green/ environmentally friendly
develop my scrapbooking skills
play one card game really well (I almost always loose)
take up photography
Collect tea cups
Learn to Grill
have a signature drink
Become a master gardener and have an herb garden
Design/Build a house
Own a Convertible
Go Rock climbing
Have a nice holiday house somewhere tropical

This is just a partial list, but I encourage you to think about things you want to do and then start doing it... But love to all!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


So I have changed the look of my blog... what does everyone think?

Other than that I have been busy getting ready for intensives to start next week. It is going to be a very long four weeks, but I think that its going to be going by fast. I looked at the calendar yesterday, and today is my 11th week in South Korea! It really doesn't seem possible, but I guess it is. The next 41 weeks will probably fly by just as quickly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Its Not Always Rainbows and Butterflies" -Maroon 5

I have been in a really positive mood today, I have accomplished a lot today! I went grocery shopping, and I did two loads of laundry, and I am in the process of cleaning/organizing my apartment. I have done a lot of things that I have needed to do. I was looking at the books that are with me in Korea and they are definitely a wide assortment-- but one that made the trek with me is a devotion book called Hindsight I will be honest i don't really remember where it came from it was just hanging out on my bookshelf but it seemed like it would be an appropriate book to bring with me on this new venture. I am horrible with doing devotions, even though I desire to be better at it. But I was flipping through it looking at it, and this verse spoke to me:

Be made new in the attitude of your minds;
and put on the new self, created to be like God
in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:23-24
The reason that it spoke to me was the fact that the last week or so I have been in a bad frame of mind I have been frusturated, irritable, doubtful and been struggling with my identity. I know all the basics like my name, and my age and what my college degree is-- but with my identity in terms of who I am within this big scary world. I have been in such a huge funk and have just had a bad attitude and didn't feel like I had anything positive to contribute and so I decided that I would just not say anything.
I realize that I still have a contract that I need to fufill but if the rest of the year goes as fast as it has these last two months I am going to all of the sudden be facing this dilemma about how I am going to get everything home :-) So I feel like what I want to do is something that I have to start thinking about. Its actually something that I have been kind of obsessing about lately-- THANKS SO MUCH AMANDA AND SCOTT!!! I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR KIND EARS AND SUGGESTIONS! MISS YOU!!!!!! Amanda and Scott have been really great about empathetically listening to me, even with me sometimes being kind of whiny, and providing suggestions of how to figure out what I want to do. I think I have it narrowed down to a few things. Now comes research, and figuring out what I really want to do, i.e. more narrowing down. Though I am going to still do my student teaching Fall 2009 at SCSU and get my teaching license even though I am not convinced I want to teach in the school system.
But all of this is connected in my head as to how it relates to the verse in Ephesians... attitudes are everything and as my mum tells me "attitudes are contagious" so even though I really don't know how I fit into this world exactly and I am pretty sure that I had hit a rough transitional period with a little bit of culture shock all mixed together I need to stay positive and enjoy my time here in S.K. and get to know more about "my new adult self" and more about South Korea, my current home country. I think that during my week off I am going to travel through S.K and see some of the sights and learn more about this beautiful country.
Thanks for all of the support and the prayers you guys! Love to all!!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Second Official Update

Greetings Everyone!
I hope this email finds you well, it is around 11:30 am on Mondayhere. Im starting off my week with doing laundry and having a bit ofyogurt for breakfast. I usually have enough clothes to get me throughWednesday, so if I do the wash on Monday then usually my clothes aredry by the time I need them. It is interesting not having a dryer, itcauses a need for a little bit more planning. I could of course takemy clothing to the laundry and they would dry and press my clothes,but honestly I am not that picky about them... and its kind of nice tohave hang dried clothes.
I haven't been up to so much since I last emailed... though this pastweekend we did go down to Boreyong/ Daechon during the Mud Festival.We (my group) chose to not get muddy, but instead to walk around andsee what is going on and to lay on the beach most of the day. This ishow the weekend went... we met up on Sat. at the train station, at7:45 am our train left at 8:02, and rode the 2-2 1/2 hours it takes toget there. After we got into Daechon station we went and took a taxitowards the beach where we walked around for approximately an hour tofind a place to stay for the night. We found a smallish hotel room andwe changed into our swimsuits and then we went in search of a cashmachine, and lunch. We ate at a tent restaraunt and had lunch... I hada cheeseburger with french fries and a pepsi. What I really don'tunderstand is Korea's love of mustard. So many things have mustard onthem. After that we went to the beach where we rented an umbrella andlaid out on the beach, and went swimming in the ocean it was verynice. We had bought some drinks at one of the convience stores. Around5 o'clock we went back to the hotel to change and shower and we met upwith some of Jason and Stephanie's friends at a galbi restaurant. Wehad Samgyeopsal-gui for dinner along with the side dishes, rice, andbeverages. I had a cola and had some plum wine with Stephanie. It wasvery good. If you come across Bohae Plum wine (and it says its Koreanon the bottle) I highly recommend it. After dinner we got some drinksand just hung out on the beach with a group of people who wereforiegners that lived in Suwon, some of them lived in Yeongtong (whichis my neighborhood). It was fun, we played games like bunnie bunnie,danga danga and categories while waiting for the fireworks. There wassome drinking going on, someone in the group had brought things tomake buckets (Thai whiskey, the Korean equivalent of red bull, andcoke) and there was beer, and I had purchased a wine cooler calledrock voc... it was frome australia. But the fireworks werespectacular. They put on a nice show... these fireworks easily couldbe put in the same category as the fireworks in Chicago over memorialday weekend when we did our girls trip. It wasn't too hot or too cold,the tide was starting to come in it was nice. The next day we got upand started packing up our things, showered and went to Lotteria forlunch (Korea's version of fast food) and then decided to head to thetrain station to see if we could catch an earlier train, we couldn'tand so we went to Boreyong to a coffe bar type thing and just hung outin air conditioning for the next couple of hours until we went backand caught our train and went to get dok galbi for dinner when we gotback to Suwon Station. It was at that point that I caught a cab andwent back home, tired and only had one shin that was severly sun burnteven though i did put on sunscreen and even reapplied. It was a niceweekend and when I got home I was completely exhausted so I got readyfor bed and went to sleep.
I have intensive starting in a couple of weeks, and those will run for2 weeks. I am trying to decide if I want to stay in Korea and do somesightseeing or if I want to go to Thailand for the week. Its veryreasonable to get to Thailand from here, and once you get there itsvery inexpensive. So I don't really know what I want to do. If youhave any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. My next week ofvacation is in Feb.
Thats all I really have for now. I put up some pictures on facebooktoday. Here is thelink:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jun 30th email update.

Greetings Loved Ones!
I hope you have all had a pleasant nights rest and are ready to starta new week. I am personally decompressing after work and willeventually be heading to bed (currently it is 10:36 pm).
It is hard to believe that I have been in South Korea for a month already, it is getting hot and we are well into the throes of rainy season here. I will probably have to learn to walk gracefully in heels so that my pants will not be in a constant soaking wet stage. It is rather uncomfortable and can be very distracting. Other than that andthe dangerous (when wet) marble that is everywhere, I am enjoying my time here and I am getting acclimated very quickly. I still am very much in what one would call the silent period if you study linguistics or language learning theory, but each day my "survival Korean" is getting better. I am hoping to be able to start taking Korean classes in September on Saturdays after intensives are done. But I am not scared even though everyone keeps telling me that Korean is a really hard language to learn. Its true it probably is but not any more difficult then any of the the other languages that I have tackled or will eventually get around to tackling.

I am starting to meet people and make friends, what is nice is thatthey are from all over the world, and they provide interesting insight not only about the world, but also about how Americans are percieved.There has been some very interesting discussions about that already. I am also beginning to understand why these stereotypes aboutAmericans exist... having met some of the stereotypes personally I am rather ashamed to be lumped into the same group as them. But this isall part of the change when moving abroad and dealing with the"culture shock" that is bound to happen. I do have culture shock moments-- some of them have to do with the food, and some of them have to do with things like common courtesy-- like not running down others while you are pushing your children in a stroller (it happens here alot) or trying to decipher what something is based on the pictures. Pictures can be terribly misleading-- if I can't figure out whatsomething is I usually don't buy it. And the red sauce here can belethal... so beware! Or being singled out because you are obviously not Korean.

But along with the negative things I have also had a lot of positive experiences like meeting people I would have never met before, feeling very succuessful when I was able to take a cab by myself for the firsttime (on Sat.-- even though he did take the long route and the fare was 11,000 won (the equivalent of 11 dollars)), I have gone to my first football/soccer match- it was the Queen's Peace Cup (women'ssoccer) New Zealand vs. South Korea, I have tried curry, sushi, Indian food, and have even eaten shrimp (though that was not the bestexperience). I am finding myself a little more independent each day and am becoming a little more bold in trying new things whether its asking for the price or wandering off a little bit farther than I am use to. The metros still kind of freak me out and I don't forsee myself going on them by myself anytime soon.

But as great as everything has been there has also been days that havebeen horrible and I have wondered why I even bothered to come here. But those days are few and far in between and for the most part I amdoing well with it, though I do miss people from home. But I do have a proposition for that-- I am trying to make my apartment feel more like home and with that I have a little fridge/freezer combo and a armoiretype thing that are in need of some serious decoration, so if you (or your kids) are inclined to write letters, draw pictures or send pictures I will put them up on either my fridge combo set, or my closet doors, and will email pictures with each update that I send...:-)

If any of you know of anyone who would like to teach English in SouthKorea for a year, there are two openings at my school in Suwonstarting the end of August. You do have to have a bachelors degree andthe school would reimburse you for your flight to and from SouthKorea, provides housing, pays 2 million won a month (which is about2,000 dollars), and pays a lot of heath care costs, there is a plan--and at the end of your contract there is a severence/ bonus, you get apension from the government. So if you know of anyone that isinterested let me know.

If you would like my contact information send me an email and I will make sure you get the information.

This turned out to be a long and kind of intense email. :-) If there is anyone that is not currently on this email list that you think would enjoy getting updates let me know and I will add them to my list.

Send questions that you have, because then I will know more aboutwhat to say in my next email :-)