and I just think to myself…what a wonderful world…

friends’ pies at French Cafe

rice cakes and tea
yoga snack!

yep. acupuncture

i love the clouds captured in my coffee


latte and toast while I write…perfection.

my international skirt.

us taking pictures of our motel!

it has a balcony overlooking the beach?

stumbled upon a mini festival on the beach
it highlighted various countries
including Kenya and Uganda
Korean-style chapati, yes please!
Oh and they knew about USIU.
Small World.


sunset on beach pre-race

pre-race beach walk

Jen’s jump! Whohoo!

I can’t jump- well I tried!

view of route!!!

of course we would get a text
notifying us of our race  time
not my best, but had fun!
Our awesome groupie! 

we got medals!

May 30th

Losing it. Completely losing it. Emotional wreck this week. Talked to a dear friend back home whom I miss so much and lost it. Sitting at a coffee shop wondering how am I ever going to leave this place and lost it. Listening to soothing music and laughing along with the conversation at tea before yoga and lost it. Late night nail party and snacks with a friend and lost it. A favorite student transferred to a hagwon today without warning except for a phone call last week saying it was a possibility…no more “Korean” good-byes or high- fives and lost it. Sipping tea at a French Cafe typing along to soft jazz that I soon realize is a Christmas mix with contemporary songs…and losing it.

Overwhelmed in goodness and the reality I know not wanting to start my official countdown even though my end-of-contract vacation is booked; how can I leave this life I’ve made here already? Time went too fast. Sometimes I regret a couple of the months I counted down. The solemn winter months were toughest on the soul, but I got through them. And now that summer is here Time doesn’t stop. It never did, but maybe I sped it up a bit.

Brakes are creaky, they haven’t been oiled in a while, the journey is mapped and the car isn’t slowing down, no place on this rocky road to oil these brakes. I’m in trouble. Don’t know where the next turn in this road will go, a journey un-mapped…trying not to freak out in this out-of control vehicle I find myself in. Stay calm. Brace yourself. Close my eyes? Maybe for a second. Don’t let go of the steering wheel? Only to Him. Only to Him who is in complete control of this spun-out journey. Now I can relax. Most of the time I can’t. Sometimes I don’t know how. Even my yoga teacher has tried to teach me to breathe. But I can’t. I’m trying!!! Trying so hard to let everything go. No, I don’t know what I’m going to do- so many choices and decisions to make when I return stateside.

I can do it! Just have to take time for a good cup of tea and tears… I know everything is gonna be alright. 🙂

not sure the date…but just random coffee shop thoughts from mid-May

My coffee shop was opened again. Now it’s nice enough to sit outside and enjoy the warm air and fresh breeze. Waiting a half hour for a hand drip coffee is worth it. So smooth and rich, no cream or sugar is even considered.

Letting go of inconveniences that I would have bothered by before… freeing myself of minor annoyances to live a more joyful life. Taking extra time to sit and take it all in rather than always rushing to the next thing. Hanging on to these things only caused more stress, so why not just let it go. Am I afraid of what others would say~ not having a real job and settling down? I haven’t seemed to quench the desire yet though quality time with those I love is more important than heading into my next adventure right away.

Lately- the past 4 weeks or so- my schedule has had me at three schools. it’s given me time to fully appreciate “my” kids. The kiddos I’ve had since day one. I must say I have grown quite attached to the class that hasn’t changed except for a couple of students… Cindy, Amy, Anna, Lyn, Sunny, Chloe, Julie, Nick, Simon, Jacob, Ian, Aiden, Noah, and Piter. They are in Super Kids 1 soon, to be 2; I have had them since they were in Phonics 3. They are so special to me. But now since posting this blog Aiden and Noah have since dropped the class…it just isn’t the same without them… I miss them already! This is the tough part of teaching…not saying good-bye to my students. They just leave the program without telling hardly anyone.

Though I did find out the reason why I had to go to the third school on Tuesdays for two weeks was because the Friday kids told the Tuesday kids I was fun so they wanted to have me for class. I’ll take that as a compliment. 🙂

It’s somewhat amusing to me~ and I’m used to it by now, 8 months in~ but each occurrence seems to have it’s own twist: the coffee shop name, the music, and the menu (most of the time) is in English, but I order, sit down outside and I feel so out of place not being able to fluently communicate (broken language I can speak). This is my order: 여가체프 and 토스트.
As much as I love Starbucks, I must admit the leisurely feel of  an off the beaten path coffee shop gives me great pleasure. A chance to slow down life’s busy schedule for an hour or so. Drinking each sip in rather than slurping it through a straw makes me focus my thoughts on what’s around me. The heating sun peaking through the dazed clouds, the jazzy melodies every so often interrupted by the by the school’s loud speaker or cars zooming by make the backdrop for this morning of reflection.

An interesting morning it’s been. Thought I was late. Turns out the bus driver was late. Fourth stop. Screaming match between a middle aged man and driver. I think he was 18 minutes late and the man kept pointing at his watch. Clearly he had to be somewhere. He was pissed! Well I was worried not angry, but I had to keep that inside. How would I ever communicate that to the driver? then it’s about 10:30 and I get a text from my co-worker saying she will be late so I have 2 and a half hours to kill in Gimhae. Decide to roam around HomePlus because I wanted fruit for lunch and my friend Jen had been looking for coconut flakes for Oatmeal Power bars. Splurge of the day: Cherries, 9,000 won and Cheez-its for 4,500 won. Oh the little happinesses in life. The cherries were delicious. Back at the coffee shop from yesterday…I continue to catch up on writing and thoughts. Can’t believe I’m supposed to be running a half marathon in two days~motivation has been lacking. Weeks seem to be exhausting and I can’t get out of bed early enough. I want to try harder and snap out of this running funk. It used to be so easy and I wonder if I just need a vacation…? I give all my energy to the kids and just need some extra days off. at least there’s a long weekend next Monday and as much as I want to go somewhere I think I’m just going to make it a “me” weekend to sleep and get re-energized and motivated for my last three or so months of teaching. Only two more set of books. CRAZY.

(As of this post- 1. I ran my half marathon- it was so much fun! Jen and I had a fabulous time running and Sarah was our groupie for the day! After run thrill- soaking our feet in the sand and sea of 다대포해수욕장. 2. I have made a color coded running chart of running and boot camp workouts. Green is good. Orange is not. So far I have more green days than orange. 3. My long weekend was amazing- day 1 went to the orphanage, day 2 went to the beach with my friends and got a tan! day 3- had a picnic by the river, took a nap and relaxed!)

Do you have an item of clothing you just can’t part with? Well I do. I have this skirt. I got it on clearance at the Gap forever ago. It’s been with me all over the world. Kenya, Zanzibar, Mexico, and now Korea. It’s my international skirt. It’s seen a lot…from my assistant manager position at Payless, to eating fresh pineapple every morning in Zanzibar, to teaching elementary students English in Korea. I don’t think I could ever part with this skirt.

From a Korean- French Cafe take out bag that held Brit’s 8- month- Korean- anniversary White Chocolate Cheesecake: “For attracive lips: speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes: seek out the good. For a slim figure: share your Food with the hyngry. For beautiful hair: let a child run his fingers Through it. For poise: walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone…People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed redeemed. Never throw out anybody. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older, you wil discover that you have Two hands.” 

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