|Farewell Party for Lucas, Aileen, and Me|
Nonetheless, a lot has happened in the past two months. I gained experience teaching Level 3 Adult English classes, English classes to children ranging from ages 6-14, a religion class, and more. I've gone hiking and biking, to concerts and festivals, to mountains and a beach . . . I've prepared presentations and graded even more tests. I've learned how to read Hangul and speak a few necessary Korean words and sentences. All of these are good things.
But best of all, I have formed friendships--strong friendships. When you live with, work with, cook with, and go to church with the same people every day for two months, you form strong bonds. You learn each other's strengths and weaknesses very quickly in addition to interests and commonalities. You learn from their wisdom and life experiences, as well as from their cultural differences. I am amazed at the deep work that only two solid months spent with like-minded strangers can do for relationships.
Then there are the students--people I see almost every day, but teach more often than actually get to know. Still, I have had students at the end of this term requesting that I teach them next term also. Others are thanking me for my religion class and what they have learned. And still others have seen in me a kindred spirit and want to get to know me more outside of class, so I have been spending quality time with them. One lady told me just yesterday, "I am very lonely, Christen. Thank God you came." Her words struck me to the core.
As I write this, I am torn because by next Tuesday, I will be uprooted. My Seongbuk family and I must separate. We've known all term that Lucas and Aileen were leaving and that next term, Errol and Vickey will be returning to their home countries. But two evenings ago, Vickey notified me immediately after she received word that I would be relocated after this term.
In the paraphrased words of one of my wise friend, "Sometimes we think we know what we want, but when the time comes and we receive it, we realize we were wrong."
Today at church they threw a farewell party for us. The food was delicious. The fellowship was grand. Everyone has been in denial that I'm leaving, including myself, since it was unexpected. We all had to give farewell speeches. :P The pastor said that I'm leaving because I'm too smart. Everyone laughed.
|Goodbye, my dear family!|