The Bittersweetness to Our Final Days

Our Last 2 Weeks

For our last two weeks in Changnyeong, Luke and I have had a lot to do! We've been going through our stuff and deciding what to leave behind, ship home or take with us, while also planning our next vacation and looking for new jobs. As expected, it's been stressful and full of emotion - we are excited and nervous - but ready for the next step in our adventures abroad!

Last week we welcomed the newest couple, Chante and William to our CEV family. They are from South Africa so it has been really fun getting to know them and learning some Afrikaans words. They shadowed us for a week and we all had Thanksgiving together Friday evening. It just so happened that our apartment building's gas and heat weren't working! Our boss is usually out for the weekend but I emailed him and he quickly rushed back while calling the necessary services. Minus trying to cook everything in toaster ovens, rice cookers and microwaves, it was a pretty great Thanksgiving with lots of food, booze and good company.

Last weekend we went to Daegu to do some shopping. Christmas lights were up which made me so happy. We did a lot of walking around with nowhere to be which is more exhausting than it sounds, and ended the day with a delicious jjimdak meal. Jjimdak is Korean braised chicken with vegetables, noodles and a delicious sauce. Although typically spicy, there are many different kinds from "cheesy jjimdak" to "garlic soy" to "original", all which are delicious and mouth-burningly good. This was the group's first jjimdak meal and being Luke's favorite, he was eager to have it before we left and introduce it to the new couples. And they loved it! I usually cannot partake as most versions are too spicy for me but even though this one was still hot, I was able to enjoy some of it. It helped that the restaurant gave us free ice cream afterwards too! :-)

Our last week in the classroom was a great one. My students were energetic but well behaved and as always, adorable. I will not miss teaching the same curriculum week after week, but I will definitely miss the students' excitement as they shout "Hello, Teacher!" down the hallway and the positive energy that is all over the school. Tuesday was Chante's birthday so in honor of her birthday, and Luke and I's last week, Richard and Suzi treated us to Bulgogi Jungol for dinner - complete with mekju (beer)! On Friday I took some pictures with my students. I asked them to make a funny face but the girl next to me told me "Teacher! Pretty face!" and moved my hand to my cheek haha. We also made journals about their time at CEV and many of them were so sweet! Friday was a game changer because usually we have a movie for the kids to watch but this week we were told no movie and we had to do a game in the auditorium with 70 students. This proved to be a definite challenge for all of us but with some quick thinking, we ended up turning the game, which started as Cranium, into charade in hopes to keep their attention a little longer. They had to guess the correct English word and for the most part it was successful! But it was definitely an interesting time haha.

This weekend we showed Chante and William how Korean nightlife is done. From samgyupsal to mekju to soju and noraebang. It was a fantastic night and we hopefully have taught them enough to last the year! We also went to Busan one last time before heading home. It was a chill day but it was great to see the city and the beach lights one more time!

Last Hike on Hwawangsan

I'm finishing this post on my phone so the good pictures will just have to come later.

Sunday was our last day so we went and hiked Hwawang Mountain right in our backyard. This was Luke and I's first hike in Korea so it was a bit poetic that it was also our last in Changnyeong. It was also amazing to notice how much more in shape we are now than when we first arrived. That first time kicked our butts! It was again, a great hike, and probably the best way we could have ended our year!

Vacation Planning

Luke and I are traveling to PARIS before coming home for a couple months! I'm so freaking excited to be visiting Paris during Christmas time even though I know it will be freezing. Last year we had some pretty pathetic Christmas decorations in our apartment and had a very low key holiday so I'm stoked to be going all out in a wonderful city and then coming back home for it this year.

France will be the 9th country we will have visited in the past year (including Korea) which comes to show just how much we've been able to travel. We plan on visiting the main attractions (Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, River Seine and a few others) while also exploring the area a little on our own and even taking a day trip or two to nearby towns. We welcome any and all (semi-cheap to dirt-cheap) suggestions from anyone who has visited!

We fly out in 8 hours!