Ever-Beautiful Yeosu

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May 23rd 2011
Published: May 29th 2011
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So, I arrived in Yeosu last Saturday, and it is indeed as beautiful as I remember it. Rolling mountains reach to the sky at every turn, and the smell, sense, and sight of the sea pervades every part of life here. Water is everywhere, and it is beautiful. In fact, it’s been quite nice coming here to quiet(er), beautiful Yeosu after three weeks in the bustling, city-fied Seoul. One of my acquaintances at the hostel in Seoul asked me repeatedly, “Have you seen anything living here? I can’t find a single living thing, except people and some trees. I mean, no birds, no bugs even. Isn’t that strange?” Having hiked on Bukhansan just outside of Seoul, I can’t say I completely agree with him. But there is a distinct lack of nature/green space from what I’ve seen of Seoul, and pollution is getting worse each day, I think. So, anyway, beautiful Yeosu it is.

I arrived to my host family’s graciousness once again, and I’m so blessed to have them continue to be a part of my life. Although I feel kind of like an interloper, swooping in every couple years, they’ve been nothing but loving and accommodating to me since I’ve arrived. It’s a little harder without Boyeon around to help translate the tough stuff, but I think we’ve all managed so far. So, I’ve been able to catch up some with them, and they are convinced that (1) not only will I return to Korea but (2) since I don’t have a boyfriend now, I should wait until I come to Korea and marry someone here, Korean or oegukin or whatever. (My host mother, who I call “imo,” which means “aunt”: “Which is better, Korean man or American man? Would you marry a Korean man?”) This, of course, goes along with what one of Boyeon’s pastors said: “Yeah, you just need to come back to Korea and meet some black belt guy.” Then later, either her pastor or professor said, “No, you don’t need to meet a black belt guy, just a purple belt guy, and then you two can become black belts together, right? So you can be on equal footing.” Ha, fun times all around. But it’s nice to have someone planning out my life for me, since I’m currently unable to do so :-)

This afternoon, I visited my old school, which has been awesome. Though some things have changed (some of the staff and such), much has stayed the same, and I was warmly received by my co-teacher, my fellow English teachers, and a number of the others that I grew to know and love. I even got the chance to introduce myself to one of my co-teacher’s classes. It felt like old times. Many people also didn’t recognize me, but not because it’s been so long—but because of some weight I’ve lost (thank you, Yim’s Tiger Taekwondo) and my short hair. “But your voice is the same,” I was told by one of the English teachers.

Anyway, I’m off to meet some teachers for dinner, so I’d better run. More updates soon!


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