Monday 18 June 2012

Saying goodbye


As a traveller, and particularly an expat traveller, goodbyes are something you have to get used to. When you live abroad friendships are made extremely quickly. Sometimes those friendships don't stand the test of time. Sometimes they end up being formed purely through circumstance and mutual convenience. But other times those fast formed and quickly bonded friendships are real and important. They help you through home sickness and worries, annoyances and loneliness. I'm coming to the end of my time in Korea. I have 58 days until I board a train in Beijing that will slowly but surely take me back home. In the last 8 months I've met some people who have totally turned around my life in Korea. They've reminded me that great friendships are possible when you're living away from home. That when you find people who care about you, it's obvious and you don't constantly need to seek their approval or support, because it will always just be there. This weekend, the first of my fabulous group of friends left Korea. I met Donna about last October. At that time I was very slowly getting over my heartache and quite rapidly losing contact with the friends I'd made in my first year. I felt quite alone and I felt very confused. One night I decided to go on a social dinner night organised by Mannam (the volunteering organisation I'm now heavily involved with). It was so great to meet lots of friendly people and gave me a real boost. After that night I got more and more involved in the events and activities, and Donna was always a regular participant in the volunteering. Slowing and surely our friendship developed. Since then our little mannam family has grown and we've become great friends. The road trip I went on last month was organised by Donna, and as she works for the American Military and not the Korean government her apartment here in Seoul was fantastic! She's one of the kindest, most generous, caring and friendly people I've ever met. She opened her home to us every couple of weeks for different themed dinner nights. The weekend before last was to be the last of these nights and we went all out on a breakfast inspired party! This was basically our version of the last (Korean) supper! This weekend (her last) we spend time together, eating, exploring and relaxing in the park and it was a great way to say, well not really goodbye, but see you later. I want to wish Donna every success in Japan (where she has been re-assigned in her military teaching post) and thank you for showing me true kindness is alive and well! :-)

Donna and Naz

Apple cinnamon cheerios

Alex and me

Secret writing in Donna's farewell memory book

Yindee and Naz

Raj and me

Peter (without hat)

Sarah and Raffaele

Twin cameras

Donna and Mishka

Three wise monkeys?

The beginning of Battleshots (like battleships but with alcohol)

The following day we helped to clean up after the party and also to clear out Donna's cupboards. To share out the chores we played jenga and the clearing of cupboards was a free for all. I managed to snag pancake mix, asparagus, a bottle of red wine, cheese, brownies and hairspray.

This was Donna's view

The strangest hoover I've ever seen! It plugs into the wall!
and then you stretch the hose around the room
Our little family is slowly moving away!

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1 comment:

  1. I'd like to thank your friends for their support and for making my beautiful daughter so happy. I'm sad that you're leaving them but so glad that train is bringing you home to me!!