Wednesday, September 12, 2012

a few things...

I am back in the good ole U.S. of A.

I have about 5 drafts of blogs I started while I was in Korea but have not looked at since.  I plan to revisit those and publish them...sometime...soon [hopefully but it's probably more like eventually] as well as write a few re-entry and closing remarks. 

And [the real reason for this post]: I looked at my blog on a friend's computer today. The font that came up was Comic Sans. [WHAT?] If you are a Comic Sans hater and that's how Curl in Korea shows up on your computer, I'm sorry that's the case and thank you for continuing to read.

Monday, July 23, 2012


"The Hawaii of Korea"

That's what all of my textbooks from Korean language school said about Jeju Island. When I saw that there was a marathon festival [marathon, half marathon, and 10K] there, I decided Este Momento. Although I do not believe that is quite what the song is talking about, I thought I should seize the moment and signed up for the 1/2 marathon.

I had been running much more in Korea than I did in the U.S. [except for that time I got sucked into running cross country so that I would be in shape enough to make the soccer team]. Anyway...I really enjoyed running to learn my way around, to explore Daejeon, to move, to relax [I never would have guessed that I would say that about running], to be outside, to reflect, and to pray.

So...I returned from the gathering in Indonesia early Wednesday morning, went to work Wednesday afternoon, woke up with a fever and no desire whatsoever to leave my bed Thursday, felt less bad on Friday, felt better on Saturday, and headed to Jeju. 

of course we would play 가위-바위-보 on the airplane!

Going through security, I realized my toiletries we packed neatly in a quart sized my Daejeon. I managed to pack my toothbrush, so what I really missed was deodorant and sunscreen. I know I could have found SPF 70+ without a problem, but deodorant is another story. Koreans don't really have the same need for deodorant as Westerners, so it is a little bit of a challenge to find. By the time I arrived, I was already exhausted and knew I had an early morning ahead of me, so I just checked into my hotel and went to sleep. Sunday, I ran the race with clean teeth but sunscreen and deodorant free. It was a nice course by the ocean and quite pleasant but then reeaaallllly long. 힘들어요.

two blind runners with guides [so cool!] - after race lunch: abalone rice porridge and kimchi [so Korean]
everyone warming up together - me [after a post race nap and lunch]

singlet at Cheonjiyeon Waterfall - Gimnyeong beach
Saeseom Island - garlic sunbathing - some nice people I ate dinner with

Thomas, Anna, and my Time for Young Disciples are frequently [or maybe desperately?] inspired by what is going on in our lives, so here is sort of what I talked about during my TYD  the next Sunday:

I really enjoy being prepared. I packed a lot of things [yes, probably too many] when I was heading to Korea last August and thought I prepared mentally and emotionally and whatnot. Upon arriving, I realized I did not feel prepared/equipped/qualified for a lot of things: teaching English, leading Bible studies, doing TYDs...I also felt just bad at other things [language school].

When I was a counselor in training at camp, the motto for CITs was "Learn by doing." During this year I have definitely learned by doing [and being, of course!], but I have realized something more important: no matter how prepared I am, what I am doing, where I am, what my challenges are, if things are going really well or really not so well, how good or bad I am at something, and even whether or not I am wearing deodorant - God is with me. Whether it is something just for fun, like a race, or something we tend to think of as more serious - Immanuel: God with us

Also, my sunburn led to a lot of 'wows' from people here. Then when I started peeling, it became sort of a game for my students: "Who can collect the most of Anna 쌤's skin?" Are you grossed out? Sorry...I only shows that God uses our vulnerabilities and mistakes allow us to connect with each other in new ways.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

from Korea!

 We celebrated big...and went to McDonald's.


 상하이 스파이스

and choco cones that resemble the Statue of Liberty torch [of course]

I hope your 4th is great! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Every three years PC(USA) mission co-workers serving in Asia and the Pacific gather together to visit and learn and worship. Three years ago it was right here at Hannam University, but this year it happened to be in Bali, Indonesia! I know I know, Thomas, Anna, and I are not mission co-workers, but we signed up as Haejung 이모 and Uncle Simon children and...they let us go! It was a great event - I am so glad I got to be a part of it!

Being a YAV, I had only been exposed to one part of World Mission. By attending this gathering I was able to learn more about PC(USA) World Mission as a whole, hear about what God is doing in this part of the world, meet some really great people, experience a quite nice network of support, and remember just how awesome it is that we are part of the huge body of Christ! We also had some fun and of course, ate delicious food!

[side note: It was both refreshing and exhausting to spend a week around so many English speakers]  
where we spent most of our days*

 mission co-workers serving in Asia and the Pacific*

morning snack ^^ I had a chocolate avocado smoothie*


annndddd we had a long layover in swanky [and HOT] Singapore on the way home!

Joy, one of Uncle Simon's Sunday school students when they lived there-ice cream sandwiches-old and new Singapore

*photo credits: Thanks you so much Erin Dunigan

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Family Time

In April my mom and aunt paid Asia [and me] a visit.

We started in Seoul and saw typical touristy things and neighborhoods: Gyeongbokgung [Palace], Insadong, Myeongdong, Seoul Tower, Namdemun Market, Itaewon, Nanta [sort of like the show Stomp], and the DMZ. We also ate very well!


 the DMZ with tourists on the North Korean side

Then we rode the train to Daejeon, and I got to show them where I live and eat and work and shop.  We ate on food street, visited Eunhengdong and the bus terminal, took a campus tour with Reverend 최, washed dishes at 새나루, drank hot chocolate and got free soap at Natural Dew [a cute little coffee shop that just closed ㅠㅠ], taekwondoed, shopped at Costco, made bulgogi, checked out the world's largest department store in Busan, worshiped at University Church, had 샤브샤브, celebrated Haejung 이모's birthday with bing su at Deli Roti, enjoyed dinner with a teacher from Korean language school [which ended with an invitation to her wedding-whoop whoop!], and watched The Hunger Games!

I put them to work...
After about a week in Korea, we went to Japan and met up with my cousins. We stayed in Osaka and toured around Kyoto, Nara, Kurama, Hiroshima, and Miyajima. I really enjoy the food [not surprising] and thought noticing the similarities and differences between the country that has been my home for the past [at the time] 8 months and its neighbor was quite fascinating.

tea ceremony

an awesome market in Kyoto

It was quite fun being a tour guide in Korea, where I know my way around and what's going on [for the most part], and a tourist in Japan, where I got to experience new things and try new food; but the best part was just being with my family. I am also very happy that my mom and aunt got to meet and spend time with the family I have become a part of in Korea.

[cheesy last couple of sentences, I know]

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's been a while...

It was not my intention to blog through the alphabet and then go over two months without a single post. I am so very sorry! This week my plan is to catch you up on my past two months in Korea [and elsewhere]. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 31, 2012




I have been ice skating twice since I've been in Korea. The first time was with the college group from church and the second with 한국어학당 [Korean Language School]. I really enjoy skating and had so much fun!

[Sadly, the second time ended in a not so fun way...Anna was plowed into and over by a well intending classmate and ended up with a fractured wrist. Eeekkk! It healed quite well, and we may or may not be trying to work another trip to the skating rink into our schedule.]