Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Vacation

안녕하세요? 오랜만입니다. Hello readers, it's been a while, at least by my own standards. Going from posting every other day to a two-week silence might have been odd, but hey -- 지금 여름 방학인다. It's summer vacation now.
My Taiwanese students and me! We're Team 5, the "Butter-fives".
I spent four days in Taiwan TA-ing at a summer camp that I also did two years ago. Teaching at this camp was actually not so different from the games and lectures I've grown accustomed to doing this past year in Korea. The students were tons of fun, too. I wish I had gotten to stay for the entire week! Although I was sad to have to leave early, I truly enjoyed seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and making the most of my now-habitual yearly stint in Taiwan (including eating lots of delicious fruits and fried things). I've really left a part of my heart in that country.
Mount Rushmore in South Dakota
The reason I left the camp early was to attend the wedding of two of my best friends from college, Wes and Hana. I flew from Taipei to San Francisco, and then in less than twelve hours, I went back to SFO to fly to Rapid City, South Dakota, home of Mount Rushmore and acres of random Native American culture tourist traps. (It was at the Denver airport, where I transferred, that I got my first and only case of reverse culture shock: seeing tons and tons of white and/or overweight people as I walked through the terminal. Just... not something I was used to seeing after a year in Korea.)
The newlyweds and some groomsmen. (photo by Christina Vivit)
The wedding was fantastic, spiritually and emotionally rejuvenating. I fell in love with the gorgeousness of the Black Hills, not to mention the beauty of the bride and groom themselves! Seriously, they are two of the most beautiful people I've met, both inside and out. I am so, so happy and excited about the new life they are starting together. The wedding was also a really great opportunity to catch up with old college friends, most of whom I hadn't seen in over a year. It only dawns on me during reunions like these how much I miss by being on the other side of the world while everyone else is getting on with their adult lives.
My cousins, grandparents, and me.
Since the wedding, I've been back in Fremont, being a bum. Every day I visit my 92-year-old grandfather and help with preparations for my cousin's wedding (yup, second one this summer). Then, I fill up the rest of the hours playing board games, hiking, catching up with FB and blogs, and, in general, making a real vacation out of this vacation. This is almost exactly what I had hoped for, and I'm thankful to God for the blessings of a loving family, friends with free time, and this amazing Californian weather.

I miss my students, though. Is that strange? It's been only two weeks, but it seems like I have not seen them in a very long time. We parted ways in July on an abrupt and tragic note, and I think that that influenced the strange disconnect I feel right now. In all honesty, I'm yearning to go back, not even to begin teaching again, but just to see everyone and make sure they're doing all right. Just two and a half weeks more!

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