Monday, February 7, 2011

Seolnal (Lunar New Year) Vacatiooooon...and other ramblings

I'm back at work after a relaxing, lovely vacation. The first five days were spent just hanging out--getting some things checked off my list and reveling in having full days with nothing to do. Thankfully, Mother Nature decided to give those of us in Korea a few degrees of a warm up. So, being outside wasn't painful and I enjoyed walking around, watching snow melt and dead leaves emerge from their slumber.

Bright and early on Thursday morning, Justin and I ventured to Sanjeong Lake, which is northeast-ish of Seoul. It took about about two hours on the bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. The spot came on recommendation from coworkers and I figured it would be the perfect relaxation place for a couple of days. I was right. We stayed at Full House Pension--a nice "cabin" type accommodation with a loft and a nicer kitchenette than the one in my apartment. The area offers a plethora of activities: ice skating, traditional Korean skating (more like pushing on a sled), ice fishing, and hiking. Ah, and not to be forgotten--a (creepy?) carnival of sorts that plays very loud music all day. When we first saw that our pension was a few minutes from the lake, we were disappointed, but not when we realized how loud the carnival music was.

So, here are some pictures. Enjoy!

The outside of our humble abode for 3 days, 2 nights...


annnd the inside:
The town carnival

 Down by the lake... see the big man behind me?

He emerges from the lake...

My attempts at skating...

The Expert

Traditional Korean Skating (I think?)

ICE FISHING. Nope, didn't see anything caught.

 Dinner. I had tofu.

Walking around the lake...the town is behind me

2nd day, hike up to a waterfall. It was frozen.

(pure joy)

There you go. For all of the pictures, click here.

I came back from vacation with the realization that I have 10 weeks left at my current job. This feels exciting and terrifying. I'm ready to go back home to see family and friends, eat delicious vegetarian fare, and take some time to reflect. What I'm not so ready for is making the decision of...what comes next? I've started the process (federal background check) for finding a new job in Korea--after a couple of months back home--but I'm also checking out employment in the states.

Everyone keeps asking what my next step is and I can't help but feel overwhelmed by the question. I just don't know yet. I am not sure if my time in Korea is over. Have I done everything I set out to do?

My heart feels very conflicted, in terms of the work that I am doing and what sort of contribution to our world I am making. I feel drawn back to social service, making a real difference, while at the same time am realizing that another year in Korea would make all of my student loans go away....

Which is more important?

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