Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I spent the precious last few minutes of 2013 in the shower. I emerged into the new year fresh, clean, and so content with my decision to stay home on New Year's Eve.

All of my friends were downtown and I knew that if I went I wouldn't enjoy myself, so I made NYE about reflection instead. Armed with mulled wine, my favourite chocolates, and a bunch of questions, I looked back over the year that was and forward into the year that would be.

2013 has been an amazing year of growth, of clarity, and of hearing God's voice. I hope that 2014 will be the same as I deal with different challenges in Seoul.

God has been faithful. He is good. He will never let me down.

Onward and upward!

Monday, December 30, 2013


I went to Leon and Santjie's house tonight to talk to Leon about leadership and starting a website. He was a fount of wisdom, as expected. Now I've just gotta find some money to actually pay someone to start something. I also have a load of books to read and podcasts to listen to. January will be a productive month, I'm hoping!

Santjie made a beautiful dinner. Roast chicken, complete with stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and a vegetable bake! I really felt like royalty. It was nice to be in a home, not just a living space.

She also really liked the chocolate I took. Happy day NZ!

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Beyonce really is incredible.

I just can't get over it. We made an event of watching her visual album start to finish today and wowed the whole way through.

It was so nice just to relax and do nothing the whole day. We didn't have to be anywhere and the floors weren't calling for a mop (like mine do at home). We just did nothing together. It's one of the joys of going to Jochiwon. Just being in Lucy's apartment with her, bumming around, and not being pressured. I think she has a special calming superpower too. You can't help but chill in her presence.

Isn't she a babe!?

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Hello Lucy!

I saw her today and it felt great. It was so weird because I stepped off the train into the dark at 5:30. It felt like 11pm.

We exchanged Christmas gifts which was great fun. She had so many festive decorations and it still felt like Christmas. Especially with the scented candle going and the mulled wine we drank later on. There were even strawberries! You know how excited I get about Christmas strawberries.

Anyhow, the best gift was hanging out with her, attempting headstands and generally being jolly.

This hilarious snapchat is from Lucy Collins


Isn't she so cute

We had too much snapping fun

This was my cupful of mulled wine

Friday, December 27, 2013


After school I went downtown to look for gifts and to buy a new book. It was a lovely time, especially because Michelle came and joined me for dinner and we had a good time talking.

One thing that I especially love about her is the amount of questions she asks. She's always pondering things and she makes me ponder them too. Even if they're just fun questions like, "What's your favourite quote?" we always end up on a deeper subject.

It was a friendship forging Friday night.

This was how I felt about working the day after the day after Christmas.

Lucy and I had an amusing photographic conversation.

This is my student and she reminds me of Cindy.

Werk dem heels.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I'm not going to lie. Today was lame. Having to wake up at the crack of dawn and go to work the day after Christmas is something I never want to do again.

But tbh, work these days isn't difficult. My classes are having Christmas parties so they entertain themselves. It's pretty nice.

In one class a boy brought an entire cake to share and the students mobbed him, digging at it with chopsticks. In a really sweet gesture, a girl came up to me holding a chunk and tried to feed it to me. It really was very cute of her.

This is how I feel about working on Boxing Day

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Murry Chrusmus Erryone.

I had a lovely day. It started with a skype call to the family. We had a great time. We even danced about our kitchens to All I Want For Christmas Is You like we would do if I was home. It was truly great.

After that I baked and cooked up a storm and made my way to The Doghouse (the apartment that Dani is dogsitting in) where I ate a lot of good food with great people.

We played the present game, celebrity heads, and the paper charades game. So many laughs and much merriment was had.

The best part for me though was that my pavlova actually worked out! It went down such a treat and everyone enjoyed it thoroughly. That first bite transported me back to NZ and I could almost imagine my family sitting around me, the birds chirping, and the sun blazing down. It was magical.

For an orphan Christmas we did pretty well for ourselves. Look a all the smiles in these photos and see for yourselves.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


At the last minute the festive spirit has caught up with me. Reading Luke this morning got me so pumped. It fit with Christmas Eve so well.

"Because of God's tender mercy,
    the morning light of heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    and to guide us to the path of peace." 

                                                                    - Luke 1:78-79

It made me so excited about the hope that tomorrow brings. With Jesus came a new day. No more offering sacrifices or trying to keep the Law. There is now freedom and no condemnation! Hallelujah!


Tonight I saw some pretty lights with a pretty lady.


Monday, December 23, 2013


I was walking to Emart after school and one of my students joined me. He's the one with loads of character that complained last Friday of his lack of girlfriend.

I made the mistake of asking how he was and he unleashed another torrent of misery. "I have been lonely since I was in my mother's womb," he whined. I couldn't help but smile at his dramatics. He told me he was going to be alone forever because he's not going to go to the clubs when he's an adult. "They are full of people with evil minds," he told me.

I reassured him that he didn't have to go clubbing to find someone, then he was even more upset because girls at university only care about the wealth and status of their prospective boyfriends. I couldn't help him there. I know many girls, especially in Korea do consider those things as most important for their own future security.

It turns out the beautiful Dutch princess he had been contacting was no longer reachable. On Saturday her email account stopped working. Poor boy is very depressed about it all. Not at all in the Christmas spirit.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Tonight was the first time I've been out for dinner in a long time. I got the most expensive thing on the menu and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a gigantic steak, prawns, salad, and mashed potatoes. We also shared a bottle of wine.

My little paleo heart was well and truly delighted, even if my wallet wanted to cry.

I was in great company. Erika and I discussed the golden age of Kpop at length. It was a time of Taeyang's mohawk and Ring Ding Dong, before all the new rookie groups emerged, or Bom went one surgery too far. I hadn't spoken like that in a long time. It felt good!
Told you it was huge.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


It's easy to take God for granted sometimes. I'm so used to him being completely awesome that I forget all the little ways that should be amazing.

For example, this morning at the Women's Winter Tea we were instructed to have some quiet time with God and first ask him what he thinks of ourselves, and then what he wants to say to the person on our right.

He told me he sees me as strong and courageous, and as his child. These things are huge blessings, especially as I don't feel particularly strong or courageous.

But what was really cool is that for the girl next to me I heard the words in my mind, "Wholly mine". I double checked and asked him again. He repeated.

So when it came sharing time, as with things like this, there's a certain amount of doubt in whether or not it'll actually mean anything to the other person or if it was your own brain making stuff up. But the faith happens when you say it anyway.

It just so turns out that those words matched the words God told her perfectly and lined up exactly with what she is experiencing at the moment.

It was a great encouragement that God is up there actually listening to us, and speaking, and caring about us.
The one photo I took at the Winter Tea
 I took a lot of photos at Marcelle's bridal shower later on though.

Friday, December 20, 2013


I was waiting for my favourite class this afternoon and in walked one of the boys. He's the one who features in 90% of my funny interactions.

He shuffles his way in, head drooped, and lets out a huge sigh. I ask what the matter is and he launches into a sorrowful speech about how lonely he is. Christmas is a miserable time for him. It reminds him of how single he is. He's 18 and has never had a girlfriend; his world is shattering. He'll never find someone to share his life with.

He wants to be a prince so he can find his princess. Actually, he reveals, he's already found her. She's his penpal, a Danish beauty and a millionaire. But she will never have him because she only sees him as a friend. He doesn't even dare to hope.

I try to reassure him but the conversation just plummets further until he declares that he just wants to die. It can't be worse than being single, right?

I protest, but then he decides that he'll be able to find an angel to be with if he's dead, or maybe he will come back to life as a prince and can whisk his Danish love off her feet.

At this point the class was streaming in and I was at a loss anyway so I left him to his deadly daydream.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Today has been very joy-filled. I asked God for it this morning and when I look back over my day I can see a load of moments when I was smiling.

Positivity really is amazing. What I experienced today was more than just me trying to be happy. I was genuinely joyful the whole day.

Even if annoying things happened, they didn't phase me at all. That's the power of true joy.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


It's awesome to be able to share my passions and ideas with people who care enough to listen to me prattle on and who actually want to help me to achieve things.

Being heard is a very important thing for any human being. It makes you feel incredibly valuable. Especially when they get behind your words and they want to see them become action.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Today was one of those long days. By lunchtime it felt like I had already taught about five classes.

What got me through to the end was the prospect of a Flight Of the Conchords marathon with Michelle tonight. Nothing could be more welcome!

We ate roast chicken (Yes! I made a whole one!), veggies, and salad, and listened to the most terrible accents for hours straight. It turned out more perfect than I dared to dream, and Michelle was an instant day-brightener.

Laughter is the best medicine for a headache and meh-ness. Sleep too!


I have a new blog!

The Lonely Paleo is about eating well on a budget and in an area of the world where things are difficult to access.

My passion as I cooked, took photos, and updated things online was more than I've felt for anything in a long time. 

I do love a good project! Check it out if you like, leave a comment, and let me know how I can make it better.

Don't worry! I will not abandon this one! I tried combining the two but I figured it was best to keep them separate.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


With only ten more days until Christmas, things are getting festive.

Some friends put on a fundraising event for the Philippines tonight in a little cafe venue. We showed up, paid our money, drank a free drink, listened to some friends do readings or music, and made gingerbread houses!

Each team or pair got a house, an assortment of lollies, and a bag of icing to go wild with. We just decorated away and then an hour or so later, they were judged.

Michelle and I didn't win, but that's ok because it was still loads of fun. I think it was one of my favourite event concepts ever and I'm just gutted I didn't come up with it!

By the end we raised over 1 million won which is close to $1500 NZD! So good!

And everything looked so pretty.