Thursday, February 28, 2013


The lack of internet in my apartment found me in a PC Bang (room) in between two teenaged Korean guys, one of which was smoking constantly while he killed people onscreen. As I was chatting to friends back home I would hear laughter, swearing, whooping, and yelling from various parts of the room. It was quite a strange experience.

When it was time to leave I waited outside the elevator and was taken aback by a huge group of boys, packed like sardines into the lift. Some even had to reverse out. When they saw me they double-took in shock and grinned. One of the pluckier ones managed a "hello", another said "how are you?"  It was so friendly and a very amusing welcome to the city of Daegu.

My apartment:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Today was the most tiring of all. We each did our lesson demonstrations to the rest of the class, which meant, as students we played a million games, said a hundred sentences over and over, and gave each teaching team enthusiasm and excitement.

By the end of it, Lucy and I were getting very silly. It was hilarious though, and I could feel myself being more like me.

To begin with at this orientation I've been quite reserved. Friendly, but not the complete weirdo I usually am. Today a slice of the inner crazy came out. It felt good to be comfortable enough to be myself. I'm gonna miss Lucy a lot when we go to our different cities tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Tonight we could have gone out to cabin house with everyone else, but Lucy and I opted for mask making in the dorm instead. Chris joined us and provided many a humorous anecdote to entertain us.

I had a whole lot of fun and do not regret staying in at all. I have a beautiful mask and extra friendship points to show for it.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Back to lectures today. This time they were slightly less entertaining, although the last class was great. He had us in fits as he described his experience of learning English as a child.

In one of the lesson slots today we did taekwondo. They got in the national team to train us. It was so much fun. We were all pretty rubbish so we just had a laugh.

Epik has really spoiled us. Their aim has been to make us feel like royalty, and they certainly have! The national team, the food, the friendly staff, the amazing lecturers… it has all been amazing.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


My feet have never been so cold as they were today. Walking physically hurt. It was so strange. I could have sworn there was ice in my shoes. I am investing in warmer socks asap!

But we had a pretty good time strolling around the historic folk village. It's crazy to think how old everything is. They were actual houses which were lived in by actual people. So cool.

Aaaaaaand there were donkeys. My new friend Lucy loved the donkeys. Ok, we both did!

Lucy ecstatic about the donkey.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Today was easier because I feel like we knew what we were in for. When it was time for our Korean class to start at 7, we were less tired because we had paced ourselves better.

When I got back to my room, I even did some study. I'm really catching on to this Korean spirit! I tried to translate a card from Bryan which he wrote completely in hangul (Korean letters). I did a very poor job, and of course, I can put it in the English alphabet, but still have no idea what it means.

Ahhhh well! I'll get there one day. It did feel very cool to be able to read out loud the Korean alphabet, even if it's still gibberish to me.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Day 1 of lectures began with much excitement, but by 8:45pm when I returned to my dorm, it was replaced by sheer exhaustion.

I learnt so much and crammed my brain so full that the only way to chill out was, of course, going a noraebang (karaoke room).

It was fantastic, although I didn't get to sing Kpop because no one I was with would have appreciated it.

We were in a sealed room, which made it less than pleasant when a couple of people I was with lit up cigarettes and kept one in their hand the entire time. That's a lot of smoke! I got back and absolutely stank. Korea really should make it illegal to smoke inside.

In other news, it snowed today! I got so excited.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The day I had dreaded was here. My fears had been realized. It was time for my medical and the blood test of my nightmares. They always make me a tad queasy.

That's an understatement.

While it was pretty awful, it was over, and we got to eat food, finally!

At the opening ceremony I sat next to a lovely Scottish girl. I hope that we can be friends.

Everyone here is pretty great. I've met so many different accents. No New Zealanders yet, but it's ok because standing with a group of South Africans made me feel like I was home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I hope it's normal to have several, "What the heck am I doing, I don't want to do this anymore!" moments when you're thousands of kilometers above the Earth, hurtling at top speed towards a distant destination full of unknowns.

That certainly was the case for me today.

It probably wasn't a grrrrreat idea to read cards and letters when I had so much time to think about it all. I have had so much encouragement and my heart is full of love. It makes me wonder why I'm leaving it all.

Despite these crazy thoughts, on the bus to my orientation venue, as I looked out the window to see the skyline of Korea pass by in colourful neons, I regained that sense of excitement. Quite quickly it turned to a sense of sleep, but I am on a crazy adventure, and I just need to have fun.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


This was the hardest day of my life so far.

It started out great with some card making and a date with Amy, but it all changed as soon as I saw my grandparents.

I managed to mostly keep it together for Nan. She was telling me about this bible verse she couldn't find and what it means for me when I felt my eyes get hot. Walking down the corridor was tough.

I gathered myself before I went to see Poppa in the hospital wing. It was no use though because I was even more of a mess as soon as I took his hand. The hardest thing was saying goodbye and not knowing if I would get the chance to ever again. He acknowledged it in words and we said I love you, voices breaking, while I held him tight.

I just had to get out of there so I squeezed his hand, said a hasty goodbye and turned away.

It messed with my head and my heart the rest of the day. I was barely keeping it together. Only because of friends and prayer did I manage to contain all that emotion that had been stirred up.

Saying goodbye when you know you'll see someone again is easy in comparison to the likelihood that it's your last chance.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Late tonight I popped around to the Collinses to say goodbye to Wiz.

I walked into their kitchen and she gave me a hug, then Lucy joined on the other side and we got a bit sentimental. I think we said some things and then I was about to get too emotional. It was the shaky voice, on the verge of real tears experience.

Luckily we got distracted enough to save ourselves from jumping off that cliff!

But it was a special moment that I will remember.


All day I couldn't stop thinking about how much effort so many people put into making yesterday so special.

My mum and dad spent this morning at the Elley's picking up rubbish, hosing down tables, packing up chairs and the barbecue to make it all tidy again. They've gone to so much trouble and I hope they know how much I appreciate it.

Along with that, people made salads and brought sweet things. Some even brought both!

I've decided that I'm an acts of service kind of a girl, and this was an overwhelming expression of love that I'm still getting over.

Not to mention innumerable hugs and kisses!

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Today was the day of my leaving party. I felt incredibly blessed to have so many amazing friends who dropped in throughout the evening and afternoon. The Elley family did so much to clean up their property and host us all. It was the perfect afternoon, sipping Dad's lemonade and just hanging out with different groups of people. I have had so many hugs!

The most remarkable moment of the day was actually on the drive there. Dad's favourite, Lecrae was blasting in the car and I was thinking about the lyrics of Background when we noticed these bikers ahead. One of them was wearing a jacket with a patch that read, "The Redeemed". They were Christian bikers and so proud of it. That, coupled with the song was enough for me to have one of those profound moments that sometimes overcome you. I don't know what I learnt exactly, something about God being in control and trusting Him as well as not being ashamed of Him. If these guys could be so proud of their faith in a really tough gang culture, surely I can in my everyday life.

Friday, February 15, 2013


I fiiiinally completed the 17-module pre-orientation course, and passed the test with 100%. I don't think I've ever done that before, and although it was an open book test, I was still chuffed as anything. I didn't even look up most of the answers.

The girls came over tonight and tore through my wardrobe, claiming bits and pieces for themselves. I'm so glad that they got what they did. I love how excited they were about their purchases, and I feel so happy that they'll love the clothes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Lindsay made my valentines day complete by giving me a box of Sweetheart candies. I pulled out my first heart with great anticipation to read the sentiment, only to find that it was absolutely blank. We had a laugh about the possible meaning and my hopelessness before baking the most delicious biscuits of my life.

This evening was a very special dinner with the Turnbulls. One of my all-time favourite things to do is eat yummy food at their place and sit on their couch. We always have great chats and loads of laughs. 
I made Korean which went down a treat (always a confidence booster), we played charades with Milla beene, and ate a whole lot of sweet things. To top it all off, we watched Project Runway with a bowl of pink ambrosia.

A beautiful Valentines day, I think.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


We had dinner with the Elley's as a family tonight and on the way home we got a bit silly. By 'we' I mean Mum, Daniel, and myself. Dad's far too mature. It's always hilarious when Mum gets laughing. She has a high pitched giggle and she can't stop once she's started. Dan and I were tickling her from the backseat and she was just hysterical. Dad was trying to drive, and mock unimpressed with the whole thing.

Just a typic car ride with the Ward family.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I said a final goodbye to two friends today.

This morning I had a great breakfast with Esther in Takapuna. We talked about a whole lot of things. She's another old friend whom I love to see every now and again. She was wearing great coral pants. I always feel loved by her. She's got a way of warming you up. That sounds weird.

This afternoon I had a cup of tea and a little walk with Michelle. Every moment felt a little shrouded by the impending farewell. She's a good friend and I am going to miss her a whole lot. I'm so sad to be missing out on important moments in her life this coming year, but I know we'll remain close even if we are living apart.

Driving home was a bit melancholy and I came the closest to tears along this journey yet. A little part of what I'm about to do was hitting me. It was momentary though, as I suppressed it soon enough. I'm not quite ready to ride that wave of emotion quite yet.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Tonight Lucy and I said goodbye to a group of close friends, and in her case, a lover.

Freaks and Geeks is over.

The second time through is just as good, and the finale has some of the best moments of the series.

I have loved sharing the laughs with Lucy, and giggling every time Daniel (James Franco, aka. the perfect man) comes onscreen. It's been so fun to have an excuse to hang out lots. I love that girl!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


The annual football showdown between Northcross and Windsor was this afternoon.

I had been looking forward to this for weeks. I love watching football, and this game was a great one.

Typical of Christian sports, there were fouls, penalties, yellow cards, and lots of yelling. It's all fun though and we can be friends afterwards.

Of course, Northcross took it out for the second year with a 2-1 win.

Better be the same next year!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


This was the day of two fantastic tea parties, and an amazing evening with Amy. The whole day was remarkable really, so here it is:

Tea Party #1
Lucy  Collins made a beautiful hostess, and her Sims house, the perfect backdrop for a bunch of ladies in floral dresses to eat delightful homebaked goodies and sip on pink lemonade in the sun.
It really was the best old fashioned tea party I've ever seen, with so much effort in the preparation of the treats, and an atmosphere of friendship. I feel like we celebrated being females and had a ball.

Tea Party #2
Cindy's birthday was a great occasion for an intimate little afternoon tea. She had bought us each a very delicious cupcake, and Alysha had made some paper heart bunting to add to the festivities. It looked so dainty and really felt special. They had picked flowers for the table, gave us each a jar for iced tea, and even made us place cards! We took so many photos and laughed so much. Man, I love those girls!

Date Night
Amy and I felt so lethargic when we got back to mine. After the food had all settled down from the lounging on the couch, we decided it was Indian for dinner. I love Indian! It was quite romantic and we talked about all the fun things. On the way home it was decided that we were going to swim, and swim we did. I think it would have made it into top 5 night swims for me. There was slight phosphorescence, and I could see my feet in the very dim light. We shivered our way to Elliot's where I was introduced to the game of Ligretto which is now one of my faves. I'm gonna get real good and beat Elliot one time.

Friday, February 8, 2013


It was Cindy's birthday today. We went out on a bubble tea date and she taught me some Korean things that I may need to know. To be honest, my retention wasn't very great, but I appreciate it all the same.

We had a grand time taking selcas and being Korean. I'm going to miss her vibrance and energy a whole lot.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Sorting out my clothes was a very scary exercise. Deciding what to take, what to keep, and what to get rid of was a bit emotional.

For me, the clothes I own are so attached to memories of camping trips, that time I saw that person, swimming on a hot day, going to gigs, and various other people and places. They conjure up feelings, and it was a lot harder to let go of them than I anticipated.

The most difficult was holding up items that I've stolen of my brother's, that have a remnant of his smell, and deciding whether or not to take them in their slightly stained, moth-eaten states.

The answer was yes, definitely.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Today. What a day! I was so social, and the weather was so typically a Kiwi Summer's day - perfect for Waitangi Day.

This morning, after a frustrating phone call to Apple, I went to catch up with Jono in Kingsland. It was so great to see him and hear about his trip to the US. I love seeing old friends that I've known for ages. It's so familiar and nostalgic.

I couldn't believe it when I looked at the time and we had been chatting for two whole hours!

After another loooooooong conversation to Apple about my phone, I saw Lindsay and we made a pavlova to take to the Kiwiana night at Kirsten's. It was delicious, and such a good evening to celebrate being a kiwi (Kirsten and I were the only ones). Gotta eat as many pineapple lumps as I can before I'm off!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Ahh man I love Amy Lloyd.

It's so cool that we can hang out after long periods of time and still be good friends. I miss the days of seeing here every second day, but it's always good to catch up these days.

We ate amazing ice cream and strolled along Takapuna beach, chatting about our lives, before running errands together.

Doing errands with friends is one of my favourite things. It's like real life and I reckon in those mundane tasks, the beauty of companionship is at its finest.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I absolutely love it when vivid food memories are still reality today.

Rose and I went to the favourite restaurant of our teenage years, where would have many 'grown-up' nights out with our school friends and spend money we earned at our Saturday retail jobs.

The place looked like it had changed hands, but the food was exactly the same, if not better. It was such a relief!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Before today I had never ever had to stop the car in order to chunder on the side of the road.

Added to the mix this morning was a bit of nausea, which is faaaaantastic when you've got a 4 hour journey ahead. I threw up about 2 minutes before getting into the car, and approximately a few times on the hour following that.

It really was lovely.

Despite of this, I felt like eating Burger Fuel so badly when it got to dinner time. I felt confident about keeping it down. I love it when cravings are fulfilled, and that Basic Chick really hit the spot.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Mum and I went to the cutest little farmers market today and bought homegrown garlic, capsicum, and beetroot from a lovely lady.

Unfortuately I was feeling poos so I went to bed the rest of the day. Slightly napping is the greatest feeling. It's nice to wake up from.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Mangonui is full of beauty.

There were these cheeky little moths that disguised themselves as mini monarch butterflies. They were fluttering around by the path down to the beach and I thought they were just babies. But they were tricking!