Bye Friends

It was four straight weekends of potluck dinners, fun chatting, late night movies, and of course, post-movie discussions. What a joy it was to spend singles nights with these sisters! For this final night, we relished our time together, knowing it is probably be the last one. I don’t know if my experience would be as rich if it weren’t for the gift of their fellowship these last few months.

sunday nights

One of the few hiking trips I took was up this mountain with 1,000 steps. This friend dared to take it with me because I just had to do it before I left this place. We parked our bike at the foot and began our hike, stopping every now and then to catch our breath (in part because we were chatting so much). We spent a good hour or so up on the heights to enjoy the view — what a view! On the way down, it started raining, and since there was no shade anywhere, we huddled on the steps of the stairs under one jacket. And yes, we whiled away the time chatting. What special and memorable time! I’ll never forget it.

hiking trip

I was sad that I wouldn’t be able to see my friends’ baby when he/she is born late next month. I paid a final visit to their house to say goodbye and to wish them the best. They are a lovely couple. Maybe someday, our paths will cross again.

last visit

I was so touched when this family gave me a farewell dinner by making this very special Korean meal — all from scratch! That’s about how you do it here in this place. Earlier that day, I spent some time with these three lovely girls on their roller blades and skateboards. They are three of the most charming girls I’ve ever met. After dinner, I also ended up chatting with their parents until 2 a.m. They are an inspiring family, one from whom I learned much throughout these last six months.

korean dinner

From the beginning, this group served as my constant companions every week. It helps to have a kind of routine that normalizes life somehow. On this final night, I found myself thinking back to when I first came … how far I’ve come! I’m so thankful for the support that this family has given me throughout this experience. Though there are no tears in these goodbyes, there is the promise of a happy reunion in the future.

monday nights

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