A Year of Firsts

4 Jul

cheersThey say you should do something new every day. Actually I have no idea who said that, I just saw it on someone’s Facebook wall and I took it to heart. I have to say I’ve really delivered on that recommendation this year. Let this list be a summary of all the shenanigans I lived through these past 11 months (keeping in mind that there could still be additions made in the next 12 days)!


  • Learned how to read another language
  • Taught two kids the alphabet & basics of reading English
  • Helped harvest red peppers
  • Received accupunctureguard
  • Witnessed prayers to the ancestors
  • Visited several “intentional communities”
  • Swam in the East sea
  • Tried pig ear, liver, and lung (and the weird intestinal sausage filled with noodles)
  • Chomped down on raw crab, so I could suck out its guts
  • Learned how to make buchimgae, japchae, tangsuyuk, duenjang and kimchi chigae
  • Taught myself how to make bread, Mennonite portzelkis, and chocolate pudding from scratch
  • Invented/adapted several rice cooker recipes including banana bread and a rockin’ rice pudding
  • Developed a taste for dried seaweed
  • Generally tried everything that was put in front of me, except perhaps that whole octopus at Thanksgiving (I’m not sure it wasn’t just for the ancestors; if you can only be dead to eat something I guess it doesn’t count)fishing
  • Had pizza and bucket chicken for Christmas dinner
  • Went ice fishing
  • Went to the public bath
  • Looked at North Korea & met a handful of North Korean refugees (probably more than I realize, though)
  • Walked on the Great Wall of China & through People’s Square
  • Navigated the Shanghai subway system all by myself
  • Slept on an overnight train
  • Rode the Star Ferry & streetcars of Hong Kong
  • Got over my fear of karaoke (but I’ll admit I’m still iffy about how public it is back home!)
  • Got over my fears of being called upon to verify something in the middle of a sermon at church
  • Lived in an apartment (!)
  • Lived with a Mongolian, thus making my first Mongolian friend
  • Saw where rice and soybeans come from


  • Saw a Chinese water deer (AKA “vampire deer”) out my back window
  • Taught Dutch Blitz to my Korean, Indonesian and Mongolian friends alike
  • Climbed a couple very high and difficult mountains
  • Ate lunch in the middle of a river
  • Doubted God
  • Witnessed God’s provision even after my doubt
  • Had a blast, learned, grew, and stretched every single day!

3 Responses to “A Year of Firsts”

  1. Mama July 14, 2013 at 9:28 AM #

    May every year be full of “firsts” for you—maybe not with things like eating pig’s ears, but with other adventures that challenge and excite you. Life should never be too predictable.

  2. Kaite July 5, 2013 at 12:51 AM #

    Such a crazy year for you. I could not have accomplished so much, for sure. Way to go!

    • Deborah July 5, 2013 at 10:25 AM #

      Maybe not these exact things, but you would’ve found your own first experiences! Thanks Kaite!!

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