Tag Archives: I love Korea

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!