Monday, June 28, 2010

REINTRODUCTION INTO THE U.S.A



My best friend picked me up at the airport Friday morning, and then we went to grab something to eat.  We agreed on Arby's since she had to get back home to finish some work.  When we were in the restaurant, I **almost** said out loud, "hey those people sitting behind us are speaking ENGLISH!" But I caught myself before I said it out loud and just laughed...

Saturday we went for a hike in the California mountains...it was really nice, and helped me stay awake! The jet lag is awful! On the way back we stopped at a strawberry stand and bought some delicious strawberries.  Once I paid for them, I said, "kamsamnida" ... OOPS! 



My friend also caught me bowing to people that I said hello to TWICE!! I didn't even realize I had done it...

I guess it's gonna take some time to break some Korean habits I created...


NARITA, JAPAN TO SAN FRANCISCO

Second leg of the journey was great!  
I had a chair that would recline all the way to a bed...and the lumbar part of the chair would actually give you a massage! Travel doesn't get better than this!



I got settled, had dinner (which was just okay), watched a movie and then went to sleep.  When I got up, they were serving breakfast, then I started to watch another movie, and before I knew it; it was time to land in San Fran!! The eight hour flight felt like about 3 hours! 

Friday, June 25, 2010

JOURNEY HOME

First leg of the journey (no pun intended!) - Seoul to Narita, Japan.  On Japan Air they give you slippers to wear during the flight.  I looked around and EVERYONE took off their shoes and put them on...so I did too! 



Got to the Japan Airlines first class club in the Narita Airport...got my laptop up and running - free internet, had a glass of Champagne, some crackers and cheese! Now I sit for the next 7 hours...I did walk around the airport though...found some "compression socks."  On my way to Korea my feet swelled so bad, I could barely get them back into my shoes when we landed in Seoul.  And then for the next two days they felt badly bruised.  I was told to get some compression socks and wear them, and it will probably help with the painful swelling...we'll see.  But then again, I'm in Business Class and my seat reclines to a bed...so maybe my feet won't swell to the size of cantaloupes! 


See you on the other side of the pond! 


MY GOING HOME PARTY

Thursday afternoon Holt Ilsan Town employee's threw me a going home party!

There was all kinds of yummy food and drinks! 



I made sure Han Sol would be there too...I called him over and told him to sit next to me.


First they gave me a gift...a rather "interesting" night shirt...they had my name embroidered on it, along with,"from your Holt family" embroidered on it  all in Korean. 



Then I received a beautiful certificate from Director Kim, that states my length of volunteering. 







Soo Hee came to the party...



And so did Jin Hae


She gave me a wonderful gift she made herself down in the occupational therapy room.  

Then everyone watched my video...the reaction was WONDERFUL!!




I (of course) cried when I watched the video...I think it hit me then that I was really going home...








MY GIFT TO MOLLY

Thursday I gave my gift to Molly, thanking her for the most incredible 4 months of my life! 
She couldn't imagine why I would give her 3 presents? she's so humble when it comes to all she does for us adoptee's that come and volunteer. 



The first was the pillow case...



The second was the matching fitted sheet...



And the third was a comforter...




I told Molly since her house was going to be re-modeled, and she really only has ONE room she can call her own; in her own house...she ought to have a pretty bed! 

Molly loved it....and I felt so happy to give it to her...


VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE

I met some of THE MOST wonderful people while in Korea...here are a few mentionables....

Beloved Mr. Yoo - or as we all called him, "Driver Yoo." He's married and has 6 daughters! they kept trying for a boy, but ended up with all girls! He's worked for Holt for over 25 years, starting as a bus driver for Holt's School; and now is Molly's personal driver.  I'll never forget Driver Yoo driving Molly and I back to Ilsan from Seoul after an event.  It was late at night and Molly fell asleep in the front passenger seat.  Mr. Yoo broke the silence asking her a question and startled Molly out of her sleep so bad, she nearly snapped her neck off! I'm in the backseat trying REALLY hard not to laugh out loud! 



Mrs. Lim, the head house mother in Molly's home.  She HATES getting her picture taken, so for her to allow me to take this ONE picture of her was truly a gift! She's an amazing woman! I'll never forget her in the swan boat with Molly and Martin holding Soo Hee...she thought I was going to be able to go along in her boat and help her paddle...but the boat worker wouldn't let me, so she had to go it alone...he shoves the boat away from the dock and all I can hear is Mrs. Lim saying, "OOoohhh MELINDA!" 




Ms. Lee, the next house mother in charge in Molly's house. She's a wonderful cook and bakes really good bread! She has the most adorable giggle you've ever heard! I'll never forget the day she took the message from KBS for me, about people coming forward claiming to be birth family.  Her little post-it note and my non-reaction until Molly came home and made it more clear what she was trying to tell me. 




Ms. Choi works in the office at Ilsan, she's the English translator for almost everyone in the office.  She's a wonderful asset for them to have! She helped me so many times with photocopies, faxes, scans, e-mails... I'll never forget her taking me out to dinner and having one of THE HOTTEST dishes I've ever eaten! and her sitting across the table from me and saying, "it's not that spicy..." as I was sweating buckets! 



Mr. Lee - the Holt Ilsan Town photographer and pastor's son.  He always seemed to be lurking around with a rather large camera, snapping shots of you when you least expected it. I couldn't get my video burned onto a DVD that their DVD player would play...I finally went to him, since time was running out, and I wanted to present it at my going away party.  I didn't mean to make it his problem, but he stayed till 8pm in the office the night before my going away party until he finally got the problem solved (for me).  That's Mr. Lee for you...




This is Mrs. Park, but her first name is Kkod Song - "Kkod" meaning "flower," so her nickname in the office in English is Mrs. Flower.  She scheduled all of our events we went along with the residents on - to the theater, the flower show, Voices of the Soul concerts...she made sure we were included in all the special events that took place at/for Ilsan Town.  I gave her the flowers on the window sill when she returned to work after a horrible bout with morning sickness, she's expecting her second child.  She truly was surprised I would do such a thing for her. 



And those are just a handful of the many people I met during my 4 months in Korea.  


Monday, June 21, 2010

MY NEW HANBOK

Molly had some guests in her office today that wanted to take pictures with her.  She asked me to bring along my new Hanbok for the pictures! A great opportunity to get a great picture taken with me and Molly in our beautiful dresses!