So, I went back to the summit of Mireuk-san last weekend, the place where my banner picture up above and my Facebook profile picture were both taken. The view was very different, as fall colors and the mixed palette of browns that dead grass and fallow fields yield have replaced the brilliant end of summer greens from my first visit.
Now, I’m not going to use this rather obvious imagery to illustrate any points about my current mood or the different between my mindset then and now, but I will scatter more pictures from that visit throughout this post, although they will lose more and more context as I progress.
Here, this might be the last one that has anything to do with what I’m writing
I’m actually feeling pretty good right now. This may have something to do with the fact the school year is drawing to a close and a long, blissfully free winter vacation looms. Still, I think there’s more to it than that.
Peace Corps had two big three-month anniversaries. The first was the end of training, which if you made it that far (everybody did in our group) you were feeling pretty comfortable about the country you were in and your ability to survive away from home so long. There were plenty of support systems in place in training-though a set schedule, host families, and tons of your peers nearby that you saw every day.
These support systems largely (and if you drew a site without cell service as I did- just about completely) disappeared once you got to the town you’d spend the next two years in. This effectively reset your adjustment cycle, and reflecting that Peace Corps had another meeting three months later where the whole training class got together and discussed what they had been up to until then. Once you got past this hurdle, you were nigh on certain to make it to the completion of service, barring anything drastic.
See, told you the pictures wouldn’t make any sense later
So, the whole point I’ve been working up to is that I just passed my three month mark in Korea, and I’m starting to feel more comfortable. Now, to some extent this is peak post as opposed to the valley of the last one. Still, I feel comfortable navigating the city and country, I’m picking up important bits of the language slowly but surely, and I’m finally starting to keep my head above the waterline of all of the work (mostly self-imposed) that I’ve been doing.
Now this post doesn’t bring a whole lot of news with it. I have a bit less than a month left of classes and then a long winter vacation with only one week of winter camp to contend with. At the end of January, I intend on going to the Philippines for a week and a half and relax on a beach before starting a new year. If I’ve completed prep for the new year and finished and edited by first (only?) novel by then, all the better (as for that latter part- sounds like a joke but it isn’t. It’s half-written but a long way from readable, though, so cross your fingers).
Hopefully I’ll have more to offer everybody for the next post, but I’ll sign off with my favorite photo from last weekend, and hopefully that makes up for all the meandering: