A Going Away Party

The church had a going away party for us today. At the end of services, they brought a cake to the front of the auditorium and lit a candle on the cake. After that, they invited my daughter and I to come to the front, so we did. They sang to us and held their hands out to us. The preacher kept talking about us going to America and about how much good he thought I had done in Korea. At the end of his speech, he asked me if I would say something, but I was all choked up and couldn’t really speak. Tears were in my eyes, so I just said in Korean, “I love Korea.” My daughter and I blew out the candle together, and then we went back to our seats. After that, the worship services were over and everyone went upstairs for lunch.

Unyong lighting the candle on the cake in front of the church.

They made Korean style spaghetti for lunch. They insisted on giving me the first plate. The spaghetti sauce was full of pieces of octopus and overloaded with big pieces of onion. They thought it was so good! I wasn’t so sure about so many onions and piece of octopus, but I was gracious and smiled and took the food they offered. I scraped the octopus and onions off to the side and ate the noodles and the sauce. Everyone sat around eating spaghetti with onions and octopus. Everyone was very happy.

Playing the Game of Life. A big green squirt guns is lying there on the table. My daughter and son in law are playing with Ha Min.

We had brought some things we weren’t going to take with us, and especially the kids really wanted those things. We had a big bag full of big squirt guns that my kids used to play with. We had a board game called the Game of Life. We had a coloring book and some teaching cards. Everyone was happy to get them. The little kids went after the squirt guns. They didn’t know they were water guns and ran around acting like they were shooting everyone. A couple of little boys were getting a big kick out of squirting me and watching me die again and again. One of the boys got the Game of Life and he and my daughter set it up. There was a big game going on. Some of them were saying they were googling how to fit in a suitcase so I could take them with us. Joseph started it. Joo Pil said he was too old, and it was too hard to start life all over again or he would follow us to America.

I pulled Hohyeong out of the office. He was my student at KCU. He loves muffins! I have seen him become a Christian, get married, graduate from college,get a good job, and have a baby.
Professor Seo, the Chinese teacher from KCU. She was my colleague and friend at the university.
Joo Pil. I met him the first year I came to Korea. He was just back from studying in America then. I saw him get married, have three kids,and become the head of a school. That s the preacher, Mr. Kim standing next to him with a baby.
Unyong, a real servant and one of my best friends. She studied English to talk to me when I couldn’t speak Korean, and now we speak both languages together. I taught her to bake. I was at her wedding, and now she is a mother.
Ha Min, Joo Pil and Hyeong Jeong’s oldest son. He didn’t know it, but he was one of my first Korean teachers. One of the ways I learned to speak Korean was speaking with him in Korean when he was trying to learn to speak.
Maya playing with the kids/ She lived at my house for a couple of years. She married Joseph, the guy I knew before I came to Korea. Her and her family are like family to me.
Grace/ She is Joseph’s and Unyeong’s sister. She went to America to study while I was in Korea. Since she came back, I have seen her get married and have a baby.
Grace’s husband.
Unyeong working in the kitchen with her husband

I went around taking pictures of them. I found Unyong working in the kitchen like usual. I found Hoyeon sitting off in another room alone, but I couldn’t figure out why. I pulled him out of the office into the room with the others, and then he went back into a classroom alone, and I went in there and pulled him out again. I didn’t get pictures of everyone, but here are some of the pictures. Joseph and Maya told me that when their son, John, got old enough, they would send him to me in America. I told them I thought when he got 14 years old that he would be in Korea in a PC Room smoking cigarettes because that is what many middle school boys do in Korea. They said that meant they would send him to me so I could spank him.

This is Hohyeon’s wife and little girl.
This is Hyeongjeong, Joo Pil’s wife, and Ha Min’s mother
This is Ha Yun, Ha Min’s little sister, Joo Pil and Hyeongjeong’s little girl
The preacher’s wife, Mrs. Kim, and Professor Seo from the university.

After a bit Unyong had cut the cake and got Joseph to help her serve it. Everyone was eating chocolate cake. I noticed Joseph and John were really eating a lot and I told Maya that John is little now, but that when he hits high school age, she needed to watch out because high school boys eat a lot and he is only six years old and eating more than the others. About that time, I heard Ha Min yell, “Pay Day!” He was really enjoying the Game of Life I had brought! He was standing up jumping up and down waving a hand full of game money. Next, Unyoung’s little boy decided to shoot me again with a squirt gun, and I acted like I died again, and he giggled hard!

Ha Min really loved the Game of Life! John is int he background looking wanting to play, but he can’t read yet. John is Joseph and Maya’s little boy.
Somehow I missed taking Joseph’s picture today. It is okay to miss some people’s pictures, but never Joseph’s. I knew him before I came to Korea, and he has become like family.

Everyone was having a good time. After a bit, my daughter and Ha Min finished the game, so my daughter was ready to go. I told everyone bye and went out to my car. Several of them followed us out. They lined the street hugging me one by one. I am going to miss them. They have been my friends all the time I have been in Korea. Some of them were Christians when I met them, and I brought some of them to the church. Many of them had gotten married and had kids while I was in Korea. As we drove off, they were lining the street waving, and I rolled down my window and tried to yell out that I love them.

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