Happy New Year! I’m a bit late, but not for my birthday which is tomorrow. [Edit: My post says January 13th, but it is January 14th in Korea. My birthday is the 15th]
Fun fact: In Korea the difference doesn’t matter as much because of the concept of Korean age. This means that everyone is older by Korean age standards than they would be everywhere else. When you are born you are considered a 1 year old instead of a zero year old because of the time spent in the womb, and New Year’s day marks when everyone ages – not when their birthdays are.
But my birthday has made things a little more complicated, you see, because it also depends on which New Years we’re all talking about. Gregorian calendar? Lunar calendar? There are two New Years in Asia after all, and the Lunar New Year falls somewhere in February. By that account I am turning 26 (US age), 27 (Gregorian calendar Korean Age), and 28 (Lunar calendar Korean Age). Happy birthday to me! According to this Wikipedia page I would probably be considered turning 27.
With that out of the way, I’d like to say a few things: The next month or so I will be extremely busy doing lots of things. Currently my brother Brian is in Daejeon visiting me! I’m dragging him along to all my volunteering. Hopefully you will hear some words from him about his experience here. But in a week in a half I will be going with my fellow Korea YAVs to the World Mission Asia Regional Gathering in Dumaguete (Philippines) for a week. Following that I will have a shoestring budget vacation in Seoul with some dear friends who will be visiting from the States. Then it is the Lunar New Year! I will be going to a home stay then with a Korean family. If I don’t update during that time I apologize. I will have lots to say following that.
Also fundraising terrifies me. The deadline for my fundraising was January 1st, but I am far from my goal so I will continue fundraising for my year. As of December 5th, I have raised $2,899 out of my required $4,000 of fundraising. Everything I have received has been a sigh of relief and has really touched me that people would take some of their own resources to support me. It has encouraged me and made me feel that people really care for me. I’m already surprised by the generosity I’ve encountered. What I’ve already raised astounds me. If you’ve given already, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. It’s hard for me to express how much it means to me, and to know that people are thinking of me on my journey here a world away.
Given that, if you’re wondering what to get me for my birthday please donate! It would put a smile on my face and get me closer to my goal! You can donate here, and if you’d rather send a check, you can find that information on my donation page here. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.