Happy New Year 2005

Happy New Year, dear reader!  2004 has been quite a year for us.  It started in the Seattle area, where I was working for a local accounting firm as an IT consultant.  It ended in the Washington, D.C. area working for the Foreign Service, studying the Korean language in anticipation of our departure to Korea.  Although the tsunamis put a huge damper on this year’s festivities worldwide, life is good in our home.  I am very thankful for the changes in our life and the unique opportunity we have to travel and work overseas.

Have you made a New Year’s resolution?  I usually make a few, but this year I haven’t thought about it much.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been too busy.  If I were to make some resolutions, they would have to be as follows:

  1. Finish Korean language class with an adequate testing score
  2. Arrive in Seoul safely
  3. Take a real vacation

Weight is always something to watch, but fortunately I don’t have to check off a lot of the typical New Year’s resolutions.  The three goals listed above are definitely achievable.  I feel a lot better about learning Korean now.  It will always be an uphill battle for me, though.  I’ll know soon whether we make it to Korea safely without event.  Hopefully the worst that will happen is dealing with a fussy child on a trans-Pacific flight.  The third may not happen anytime soon because I first need to adjust to working in Seoul, get through my job’s busy season, and prepare for the upcoming APEC Conference in late 2005.  If the APEC Conference in Seoul is anything like it was in Chile this year, it should be interesting.  I’m sure that President Bush won’t have to pull his security guard into meetings like he did in Santiago.  We may not be able to go on an extended vacation until next November or December.  I have plenty of vacation saved up already.

I hope you had a wonderful 2004.  Please pray for the safety and restoration of those affected by the tsunamis in Asia and Africa.  Let’s hope that 2005 is better than 2004 for everyone.

Sharing a vehicle

This is my first day going solo since I started Korean in July.  My wife has been going with me to Korean class from the very beginning, but today I’m on my own now that she has finished her language course.  She finished early so that she can take care of our son.  Until now her parents had been taking care of our son, but now they’re returning home in anticipation of our departure.  My wife will stay home with our son full time until at least mid-February when we head to Seoul.  After we get to Korea she may work part-time or full-time if she can find a good job there that does not require fluent Korean.  In the meantime she’ll be a stay-at-home mom.

We only have one car now.  We got rid of our other vehicles before we moved to the D.C. area, and now we’re down to one vehicle.  That was fine when we both had the same schedule, but now that we’re on different schedules we will have to time-share the car.  It takes a bit of creativity.  The weather is cold now and it won’t be fun walking outside for extended periods of time or waiting at a bus stop.  The Metro isn’t as convenient as it could be.  She will drive me in and pick me up while her parents are here, but after that I’ll be on my own if she needs to keep the car.  Having a second vehicle is so convenient.  I wish mass transit were convenient, but unfortunately not.  Perhaps when we return to the D.C. area in the future mass transit will be a more viable option for us.  In the meantime we’ll have to do some fancy schedule coordinating, and I’ll have to spend more time getting to and from school on my own.  It’s just two months–that’s not too bad.  I just hope that I won’t get caught in a big snowstorm between now and when we leave for Seoul.  We won’t always have a car around the world, but in most parts of America it’s such a necessity.