Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sleepy Wednesday

I am dreadfully tired today, after having to stay up so late last night (technically this morning) in order to watch the inauguration. Unfortunately, 12:00 PM in Washington, D.C. is 2:00 AM in Gyeongju, South Korea. However, I knew that if I did not stay up to watch this historic event, my future grandchildren will most likely try to stone me! So, the wee hours of the morning found me laying on my stomach across the bed, with CNN on the TV, my journal open in front of me, and my pen poised and ready. I recorded everything I could, writing as fast as possible, so that someday future generations can have my account to add to their store of knowledge. I think I deserve a huge pat of the back from those as-of-yet-unborn generations!

I talked to Cate yesterday, and I now have a tentative departure date (assuming everything goes well and on time for my replacement). I mailed a second box home yesterday, once more amazed by how cheap it is to ship things by ground from Korea. I have so much to do in preparation for my impending departure, and only a month in which to do it all. Fortunately, this weekend is going to be a four-day weekend (owing to the Lunar New Year, I get Monday and Tuesday off), so I should be able to accomplish a fair amount. I want everything possible done well in advance, so that I can have a low-stress final week in Korea. I do not want my last impressions of Korea colored by chaos.

For the sake of others who are considering employment abroad, I have decided to try to detail my return-journey preparations as well as I did the preparations to go abroad. I have added another label to my post categories, "Preparing to Go Home," so anyone considering employment abroad can get a good idea of what to expect when they complete their contract, and can have the benefit of my experience. I only hope that I will not be demonstrating a worst-case scenario!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"