a quick note before our flight from Seoul, S. Korea, to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia:
After 3 months of celebratory gatherings including lunches, dinners, road-trips to see far-flung friends, a beach party, and intimate home-based bon voyages, I left Boston with a final send-off dinner in my Italian neighborhood of 12 years. It was a nearly 5-hour gastronomic event, which included 3 pitchers of sangria! But, really, it was the memories of having truly special people sit next to me for the last-time-in-a-long-time, but definitely NOT the last time. I was a predictably emotional mess and my final night of sleeping in my bed (the whole four hours) was the most stomach-churning I can remember ever having had.
the flight out of San Fransisco was ~12 hours, but it went very quickly. I cannot say uneventfully, though, as a small dog managed to get loose—-in flight!—- and ran barking down the aisle. That was about midway through and would probably be forgotten were it not documented somewhere.
our 20-hour layover in Seoul was notable for two things: meeting an American couple on the train into the city — the man had been a Peace Corps Volunteer in S. Korea 30 years before!, and an authentic dinner in a tiny restaurant where we sat on floor mats and shared a huge fish stew (both the fish and the stew were sizable).
our group of ~70 was alphabetically bisected for the Staging event (where expectations on both parts were reiterated) in SF, so we are still making introductions two days later. (That “two days” is based on having had two nights in hotels, although I really have no sense of what day it is.) So, while I can only give my first impression of the group (a genuine cross-section of America!), I can say that my roommate the past two nights, Jenn from New Jersey, is totally awesome.
Not sure when I will be online next… if internet is readily accessible, I will try to limit myself to once a week. If it isn’t, then I hope to make it once a month. Thanks again to everyone for all the support in this decision. I definitely feel the love!