Friday, August 3, 2012

Megan and Ben visit Yecheon

This summer vacation has been a whirlwind of excitement, welcoming friends and family to Yecheon and then saying my farewells. I cannot believe how quickly vacation came and went. Last Tuesday, I parted ways with my brother at Incheon Airport. Later that day, I took the bus back to Yecheon, took a shower at home, grabbed a coffee at Yoger Presso and then went to the Yecheon bus terminal at 5:30 to pick up my Peace Corps friend Megan and her boyfriend Ben.
Megan was a close friend of mine in the Peace Corps whom I haven't seen since serving in the Philippines three or four years ago. She and her boyfriend took two weeks to vacation in Korea and visit friends of theirs now serving in Korea with the U.S. armed forces or as English teachers like myself.
Beyond the company, I really enjoyed their visit as it gave me a chance, arguably my last before moving to Andong later this month, to see Yecheon with new eyes. Most of their time here was spent in Seoul and Busan (and therefor on the subway). They enjoyed the rural pace of things here in Yecheon, the "home-cooked" style of the food here and the fact that we could walk anywhere in town within a matter of minutes. They got to see quite a few things here they weren't able to see in the cities like traditional homes (some predating the Korean War), the Yecheon Insect Bio Expo running all month and rice fields. Well, the rice fields were exciting for Ben. I think Megan, like myself, had her fill while living in the rural Philippines during her Peace Corps service.

The best thing for me about their visit was the opportunity to actually talk about my Peace Corps service. Since I had come home back in 2010, I haven't had the opportunity to meet up with anyone from my batch (267 <3) and really talk about service in a way that would make sense to anyone else. My friends Melinda and Jason have been a wonderful source of comfort and understanding as they served in the Peace Corps in Mongolia, but they were in a different place with different people. I never really realized that I'd never had the opportunity to decompress with one of my own until Megan came. It all felt healthy, the good and the bad, just talking about it with someone familiar with the people, the places.
I had met Ben over Skype once but this was the first time I ever really got to talk to him. One of the prevailing emotions throughout Peace Corps service was loneliness; I was so glad to see Megan happy. Ben is an absolute sweetheart and seemingly an open-minded travel partner. They seem so happy together and, knowing Megan back in the "dark ages", it makes me glad she has found someone who makes her happy and can indulge her wanderlust with equaled enthusiasm.
I just took them to the Yecheon bus terminal; they fly out of Incheon on Sunday. I wish them a safe flight and all the best in their life together in Tampa.
My home has been blessed with friends and family but it'll be nice to relax this weekend and take in a movie or seven.