Yesterday was my saddest day thus far in Korea due to the departure of one of my favorite students in Lion class. Donna, her little brother Mikhail, and her family are moving to New Zealand in a few weeks, so Donna and Mikhail left school as of yesterday to prepare for the big move. While I can completely understand why her parents want the children to have more opportunity in a Western country (which is why I was told they are leaving) I am incredibly saddened to lose Donna-one of my best, sweetest, and most lovable girls. She never gives me trouble, always volunteers answers, is super fun and silly, and yet does not verge into suck-up territory. She had a great personality and she’s unique. She’s amazing. I will miss her so much! Since yesterday was her final day, I had a little party with Lion class. I gave her a necklace, we both cried a lot and then I let the kids play games. I like to think she’ll remember me someday, but she’s only 7 so I won’t keep my hopes up.
After school several of the teachers were as depressed as I, so we decided to make a little trip to a local amusement park, Lotte World. It’s about 40 minutes away by bus in the Jamsil section of Seoul (the same area where I attended a baseball game and checked out the Olympic Stadium). It was amazing! The area is set up half indoors and half out, with lots of roller coasters and regular amusement-park fare: ferris wheel, haunted house, plume ride, viking boat and even an indoor skating rink. I was particularly excited to see the Cinderella castle in the center (it brought out the Disney princess loving girl in me), and it’s all smack-dab in the middle of Seoul. I am constantly amazed by Korea! Not to mention the food and drinks are still incredibly cheap, rather than the hiked up prices one would expect in a western theme park. Lina, Jenny, Marisa and I all bought felted animal ear headbands to up the festivity quotient of our evening. We also got a discount and only paid17,000 won to get in because Lina is a repeat customer-she really loves Lotte World! We closed down the park, making for a late school night, but overall, the trip was a great way to perk up a bit and stop thinking about my little lioness going to New Zealand for the rest of her life.