Here’s to the moments when it becomes apparent that remaining hopeful and optimistic despite the odds was truly just plain worth it. I hope everyone gets one of these sooner or later. No matter what, stay positive people. – Kaitlynn Bormann
Monday morning I am awoken with some big news, my half sister will be arriving in about an hour–the first time I will be meeting her. Before long my mother receives a phone call that she is a bit lost in finding Mugunghwa guesthouse and my mother is a one-woman search party. Pacing around the living room and peaking through the large front window as I wait for their arriving, I get the though to record our first interaction. When they finally arrive almost 45-minutes later, I’ve been assuming that she is a bit nervousness along with several long conversations on the short walk up the street. Unsure if this is customary for Korean culture, my sister brings me a bouquet of flowers and we share our first hug. I think how luck I am to have three very beautiful sisters, two that are still back in the States, and now another sister to add to my family. Thankfully my sister, who has just turned 28 (27 in American years), is a small petite girl with a shy personality, at least at the beginning, is used to technology and we both begin conversing through translator apps on our smartphones. After almost an hour of technology assisted conversations, we agree that lunch is calling. Just after 12:45pm we head out in the direction of Dongdaemun (동대문종합시장 쇼핑타운). Lunch is more Korean BBQ, that I could eat every day. During this time we have slight hiccups in the communication since my Google translator app is limited to use on WiFi, but we seem to manage. After lunch my mom and sister have already predetermined for me that today is dedicated to taking me shopping. As we stroll through the various stalls, not quite stores, they begin picking out a variety of clothes for me and the bags begin to fill up. I attempt to tell them that I’m backpacking and have a very limited amount of space, but this seems to fall on deaf ears. I can’t help but laugh and realize that I’m the one along for the ride.
As the afternoon wears on, I’m also saddened to realize that later this evening both my sister and my mom will be leaving Seoul. Around 6pm we head back to the guesthouse and of course my mom throws on her awesome blues clues style apron and begins cooking for us. My sister and I continue to be as goofy as we have been by cracking jokes and making faces at one another as we tell each other that we share the same goofy personality. Even though there is a limit in our ability to communicate it is great that she is more technologically advanced than my mom and we add one another on Kakao as well as Facebook. I find that it’s only fitting that since I’ve kept track of the various people I’ve met along my travels and have added to the social media giant, my sister would of course be exactly the 790th new friend I’ve added and I can’t help but laugh at this stat.