I had a slow start to 2016 but was expectant to having a great year. My focus was on completing my master’s program and taking the long awaited trip back home. Little did I know that God had a different plan for me. If someone had told me in 2014 that I would stay in Korea for more than 2 years, I would never have believed them. Here, I am still growing strong.
The first months of 2016 dragged on coupled with my fair share of challenges. Even so, the second half of the year I had some incredible experiences. I can not put down all the things that made it special but I will try and highlight a few moments that made 2016 great.
May was great because I got to celebrate my birthday in a special way. A couple of friends managed to spare some time in their busy schedule to organize a party for me. They collectively prepared the venue, music, food, drinks and invited some other friends.The number of people that turned up for this party on short notice way astounding. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate my birthday and for that I am truly grateful. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of this day because my phone blacked out due to a major fall. Nonetheless, the memories are still dear to me.
Mid-year I got a free trip to some of the most treasured islands of Korea, Ulleungdo, and Dokdo (울릉도 and 독도). Although I got sea sick on the island, I enjoyed every bit of this trip. The view of the penetrating rocks from the sea was exhilarating. The refreshing waterfalls, amazing friends and the spectacular view of the Nari basin.
|Ulleando – Island|
In the same week, I had my second visit to the Jeonju Hanok Village. It was exciting to see young couples dressed in Hanbok, taking selfies and making merry. The food and drinks too were heavenly. I must say the night life was somewhat disappointing no wonder it’s called the slow city
|Jeonju City (Slow City)|
In August, I had an unexpected trip to Ghana. Although it was brief, I had the opportunity to see where my Ghanaian friends come from. I made my first international presentation at the 2016 Next African IT Leader Workshop on Technology Transfer for Development hosted by the African Development Bank. I got a taste of what living in Accra feels like. From the beautiful coastal life to the chaotic ‘tro tro’ ride to Madina Market.
|Accra coastal Experience|
|Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Center|
In the same month (August), I received my Masters of Science Degree in Information and Telecommunications Technology (Engineering) from KAIST. It was a hectic two years, but my batchmates made the journey interesting and worthwhile.
|Batch 16 -Graduands|
|Msc. in the bag at KAIST|
The Later part of the year, I joined YEM and got plugged in a small group (connect group). A collection of different nationalities, cultures and personalities joined together by Christ. I am so grateful for YEM and this connect group, we have done some splendid things together. This was one of the best things that happened to me in 2016.
|9 Course Zip line at Munyeong with my Connect group|
An awesome friend and I got a weekend gateway to Buan, Gochang, Gangsin and Jangheung cities. We had mixed feelings about this trip but thank God we had each other.
|Jangheung Woodland Forest|
|‘Beaching’ with Sarah|
Just as I was about to give up on Christmas in Korea, I got to experience a whole new Christmas in 2016. I got to spend the entire Christmas eve with my connect group packed with fun activities. I had my first ice skating experience, had awesome English dinner, board games not to mention the thoughtful presents. This was by far the best Christmas I have had in Korea.
|Ice Skating – Christmas Eve|
|Boardgame Cafe in Hongdae|