It’s good to have you back, Dave.
This seriously has been probably the most eventful summer of my life. I could write forever on it, but I don’t think I can. Just writing about China would take forever. It’s been strange, though, that I don’t like talking about China. I’m not sure exactly why, but part of it is when I get started, it takes a long time to go over it. Also, it’s the realization that when people ask how China was, they don’t really care, they’re just being polite. So I’m more than willing to respond with a polite “It was great.” Anyway, if this was you, don’t get me wrong. I had a great time. I just don’t like talking about it right now. Unlike Paul Lee, I am unable to really sum it up in e-mail form that’s thorough and concise.
One thing I picked up this summer though is journaling, and all my China thoughts are there in my journal. So there is little motivation for me to write anything about China at all here. But it’s a dilemma because I do feel like I have a responsibility to share about my experiences and stuff. I’ll think about it some more. But for now, no China. Sorry Andrew.
Right after graduation my family and I went to Canada. There was a sense of urgency to it, and it may be our last family vacation ever. At any rate, it was great. Calgary / Bamff. It seriously is a beautiful place. I highly recommend visiting sometime.
But it’s strange being in the family setting again when everyone is grown up. Me and my sister are in college now, so the old family roles don’t work the same anymore. It’s just kind of strange. I mean, we’ve been out on our own, even taking leadership roles wherever we were, and so it’s different when we’re back in the family setting and that was really interesting to see. I saw this again when I went to a family reunion in Oregon right after I got back from China. My great-aunt married a white guy and they have three grown kids, the oldest with 3 children and the youngest is a PhD and I think 32 years old. At any rate, they’re old, but it’s strange seeing how they interact as brothers. This probably made no sense, but that’s OK.
Speaking of which, this family reunion kind of was timed to follow the wedding of my cousin (actually my mom’s cousin) in San Francisco. Ann Cho. I wasn’t able to attend but I saw the program and it was essentially a Stanford IV reunion. It was crazy all the names there. The strangest one was “Juliet Chien.” Yikes.
Marriage is a crazy thing, and there have been a lot of them lately. Also this summer this guy from our church got married up on the East Coast. The crazy thing is, several of my friends were the groomsmen. Among the bridesmaids was this girl Grace Yoon, I think, whom my cousin Marshall (from Oregon) met, as did Paul Lee and Jieun Park. Kind of crazy.
So my cousin Marshall was in Korea for about a year and a half. And I realized how many connections are made in Korea, particularly if you go to Onnuri and YACF. Seriously, it’s crazy. So I’m wondering if Dave is making these types of connections now. But you’re not in Seoul, right Dave? I’m just curious.
At any rate, we went up to Oregon for my great-aunt’s 60th birthday, which is a big deal in Korean culture. But it was bizarre because she really is white now, and all her friends are white, and everyone there was white. It’s just a totally different culture. It was at the Eugene Country Club, the President of Oregon University was there, as was the grandson of the founder of Nike (Phil Knight’s track coach). After the party the hired country band played favorites like Home on the Range and Danny Boy. Strange.
The thing about my family is that we’ve never really been good about keeping in touch with relatives. So this summer was like the first time I had seen some of them for almost 10 years. So it was a little bit strange. But good. Really good. It’s just a good feeling having family. It’s something I haven’t really had for most of my life. extended family, I mean.
Anyway, my other cousin (Ann’s sister) Susan married this big white guy Alex Van Riesen. They’re both IV staff in LA and next year are going to be staff at Stanford. But they were there and it was cool hanging out with them too, in like a family setting. Just kind of bizarre. This same cousin helped write a book about Asian Americans called I can’t remember the name but the subtitle is how to follow God without dishonoring your parents. It’s kind of interesting. I think it’s called Following Jesus, and she is listed as Susan Cho Van Riesen. Other authors include Jeanette