Distance traveled: 800 mi/1287 km
I’ve just heard word from Jaela! Readers and superlative pen-pals alike, I give you baby Gus!
It makes sense to me that Jaela would be the first of us to take on parenthood from seeing her effortlessly take newcomers under her wing when we first set foot in Cheongju. Though her (extended) contract was up before mine was even halfway through, her savvy of our city and the Korean school system made all the difference in my transition abroad from the start.
For anything that could not be remedied with a word from the wise, there was her home-cooked Americana. Jaela readily planned dinners at her apartment for all of us expats whenever we needed the comfort (food) most. I don’t know how she was able to manage Thanksgiving portions and quality with no more than a single hot plate, toaster oven, and a shortage of Western ingredients, but the generous gesture always hit the spot for whichever one of us was needing the boost. It’s a wonder we didn’t fake homesickness every time we craved Italian. Or butter. Or gravy.
Thank you Jaela, for all your heavy heart healing
Standby as Follow That Flag makes its way up from the Tar Heel State to the Empire State!