We’re halfway through the longest month of the year. January is the eternal month, and you know I’m right. Add in the fact that we’ve been on ROM (restriction of movement) for a solid week (Ryan’s been on ROM since Christmas), and midwinter in South Korea is feeling extra spicy. Honestly, there have been some moments from all of us where we feel a little too cooped up and a little too cramped, but it’s been good for us, too. It really love having the kids around more, and having Ryan’s helping hands through some of the chaos has been an extra blessing.
I realized I haven’t shared too much about what, exactly, ROM entails here at Camp Humphreys. Basically, since Camp Humphreys numbers have been ever-rising, they locked us down. If you live on post, you’re pretty much only allowed to leave for absolutely essential things. If you live off post, you can only do essential health and work-related things, then immediately go home. But yes, we can go to and from post as required, as well.
Schools are still open, which has been good for continuity, but I honestly don’t know where we’re headed with all this nonsense. Ask me how close I am to just homeschooling after this year…I dare you. But in all honesty, midwinter here hasn’t been too bad. It’s cold (and windy, thanks to those icy Siberian breezes), and we’re as busy as we can be with all the hurdles in our path.
We’re making time to go to the local markets to buy produce since our commissary is either A) massively overpriced (to the tune of $12 for strawberries) or B) out of everything we need or want on any given day. The kiddos absolutely love talking and interacting with the locals, and they love selecting fresh produce, too. Spencer was randomly caught in a contact trace earlier this week and, though vaccinated, can’t go to school until next week. So, he and Mieke helped me pick out strawberries for just W5,000, roasted seaweed, arrowroot, cilantro, and more, then they each had a fresh hotteok from the griddle.
Time is flying, even though January is eternal. Mieke is pushing up on three this spring, Porter will be six, and when summer rolls around, we’ll only have a year left in Korea. So, while these midwinter moments in South Korea might feel eternal, I’m constantly reminded that time is moving, even if we feel like we’re at a stand-still.