In December 2015 my brother came to visit me, and stayed with me in Korea into the new year. On New Year's Eve we went to a little gathering hosted by a friend of mine.
Two weeks later, I met with a German Taekwon-Do friend, and also taught a Taekwon-Do Workshop.
I arrived in South on the 25th, and taught Taekwon-Do at different schools in Pretoria and Grobblersdalk the following week, before spending the weekend with friends in Tzaneen.
My brother and I and some friends went to the Lunar New Year festival in Johannesburg's Chinatown.
The first week of February I travelled to Potchefstroom to meet with friends, old professors, and also my old Taekwon-Do club where I taught some lesson.
I can't really remember the order of the rest of my trip in South Africa, but it involved spending time with my younger brother, spending time with some of my cousins (a group of us had a delightful dinner at an Italian restaurant), and visiting my father.
Upon returning to Korea, I went to my PhD graduation ceremony and had a nice post-graduation lunch with some of my friends here in Korea, and even a dear friend who flew all the way from New York City to attend the event. Later in the month a received an award for best PhD dissertation from my faculty.
I also went on a trip to the Taekwondowon in Muju, Korea.
My dentist started me on interdental brushes... Possibly related, in my photo folder for this month I have some pictures of chocolate brownies.
Of course, this is also the month of my birth, hence a party with friends at an Italian restaurant.
I hosted some martial arts workshops, and went to some dance performances (including the National Dance Theater of Korea's Shigane Nai), and a photography exhibit (Baki).
In March I also started doing fashion modeling. In February I was invited by someone who had scouted me on Instagram to come in for a fitting. They put me in suit, took a few photos, and told me that they liked what they saw and that after discussing it with other people in the company, they will contact me in about a month. I didn't think anything would come of it, but sure enough, a month later they contacted me, so on March 21st I had my first photoshoot. And then again the following week. I've been doing modeling relatively regularly ever since.
I also went on a day trip with a friend to North Hangang River.
I hosted more martial art workshops, attended dance performances, a theatrical Taekwon-Do performance called "Kick", and the internationally acclaimed musical, "Dead Dog."
Also in April, I had a radio interview with KBS World Radio.
And I did some really funky photoshoots in April too.
With warmer weather, I went camping by myself and loved it. Hung out with a friend who visited from America, and hosted a Taekwon-Do workshop. This month I did a very interesting photo shoot at an abandoned amusement park.
For Buddha's Birthday I went to see the Lotus Lantern Festival procession in Seoul -- I climbed on the roof of a building for a bird's eye view, and then on Buddha's Birthday, a friend and I visited a temple and took cool photos.
May is also the start of MODAFE (Modern Dance Festival), so I, of course, attended many dance performances.
There are some things listed on my planner for this month, that I can't really remember, but most the items for this month that are significant are appointments with martial artists -- one a BJJ player from Brazil, and the other a Kali practitioner from NZ.
My photo folder for this month shows more camping pictures with a friend, in Gangneung, inlcuding a trip to the Ojukheon, the birthplace of I Yulgok. There is also pictures of another camping trip. Photos of dance performances attended, martial art workshops hosted, and photos of some art made.
More dance performances, and hanging out with dancer friends.
More meetings with martial art friends, and a student I promoted to black belt formally received his black belt certificate. I, also, received my 4th Dan in Hapkido.
I was interviewed by Geek magazine for their August issue.
And I made some art.
An unforgettable month -- when I visited the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.
Let met see if I can remember... Landed in Amsterdam. After a few days went to Nationale Park De Hoge Veluwe. Great museum! Stayed at a B&B called Horse & Human. Loved it. Visited friends in Utrecht. Back to Amsterdam. Went to Belgium. Stopped in Antwerp, went to Bruges, back to Antwerp, then back to Amsterdam, but stayed over in Rotterdam for a night. In Amsterdam my friend Garnet and his family visited from the UK. Then off to Germany with a nightbus to Hamburg. Love that city. From there to Dresden. From Dresden down to Frunkfurt to visit a friend in Russelheim. Bus to Cologne, and back to Amsterdam for a few days before returning to Korea. I loved it, and kissed several people along the way. One of the best three weeks of my life and took many awesome photos and saw magnificent art.
Back in Seoul I went to see a dance performance by the National Dance Company.
The photo album for this month shows meetings with martial arts friends, visits to the Seoul Cinemateque, some Taekwon-Do photos, visits with friends from Germany, pictures about Bisexual Awareness Week, more dance performances attended, and art made. And a picture of a black board with a time line of the 19th and 20th centuries major American poets and historical events, that was clearly part of my 19th & 20th Century American Poets class.
SIDANCE (Seoul International Dance Festival) and SPAF (Seoul Performing Arts Festival) got lots of money from me in 2016, but the highlight performance for October was not at SIDANCE or SPAF, but the Tiger Lillies performance at the LG Art Center.
In this month I also went on a trip to Yeongju with a friend, had Taekwon-Do visitors from abroad with whom I've been Facebook friends, but finally met in person, and I attended then International Fireworks Festival for the last time with my close colleagues, as they ended their work contract at the end of 2016. We used to go to this event together annually, and would have a picknick in the afternoon and then watch the fireworks in the evening.
Also, some more fishy art.
More dance performances attended, dinners with friends, and photo shoots are listed in my planner.
The photos in the folder for this month are mostly about food, friends, and art made and performances attended.
The December shows many pictures of performances attended, pictures of Taekwon-Do training, the Korea Hapkido Federation Year-End Party, a Christmas party with martial arts friends, and my own pre-Christmas party with friends (loved it!).
My planner says I also had a photo shoot on the 29th, but I remember it got canceled, and I departed for South Africa on the 30th.
It is now officially 2018 . . . Finally got round to listing the highlights of 2016 . . . For me, the most significant event was my trip to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.