A Welcome Letter from Raquel

Hello, Aloha, Howdy, 안녕하세요,

With confidence I would like to greet you, but to be honest, this is a new endeavor for me and I’m unsure of how this will be received and how the future looks for all of us in HKC. I feel the magnitude of what Hawaii Korea Collaborative can become. We’ve spent countless hours talking about it, dreaming about it to be more precise. Now that this dream is becoming a reality I feel that it is now or never for Hawaii Korea Collaborative.

You see, this summer is when everything changes for us. Keoni is going to study abroad in South Korea for a year. Andi will be graduating at the end of the fall semester. Kyung moo will be his busy, philosophical self who battles his Economics degree. I am in Korea for the summer and also taking on the role of President of Hanwoori Hawaii at our university this fall semester. In a few weeks, it seems our lives will be physically separating and mentally jarring. Due to all of these changing circumstances, we must all work together more than we have ever before.

The reason behind my rather worried intro to this blog post is because I want to show you my real, raw emotions. At this time, it just so happens that I am feeling worried, yet optimistic, so I wanted to show that to you, instead of hiding it. For example, right now I’m struggling with trying to make friends here in Korea that will have enough patience to talk with me, despite my stumbling Korean skills, and this is a bit saddening to me. I’m all about being myself and being honest towards others. I want you to know how I feel and I want to make you feel something as well. Here I can give my view of the world to you, and in return hopefully you can comment about your opinions, feelings, and/or musings. Similar to everyone else at HKC, I want you to come on a journey with me. One journey after another until they all blend into a wonderful experience that is like an impressionist painting: not always specific and clear, but still captivating and beautiful.

This is all I ask of you, merely plunge into the unknown waters of the future with me. Or perhaps just dip your toe in if you’d like. Come experience life with me. You may even find out things about yourself along the way.

Now that you know that I'm in South Korea, here's a photo of the Hwaseong Fortress Wall in Suwon I visited last week. Very beautiful and worth the long walk along the wall. I’ve always found Joseon architecture artistic and the Hwaseong Temporary Palace and Fortress were a nice welcome to the country.


Welcome to Hawaii Korea Collaborative.




Raquel “Rocky” Reinagel is a MA candidate and graduate assistant in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; former president of Hanwoori Hawaiʻi; and Co-President of the Second Language Studies Student Association (SLSSA) at UHM.