Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas; Family, Friends, and Camels

Christmas in Korea kind of comes without warning, then it's back to work after a quick day off of longing  for family, friends, and home.

A year ago today, I was traveling through the desert in Rajasthan, India, on a camel. The train was three camels large, an irony that didn't strike us until Christmas Eve. I was traveling with an adventurous young man from Chile, and the camel driver. We were reminiscing about being in the desert in India for Christmas, and the absolute absence of anything we, as Westerners, associate with Christmas at all; Christmas lights, Christmas trees, carols, etc... It was a while before we realized what we were doing was far more 'Christmasy' than what anyone we knew at home was doing. We didn't have any illusions that we were wise men or anything like that, but there was definitely a connection. It was fun to get back to the ancient streets of Jaisalmer that night and send some pictures home in time for Christmas morning.

This year Christmas was a bit different than usual, too. I missed my family at home, but have my new family here this year. The three of us, EunBong, my sweetheart wife, myself, and our baby to be. We had chosen CheongYeon (Blue Lotus), a while ago for a name, but it's become more of a pet name for the fetus now.

The doctor said it looks like it will be a girl and Eun Bong asked if we could pick a name that would work in both languages. For now, we've decided on Fina. It's an Italian name, short for Josefina, so it definitely works in my family of Josephs. In Korean, the Chinese characters 'Hui' and 'Na' together mean roughly "shiny precious loveliness" and Koreans sometimes use an 'h' sound instead of an 'f' when spelling English words with Korean characters. The original meaning of Italian/Hebrew name 'Guiseppina' is, "Jehovah increases." This is also the meaning of my name, and I have no grievance with how it has treated me in this life. I think it's a good name to pass on for a forth successive time in the Bengivenni line. 

Merry Christmas

   from EunBong, Joseph, and Fina!




  1. what a wonderful gift to share...the name of baby in the making.. Its an awesome day here so the dog adn I are off to the seashore to frolick and gather...
    have a blessed day you three!!!!

  2. thank you~
    have a nice time at the bay!

  3. wow Joseph, I know your family is so proud of you, and of beautiful life you have created for yourself and for your loved ones. Such a unique place inwhich to live. Few people on this earth, can say that they have experienced such a magical part of the world, and the wisdom that it has given you. I do think you should write a book of your adventures and would be a best seller.
    Wishing you all the Abundance, love and peace in the New Year to you and your family
    Ann Marie