Sunday, November 30, 2008

Le Weekend

Yesterday I went to my first Korean class!

It was great! We are just going over the alphabet for now, but as the weeks go on we will learn more and more about grammar, vocabulary etc and I am very much looking forward to it!

Today I spent most of my morning talking to people I care about on Skype, doing laundry, studying some of the Korean I learned yesterday, and now I'm on my way to church, followed by a Thanksgiving turkey dinner on base! Sweet!

Must run, but will tell you all about it when I get back!

Love, Me!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Second Week!

To pick up where I left off...

I had a great weekend last weekend! I went out on Saturday night with the ladies from work and had a good time, spent my Sunday being fairly lazy, and then found a really neat church to try out on Sunday afternoon. It was huge, and seemed full of really friendly, great people... who all spoke English.

The week went well and I'm really getting settled into my classes, which I am really happy for. There is still one class that causes me a little grief, but with time I'm sure I will win them over as well. There's always lots of interesting things to see and do here, so I've been keeping pretty busy. I'm really enjoying having a place to call my own. It's different from home obviously, and I miss home very much, but having a space that is all yours definitely has something going for it.

A new session in school started this week so I spent most of last week giving and grading tests and getting ready for my kids to start brand new books at the end of the week. Everyone I work with has been soo helpful in helping me to settle in and understand how the school works. Right now because I am not used to teaching these particular programs I have a lot to learn, and have been doing lots of extra work, but I really feel that will ease off when I find a good grove and understand the individual personalities of my students a bit better. Most of them are soo great! I'm really lucky to have found such a great school!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Weekend Fun!

The fun this weekend so far has involved alot of unpacking, putting away and scrubbing! Although to you this may not sound like a whole lot of fun, I am so excited to have my own place right now that I enjoyed just about every minute of it, and look forward to doing more tomorrow!

All my stuff is unpacked now, but there's still a fair bit of cleaning to do before my apartment looks like a place that someone lives. Things that don't have a home yet are strewn about, and there's a fair bit of dirt around that just needs to be washed off things. Good news today! I found a translation for the buttons on my washing machine! Score!

I'm such a homebody, and I really am tired after cleaning etc all day, that I would really just like to stay in, but the girls I work with are going out on the town, so I am going to go with them. We're getting all dressed up, going to one girl's apartment, and who knows what could happen from there. I'll take some pictures and show you tomorrow! :)

Laters Alligators!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Moving Day: Part 2!

So, I'm not sure if this was common knowledge, but moving day was also my first day teaching all by myself! Stresss! A whole bunch of little things happened just to stress me out that could have made the day go wrong, but with a little bit of luck, my day was actually just fine!

When I left off my boss was on his way to pick up me and my stuff at the hotel. He arrived around 5 mins after I published the last post. We loaded everything into a van and then had an adventurous drive to the apartment. Apparently, when in Korea, anything goes as long as you use your hazard lights, and lean on the horn! It was crazy! But I lived to tell the tale, so all is well.

I'll spare you the majority of the details of my day, but after that we went to the school and I taught until 7 pm, went out for some yummy and cheap pizza with the other teachers from SLP, did a little grocery shopping, came home, figured out the Internet, and now here I am!

Here's a sweeping view of the apartment. I'll make another post with more pictures to make sure the photos upload the way I want them to.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Moving Day!

After spending a week living out of a suitcase in a hotel, today I move into my apartment! I am verrry excited to finally be a little settled. The hotel is great, don't get me wrong, but I can't wait to get settled...

In Fact! They are coming to get me now, so I don't even really have time to post! I will tonight though... laters!

UPDATE: Here are some pictures of the hotel I was staying in!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Second Day!

Only a quick post today... I am beat out.

This morning started fairly early with a trip to get my health check done so I can get my alien card. The alien card means that I'll be able to have a cell phone, and have access to health care and stuff... sweetness!

After that I went to lunch with the Manager of my school who had brought me to get the health check done. Apparently after he brings each new foreign teacher to get the health check they go to a place near the health centre for a meal which sounds a lot like perogie -- I'll find out the exact word for you all tomorrow -- and which is absolutely delicious! And! (believe it or not!) not spicy at all... which is great, because I don't have the highest of tolerances for spicy food, and every thing here is loaded with hottttness that would burn your mouth off. I think my taste buds are a little deadened after only 4 days!

I spent the rest of my day shadowing other foreign teachers as they go about their work, and I am going to be teaching my first class tomorrow! No lost time here! I'm looking forward to being settled into my role at the school, and to moving into my apartment which should happen either Thursday evening or on Friday.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

First Day of School!

School has not started yet, but already I am excited! Just like a small child!

  • I woke up way too early
  • I've packed and repacked my bag
  • I've dressed and redressed and
  • I've got butterflies in my tummy!

The General Manager of the school is coming to pick me up in a little less than an hour to show me how to get to the school, and then we're off! I'll post more about that experience later...

The rest of the weekend after I made that first post was great. I went out and about exploring a little, seeing the sights, looking for food, and not finding one thing I wanted to eat! Except Pizza Hut, but we all know that's cheating; I didn't come all the way to Asia so I could eat Pizza Hut! I eventually settled on a rather peculiar looking sandwich. It wasn't fabulous, but it wasn't horrible, so I think all in all it worked out OK. After my excursion I came home, spent some time in the jacuzzi that's in my hotel room, read a little, tried John's phone number and was generally a little bored and lonely for most of the evening. I am not having a whole lot of success with the phones here yet, so I think that although I managed to make the phone ring ... I'm pretty sure the call never went through. But eventually he called me and although he was busy set me up with a few of the other women from the school and we went out for a bite to eat at Fish and Grill.

It was verry nice to meet some of the other teachers from my school! All of the English teachers from my school are either from the USA or Canada, and of the 14 of us, 3 are from Newfoundland!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day One (so far...)

Hello Everyone!

Here in Korea safe and sound! I'll be staying at a hotel (a love motel -- hee hee) until the 21st which is quite nice, but which means that I'm going to have to be updating on facebook for a while because there's no wireless Internet in my hotel room. Boo... There is a computer in my hotel room though which is very nice. Yesterday I was able to send a few emails to my family, but today the keyboard is determined to type in Korean characters in hotmail and everywhere else except facebook, so until I figure out how to control that, this will have to do!

(Update: Sometimes, the keyboard randomly works here too! I'll figure this all out eventually :D )

I had a great rest last night, the hotel room is really nice and the bed is huge and comfortable. I'm still a little in shock from having travelled so far away from home, but I'm sure that will either wear off, or probably get worse as time goes on... I haven't left my hotel room yet, so we'll see where that takes me. Everything happened so fast last night, I'm not really sure where I am. Not to say that I would if it hadn't been such a whirlwind though all the same. He he...

The flights all went pretty well, nothing too unusual to report. My luggage all came through, I met a few nice people, the food wasn't even that bad! I did think that the flight from Vancouver to Seoul was never going to end though! I was trying not to sleep on that flight seeing as it was during what would have been day time in Seoul but I did a lot of reading and watched a lot of TV and movies and did survive, although I can't say that I didn't sleep at all. It was just too tempting from time to time. I am glad to say that it didn't affect my sleep last night though, like a baby I was!

When I got off the plane I went through customs and got my bags which was surprisingly painless, was picked up at the airport by someone from the school, brought to my hotel, called my family, got a phone call from one of the other foreign teachers welcoming me to Korea, slept like a baby, watched some TV and now here I am!

Interesting story before I go... many of you know how good I am at putting my foot in my mouth from time to time, well... hehe. Last night when the other foreign teacher (John) called to say hello and welcome me to Korea there was also another of the foreign teachers with him, Adam. Through the jigs and reels and me trying to fight off sleep enough to be pleasant I happened to mention that I recognised Adam's name from one of the blog posts of a girl who works with them. Adam had gone home for a month between contracts or something like that, and she had taken over his apartment when she moved here. Apparently, his apartment hadn't been the cleanest when he left, she posted about it, and half awake last night, I was silly enough to repeat the story! Oh my...

Anyway, I'm off to get my day started and do a little exploring!

Later days! <3

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Less than 6 hours till airport time...! Eeek!

Spaghetti supper with the entire family.................. check!

Packing .......................................................................... check!

Saying goodbye to the majority of loved ones.......... check!

Freaking out ...................................................IN PROGRESS!!

(Jokes! This is actually my sister Catherine... hehehe.....)


Breathe in... breathe out... it's going to be ok....

Ok, feeling momentarily calmer. In reality, I am mostly excited. Its just that odd moment of panic that has a tendency to strike now and again. I'm staying up all night tonight to help with the jet lag once I get there... promises to be an interesting adventure in and of itself.

I've realised as people have gathered around over the past few days to ask me questions, just how little I know about the experience that I've committed myself to for the next year. I know a lot more that when I started trying to figure all this out a few months ago, and yet I feel like I barley know the tip of the ice berg. In fact, the more I learn, the less I think I know in the grand scheme of all things Korean. How very exciting!

I'm off for a few hours... undoubtedly as the evening wears on and the fam goes to bed hoping to get a few hours sleep before the big trip to the airport, I'll get bored and I'll come back and tell you more of what I have learned so far... that way by the time I'll get there, you'll know almost as much as me, and I can get straight to all of the interesting stuff that's happening in the moment! Yipee!

T-1 day... aka: I'm leaving tomorrow!

I'm a little blown away by this idea... so much so that I hardly know what to write.

I still have some final arranging of items to do, but everything is mostly packed and only a few hours, a spaghetti supper and a long flight between me and the other side of the world. Eeek! I am soo excited right now, but also a little nervous! I am going so very far away, in such a very short time, and for such a long time! I know that people do it all the time, and I have faith that things will work out, but ... eek! It's a little daunting all the same, isn't it?

As you know I'm going to be living and teaching in Seoul, at a school called Gangseo-SLP which is in a district of Seoul called Gangseo-gu.

As you can see in this picture I just made, Gangseo-gu is on the western edge of Seoul, just below the Han river. The school is part of a large private network of schools that are pretty much all over Seoul and have a pretty good reputation for how they teach their foreign teachers, that's good news! Here are some pictures of the school that I'll be working at from their website:

That's it for now, I'll go back to rearranging things in my

suitcases... the updates should be coming pretty fast and furious now, so I'm sure you'll be hearing from me soon!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane..

Although I know that there is a segment of you reading today who were of the firm opinion that all this Korea stuff was a figment of my imagination, and that I was just enjoying all the attention I was receiving through throwing myself going away parties and getting gifts and cards from all the people I was fooling... it seems like the jig is up.

I am both delighted, and somewhat saddened to report that the flight is booked, the itinerary is in hand, and that I really am leaving... 5:00 AM on Thursday, November 13, 2008. (I will understand if you don't make it to the airport... )

Seoul is going to be an amazing experience. I've often said that although I have no interest in living my life in the big city that I would be interested in a little taste of life there for a year or two, just to see what it would be like. And what a year its going to be! I don't think I could have picked much of a bigger city... hehehe. Or one much further away from everything I know and love.. :(

Because the flight leaves St. John's at 5:00 AM Newfoundland time, I have to be at the airport around 3:00 AM Thursday, Nov 13, to check in and go through security and all that jazz. I arrive in Seoul at 5:15 pm on Friday, Nov 14... Yikes! Jet lag here I come! :P

Here are some picture of Seoul I found on the internet, to tide you all over until I get to post some pictures of my own:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

T - 4 days! (Hopefully!)

Still in town, but only for another 4 days if everything works out right! Yay Thursday!

I've gotta say, I have just had the best time having all you folks say goodbye to me over and over again this past few weeks. Thank you so much for all the love, caring and support you have all poured out on me as I get ready to leave, and get delayed over and over again. It has been such an amazing gift, and I appreciate it more than you know.

As I have mentioned to many of you its not so much the moving to Asia that has me nervous at this point, but the idea of leaving the nest, and this place I love so much... *sigh* I'm feeling a little nostalgic, and I haven't even left yet! I will miss you all though. As excited as I am to go there, its terribly hard to leave.

Further update on flight itinerary/departure tomorrow as soon as I get the details!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thursday! T - 5 days!

The big day is Thursday folks!

Mark it off on your calendars, I'm heading to Korea on Thursday, November 13, 2008!

Update on Monday when I get my itinerary to let you all know what time!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Interview Complete!

As promised, the interview took place today, Tuesday, Nov. 4th, 2008, and I have to say, it went really well! Its unfortunate that I had to do so much waiting for a 12 min interview over MSN, but its over now and was the last step in my visa application process. The man who was interviewing me said that they would have the visa in the mail by the end of the day and that I should have it Thursday, or Friday at the latest! I am so thankful that all of this is finally on the move again!

I am also a little nervous... Korea! Eeeekkkk!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

I was waiting for you to call

Apparently, I am yet again delayed from my journey... which is sad.

But this time its only for a week, which is great!

So, now I have an interview (the same one I posted about on Oct 22) on Tues

day the 4th, and then I'll be outta here within a few days. I know that if you're reading this blog, chances are you've heard me say that before, but its really happening this time! I promise! If not I'll take you out for coffee... again.... :)
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