Monday, December 31, 2007

I am in South Korea! Can you believe it? Me neither!!

Hi Everyone! I know it has been a while, but I am still trying to get adjusted to my surroundings. I am using someone else's internet right now, but when I move into my apartment tomorrow and get my internet I will be good to go. My flight was over 19 hours and since I have arrived I have been on the go non-stop. We were served 2 meals and a few snacks and I watched 5 movies. I could not sleep, however I did manage to get around 4 hours of sleep towards the end of the flight. After I picked-up my bags from baggage claim I went into I see of people who were holding signs up with people's name on them. When Neesa and I walked out she immediately saw someone holding a sign with my name on it, so with a big grin on my face I waived to the man holding my name letting him know that I am "Natarsha N. Wright" and then Neesa disappeared into the crowd of people. The director of my school and the head teacher greeted me and we were on our way to go meet another teacher. We all got in a cab to go to Bundang (pronounced boon-dong), South Korea to our apartments. While on our way we stopped at the school we will be teaching at to meet the teachers. It was around 8:30pm. After brief introductions we went to go drop our bags off in our apartments and went out to dinner with the head teacher. While at dinner we just talked about how fast his year went by and his experience in South Korea. Everything sold in America is considered an import, so when I looked at the menu a soda was $5.50 I ordered it and when the waiter brought it out it was a can soda..huh? For $5.50 I thought I was going to at least get a 20oz or something to quench my thirst. And then I found out that fruit is also an import..Strawberries are like $12.00, Blueberries $8.00, Deodarant $7.00 small size, etc. So immediately I was like if I need something American I will just ask my family to send it to me. And I will be drinking lots of water.

The next two days, which was Friday and Saturday in Korea, and Thursday and Friday in the States (Oh by the way I am 14 hours ahead, so when it is day in the States it is night in South Korea and vice versa) observation which went well. I just observed how other teachers tought the students. Everyone has there own style of teaching and it is good because every group of students is different, so as teachers we have to be patient and flexible. I work in the evenings from 4pm-10:45pm Monday-Saturday, but now we are entering busy season, so I will be working from 9:00am-8pm Monday-Saturday and a half a day on Saturday. As you can see the children go to school all year round, but they do get vacations, but even when they are on vacation they come to school hence busy season. During Jan 2-Jan 30, 2008 I will be teaching 40 classes a week. That's right I will be teaching an average of 6-9 classes a day. So I pray that God give the patience and the strength.

On Saturday the American teachers took us out for lunch for a Korean meal. It was delicious. I have tried several Korean dishes since I have been here and they were all good. Of course some meals you have to acquire a taste for, but overall I like it. They do have some American chain restaurants here like Starbuck's, Quiznos, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins, Krispy Kremes, McDonald's, Outback Steakhouse (and by the way they love Outback Steakhouse), etc. The teachers at my school are really nice. They are welcoming. So far I have learned 2 Korean phrases, Hello & Thank You, I plan to learn more, so I can at least converse with the Korean teachers I sit next to in my office. Saturday evening I was able to meet up with Chris from back home in the States. We talked about our different experiences so far and then walked around for around and grabbed a spicy meat and rice dish from the 3 ladies in Sunae. While eating we met a Korean American who told us she was from California and that she was their opening up a business. It was nice to meet someone who knew In Korea we (Americans) are considered foreigners, so when you walk around people are staring at you, pointing at you, or trying to speak to you in they few American words they know..I walked past a Korean college student last night and he was like "What's Up" and I said "What's Up" back and he was excited. When I say hello or thank you in Korean they are surprised, but happy at the same time that you took the time to learn their language. I can't wait until I can carry on a whole conversation, or at least learn the alpha bet and numbers.

Last night , the American teachers went into Seoul, which is like the New York City of the States. South Korea is adorned with lots of colorful lights, it is amazing. It is so much to look at sometimes it can be overwhelming. There are so many people. And the people bump into you all the time, but that is how it is so you have to adjust. Most Koreans have never seen black people before, so they are amazed to see a black person, they either point at me, or whisper to their friends, or speak to you, etc. but it is cool it does not bother me. I even got free nuggets on a stick earlier that day. After a late night of hanging out I came home and went to sleep. I slept all day Sunday and did not wake up until 1am Monday (Dec 31) morning (I did wake up to eat though). Little did I know Chris and Neesa had been trying to call me all day, so we could meet up, but I was out like a light. I didn't even hear the phone ring. Anywho, it is officialy New Year's Eve. It is Monday, Dec 31, 2007 at 3:45am. I usually don't go to sleep until around 4am and even then I am forcing myself to go to sleep.

Well, Chris, Neesa, and I plan to go into Seoul for New Year's Eve to bring in the New Year at the Bell Tower which is the big thing to do in Seoul. It is like being in Time Square. There is so much to do and see in South Korea. Everyday is something new.

I am thankful for the opportunity and I know that 2008 is going to be the year of New Beginnings.

I pray that everyone have a safe and blessed New Year.

By the way my phone should be hooked up in the next week, so until then I will be emailing when I can.

Until next year...

Love God, Love Life, & Love Yourself because if you don't who will?

Miss you...Hugs & Kisses!



Justin Tadlock said...

You sound about as excited as I did four months ago. A lot of American stuff will definitely cost you. I bought a stick of Chapstick for $3.50 the other day and sat down and ate an entire meal for less than that.

Are you living in Sunae or were you just there to eat? I live over in the Tres Belle apartment complex there.

I too will be heading into Seoul tonight. It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you sweetie! Take it all in because this is an amazing experience for you. Enjoy! Love - Katriece