I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!
Trip Start Sep 13, 2011
5Trip End Sep 14, 2012
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Where I stayed
My new home
I am not too sure my writing skills are quite up to scratch to give much justice to my experience so far but I'll take a stab at it.
I arrived in Korea on Wednesday 14th September at around 4pm at Seoul, Incheon International airport. After travelling last year and taking many flights around the world and experiencing different airports... this time I was on my own and I definitely felt very alone. It all went very smoothly, the flight was super nice - Asiana Airlines whom I had never heard of but they were great! Very comfortable and offered lots of good movies. The food was good, however when woken at like 3am English time and being faced with Spicey fish for breakfast I almost threw up
Vomit aside, leaving the immigration and customs I was greeted by a very friendly and very obvious face (even though I had never met her before) Kathryn from the UK!! By obvious I mean the ONLY foreign face at the airport. Even on my flight it was maybe 4 Brits, one Phillipieno and the rest were stupidly well dressed Koreans! There was me in my baggiest most comfortable clothes and not a speck of make up! Typical British!
Kathryn is a mutual friend of my brothers friend - we got in touch just before I set off and she offered to meet me at the airport where she saved my sanity! Got me a starbucks - I decided to choose a Green Tea Latte (won't ever again!!) and we chatted, it was great and so comforting to have someone meet me at the airport and help me get my ticket, get some food!
I then took a bus journey of 4 hours to Suncheon, Jeollanam-do where i live. Coach was crazy comfortable compared to any other Asian coach I have been on. Recylining chairs, and a rest stop with very clean toilets - but mirrors on the insides of the toilet doors.
First thing I noticed in Korea is that there are mirrors - EVERYWHERE!!
Time for me to start making more of an effort I feel.
Anyway, I arrive at the bus station in Suncheon and was greeted by the lovely Roger and Jo and Melody!! Who gave me a huge hug and waited with me until the Korean staff arrived. I was SO grateful, I was in a bus station surrounded by bizarre writing and no foreign faces...then they show up, just to make sure i was okay! How awesome.
Then the Korean staff arrive, Peter and John along with Ralph from the Philippines (who has become a great friend!!)
We took the long drive to camp, well it felt like ages and obviously so strange as I didn''t recognise anything. We stopped at a store and was told 'buy things' I had no idea what to buy, so I bought a big mumma bottle of water and some nuts!! (typical!!) I arrived at camp, so dark and lots of bugs everywhere and left in a room which was nothing like I expected... Then Roger called and said, pack a bag and come and stay at ours
I arrived at the main office and met the big boss man - Mr Kang and asked what I think of the camp (I had only just opened my eyes, so I had no idea) The Jet lag was something special I felt like I was floating or had the worst hangover ever. We fully get thrown in the deep end here, like no messing about, if it wasn't for Jo and Roger i would have been teaching on Thursday, but instead I could observe the classes. So I spent most of my first day being pulled about, trying to establish what to do about my living accommodation to how the camp worked. I am still learning!!
That was my initial experience of Korea.
Now, I have my room in the Youth Hostel, the camp have remodelled the room installed a 'kitchen' bought me all brand new things, bed, fridge, washing machine, cutlery, pots and pans, they are also getting me a car!!! which I have been told arrives today
At school we teach three times a day and have other theme classes in the morning and the evening. It is good fun, but we have such large classes it is very exhausting! I am still trying to get my head around it but I am enjoying most of every minute here in Korea.
My friends Jo and Roger who felt like family moved to Indonesia on Saturday and I miss them terribly! I am looking after there wonderful dog Buddy who is keeping me company and making me go walking which is also a blessing as I have started to expand!
I have met some truly awesome people through the church and my school, the volunteers, Korean staff and Ralph are all amazing and I couldnt wish for better people to work with. Sadly the volunteers leave in the next 3 weeks and there is no camp until March again when more staff with come, but the volunteers will flow in and out I have been told.
Through the period of no camp myself and Ralph are teaching outside the camp to volunteers helping at a big Garden Expo commencing in 2013
Its exciting, God is giving me wonderful people, interesting challenges and tests to take but I know He has walked ahead of me and will not give me anything I can't handle.
Nothing can be harder than this time last year right??!!
I'll expand on my news and my journey this week including places I have seen, so if you could make head or tail of this blog then stay tuned I'll write again!!
Missing everyone. Love you all xxx