I can’t believe how fast time is flying for us in Korea. Mike and I have learned so much in such a short time and are really still enjoying ourselves in our host country. I would recommend this experience (teaching abroad, living abroad, traveling, etc.) to anyone and everyone.
There are just too many! But one particular experience sticks out to me as an example of Korean helpfulness and kindness. A few months ago I canceled my phone because it would drop all my calls. I intended to get a new one eventually but (still) have not done it. With only a few months left on my contract and not sure about renewing I figure why sign up for one. Anyway, on my way home from a friend’s place late at night, I took the subway, miscalculated the route and ended up about 16 stops away from home. I freaked out. It was around midnight, I had no phone, little $ on me (I thought Mike had the debit card but I actually had it), I had my Ipod but no way of getting wifi so I could not call Mike. It was scary but I figured I would find a way somehow. I was praying ^^.
Then, a literal answer to prayer came along. I met a Korean girl stuck in the same predicament on her way to Nowon, which was one stop further from mine. She spoke perfect English, having studied in South Dakota to become a pilot. We shared a taxi and I was able to go home. She was so nice not to be freaked out by the strange foreign girl who didn’t have her act together. I was grateful and very impressed by her patience and kindness. I hope to help someone in need like that someday. ^^
The opportunity to live in Korea has afforded us other advantages as well. Mike and I have been taking Korean classes and since we are immersed in the culture we are more motivated to speak and learn than we were back in the States. Although, a lot of Koreans try to practice their English with us, too, which is great, we still get to practice our listening skills. My co-teachers are convinced that I understand everything they say in Korean which is not true. I can understand about 40% or more maybe…depending on the context.
Another unforgettable experience here was Mike’s reunion with his grandparents. That was amazing! I hope he will finish his post soon so that you all can read about that. Also, we were able to volunteer at an orphanage a few weeks ago which we will post about soon, too.
I have made many friends here and I am really growing to love my host country. It is by no means a perfect society or a perfect country; I just think that for right now, it’s perfect for me.