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Friday, June 25, 2010

Not in Kansas Anymore...

I am officially in Pohang, South Korea! I'll start at the beginning...

The weekend before I left was really hard. My grandma had a little family going away party and I got to see family from out of town etc. Said goodbye to my other grandparents/family. And then saying goodbye to Chris and Mom was the hardest. Even harder than packing!

I thought both suitcases were under 50 lbs. Then Chris (who turned around from on his way back to Cape to spend the rest of my time in America with me!) pointed out that I only had part of the suitcase on the scale. Actual weight: 60 lbs... Long story short, I had to take 5 lbs total out of both suitcases to be at capacity. And I had the maximum carry on bags.

I went from St. Louis to Denver. Then Denver to San Fransisco. I was supposed to go to Seoul from San Fran but plans changed... Left Denver super late and missed my international flight sooooo I went to Tokyo instead and then to Seoul from there. Flights were...flights. Took multiple doses of dramamine to make sure I slept plenty. Then took a bus from Seoul to Pohang, finally arriving over 30 hours later at 3:00 am Korea time.

The next morning I got up and got ready for school. I'm staying with my supervisor for a few days until my apartment is ready for me to move in. She went to school early so she was gone by the time I woke up. The night before she told me how to turn on the heater "if I wanted to take a bath" but I didn't understand. It's summer, who would want the heat on to take a hot shower! After my cold shower, I realized what that meant... You turn it on for hot water! I'm gonna see if that works pretty soon...

I picked a perfect day to start. It was an open house for the Kindergarten classes. So all the parents were at school. I watched classes and plays and songs, introduced myself and then observed the rest of the classes I'll have. My youngest student will be 3 years old (American) and oldest probably 11 I think. In Korea, you're 1 year old when you're born. Then on Jan. 1 you turn two. So it's tricky to find out how old the kids really are...

Then in the evening I went to the going away party for the two teachers from my school who are leaving next week. I tried to have as much fun and stay up as late as I possibly could but jet lag got the best of me. I went home at 1 am. Haha. Early...

I'm quite proud of what I've learned during the whole 36 hours I've been her. I know how to get to school on my own. And GS mart to buy food and soju (Korean liquor kind of like vodka). I also learned how to say hello and goodbye, catch a cab and get the waitress. Maybe I'll post a "Korean lesson" when I learn more. I haven't tried it yet, but if I were someplace else in the city, I think I could catch a cab AND find my way back to my neighborhood and apartment. We'll see... I might wait 48 hours to try that.

I've spent all day (Saturday) trying to get over jet lag but I just can't seem to sleep until I can't keep my eyes open anymore. I'm tired but just can't nap... Now I'm going to get ready and go downtown Pohang with Jenn (American teacher at my school) and later watch the Korea v. Paraguay World Cup game! DAE HAN MIN GUK! (I think this means Go Korea or something... not entirely sure...)

More later...

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