Video

I’m back! I know you all missed me! :-p

HAHHAHA

My sister said that I am too hyper in this video, but I am just thrilled to get back to Korea. I love that country and I hope to stay there for many years.

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First Goodbyes and Exciting News

So yesterday I said my goodbyes to my church people. It was very surreal and I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I was zoning out the whole time trying to make sure I didn’t cry. I knew I would miss them all so much, but I don’t like crying in front of people. There was another member who is also leaving and headed to Japan to have her second child. Her husband is in the military and will be deployed so she chose to go back home to have the baby around her family. I think that is an absolute wonderful thing and I will probably do the same or pay for my mom to be with me wherever I am. 

The best news I got so far was the email last night with my FedEx Tracking number telling me when my contract would arrive. I immediately checked it and it said that it is set to arrive at my parents house around 10:30 am on Tuesday. I am so excited and have planned my whole day around that. Since I have still yet to sell my car I informed my dad that I will need the money to get my visa done among some other things. He said that he will try to get my sisters car fixed so that I can sell my car on Tuesday and run my other errands. I really hope that it happens because it’s rough still having to do shopping and having no money to do it. I love helping my family, but this is a huge stress on me. I’ll just keep praying and hoping that everything happens with enough time to relax with friends before I go. 

I also decided that I will get a sew-in done. It will be kind of long…I had a sew-in done before and everyone really liked it. I had LOVED it, but as I’m not really one for wearing fake anything and I sort of have issues with hair touching me it was a challenge. I had to get used to the length and feel. I did it again and liked it for a month and then wanted to get rid of it. I realized it was because I asked for the part in my hair to be in the wrong place. A hair part is an important part of any style and I’m very particular about my hair part. hahah The first time I had it for almost 3 months and watched it two or three times. The second time I had it for less than two months and took it out faster than lightning. My natural hair is not bad and that’s not why I am choosing to go this route. I’m choosing a sew-in because I want to make my days easier. I want to be able to just get up and go. I will probably buy a bun roll thing so in between hair changes no one would really be able to tell. HAHAH, not that I really care, but I know students my freak out seeing hair go from long to short and then back to long. 

I asked my coordinator about leaving early and they said that we have to give them our flight details and let them know if we will still be using the shuttle buses. I think it’s strange to tell them when I am going because it is really early, but I guess they want to keep track of the people. They also informed me that the first pickup time has changed from 11 am to Noon. I really do appreciate my coordinator. They keep me up to date and I have been in discussions with many people and they have done nothing but complained about theirs. I think it is sad because the coordinators work break their backs to get the stuff done for people and to keep them updated. They have to answer all those ridiculous questions on the multiple social media pages and in the emails. I know it drives them crazy to continually repeat themselves because it drives me nuts to see people asking the same questions again and again too. No matter how many times they ask people to use the search function they do not. Please Please Please, If you want to apply for Fall term search the page before you ask. I don’t mean just look at the first 10 questions. Use your CTRL + F (find) option and search for hours before you ask. I did a ton of research beforehand and I’m so grateful I did.  *** I did not originally intend on writing this much in this section haha ****

 

Anyway I am more than ready for this adventure and as it gets closer my relationships with some of my Korean friends gets more and more interesting, but that story is for my other blog page. 

It’s Almost Time to Say Goodbye!

Tuesday night I received my “Online Pre-Orientation” email. The course is 15 hours of information that is supposed to help you with your transition and make you more knowledgeable on certain Korean topics. There are 15 sections and I got to section 9 with little to no problems. For some reason once I tried to open lesson 10 it decided it didn’t like me. After going through the technicians and using Firefox like someone suggest I was able to get section 10 playing, but then it stopped. My wonderful internet decided to dislike me as well and stopped loading almost everything. I decided to wait until Thursday to do it at Starbucks in the mall. Well that didn’t work out either because the Starbucks internet was worse than my own connection! Now I will wait until I go to my parents house today to finish it. 

 

Last night we were all finally given the orientation schedule. 

I am a part of this group: February 18th, Tuesday (Team 1)- POE/MOE: Daegu, Gangwon, Chungnam, Jeonbuk, and Gyeongbuk

I am quite excited about this whole thing and I really am trying to get to Korea by the 26th of January, but I don’t know if it’s really possible. Depends on when my contract gets sent out and arrives to me, how long the visa takes, and then the plane price matters a little to me. I am just ready to book my flight and book my hostel so that I can enjoy as much time in Seoul with friends as possible before Orientation and then starting the new life in Gangwon-do. 

This was not the only information that was in the packet. There was more precise info on orientation stuff, arrival information including bus schedules, Contract signing & Visa help, Documents we should bring with us, entrance allowance, medical examination, other training requirements, and a list of office of education addresses for your visa form. 

Getting a little more personal:

It has been quite a long journey. As it gets closer I have become more sentimental/emotional towards friends and family. Everyday I tell my niece and nephew I love them and I keep saying it until they say they love me too. This job is bigger than just me. For me, I love children and enjoy working with them, so I have always wanted to teach. Besides my future I am thinking of the future of the children immediately beside me. The niece and nephew I just talked about. They are age 6 and age 4. They are the brightest, funniest, sweetest and sometimes most annoying kids in the world and I love them so much. Part of the reason I took this job was for them. I want to help make their futures better and to allow them to be able to do the things their mom and I couldn’t do. My sister has struggled for these past 6 years or so raising her kids alone. She has been through many ups and downs. Working three jobs, then two, and then losing both in 2012. This month I have been staying with her and this is the longest I have ever stayed at my her place since she has had her kids. I have to say that she has done an amazing job raising them and needs some peace of mind about how bills will be paid. Her unemployment had run out around September and the company that said she was hired has been kind of sketchy about the whole situation. I just want to be able to help my family where I can and this job will allow me to do that. It’s a win, win for me. I get to spend hours with children and teach and I also get to contribute to my family and the future of my niece and nephew. Ahh and my niece figure skates which is not a cheap expense, but our family decided that as long as she wants to do it we will find a way to pay for it. 

Alright enough of that gooey mess, I hope you all will have as grand an adventure this year as I know I will. 

I’m leaving soon: Flood of emotions

Whew, 

What a terribly long journey this has been! I definitely suggest that if you apply or EPIK you get it over with early (applications for Fall term are being accepted starting Feb 1st). You won’t be able to truly relax until you get your placement, but if you already have all your ducks in a row before they even start placing it will make you feel MUCH better. 

So my coordinator received my documents yesterday (Tuesday for them) and told me that I never sent her a confirmation email about my address and phone number. I looked back at the email I was originally sent with the placement and realized that email was sitting in my draft folder! I am so glad that I had documents still left otherwise I could have been waiting even longer for my NOA/Contract. My coordinator is really an absolutely amazing person. She has been so wonderful to me this whole time and I am always nervous with dealing with higher up people because well, no one is perfect, though I try my best to be. lol  

Anyway, within these back and forth emails we had yesterday, she told me that they are trying to get the contracts out by the end of this week! I am really hoping they make that goal as I am already planning to now leave on January 24th. Many people have asked me about my visa and how I will get it in time, but I have a secret. Teehee, there is a Korean Consulate only about 30 minutes from me and they don’t get as much business so they can do things more quickly. I was told by a Korean friend that sometimes they will process them the same day. All I know is that the time is supposedly shorter than going through the Houston office and for that I am excited. 

All of this news has caused me to become quite emotional. I will be leaving my sister and her kids at a crucial time.She is dealing with some parental rights things and I have been helping her to stay calm. I told her that I wouldn’t be able to help even if I was here because that’s not my area of expertise (although I could make it my area). To know I won’t see my nieces and nephew for at least 4-6 months absolutely kills my heart. I really hope that they do get to come in the summer or I will be really sad at that time. This week, once my car is sold, I will be going to help with the passport process. I am excited for all of our futures, but more nervous for them. I just want to be able to help contribute towards their future. 

Next week I should FINALLY, have a new video up since I will be leaving. 

Can’t believe this is really happening. I feel that I am in a dream state and I will wake up at any moment. I am just happy that I will get a couple of weeks in Seoul to see many of my friends before they return to the states or they head off to other countries to study. 

See you soon Korea, my love! 

I received my placement, yet the wait continues?

I know you were anxiously awaiting to hear where I have been placed for my teaching.I found out this morning at 2:22 am that I have will be teaching somewhere in the Gangwon Province. It is a great relief to me, but there is still a wait for the contract so I can get my visa. Once that comes in then I will still have to wait until the end of orientation before I even know what city I will be in!! Honestly this process wouldn’t have been as bad if I would have got my papers in much sooner and got placed in Seoul. I’m not complaining though, I am super interested in knowing more about Gangwon. I’m just hoping there is a language class I can take close by.

Thank you for your help!

Paperwork Freedom

Today I had sent off the last of my paperwork to Korea. It was my notarized diploma with the apostille (I drove to Austin, 3 hours away to get it) and I had to send my final transcript as well. It cost me $44 and should arrive before the end of next week. I am still waiting on my placement email, but I am trying to stay busy by reading and studying Korean. I am a relatively patient person, but the waiting with everything does tire one out. I am SO very happy to have those documents in the mail though and I can’t wait to see when they have arrived. 

So there are so many questions that continue to pop up on the EPIK page. A little while back there was one about cell phones and what people would do with them. I found this nice little article on phones and I think I will probably just rent an EGG because I have several phone programs on my phone that work via WiFi and that would hold me over until I bought the new Samsung Galaxy phone that’s coming out! BOY AM I EXCITED ABOUT THAT! Yes I will be buying the Korean version because I hope to be there for more than two years. 

Anway here is the site and it may help you too: 

http://roverly.com/travelling-smartphone/compare-service-providers/traveling-phone-japan-korea/