Thursday, December 17, 2009

Leavin' on a jet plane

Monday December 14, 2009 appox. 8pm CST

Whew. I can’t believe this day has come!! It’s not as though I was waiting for a long time for my departure day, two months to be exact, but after I found out I got the job on October 15 it’s basically been on my mind all the time. So here I am, on the Asiana plane from LA to Seoul….6 hours down, about 7 more to go!

So for those of you who don’t know the facts about what I’m going to be doing, I will be teaching kindergarteners English in Yongin, South Korea for a year. The school I will be working at is called Yongin Dongbaek SLP. SLP stands for Songang Language Program, which, I believe, is a chain of sorts of English schools. I’m sure I will learn more about what exactly it is, but there are like 60 schools all over Korea.

My school paid for my flight and also sets me up with a studio apartment for the year (I know these “apartments” are usually not more than a dorm room with a tiny kitchen and bathroom), however it will be a place to call my own for the year. I will post pictures soon after I arrive.

Eddie, the office manager of my school will meet me at the airport gate to take me back to Yongin. It is considered a satellite city of Seoul, and has a population of 700,000. The way that it has been explained to me is that the area I am living and teaching in is Dongbaek, like a little neighborhood of the city. My apartment should be about 15 to 20 minutes walking to the school, and just a few minutes by bus.

I arrive in Seoul at 6pm on Tuesday the 15; I’m assuming that we will go directly to my spartment (I’m hoping at least!) I will have a week of training and orientation, then a week off for winter break, and then on January 4th I will begin with my very own students.

I’m extremely excited about this new adventure!! It will be so different from the time I’ve spent abroad before, because I will be working instead of studying this time, and will be living on my own. But all the people that I know and have talked to have said it is an absolutely awesome time and many people extend their contracts because they like it so much! I’m excited to get to my city and start my new life as a teacher!

The flight has been great so far….My parents and I left the house at 4:30 this morning to catch my 7am flight from Chicago and then I arrived in LA a little over four hours later. My connection was two hours later, but LAX is huuuuge and there were so many people waiting to go through security, so as soon as I got to the gate I was able to board. That was nice because I didn’t have to sit and wait for long, because I sure am doing enough of that on the plane now! I’ve already watched two movies, My Sisters Keeper and Julie and Julie, both great movies. Of course My Sisters Keeper made me bawl my eyes out, and “Biggie” )the guy who is sitting next to me) was giving me funny looks. He is a big guy from the Caribbean, who studies in Santa Barbara and is on his way to Japan to meet up with his Japanese girlfriend (just after he spends the day in Seoul with his American girlfriend!) haha he’s a nice guy. I am on the window seat and he is on the aisle seat, there is no one in the middle so that is nice. Lots of room to stretch out. However when I got up to go to the bathroom (after I had literally tried shaking him awake and eventually just kept slapping his arm) he didn’t want to get out of his seat so I had to climb over top of him. Always a fun time.

The lunch was excellent. We had a choice of a steak dinner or a Korean meal, but I went with the steak just because I didn’t think having anything too adventurous would be a good idea for the flight. It was a great meal though, with a salad, roll, steak and potatoes and carrots, a good dessert and some (what I am assuming was ) raw salmon. It looked really pretty and delicious, but I think I just need to wait to eat my first raw fish until I am somewhere that is, well, not a plane I guess. I’m sure I will have plenty of opportunities over the next year!

I haven’t slept much, I’m not that tired actually and I was given the advice to not sleep if possible because I will be arriving in the evening and then I can just crash when I get to my apartment. I’ll probably read and watch a few more movies, and hopefully pass the time quickly. I’ve been checking out the windows every so often to see what’s out there, right now we’re over mountains again, a while ago we were over lots of glaciers and ice caps. I was wondering if it was ever going to get dark while we were flying, but I honestly don’t think so, even though it is a 13 hour flight. It is very different to be flying over the other side of the world! However there were a few hours where the lights were off and the windows were closed, so it was like a fake night I suppose.

Well I guess that’s all for now, I will post this as soon as I get to the internet, with more postings to come! (I promise I’ll do a better job on this blog than the one I started in Spain). Dad I hope your surgery went well and I can’t wait to call you guys tomorrow.

Keep in touch everyone!!!!

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