Notes from Korea: 01.18.02 - The Beginning of Our Year Abroad

I think this is the first email I sent out, though it's the 2nd Notes from Korea post....because I'm not that organized apparently. I'll work on it, have patience.

Andrew and I are actually in Korea!
We had a little trouble with our cat and after two hours of arguing, we finally had to leave our cat with them in quarantine for 20 days, although we did everything we were supposed to beforehand. We are going to visit Tasha next week though and check in with her to make sure she is okay.
We are staying with my directors family for a week, hopefully not more. On the positive side of that, we have learned many Korean words and are being fed well. We haven't had to pay for a thing. We went to a museum and did a tour through Yeoju and in Wonju, where the family lives.
There isn't any food here that I have found that I really like, though Andrew has found some great pork dish that he has had twice in two days. The family eats a LOT-every meal there is a lot of food and rice is, of course, the ever present side dish. Andrew can't even eat as much as them-and he can really eat! The directors sister keeps bringing us food all day because she thinks we must be hungry when we don't drink as much as them. The director said to me that his sister is worried that I will starve or pass out from hunger.
The family has a ten year old boy (he's only two months older than Andrew but the Korean children are considered one when they are born). He knows a little English, but not much and he continually says, "And-er-ew, COME," and most of the time he is not wanting to GO anywhere. Andrew has mixed feelings about the boy, as he wants someone to play with, but the boy doesn't seem to know how to play what Andrew wants. The Korean children are very independent. I saw two young boys weaving their way through traffic trying to cross this very busy intersection-and they were only about four and five years old! The director set Andrew and his nephew up in a PC room this morning while we went to the bookstore. We ended up being gone for 2 1/2 hours. When I asked about getting back to the boys, the Director didn't understand why I asked...he said something about-did Andrew need me tonight? Then I was getting a little nervous wondering if he was planning on going back before the night was over! I don't know that I will ever get used to that!!
Korean drivers are INSANE! There seems to be no sense of order and a lot of streets are very narrow, with cars just parked where they want. I don't know how we have managed to NOT be in an accident yet. I haven't even seen an accident...
I am hoping to be in our own place by the end of next week and hope to get a computer or laptop. I am in a PC room right now, at a buck an hour, which is fairly expensive. Most things are pretty cheap though, as I expected. The gas is NOT cheap-it costs about $31 US dollars to fill my directors gas tank-and it's a small car. The only time we did buy something, we weren't sure if it was a good deal or not since we still haven't gotten the hang of converting won over to dollars.
That's all for now!

This is a pic of a private science lesson in the home where we lived. The woman on the couch is the directors sister we lived with. Her role was to pay the teacher who came in for an hour lesson and to hit the children when they weren't paying attention. Note the yardstick in her hand. Andrew was made to sit there and listen and join in the lesson, looking through microscopes and such, but the teacher only spoke Korean so it really wasn't educational for him. (The pic is in my scrapbook-that's another photo overlapping in the top right corner)


  1. Heather said...:

    That was very interesting. You are a brave one! I have never left this continent. I'm going to have to go back through your posts to see how this trip developed.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  1. Aunt Juicebox said...:

    Great! I can't wait to hear more. My aunt's family lived in Okinawa for a few years when I was a kid, and I was really envious.

  1. Maribeth said...:

    My niece is Korean. She came here at the age of 4 years old. She is such a joy to our family. My sister and Jin have gone to Korea and my sister is a great Korean cook!

  1. kel said...:

    oh my gosh! that is so awesome!!

  1. All I can think of is Korean BBQ.

    *stomach growls*

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Wow! Amazing!

    I can't imagine leaving my pets in quarantine. :(

  1. Sounds like such an interesting trip. You are amazing to go overseas, I cannot wait to hear more about your trip. I'm sure Andrew got an amazing education while over there.


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