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On the Road Again....

Well, nothing makes a person feel more important than when they are asked to relaunch a blog they believed no body really read in the first place (thanks Ed and Grandma). I am off on another adventure, and now all my dear friends and family can follow my adventures once again.

A little recap to get us started: after my semester abroad in India, I spent a month or so traveling through Nepal and Northern India with my parents. Back home in the states, I finished my senior year and returned home to Indy where I got an internship with The Village Experience, an organization that does international fair trade and travel. Anne and Kelly, the owners, rewarded my tenure of unpaid servitude with a connection - they introduced me to Kendall, the man in charge of an ESL camp in South Korea.

After filling out an application that required copious details about my religious background and an original sample sermon, I received an offer from the good folks at Handong English Camp, Pohang, South Korea. I won't go into the details of applying for a visa, booking travel and getting to Pohang - that would just upset me. Instead, I will simply list a few memorable moments:
1. Visiting the police office to see if my fingerprints match those of any known murderers, molesters or jaywalkers. Verdict: all clear.
2. Arriving in Seoul after 20+ hours of traveling only to find that there was no one there to pick me up. Public crying ensues.
3. Taxi, bus and taxi bring me to the campus. Once I arrive, the gate guards have no idea what to make of me. I spend the early hours of the morning watching Animal Planet in the guard hut while they wait for someone to awake who will know what to do.

Now, on to better things. The campus here at Handong Global College is beautiful. Everything is modern and made of red brick and white stone. It reminds me in a weird way of Davidson, and that is comforting. There are plenty of little coffee shops and a nice convenience store that has all the tea and cookies you could ask for. All around the campus are beautiful rolling hills and, off in the distance, glimpses of the ocean. I took a long hike this morning on a set of winding trails behind my dorm. I startled a pair of pheasants from their roost - if only I were they hunting type, I'd have had a nice pair for lunch.

There are several dining rooms around campus. The food is decent here - lots of rice with little side dishes and soup-and kimchee is available at every meal (thank goodness). So far it's been mostly Korean food, but for dinner tonight we had burritos that were very spicy and odd, but good. And, for all you fans of Andy Zimmern, there is a dog farm just down the way. These dogs are not intended for pets. I could hear them barking on my walk ...

The English language staff here seems nice. Kendall, despite his flaws in communication and organization, is a kind man. His uniform appears to be a pair of light denim bell bottoms, a waffle shirt under the type of 1980s striped polo that my Poppy wears during the summer and a flared jacket. He warns me how "nerdy" the kids here in Korea dress. Everyone seems to be largely nomadic. They travel all over and may or may not have homes to which they return to every once in a while. Jokes abound about boxing matches on this unheard-of island, or great parties in that hippie enclave. But the more I get to know them all, the more I think this will be a nice chance to make some new friends. Kendall and my roommate, Katie, are both from Indianapolis and know Anne and Kelly. Hopefully, Sarah, another intern from TVE will be arriving shortly. Small world...

The only major, MAJOR downside right now is the weather. It is blinkin' cold, and the heat is not working properly in our dorms. The wind is howling and rattling the windows like in a cheap horror movie. At this moment, I am wearing two pairs of socks, leggings, pants, two shirts, two jackets, a hat and a scarf. I am not yet what I would call "warm." I have trouble deciding if the glorious minutes under the hot shower are worth the discomfort of getting out of the shower. It's a conundrum I'll have to face shortly...

Tomorrow is teacher training, as well as New Year's Eve celebrations in Pohang. I'll keep you updated ...

1 comment:

  1. oh noes! I knew it would be cold but not thaaat cold, it sounds like Ithaca, haha

    hope you're holding up...Tokyo won't be that cold at all!

    See you soon!


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