Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Talk About Exhausted...

Hello all....well I have been in Korea for 3 days now and it has been a total whirlwind! On Monday, we spent most of the day training and we observed one class. On Tuesday, we lesson planned, taught two classes and debriefed for a period and went shopping in town. Today, I taught a full load- 4 90 minute classes. Tomorrow I will teach the same, only a different class and I have to get the lesson plan together tonight! Most new teachers that come here get a full week's worth of training before they start teaching, but they are so short staffed right now that they just had to throw us in the mix and hope we survived. With the way I feel now, I hope I'm still alive by the end of tomorrow too!

Backtracking a little bit....the 12 hour plane flight was miserable. Twelve hours is a really long time to be stuck in a tiny plane seat eating yucky food.

Next time I will have a sleeping pill for sure! After we got to Seoul Incheon, we had about and hour and a half to get our bags, get to the domestic wing of the airport, check our bags again, go through security, and get on our next flight. Of course, we got lost and confused for a while and ended up boarding our plane about 10 minutes before it was scheduled to take off. After we arrived in Daegu, we had to ride a bus for 20 minutes to the Village, which is in the middle of nowhere. Most taxis have no idea how to get here, so they gave us a laminated card with a map on it to give to the taxi drivers! We were warmly welcomed by a group of teachers and I couldn't crawl into bed fast enough. About the bed, try sleeping on a rock. That's what my bed feels like. At least my feet don't hang off the edge...

The next day we had to get up bright and early and start our training right away! I chose to teach hospital. The classroom looks like a mini doctor's office with empty medicine bottles, a seeing-eye chart, an x-ray viewer, an examination bed, and a receptionist's desk and in back is a bunch of benches with a white board. I taught Hospital yesterday and today and it's crazy! The kids are at a very low English speaking level and most of the time have no idea what I'm even saying. The really low ones talk to me in Korean and look at me like I know what they're saying! I've had to tell some of them I don't speak Korean. Wishing I would make things a lot easier...

Like going to the store! Last night after teaching all day, some of us decided to go into town and go shopping at the Home Plus. That was an experience, let me tell you! When you first walk into the store, it's almost like a street market with all these booths selling anything from food to clothes to jewelry to cell phones. After you get past there is the actual store. The bottom level is the food section and probably a quarter of it is seafood! I saw a four foot by one foot slab of dried seaweed. And it smells realllly fishy. But the point of this story is that I wanted to buy soy milk. But all the milk cartons were labeled in Korean. So I had to guess...I bought a carton that says "Lactose Free" on the side. It was the only thing written in English on the whole carton! I haven't tried it yet; I'm a little nervous. I bought yogurt too and it tastes really different from yogurt in America, even though it's the same brand! Anyway, then the second story of the store is all clothes and electronics and stuff so we got everything that we needed in one fell swoop. The taxi ride home was interesting. The driver didn't know where he was going so he kept stopping and asking us stuff in Korean and all we could do was point straight ahead and say keep going! But he didn't understand us either. We made it back safe and sound though!

I should probably get going. I am teaching Reading tomorrow and I have to write a lesson plan. (It's 8 pm) Luckily the staff here are so nice. I told the woman who teaches reading that I've never taught it before and she gave me all these materials to use for tomorrow...I am forever grateful!

P.S. The campus is so beautiful and I have taken tons of pictures but I can't post them all on here. Here are a few and if you want to see the rest I have put them on my Flickr page:

 My balcony and the view beyond

 (in the background you can see the airplane they use for the airport situational)

                                                                                       Awesome stone staircase that goes nowhere

 The main building

Funny story...I went on a walk this morning with another one of the interns and we couldn't find a hiking trail so I suggested we walk around the back where the gardens are because I wanted to take some pictures. She said ok but I think she wanted to actually work out so after a while she says, "so are you gonna take more pictures? Because I think I'm going to go to the gym..." hehe....I think she got bored waiting for me! Guess I'll have to go out and take pictures on my own now...

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