week 1 down

Well, we made it through our first week of work in Korea.  Already we have had some great times.  Our daily schedule is usually to eat at 8:15ish in the cafeteria, start work at 8:50, and “teach” until lunch at 11:45(usually 3 classes).  At this point we then have one and half hours lunch/break time.  At 1:20 we pick up our classes and “teach” until 5:15(usually 4 classes).  I use the word teach loosely, as some of our classes include activities that don’t include much teaching such as: relay races, dodge ball, tongue twisters, etc.  I will write more about our teaching experience in the next post along with some pictures I’m taking this week.  You’ll have to wait in suspense until then.

Our second weekend here include many good times.  We had our favorite, sushi, on Friday night at this great restaurant.  The owner speaks English which was a great help.  The sushi comes around on a conveyor belt and you choose what you want.  Some things you give to the chef and he makes them fresh.  This was definitely some of the best sushi we have ever had.  Yes, even better than our favorite restaurant in Asheville, Green Tea.  We even had beef steak sushi for the first time.  Very tasty.

Many of the special sushi dishes had these slices of onion on top. This was new to us and we liked it A LOT!

Steak Sushi, yummy!

Had to get a shot of our stack of plates. You can kind of see the conveyor belt in the back there.

On Saturday we got to join Austin, Victoria, and friends for turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.  Another great meal.  Our subway trip was well worth it.  Austin and Brigitte entertained us all with wonderful music and Victoria did a fabulous job making sure we all had turkey for thanksgiving.  It was almost like we weren’t in a country on the other side of the world.

yummy appetizers. Lane and I made the salad with cucumber, onion, and persimmon. Though we bought something that wasn't lettuce to begin with, it all worked out.

food prep and good conversation

good music.

beginning of the turkey comma.

Sunday, Victoria, Carolyn(Victoria’s cousin living in Incheon), and I (Mandi)went hiking on Kwanakson.  Lane wasn’t feeling top notch, so he and Austin stayed behind and wrote and recorded a song.  No lyrics, but still quite impressive.  I wish I had it to share.  It was raining, but we decided to brave it out.  This was the most extreme hiking this girl has ever done.  Lots of rocky sections, some pretty steep, which the rain made slippery.  I almost turned back, but thanks to the encouragement and support of Vic and Carolyn I made it all the way  to the top.  Where it was snowing!  My favorite part, which I couldn’t capture in a photo, was the sound of the the singing/chanting monks in the Buddhist monastery carved into the mountain.  It was too foggy/misty for me to see the monastery, but the sound was amazing.  Something I’ve never heard in person before, and what a setting to experience it in.

We climbed up the rocks that are behind us. No big deal for some people, but big deal for me.

Me being hard core. No gloves and it was COLD. This was one of the scarier parts for me.

It was beautiful, serene, and hard hiking.

warming up in the weather tower at the top.


prayer rocks we saw stacked along the way.

Whew! OK, so this was a long post.  Just too much to share.  More next time!


apartment photos

lots of light, not much furniture. We found this table out back in the woods with a bunch of other furniture. we took it in and cleaned it up. The beach towel is not permenant.



Kitchen, but nothing to cook or eat with. we bought these small metal cups that are everywhere.

Entrance to the apartment and bathroom.

love this shower!

good amount of counter space.

Good sized bed, but no sheets 😦 Koreans usually don't sleep on beds, but on mats on the ground. So sheets are not the norm. We do have two small blanket pads which go on the matress and act like a fitted sheet. Then we have two single sized conforters...so we're looking for one big one. Stiff matress, but comfortable.

Our closet is a bit small, but we're planning to put a bar across the top of the two lockers and hang clothes on that as well as getting some plastic drawers.

This is the view out our glass door/ patio area. not too shabby.

We Made It!

Lane and I arrived in Incheon Airport around 4pm on Thursday(Korean TIme)  We got to our apartment, with the wonderful help of Austin and Victoria, by 8:30pm…..we hit rush hour traffic.  Our view on the bus ride was a beautiful night time view, with everything lit up.  We tried to connect to the internet last night…but couldn’t.  We are now connected.

Lane and I had our first full day in Korea and boy was it busy.  We had a semi-restful sleep last night and woke, ready for the day.  We had breakfast and met some nice folks.  Our orientation took only a few hours, but we have some lesson plans to look over and observe before we can start teaching.  Then we set up bank accounts and got a physical with the help of our helpful recruiter: Donny.  We got back from the Hospital at 6pm and has some good cheap Korean food with another couple teaching at SEV.  We have once again, met a couple that consists of an artist and a teacher.  It looks like we will have great people to work with and hang out with for the year.

Our apartment is plenty spacious, but is lacking in furniture and color.  Right now it looks like our bags puked all over.  We’ll post pictures of the apartment when it’s a little more homey.

Below are pictures from Lane and I’s trip to Chicago for our visas and some in flight fun.  Enjoy.

We found the Consulate, no problem.

We were happy that our interview went well and our visas would be ready on time.

We got to check out the Chicago Art Institute after our interview. We love good art 🙂

They were ready! On time!

first thing with Korean Writing on it 🙂

Enjoying our luxourious trip on Korean Air...lots of free movies. Then the camera battery died.

Almost There

We have worked for 4 long months for what we will do in the next week:  fly half way around the world to South Korea to live and teach for a year.  It’s been a long, complicated, unpredictable journey, but we think it will all be worth it.  We just bought a new camera today to help document the adventure and we’ll be posting on this blog.  So if you’re interested about what we’re up to you can check back here.

If you want to get a head start you can visit the Seoul English Village link to take a look at the school we’ll be teaching and living at.  It’s a pretty amazing school that functions a bit like a camp.  Students will come and live for a week on the campus while they practice their English in different settings such as: the grocery store, hair salon, airplane, classroom, etc.

Hopefully the next time we post will be from South Korea!