Its 6:30am here, and I can’t sleep anymore. Probably because my body is telling me it’s actually about 1:30PM (pacific time) and it’s very unnatural to be sleeping right now. I decided to take this sleepless opportunity to write, and catch you up on the last three days before the real party gets started with our training starting this afternoon.
Let me tell you, this whole adventure is crazy, dream-like, awesome, terrifying, and satisfying. I can’t believe we’re sitting here in our little apartment, looking out at the crowded skyline, and not being able to read a thing. Communication is tough with the locals…we try using hand motions, saying words as slow as you can, and hope that it’ll click-it’s awkward when it doesn’t. We do have the blessing of having friends over here that have been fantastic to us. Jeremy and Chelsea were the ones that got us our job, and they’ve been very helpful getting us settled in. It would have been a whole lot harder without them, we are very thankful.
So, I will begin to tell you of our journey over to Asia, of which was not a boring trip. We began by waking up at the ungodly hour of 4:00am, hauling all of our EIGHT bags (4 military grade bags, two duffle bags, two backpacks) to the airport…just praying the military bags would be under 50 pounds, and we wouldn’t have a problem with our carry-ons being to big (seriously they were on the verge). After saying goodbye to Derik’s parents, who were so gracious enough to house us for the last week, and haul us to the airport, we made it on the plane. I had a very nice lady sit next to me, and boy was she a talker. I basically learned her life story for the past 13 years, of which was actually pretty interesting. It was a great first flight to San Francisco, and talking to that lady kept me entertained. Our second flight was a whole different story.
After a three-hour layover, we jumped on our flight bringing us to Beijing, China. This flight was a 12 hour flight…and I was not looking forward to it. I am a very active person, and after sitting on a plane for an hour, I start getting restless. Im like a two-year-old kid who cant sit still for anything. We spent the first 1:30 hours literally sitting on the runway. Why? I guess it was also in President Obama’s schedule to land in San Fran as well that day. Why it took an hour and a half to land and get out is beyond me. It was cool seeing Airforce One though. As we took off I seriously had a prime window seat. I think the pilot purposely flew by the Golden Gate Bridge just for me, and I was thrilled! Im sure its way more fantastic by land, but in air it was still quite magnificent! My day had been made…besides, it makes our travel story that much more interesting to tell you.
We spent the next nine hours reading, watching movies, and sleeping…United Air also tries to feed you a lot, it was awesome. In the ninth hour I started getting really sick, and it all goes downhill from there. We arrived in Beijing and I was doing everything I could to hold my cookies in until we got out of the terminal. The airport was pretty darn sweet, and eerily vacant, I wish I could have enjoyed it better and taken pictures, but alas, I was pretty darn sick. At one point I was literally sitting on the floor with our bags while derik so graciously tried to talk to the Chinese travel service gentleman to get info on where we needed to go, and how to get our tickets for the next flight. Eventually we got to the right terminal, boarded the plane, and I started to feel better. On that two hour flight to Korea, we were offered another meal, which seemed absolutely crazy! It was 8:oo pm, and they were serving another dinner.
FINALLY after the longest day in my entire life, we arrived in Busan, South Korea. Going through Korean Customs and Immigration was a piece of cake, and we were in our bosses car headed to Geoje Island in no time. It was an hour-long trip, we wish it was light outside to be able to see the city. We did however get to go through the largest underground tunnel in the world, connecting the Mainland to Geoje. That was pretty sweet.
We were met at our apartment by Jeremy and Chelsea, who brought us groceries and warm banana bread (how sweet is that?!? They hooked us up). Our apartment is cute, quaint, and foreign looking. It does have mold problems, and the heated floors take a bit to warm up, but over all, it’s going to do a great job for Derik and I. It is also about at ten-minute walk from school, and an even shorter walk to the open-air market (similar to farmer’s markets).
(Heres’ a view from our apartment window)
There’s plenty of shopping and restaurants around, I was actually surprised at the number of clothing stores they have here! It’s almost ridiculous. As far as restaurants go-they have a little bit of everything; our friends took us to Turkish the first night, and we had Korean BBQ last night. Coffee shops are in abundance, and the drinks pretty darn good.
There’s so much to take in and see it’s hard to write it all out for you guys. Surprisingly I haven’t actually taken many pictures, but once I do I’ll post them.
As I said at the beginning of this post, today we begin our training at ECC, which consists of sitting in on classes. We’re excited to see what it’s all about; it will be nice to be around kids again!
Thank you for your prayers, we are truly blessed.