What a week it’s been!
Wednesday, I went to Seoul by myself for the first time. I shopped in Itaewon and then met up with Andy, Lucy, and 2 of their friends for dinner. It was also my first time with all Koreans, oddly enough (well, it isn’t so odd being that I live in an English Village…). I had promised Lucy that I would help her study for the IELTS since I am certified to teach it, and her 2 friends are studying for them as well, so I went there expecting to eat and then hit the books. Instead, we just hung out and spoke English all night! I guess that’s all they wanted – to practice speaking English with a native speaker. We all had a great time!
After dinner, since it was a work night for everyone but me, their 2 friends went home and I slept over at Andy and Lucy’s apartment. It was my first time in a Korean apartment! There is a place for shoes at the entrance (you MUST take off your shoes) and although the temperature was below freezing outside, it was nice and toasty inside despite wearing just socks due to their genius floor heating. We all changed into our pajamas and then sat around talking and telling stories until about 1:30am. It was Andy’s first pajama party! We joke about that but it really was a lot of fun. 🙂
I slept in until about 9:00am Thursday morning, got up, and left Andy and Lucy’s (they had gotten up early and left for work, obviously). I went to a store called Home Plus, which is similar to Emart but with even more stuff (more similar to Target). I bought a small rug for my living room floor (which is tiled and freezing no matter the temperature), a bulletin board to display the cards and letters I get from home, and a big thing of chicken for the Thanksgiving dinner that night. It was a lot to carry on the subway and the bus back to GEV, but I managed and made it back in the early afternoon.
Around 5:30, I got started on the chicken, stuffing, and gravy that I was making for Thanksgiving, and at 6:30 my friends came over. Between all of us, we made chicken, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic bread, pasta casserole, and there was pumpkin pie and ice cream for dessert. The food was amazing and tasted like home, and that wasn’t even the best part! Do you remember making Thanksgiving cards in elementary school by tracing your hand and turning it into a turkey? (This is something that all American kids grow up doing in school every year.) I had gotten large pieces of paper and markers for everyone to experience making a hand-turkey and we used them as placemats. I also made it a contest in which we could not vote for our own turkey, and the prize was a packet of Thanksgiving-themed kleenex that my mom had sent me. I was surprised at how enthusiastic everyone was about making the turkeys! It was great! We did that before we ate, and also before we ate, we held hands and went around the table saying what we are thankful for (this is something Shanti has seen in American movies and asked if we could do). It was a little funny, but also really nice and it really felt like Thanksgiving for me. Oh, I forgot to mention that my Grandparents had sent me a bunch of Thanksgiving decorations, plates, cups, and napkins and they really made the party what it was! Also, my cousin, Josh, had sent me a link to a video he took probably 10 years ago at Thanksgiving, and everyone really enjoyed watching it. Later on, after dessert, we played Scattegories and had a blast. The whole evening was perfect and I loved hosting it!
Friday morning, I was expecting to have 2 classes and send the soldiers on their way, but I showed up and was told that I was going to Immigration to apply for my ARC (Alien Resident Card)! I should receive it in the mail next week and then I will finally be able to get a phone! (Yay!) We got back from Immigration just in time to take photos with the soldiers before they left GEV. Then, of course, it was meetings for the rest of the day.
The weekend program was cancelled, which means it’s devo ALL weekend. The good thing is that I actually have several tasks to keep me busy. The bad thing is that today felt like a week and I’m guessing tomorrow will go just as slowly.
Since I’ve had late nights since last Friday, I was extremely fatigued today with a headache, and I still don’t quite have my voice back from when I was sick 2 weeks ago. After work today, I came home and immediately fell asleep for a couple of hours. I feel a little better, but am hoping I can go back to sleep again soon and sleep through the night.
Tomorrow is devo all day and Monday starts the second week of the Military Program. I’m thinking I’ll take this coming “weekend” off and just stay home and relax. I would also like to save some money since I have spent a LOT this month on stuff for the apartment and birthday celebrations. One week until the next pay day!
Last thing for now: Glenn’s paperwork is finally in order and will be brought to Immigration next week! He should definitely be here for Christmas! 🙂