From “Annyeong” to “Konnichiwa!”

My last post was November 19th. I just realized that I haven’t posted in over two weeks; my apologies. There has been a lot going on the past couple of weeks. During that time, 5 more teachers have left EV! I’ll wait until a later post to write about the ridiculous number of programs and students we’ll be getting in a few weeks and how incredibly understaffed we are. Reread my posts during summer VIP, because winter VIP is going to be far worse in all aspects!

But let’s not get into that right now.

As usual, EV has been going through a lot of ups and downs. The energy and dynamic have been changing constantly due to the dwindling number of teachers. Do you remember Shanti and Chris, from New Zealand? They were among the group of people who started the same day I did back in October 2012. They left last week, and it was a strange feeling to see them leave and for me to stay. When I think about the year I’ve had here in Korea – the sore throats, tonsillitis, pneumonia, tonsillectomy, and chronic infections – it’s a strange thing to know that I’ve experienced all of that in just one year, and that it felt like a lifetime, but flew by at the same time. It’s one of life’s paradoxes, I suppose.

The third and only other New Zealander at EV left the same week as Shanti and Chris, so now EV is Kiwi-less. (For those of you who don’t know, people from New Zealand are called Kiwis.) He was in Cooking, and now my Content Area is down to just 3 people. When I first started in October 2012, there were 7 of us in Cooking.

The man who hired me and Glenn, who is also a teacher at EV, had his last work day today; he’s leaving next week. Another good friend of ours from South Africa also had his last day today. They will both be gone by the time Glenn and I come back from our trip to Japan.

Yes, we are going to Japan! We leave tomorrow (Saturday)! I’ve been dreaming of going to Japan for over 15 years now, ever since I studied Japanese in middle school. Sadly, I don’t remember most of my Japanese, but I’m still excited to finally go there.

We fly into Osaka, then will probably go to Kyoto the next day (it’s 40 minutes by train from Osaka). Tuesday through Thursday, we’ll be in Fukuoka visiting two former students of mine, whom I taught when I worked as an ESL teacher in the DC area. I became such good friends with one of them and his family, that they named their daughter after me. I met her when she was a newborn, and she’s almost 3 years old now. I’m really glad that we’ll be able to get together with them!

After Fukuoka, we return to Osaka for a day and then fly back to Korea the following day. Because Japan is only an hour away by plane, and it’s less than $200 (round-trip) for the two of us, we’re hoping that this won’t be our only trip there.

The next time I blog, it will be about our trip to Japan. Check back in a couple of weeks! ‘Sayonara’ for now!

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