One of the hardest things about working abroad is the rate at which people come and go.
There are 5 foreign teachers at my school, and so far the other 4 have all left, and been replaced by 4 more.
On one hand I’ve met 8 people, which is wonderful. They have been, for the most part, pretty cool.
On the other hand, I have had some very sad and teary goodbyes. One of which happened yesterday.
It’s rare to feel such a strong connection with someone in such a short amount of time, but it happened to me, and I’m so sad that they’re gone.
Now they live halfway across the world, and it seems like forever and a day until I’ll get to see them again. But I remind myself that I have formed a lifelong friendship, and this means that no matter where we are, we will find a way to meet again.
Sharing a friendship, a connection, is beautiful. Beautiful in the sorrow of parting, for it reminds us how much we cherish each other. And beautiful in the joy we feel in greeting them after so long. I am so lucky to have met the people I have, and that is what keeps me going in a life of comings and goings.
Yesterday was Buddha’s Birthday, so I went into Seoul with some friends. We went to the temple at Jonggak, and were greeted with an amazing sight. The people were celebrating happily, and the crowd was great. The weather was perfect … Continue reading →
His eyebrows curl together in perpetual worry, though he is only 6 years old. His wide, black eyes stare up at me and the world.
“Why?” he loves to ask, and only relents when an adequate explanation has been given. Already a critical thinker, and already a troublemaker. I feel sympathy for his future teachers, but I can’t help but love his rebellious ways. He will never be a follower. I want to see where he ends up in twenty years. I don’t doubt he will be great.
It has been almost a year since I started teaching him. I’ve seen his habits develop. His once messy writing has turned neat and precise. He used to finish his work as quickly as he could, and now he takes as much time as he can. He strives for perfection. He hates being rushed. And I want to give him all the time in the world, but the clock’s ticking hands bind my own.
His distinctive laugh has begun to grate the ears. No longer small and cuddly, he has slowly transformed. In less than one year, he will be in elementary school, and his first stage of evolution will be complete. But no matter how much he changes, he will always be my precious student. A curious little candle, being hurtled down a treacherous river. My only hope is that I have helped him build a sturdy enough boat.
Today my 8 year old students were talking about skin tone.
I’m not quite sure what they were saying, since they were speaking in korean and the only English words they said were “skin tone”, but apparently it’s a subject of great interest to four of my 8-year-old male students.
The best days are always the days that are filled with good food.
I love eating Korean food. It’s delicious.
But sometimes I get foreign food cravings. Yesterday was one such day.
I spent the day traveling around Seoul with my friends, eating amazing food, and sneaking in some shopping in between.
I started off in Gangnam at Butterfingers, where I ate the most amazing buttermilk pancakes.
With Vanilla butter. Mmm.
Then I went to Myeongdong, where I got Red Mango frozen yoghurt.
And finally I ended in Itaewon, where I got amazing Thai food at Wang’s. The Green Curry and Pad Thai were delicious, and not Korean-ized, which is what I find happens with a lot of foreign foods such as Vietnamese Pho. The restaurant was really busy, and we waited quite a while for a table, but the food came very quickly, and it was well worth the wait.
A happy stomach means a happy me.
I had to travel pretty far to get such a variety of foreign foods, but it is definitely worth it!