A Change of Plans

The national EPIK orientation ended last Friday, and we boarded a bus for Gangwon province.  When we got there, we learned that our city placement had changed.  Instead of Donghae, we were placed in Gangneung, a larger city 30-40 minutes north (but still on the coast).  We sat through another graduation ceremony, and were immediately whisked away by our Korean co-teachers, Mr. Kim and Mrs. Lee.  We learned that we will both be teaching at Gangneung middle school, an all-boys school.

 We spent two nights in a hotel while the current EPIK teacher vacated the apartment.  We moved in on Sunday, and the place was still trashed.  The former teacher, Paul, was gross.  We managed to get things cleaned up a bit, and we got (mostly) moved in.  The apartment is pretty nice.  3 bedrooms, with a screened-in balcony.  More than enough space for us.  


We started teaching on Monday.  We were supposed to observe for a day, but both Erin and I just got thrown into the mix.  Ill write more about teaching later.  Its going to be a challenge, but I think I can manage.


The immigration requirements are still a hassle.  We went to the hospital for HIV and drug testing today.  Theyll be ready on Friday, but were supposed to leave early Friday morning and go to the immigration office in another city.  Except the immigration office needs the medical test results.  Pain in the ass.  Once we get to the immigration office, well have to apply for an Alien Registration Card (ARC), which will tie up our passports for 1-2 weeks.  We cant open a bank account until will the get the ARC.  And we cant get paid until we open a bank account.  


Also frustrating:  We learned today that the cost of the hotel will be deducted from the $300 settlement allowance coming to each of us.  Hopefully it wont be too expensive.  They asked if we wanted to stay by the beach or in the city.  I sure wouldnt have said by the beach if I knew I was paying for it.  

On a more positive note, were going on a class hiking trip tomorrow.  I would have done it for nothing, but we actually get paid extra for it.  Im also getting paid extra for teaching at the elementary school once a week, and for an extra credit class that Im teaching by myself.  


5 Responses to “A Change of Plans”

  1. Mom on September 3rd, 2008 5:06 am

    Have fun on the mountain hike. Take some pictures.


  2. Sasha on September 3rd, 2008 9:20 am

    Paul sounds like a dick. 3 bedrooms and a screened in balcony?! that’s sooo much room for the two of you! awesome! And I’m glad to hear they let you guys live together. Enjoy the hike and give Erin some love for me. Miss you guys.


  3. Lindsay on September 4th, 2008 2:53 am

    Gangneung sounds just just as lovely on wikipedia as Donghae, although I get the feeling that it might be harder to pronounce correctly. Is it? I think its awesome that you get rewarded after what sounds like was a stressful move-in with a relaxing hike. I have a feeling the scenery is beautiful. You should visit Gyeongpodae, the overlook advertised on wikipedia when you get a little more settled with a bank account and your papers (card rather). I’m glad your apartment isn’t stinky anymore but does an all-boys middle school smell like a boy’s dorm hallway with a bunch of hockey-players in it? My final question is about Mr. Kim and Mrs. Lee: are they nice?


  4. Ashley on September 4th, 2008 4:49 pm

    Wow. That is both a lot of bullshit and a lot of sweetness all wrapped into one. I miss the shit out of you!


  5. Quinn on September 5th, 2008 8:42 pm

    Hiking sounds awesome! I want to hear all about it!


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