Saying Goodbye

Saying good bye to a place is a hard thing to do. Over the past year we’ve made many friends and have had some wonderful experiences. We’ve climbed Kumgansan in North Korea, dubbed one of the most beautiful mountains on the Korean peninsula. We took at trip to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the border of South and North Korea. We’ve experienced the fireworks of Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year!) in Beijing. We’ve played in the mud at Boryeong, and we’ve explored Soraksan, a beautiful (but wet) mountain on the east coast of Korea. We took in the history in Gyeongju, and we spent the past four days enjoying the scenery in Jeju (and island dubbed Korea’s Hawaii).

In addition to some wonderful trips, we’ve enjoyed spending time with our friends. When you travel your friends become your family. Thanksgiving involved a potluck and lots of good food. Christmas wasn’t spent with our parents and our sisters this year, it was spent with some close friends. Saying good bye to these friends is hard. Over the past few weeks we’ve slowly been losing people. We keep pretending that we’re not really leaving, or that they’re not really leaving, but they are, and we are.

As much as it is hard to say good bye to our friends, it is not hard to say good bye to our jobs. This year has been really difficult for both of us in terms of work. Neither of us have been happy with our jobs. We have so many kids to teach, not great textbooks, some good co-teachers, some not so good co-teachers, the list goes on. I think that one of the most frustrating thing has been the lack of communication. This has been a lonely year. As much as my office mates try to chat with me and are so very kind, it’s hard when many of them don’t speak English well. They tried, but it would be like me working with a French speaker. I would be able to communicate with them but it would be very difficult to express myself as quickly as I can in English.

I am really looking forward to working at a school where I can talk freely with my fellow co-workers. I’m looking forward being able to communicate with my principal (our new principal sounds awesome!) I’m so excited about having my own classroom with my own kids. I will be able to form relationships with them and help them to challenge themselves – that’s why I became a teacher. (Though I must admit that I am a bit nervous about teaching grade 1….. crazy!) I can’t wait to be in an apartment with sunlight and a double bed (instead of our two single beds pushed together!) There are so many things that I’m looking forward to.

So while it’s sad to say good bye to our friends here (and my fellow office mates), I am happy to be moving forward. Our new job will provide us with experience teaching the Ontario curriculum, which will hopefully help us to get jobs when we eventually go home… So we say good bye to Korea. We probably won’t come back. I’ll miss many things – the food (yum!), the subway, the Dongdaemun yarn shops, and our keyless door lock – but I can’t wait to start on our next adventure.

Mongolia, here we come!

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~ by dawseng on August 13, 2008.

One Response to “Saying Goodbye”

  1. Ok, so I have to say I almost cried when I read this post. Cause I totally understand what you mean. It’s so weird – like I was reading something I might have written . . . anyway, I am so excited WITH you about your new job situation and the relationships and hopefully easier communication with those around you. Being in Korea is just plain hard. I wish we had met sooner – maybe we could have encouraged each other along!

    Anyway, I’m getting caught up on blogs now and am so excited to read the latest on how you guys are doing!

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