I know I usually just post about specific events in our lives, but I realized that I haven't really told you about our new life here in Gimcheon. Sure, I've mentioned our jobs and the apartment, but I haven't really taken the time to update you on all the wonderful things that are going on in our lives! So here we go...
We absolutely love living in the "country" here in Gimcheon! The difference from Seoul is incredible. You don't really notice how different it is until you go back. The roads are not nearly as packed, you can see nature all around you, and you can see the stars at night.. just to name a few. We live in a brand new Villa (a 3 story apartment building that is very common here) on the 3rd floor with access to the roof. I'm already looking forward to the roof parties that are going to take place this summer! I have really enjoyed getting this house set up. For the first time ever, I have a craft/sewing room! I am so psyched!!!
Our villa is about a 10 minute walk from our favorite coffee shop (a.k.a our office), Nearby Cafe, a 20 minute walk from the train station, and we have restaurants and quaint little shops around us in every direction. The University is a 5 minute taxi ride or a 45 minute walk (simply because I have to wait at several crosswalks and the road kind of wraps around a lot so it takes awhile). Robert sold his Royal Enfield (the bike he had in Seoul) simply because its a bit of a "collector" style bike and the only maintenance shop would be in Seoul 3 hours away--not very convenient if something goes wrong with it. So, he sold it and got a more practical bike for the country roads. He now has a Hyosung RX 125 SM which is a Korean on-road dirt bike. Its a lot of fun to ride and we have enjoyed the Spring weather and the chance to see a little more of Gimcheon.
Robert works full time at the University which gives him a 4 day work week. He has Wednesdays off which we use to go shopping, run errands, study, or just have a relaxing day at home. He works in the English department and is absolutely on Cloud 9! The department has about 50 students and his classes range from about 15-20 students in each. He teaches 2 Conversation classes, a Vocabulary class, basic Writing and Drama Listening. He is thrilled to be doing what he loves. He is extremely popular among his students too! :)
I work as a part-time professor which is a 2 day work week. I am part of the General Education department and I teach basic English conversation as a mandatory elective course (like Spanish or French in America). I teach on Monday and Tuesday, 2 classes a day (a repeated lesson in each) and see a total of 98 students. While it is difficult to memorize all their Korean names and spend time with each one of them, I am really enjoying this new experience! I am one of 12 other foreign professors in the General department. We have a great team and I am so blessed to be surrounded by such caring individuals who from day one, welcomed me with open arms and have helped me so much in my first University experience. I owe so much gratitude to the GU team!
With a shorter work week, I am enjoying some of free time to sew, do some crafts, participate in exercise classes, and make new friends. I am also taking a Korean class once a week at the University. The class is offered to all the foreign students (those from Japan, Mongolia, China, etc) as a course, but the professors are able to audit for free. I am enjoying the chance to get in on some free and practical Korean. The teacher is so patient and lovely.
Since we came to Korea completely on our own, as opposed to coming through EPIK like most choose to do, we were definitely lacking in the "friend department". That being said, we did make some amazing friendships in Seoul that we still have and I do not want you to get the idea that I am downplaying those in any way! The area in Seoul that we lived in was not a heavily foreigner populated area either which affected our interaction with other foreigners. We made good friendships and then moved here and the loneliness set in again. After a month or so, I got to connect with a girl from EPIK that I had randomly met at the Immigration office. She was so sweet and invited me to a girls dinner out. Since then I have made some amazing girl friends. I feel so blessed! What I love so much about Korea is the diverse group of people that end up here. Our friends are from New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Canada, and America. Where else would you have such a diverse group sitting at the same table all doing the same job? It's awesome!
The president of the University is an ordained minister and holds an "All Nations" worship on Sunday afternoon on the school's campus. The service is held in Korean, but our boss is Korean- American and has impeccable Korean and English and he is kind enough to translate the service for us. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful and caring church family!
We have only been in Gimcheon for 2 months now, but it honestly feels like we've lived here for years! We just had midterms and its hard to believe that Summer vacation will be here in 2 months! We have a lot of great things to look forward to this year. We will be spending time in South Africa for my brother's wedding, celebrating our own 3rd year anniversary, and hopefully getting a visit from Robert's parents! God has been so good to us! He has held our hands through this entire journey.