Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If you don't don't know, why'd you say so?

It's official - I won't be leaving for Korea this week. :(

Still no visa, and consequently no plane ticket in sight. So it's looking like a late March departure date.
I'm mildly embarassed that I told everyone I was leaving this week and even said goodbye to a few people ... PSYCH! I'm still here!

The good news: I will actually have a date set in stone weeks in advance which is refreshing! Not to mention I have a few more weeks to spend with friends and family.

I plan on booking a ticket as soon as I hear from my recruiter and get some credit card issues straightened out ....
I found out last night that I was the victim of some minor credit card fraud - someone used my VISA number to sponsor at child on a monthly basis - then sent me the sponsorship package (aka evidence that they had used my card fradulently) so I obviously noticed immediately, demanded a refund and canceled the card. Bizarre! Perhaps a punishment for my online shopping addiction???
Anyways, a new card arrives Friday so booking a flight this weekend looks like a reality, and then I can get excited ... and go through another round of goodbyes, for real this time though!

I will post my flight info as soon as I have it.
Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock .....

On Monday George and I recieved our contracts and notices of appointment from Korea - very exciting news!

We set out Tuesday morning and applied for a South Korean visa at the consulte in Toronto. This is the last thing we need before leaving for Korea and we couldn't get any information on how long it would take aside from the standard "5-10 busness days". Not an issue, right? We will just arrive late for orientation, but we'll get there, so all is ok, or so I thought ...

I checked my email this morning and had news from my recruiter that if we are not in Korea by midnight on the 26th (of February) then we have to wait until March 26th ... NOOOOOOOOO!!!

Terrible, terrible news! I am ready to leave NOW, not in a month. I was planning on giving notice at work today but that has to be put on hold until I can call the consulate and see if there is any way to speed the process up. 5 business days from now, the shortest time a visa would take to be complete is next Tuesday the 24th. Just in time to pick up our visas, jump on a flight and make it to Korea before the deadline.
That's possible, right?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sitting, waiting, wishing

Welcome to my Korea blog! I made the decision to venture into the world of blogging soon after deciding to spend a year of my life teaching English in South Korea. It's a great way to share my stories, adventures and pictures with everyone at home in Canada without clogging inboxes with countless emails. While doing some research into teaching in Korea I discovered tons of blogs written by people like me. I like to think that the countless hours I've spent reading them have helped me to become more informed, influenced my decisions about where I'm teaching and will alleviate at least some of the shock of immersing myself in a culture I know nothing about. 
With this blog I hope to chronicle the adventures of myself and my boyfriend, George as we embark on our year long journey in South Korea. 
We have applied through Think Big  recruiting agency to teach elementary aged students in the public school system through a government program called EPIK. We are to be living and working in Busan, in the southern part of Korea, the 2nd biggest city after Seoul. I don't think my life in Peterborough or Waterloo have prepared me for the almost 4 million people in Busan, so it should be an interesting transition. If you're curious about where I'm going to be spending my year, you can either google or wikipedia "Busan".
So for those of you who have been tracking my progress from the beginning, I'm sure you're as frustrated as I am. The preparation and application process has taken months! We have been at a standstill since before Christmas waiting on George's degree and transcripts from Laurier, and then for a notice of appointment from our employers in Korea. We finally received word last night that our notice of appointment letters (which we need to apply for Korean Visa's) are in the mail! I am waiting patiently for it to arrive. Once that happens I can apply for a visa, book a ticket and head to Korea. Please let this happen quickly. If I hear " so when are you going to know when you're leaving?" one more time I might go crazy! 

Stay tuned to find out when we are taking off! Did I mention that I can't wait to get to Korea??!!