We arrived safe and sound on Jeju Island last Thursday 26th August 2009. The flight over was terryifying ! We flew through a strom cloud all the way from the centre of the Korean peninsula to Jeju-si the capital of Jeju. There was lots of turbulence. Barbara spent the whole flight shaking in my arms. Not the best of starts for our third year in Korea. After landing the storm hit Jeju and poured bucket loads ! We eventually got to Seogwipo where we'll be living for our year here unpacked our bags and then settled in glad to be on terra firma !
When we arrived at our new home we were rather dismayed because it hadn't been cleaned and it's smaller than the accomodation we had in Sang-Ju. We didn't let it get us down though ! Instead we rolled up our sleeves and transformed it into something fit for being our home away from home. We're happy with the result. I'll send you shortly photographs of our flat before and after our touch of decorative magic to give you an idea of all the work we put into it last weekend.
Jeju is just like we remembered it. Subtropical, warm and slightly humid with a fresh maritime breeeze. It has been raining a lot though pretty much every other day since we've arrived but that doesn't bother us. We're happy to be here and can't wait to use up our weekends to explore the island;there is so much to see and do here ! Although we were disappointed at first with the look and size of our new home we're happy with it and feel comfortable there now thanks to our hard work last weekend. We will also be able to have guests to stay !
I have to commute on average an hour to and back from school each day which works out as two hours per day which is double what I had to do in Sang-Ju and so far there isn't anybody who's offered to drive me to my new schools (Seongsan Middle School on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) and Pyeonsan Middle School (on Tuesdays and Thursdays) so I have to take the bus.
I must admit I was hoping to walk to school so having to travel so far came as a surprise for me but I won't let it get me down I'll just do what has to be done. I might actually invest in a scooter which I think would be a cheaper option than the bus in the long-run and we'd be able to use to explore all the nooks and crannies of Jeju-do too.
I've started teaching today and the experience so far is much different to that in Sang-Ju. There are between thirty -two and forty students in each class here but I can handle the class sizes as I've had experience teaching big classes before. Although it's harder to keep the student's concentration focused on the lesson than at my previous schools in Sang-Ju I succeed in getting through the lessons and teaching what I intend to teach. Their reaction to my lessons as so far been positive and active which I'm pleased with and I'm confident that I'lll be able to do just as weel here as I did at my schools on the Korean mainland in Sang-Ju.
Tonight we'll have a house warming party with other teachers like myself from pretty much every other English-speaking country. We all live in the same building which helps so we don't feel isolated.