On the 2nd of January 2015 we arrived in Korea. The weeks leading up to that was very stressful. We were coming to a country where we didn’t speak the language. We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know if the school would like us or whether they would send us back home. When we arrived someone from the agency was supposed to bring us to Seosan ( a little rural city in Korea) but instead he met us at the airport and threw us on a bus. The bus driver didn’t speak any English so we couldn’t even ask him where we were supposed to get off. Luckily he told us once we arrived in Seosan.
Then our director was supposed to pick us up from the bus terminal but no one was waiting for us. Our phone didn’t want to make any calls and we couldn’t find a pay phone either. After about an hour a young girl came to help us and phoned our director to come and get us.
The first few months were quite terrible. It was cold. We couldn’t communicate. We got lost a LOT. And we missed home.
In addition during the first few months we got sick all the time. I had terrible breakouts on my skin and I was loosing hair. We were also living in a crappy apartment in the ‘red light district’ and people were screaming and shouting until 4 o’clock in the morning.
The first time we went to Seoul we had to research for days how to get around and where to go. We visited each area on a different visit so as to not confuse ourselves too much.
6 months later.
Six months later we have negotiated with our boss to move into a better area. My husband’s parents were coming to visit us soon and we have started collecting some things for our new home. We have also been visiting with my brother who is also living in Korea.
18 Months later I am glad to say that we are better able to navigate cities. We have even travelled to the other side of Korea with no help whatsoever. We are healthier and we can communicate with people even if we don’t speak Korean and they don’t speak English. We’ve been here for a little over 18 months and we’re planning to stay even longer. When we first left South Africa it was to create a better life for ourselves. The original plan didn’t work out as we hoped but we believe that we are here for a reason and that our path is already planned out for us.