Thursday, 24 November 2016

hello korea!

i'm so glad my photos are finally organised and i can share this eye-opening experience with you all! 
back in august of this year, i made my first mark on korea after signing up to teach english there for a month. i knew no one, knew nothing much about the trip (in fact, my mum was worried i might get deported), and i did not know an ounce of korean except hello and thank you.

saying bye to my dad and sister!
as exciting as this was, there was a mini cloud over me holding my worries and fears. but all that was gone the moment i met part of the team at heathrow airport.

we were a good mix of uni students in second year, third year and some graduated; it turned out too that i was the youngest among us all! we entertained ourselves for a bit looking for our departure gates, grabbing food and pondering what the next few weeks would be like.

leaving the uk

first glimpse of south korea

it has been a good 8 years since i've been on such a long-haul flight, and i admit i was pretty well prepared for it (thank you pinterest). plane food wasn't as bad as i remembered it to be, and their makeshift bibimbap rice bowls weren't even that bad tasting. i also managed to get a good morning grind moving, watching zootopia during breakfast before we landed. 

once we landed, we were introduced to the team that flew over from america that same day. i grabbed a quick taro bubble tea (i mean, first things first) - before we got a taste of the humidity and heat outside when we boarded our coach to the city of danjin.

after a 2 hour drive, we saw the massive church we will be based in for the duration of our trip, which claims to hold 1000 people for services. we had a quick orientation where we tried to combat our jetlag, before being introduced to our homestays who will be looking after us. 

i was put into pairs with a korean girl, also from the uk, who was particularly helpful in translating between me and our host family who only knew limited english. our family consisted of 2 girls and a little boy who was very shy with us at first. they were the most welcoming and cheerful family too.

they took us out for dinner to an italian-korean fusion restaurant where we munched and got to know each other. it was an early night for us that evening despite how humid it was in the apartment even with the fan on!

church started off with 5am services, but we attended the one at 11am after a cute breakfast consisting of fresh goods from the bakery down the road and a strong coffee.

the big church.

 their services were so different to what i'm used to back in the uk. the children were so enthusiastic with their praises, and their prayers were filled with so much passion. we got a chance to introduce ourselves to the thousand people at the church too - a bit of daunting experience if you ask me. 

after church, i went exploring with my roommate, hadarm. the heat really got to us so we sat down to enjoy some bingsu, which eventually became a frequent dessert for us as it was so hot. 
we popped back to church for their evening service at 7pm before heading home for dinner.

dinner was beautifully laid out (and tasted great!) and afterwards we popped down to the corner shop to get some of the most funkiest ice creams for dessert.

i already know this will be the most yummiest trip yet.

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