The Head's have had a wonderful, whirlwind of a month. First off, we were married at the Grand Melia Resort where we had a picture-perfect wedding in Puerto Rico. We were so blessed to be among the family and close friends who joined us. We then honeymooned on the beautiful island of Dominican Republic. After some days in paradise, we spent the next week taking care of some paperwork and legalities for record reports and our VISA stamp for South Korea. We visited the Korean embassy/consulate and successfully received the necessary documents and were on our way to our home for the next year!
We arrived safely in Seoul (the capitol of South Korea) on Sunday evening. We had training in Seoul for two days with several other foreigners (English speakers) who had been hired by the same school. 2 other Americans and 2 Canadians were hired to teach English at our franchise which is a brand new private school (Hagwon) in the city of Busan.
As many of you know, Koreans highly value their education. The kids will attend a public school during the day from about 8 am-3 pm, then they are enrolled in "private" schools during the evening. These private schools are more like additional tutoring in a special course. in this case, Avalon schools (our employer) focuses on reading, writing, and speaking English. The kids will be taught at multiple Hagwons a week anywhere from 4 pm- 10 pm. Needless to say, the students are physically and mentally drained. This part will be quite a challenge for us as teachers. Parents are extremely competitive with their children and will do anything for them to excel and get ahead of the bar.
After a few days of training in Seoul, we moved in to our apartment in the city of Busan. Busan has over 3 million people and is the second largest city in the country (Seoul wins, of course!). We are located on the south-east tip of the country near the ocean. From the short time we have been here, we have seen beautiful hills and lots of businesses. We have a breathtaking view from our 19th floor, corner apartment! We are still figuring some things out in our new home....There is no clothes dryer or dishwasher, but we have heated floors and a toilet seat that sings! Koreans are pretty funny about some things....more stories to come!
We visited our brand new school yesterday where we met the teachers and director (Mr. Kim). Everyone is very sweet and so welcoming. After interviews with the director, we were placed with either the upper level, older kids (IVY) or the little, elementary age kids (CHAMP). We are not allowed to teach at the same level being married. Loren was placed with the little ones, and Alaina has the middle schoolers. We began our lesson plans yesterday for the first day of school. Avalon English opens this coming Monday (14th). We have to give a mock lesson to a head teacher today so they can see how we plan on conducting our classroom. We will see how this pans out. It will be an interesting semester to say the least!
We have discovered that there is a 15 hour time difference from Busan to east Texas. We are a day ahead of Texas time. We wake up about 8 am (Busan time) then go to school from 2pm-10 pm. Once we get a secure internet connection we would LOVE to skype with anyone!
We miss you and love you all...thank you for your support and prayers. Prayers are always needed and we are constantly praying for YOU, too!
Love, Loren and Alaina
PS--> We promise to load pictures once we figure out how :)