Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Little Odd...

I'm feeling a little odd lately. I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm sure part of the feeling stems from the fact that it will be soon time for me to leave South Korea and head home. While I am not particularly sad at having to leave (I don't feel I've grown attached to this country), there are some people and things I'll miss. However, I am getting more and more excited and anxious to go home again.

I think that part of this odd feeling is stemming from being sick yet again. Oh, it's just a cold that I have, but once again I am sick. So far, since I have been in Korea, I have had a cold in August, September, October, November, December, February, March, April, May, and July. Since I wasn't sick last month, I had hoped that maybe I had finally grown accustomed to the viruses and germs here and that I wouldn't be sick for the duration of my stay. I guess I was wrong. However, maybe August will be different and I won't be sick for my last month. Only time will tell. I'm glad, however, that this doesn't seem to be too bad of a cold.

I had thought yesterday that it was going away because it didn't bother me too much. But, today it seems to be back a little more. That could be from spending Saturday in Seoul, in the rain hunting for souvenirs to take back home to Canada when I go. Also, it was pouring out yesterday and I went with my friends Sarah and Tamara to go get smoothies in the evening. It was raining harder than we had thought, and when we got part way down the street, the wind seemed to pick up as well. We're not sure, but we think maybe it could have been from a typhoon or something (though in this area we tend to not get them badly or maybe just the bit of the tailend of them). As we drew several feet away from the building we'd be going to (actually, I was just inside the doorway and they were a few feet outside), there was a loud crack and crash. Tamara said a tree had broken and fell onto part of the building. We were safe though, and there wasn't anything wrong inside.

On the way back, it was only raining lightly, but we stopped into a store for no more than 5 minutes, and when we got back out it was down pouring again. So, needless to say that even with our umbrellas, we got drenched.

The last couple of days I've been watching season 3 of Grey's Anatomy, and I think this may be contributing to my mood as well. You see, on the show, George's father is admitted to the hospital with the same kind of cancer my father has. The only difference is that George's father is worse off and his cancer had spread.

My dad had a couple of biopsies taken a few weeks ago when he was in for his last chemo treatment (the final one actually) and the doctor told him a few days ago that they came back fine, that there were no problems. Also, when he had his endoscopy done at the same time, that doctor said he didn't see any cancer above or below the 'lump', and that's good news (I think). Dad has an appointment to see the oncologist tomorrow (Tuesday) so he will hopefully be able to find out more - like what the next step is, if they will do surgery like they said at the beginning (they wanted to try and shrink the lump and then possibly remove it surgically). As of this moment, dad doesn't even have a prognosis so that is a little frustrating and scary. He's had many prayers said for him, so we are holding out for good news and that maybe there won't be any cancer left at all.

So, I think a lot of my odd feeling is thinking about my dad's situation. While it's different that the character of George's father on Grey's, it still got me thinking about my dad's situation and the fact that I'm so far away during this time. I'm sure, though, this feeling will pass and I'll be fine again in a day or so (maybe even sooner).

In other news, I've been working again (off and on) on my novel. I have roughly eight or nine thousand words so far (maybe even more), which is only a drop in the bucket since I'll need about one hundred thousand, roughly. But, it's more than I've written for a story in the past, and I'm really wanting to finish this novel. My main problems seems to be procrastination. That is definitely NOT something you want when you are trying to write. Not sure where the procrastination stems from, but I'm sure there is a cause for it...such as some kind of fear. It may also be the enemy trying to stop me from writing it - especially since it's a novel dealing with spiritual warfare. It's hard to say, but I have been doing some writing and I am proud that I've accomplished more with this novel than I have on novels in the past. Usually I stick to short stories and find them much easier to complete.

Well, I'd best sign off for now and go work some more on my writing. Have a Christ filled day!

Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm Meeelllltttttiinnngggg!!

It's so hot here in Yesan, South Korea. It's about 32C (90F roughly) but it feels like 37 C (or 99F) with a humidity of 60%. So yes, it's hot out there. And, it's only going to get hotter as the summer goes on.

Today I had to get some errands done so Tamara and Sarah came along with me. I needed to go to the post office to mail home a couple of boxes filled with some winter clothes, knick knacks (or is it nick nacks...I never know how to spell that), and souvenirs from my trip to Egypt. I figure it's better to do this (and probably cheaper in the long run) than to try and stuff everything in my alotted two suit cases and end up going over the weight and being charged extra for that - and who knows how much that would cost. So, we headed out in the heat, Tamara and I carrying two large boxes. Sarah would be the one to flag a cab to get us to the post office. The boxes weren't overly heavy. Mostly, they were just awkward to carry because of their size.

I also had to go to the bank to transfer some money home to my account in Canada. I went to a new teller this time (I think they have two who can do this now, but before there was only one). He seemed really nice and his English was very good. He made conversation and told me he was scared to speak English - but then he laughed. I told him he was doing good, and I wasn't lying either.

So, I'm glad I have those two things taken care of now. It'll be that much less that I have to do before I head home at the end of August. I'll probably pack another couple of boxes to ship home during the summer as well, so I'll have another trip to the post office to make. Sarah's going to do this as well, so we'll probably go together and mail them over the next few weeks - definitely before we leave.

After the bank, Tamara wanted to stop at the outdoor market (it's market day today) to get some veggies. Sarah didn't want to go so she headed home, but I tagged along with Tamara. I bought a zucchini for 500 won (about 50 cents). I've never really had zucchini until I came to Korea and I find it to be pretty decent. I also got some plums - Peter (the Korean English teachers who heads up our Wednesday weekly get together dinner) had brought some to our little party we had last Friday and said they are sour plums. I tried one, and while I didn't find it sour in the least, it was tasty. These cost me 3,000 won (about 3 dollars) for a dozen or so (to be honest, I didn't count them but I didn't mind since it was cheaper than buying them at the grocery store). I also got some rice cakes - similar to what we refer to as rice cakes in Canada, only thinner. The bag was big and packed full and I only paid 2,000 won (about 2 dollars). Then on the way back we spotted watermelon. Actually we saw several stalls with watermelon, but they were big ones. These ones were a lot smaller and half the price (5,000 won/5 dollars). I bought one of those too, and I plan on cutting it up and putting the pieces in ziplock type containers or maybe even just cutting it in half and giving one half to one of the other foreign teachers.

So, the day was quite productful even though it doesn't seem like I got a lot done. It only took a couple of hours as well, which is nice. The rest of the day I just plan on staying in the apartment where I will keep the air conditioning running at regular intervals so I don't melt. I'll also probably read, watch tv, surf the net (or go on Facebook), and go over my lesson plans for summer camp. Those need to be in by Friday the 11th. I am using a lesson from one of the ESL sites, so I just have to go through it and divide it up in to 4-5 lessons, add some games/activities, and make the lesson plans up. Really, I just have to get the information they need to make up the work books in by the 11th - I can actually do the lesson plans, etc. a a little later. We'll see. I have tomorrow off as well, so I can work on it then.

Speaking of having tomorrow off, I have not had to go into work yesterday or today either. The schools are in the middle of final exams for the first semester (their school year starts in March whereas ours starts in September). I don't have to go to school while they write the exams because there is nothing for me to do. I go back Thursday and Friday and all next week, and I am going to show a movie since the kids won't be interested in working at this point (school ends for summer break on Friday the 18th). After that, I have a week off, then a week of summer camp (with the other foreign English teachers as well), then nothing so far...unless the school plans on having me teach a week or so in August (really, the never seem to let the kids have much of a break - it's all work, work, work). But, as it stands, I don't have anything after the summer camp. School also starts back up for the next semester on August 20. I leave August 31 and will more than likely have to teach that week and a bit...though it really makes no sense to me since they'll be getting a new teacher when I leave. I don't see the point of having to teach, but if I have to I will; not much I can do about it. Besides, I'll be leaving shortly after that anyway, so it's not a big deal.

Well, this has ended up being a much larger post than I had intended. Hope your summer is going well so far!

Have a Christ filled day!