Newport Trip Days 1-2

Amidst all the stress of planning our trip to Korea and before we found out about our job, David and I got to take a “free” trip to Newport, OR.  I say free because my mom had a free week of lodging at a campground we belong to and she had to use it before September so she gave it to David and I.  We still spent a fair amount of money on activities and such.  We went there last year but only got to stay a couple days and we were tenting it in the pouring down rain (it was fairly miserable but still a fun time)!  This time we were relaxing in style; we had a 30 foot slide out trailer that was actually a lot nicer than it sounds.  There was plenty of room for both of us and Minnie.  The trailer had a bedroom with a queen size bed,  a kitchen/living room area with a couch and small dining room table.  Then at the back it had two bunk beds and a bathroom.  I wish I had taken pictures.  It was cozy but comfortable.

Anyways, so the first day we got there the weather was actually beautiful!  It was almost 70 degrees and sunny!  Which is not how the Oregon Coast is on most occasions.  We stopped at the Newport Cafe and had our first bowl of clam chowder!

This was probably my favorite bowl of clam chowder that I had of the three I had during the week!

This was probably my favorite bowl of clam chowder that I had of the three I sampled during the week!

Then we ran down to the beach as fast as we could because it was already getting dark!  I was in shorts and a T-shirt on the beach and it was a miracle!   We went back to our trailer, unpacked, went grocery shopping, and played some Final Fantasy IX (Yes, nerdy I know).

The second day we woke up to another beautiful day!  And in true David style, David cooked PANCAKES!  Now David has an obsession with pancakes that even I can not even begin to understand.  One of his biggest worries about moving to Korea was that they would not have pancake mix (I looked it up online and they do). David eats pancakes anytime of day.  At times, when we lived in Eugene, I would call around dinner and he would say he was making pancakes… then we would wake up in the morning and he would want to cook pancakes!  Who does that?!   I mean my roommates nicknamed him Pancakes for goodness sakes.  I guess some people just like certain foods and David LOVES pancakes.

David always tries to make me eat 4 pancakes... he never succeeds.

David always tries to make me eat 4 pancakes… he never succeeds.

 

Minnie eating a pancake!

Minnie eating a pancake!

Then we packed lunches and walked down to the beach to read, relax, throw sticks for Minnie, and watch her run away from water.  It was a beautiful day.

awww!

awww!

 

 

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Cheonan Bound

All that anticipation, and at last it’s come to pass.  Two days ago, in the waning hours of our weeklong vacation to the Oregon Coast, Tara and I interviewed over the phone for a job in Cheonan, South Korea.  In short order, we decided to accept that job.  Just last night, we signed our contracts (contracts!).  Our worries of being stuck in limbo for months are now over, because we are heading over as soon as our visa applications are processed and granted.

Woo-hoo!

Tara and I (mostly Tara) have been dilligently collecting information on our new city and our new employers, working through all of our turbulent emotions and generally dancing on a live wire of excitement.  Our departure date has not yet been handed down, but it will likely be at some point in early to mid October.  Once there, we’ll probably hit the ground running with the teaching and the working and stuff.  For now, our energies are turned toward preparing for the transition to Korean life.  We’re buying new clothes (Tara made me buy new clothes) and winding up unfinished business, like Tara’s TEFL class.  Most of all, we’re getting more and more eager.

Of course, we still have a couple of weeks.  In that time, we’re going to visit some friends in Eugene (we have a hard time saying goodbye), and drive to Seattle for a visit to the Korean consulate there.  I am not sure when that trip will be, since its timing is linked to the approval of our work visas, but I’m looking forward to seeing my Seattle friends before the big date.

So, what else is there to say?  Thank you to all the people who have made this possible for us.  Our good luck exceeds all known limits.  Pretty soon, we’ll be blogging about Korea itself.

Big breakthrough!

Out of sour news, comes a sweet new development in the saga of getting ourselves to Korea.  We may end up getting there sooner than we’d hoped!

Tara and I spoke on the phone yesterday with a friend of my aunt, a guy named Drew who moved to South Korea five years ago.  In that time he fell in love with a local woman, married her, and settled in to live in Korea permanently.  Suffice to say, the man has connections!  In the time we’ve been communicating, he has given us loads of helpful advice, along with several helpful leads.  And that, my friends, is where we come to our breakthrough!

Through Drew we met Eunice, who works at a recruiter called Ask Now-Eto, and believes she may just have some jobs for us!  This is a very exciting development for us, as it changes our perception of the process.  We have gone from “some time in the next two months, perhaps” to “very possibly in the next couple of weeks” for our likely departure date.  That’s a big deal!  Psychologically, we are reenergized.  The prospect of hanging out in Oregon indefinitely while waiting for a phone call or email was not the sort of excitement we had signed up for.

All that being said, Tara and I want to make it known how grateful we are to Adventure Teaching for taking us through the beginnings of this process.  Our contacts at AT have been nothing apart from helpful and kind to us, and we would gladly recommend them to anyone .  We have just decided to strike while the iron is hot, and get to Korea as quickly as possible!

In other big news, I have indeed returned to Oregon at last.  Until we depart for Korea, I’ll be living with Tara at her parents’ house (in return for mowing the lawn and cooking dinner once or twice a week).  Tara continues working on her TEFL class, while I continue encouraging her.  Furthermore, I’m going to the Oregon coast tomorrow with friends, to celebrate the end of summer in hedonistic excess.  If Tara and I don’t leave too soon, we also hope to get in a little coast vacation of our own!

One last thing.  At Eunice’s suggestion, Tara and I took a couple more pictures of ourselves to send to our employers.  Some have suggested we look pretty good!

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Here’s to the future!

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How are we getting to Korea?!

Now that David and I finally have our documents finished we were hoping to leave for S. Korea by the end of the month.  However, we recently received an email from our recruiter of choice, Adventure Teaching, telling us that the job market is quite slow and we may not be leaving until October or November… if we continue to use them.  We could look into other recruiters if we wanted, as we signed no contracts.  This was very disheartening for me to hear because I spent a lot of time researching recruiters and chose AT for a reason.  That being said, while I am currently living at home, I have a limited amount of resources (aka cash), and my desire to leave only grows stronger everyday.  So what’s next?

I have been researching other recruiters and David and I may apply to a few while continuing to work with AT (we still hope that they will come through in the end).  On a very exciting note, David’s aunt Connie knows a contact living in Korea already.  David has been talking with him a little bit and he offered to look for jobs for us!  He thinks he can find us a job faster than AT which would be awesome.  It is amazing how many people know people that know people in S. Korea.  So out of all these options, I really hope something pans out soon.

In the meantime, I have moved home with my parents and David will soon be joining me.  I just went to one of my high school friend’s weddings and it was awesome.  Hopefully I will have some pictures soon.  I am also finishing up a 120-hour Teaching English as a Foreign Language class online which has been a lot of work, as well as, starting to learn hangul and some basic Korean. I’m trying to get David into it as well but he seems intent on learning German first… for some reason :p

Anyways, hopefully our next post will be to inform everyone of our job acceptance!