So, two weeks ago, my school imploded. The Korean staff (bus teachers, supervisors, cooks, lunch ladies) had not been paid on time for over 2 years and had not received their full salary in 3 months. Two Wednesdays ago (July 23) was the final straw and they all quit. By Wednesday evening, kids were getting pulled from classes and told to take all their books home by parents. By Thursday, only about 3 Korean staff remained. That same day we received news that the school was closing on Friday. Since then it has been a whirlwind of confusion and chaos sandwiched around a one week vacation.
David and I had planned to go to Jeju for the week, leaving on Friday night straight after work. But suddenly, I had no job. My school was closing and my kids were getting ripped away from me. On my way to work on Thursday I cried for the first time about the whole situation as the weight of it hit me… on the bus… surrounded by random Koreans. It was a great way to start the day. I had no idea how I was going to enjoy a vacation when I had no income to come back too.
Luckily for us, on Friday (the day we were supposed to close), a man, ironically also named “Mr. Kim”, bought our contracts and we were saved in the nick of time. And when I say “nick of time” I mean we were told that we still had jobs at 6pm that night, an hour and a half before we were supposed to start our vacation. Those three days were an indescribable cavalcade of emotions for me.
It seems like David and I have been beaten down a lot since we have come to Korea. It has made me question whether coming here was the right decision for us and if I am where I am “supposed” to be. The answer is still unclear. Here’s hoping that things get better at the “New CIS”.