Pancake Day

Tuesday, March 8

When my friends talked about having pancakes on Tuesday, I honestly thought it was just because they were missing pancakes. I had no idea there was a reason behind it until that night. I stopped by the store on the way and picked up real maple syrup, which was super expensive (18,000 won, which is about $16.50 USD), but you can’t have Pancake Day without syrup, right?? Apparently there’s a super cheap Korean version of syrup that isn’t bad. I’ll know for next time.

Anyway, Pancake Day is an actual thing. My friends from the UK all celebrate this day. They didn’t really know how to explain the significance other than on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) you get together with your family and eat pancakes. Apparently, many people in the UK really only eat pancakes on this day.

So about 10 of us all got together in Beth’s apartment and had pancakes. We ate them British style, with a squeeze of lemon and sugar sprinkled over top. We also had chocolate chip pancakes and we had regular pancakes with syrup. It was such a great time.

* Click on the pictures above to see the full size image *

Happenings

2010 was a great year for me.

I spent a lot of quality time with friends and family

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Went to Puerto Vallarta… twice

PVR Mexico PVR Mexico PVR Mexico

 

 

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GRADUATED from university

University Graduation University Graduation University Graduation

 

and went on a cruise!

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What’s in store for 2011…

For many years I have dreamed of living somewhere overseas. I considered many options, but teaching English seemed like the way to go. I did a lot of research and weighed the pros and cons of each possible country I could teach in and I finally decided on South Korea. In October 2010 I began the application process to apply for EPIK (English Program in Korea). EPIK places Guest English Teachers in public schools all across the country.

The entire process is very long and costly. The application was 10 pages long and required me to write an essay. I also had to gather documents, including a state and FBI background check, transcripts from every college I’ve attended, passport photos, a resume, letters of recommendation, etc. I had to get documents apostilled (and had to learn what the heck an apostille is). But most of all, I had to have patience. After submitting my application, I was interviewed. The interview lasted about 20 minutes and I felt like it went pretty well. Two days later, on my way back from a trip to Austin to get documents apostilled, I was notified that I passed my interview.

After passing an EPIK interview, all documents must be sent to South Korea for review. Placements are made on a first come, first serve basis so it’s important to get everything in early to secure a desirable placement (you know… somewhere that isn’t out in the middle of nowhere). My documents were in by the first week in November… and I waited… and waited… and waited. Placements are not guaranteed so for months I was on pins and needles. I was given final confirmation of placement in early January and my contract arrived a few weeks later. I immediately sent my visa application to the Korean Consulate General in Houston and within days I had my visa back and booked a one way flight to South Korea.

So, ladies and gentlemen, for the next year I will be living in Busan, South Korea. I leave in less than 2 weeks (February 15) and I will be in Korea until February 26, 2012. Once I’m in Korea I will go through a week long orientation in Busan and on the last day I will find out what school I will be teaching at, and what age level. I will also get to meet my co-teacher, and possibly the rest of my co-workers.

I am a level 2 teacher, which means I will make 2 million won every month. My school will provide me with my own apartment, and I will only be responsible to pay utilities and maintenance fees (if charged by my apartment). I will be living in Busan, which is the second largest city in South Korea, so there will be plenty of things to do and see.

I will be updating my blog constantly before I leave so please check back soon. If you have any questions for me, please leave a comment below. I’m going to try to update again tomorrow with more information about Busan.

Thanks for reading!