Just before leaving classes for the day, a teacher-trainee earnestly asks me, “This is kind of private question, but do you think you are going to stay in Korea forever?”
This is a common question. I get it at least once a year. For the first time in a long time, I felt comfortable saying, “I don’t know.”
I came here ten years ago, and at that time one year was all I knew. I never could have imagined 10 years and the stories that came along with that timestamp. But here I am. 10 years. And why do I still say, “I don’t know?” Because what do we ever know? I think we all look back with awe: awe at the joy, the sorrow, the celebration, the gratitude, the compassion… the magic.
I often felt unease with my answer, but now I realize it is the most realistic answer I could give. Although Korea and I have deep karmic currents, my heart longs for Canada and familiarity. And although it has this longing, my heart also realizes this wonderful Korean connection.
So what do I do? I just do, and I try to be. It’s all I can do. And for the first time, I’m ok with that.
Let’s see what the next 10 years bring. In the meantime, this is just a touch of what the last 10 years have brought.
Picture it. New year’s eve 2004. Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fireworks, my parents, and dear old friends. Korean visa gratefully (FINALLY) in hand.
Flight to Incheon. January 1, 2005.
The magical and mysterious land of Daegu, South Korea.
Bulguksa > Byongchan. 나는 청말조와해요.
Moonkkang/Youngmoon English Institute.
MA TESOL at SIT. Heaven.
NVC practice group at FIN English, Daegu.
Teacher training – KIETT.