We are trying to get in a groove of a weekly routine. We don't have much on our plates yet, so if we can't do it now, it'll just get harder. Barry is back on the math teaching track. He takes the kids to his office where it's quiet. I continue to work at home with them. English, Korean and math are the priorities with some zoology, art, geography and religion. They still say they don't like it, but they're moving along through the books and online programs. My goal is to have them at grade level in core subjects by the end of June.
We continue to shop around the city for things we need and want. The kitchen is getting equipped slowly, and we've needed things such as pants and shoes for the kids...I guess that never ends with growing tweens.
We've heard new professors moving into some of the other units in the building. We've met some, but others seem to pass without notice. We taped notes to all the apartment doors last night inviting everyone to come for coffee and cake tomorrow afternoon. We thought this would be a nice way for everyone to meet. Hopefully they'll be good building mates.
This big foreign city still seems bit overwhelming. I find it takes an hour to get anywhere even though getting places is easy on the subway. I managed to get to Costco this week. We went on Tuesday, but the lines were insane so we just got our membership then left. It was still busy on Thursday, but much more reasonable. We were able to get some familiar food and stock the cupboards nicely. The bad part of the trip was when I went to pay but discovered I could only use cash or a Samsung credit card. With the language barrier this was even more frustrating. Thankfully there was a bank machine nearby and I didn't hold the line up for too long. Not all the machines take our debit cards so the first time it was rejected then I tried my credit card; I admit I held back a few frustrated/relieved tears when the bills started pouring out. It's things like this that seem to be exhausting and annoying every time we try something new. I suspect by June, I'll have some things sorted out.
Monday morning I'm meeting with the English grammar teacher at Yeomyung to discuss the conversation classes I'll be teaching on Friday afternoons. Hopefully it'll all go well. I start this week. Fridays Barry doesn't have to teach, so the kids can either come with me or be with him...or alone. Friday we'll also be going to the ambassador's for dinner. It's a personal dinner, rather than the formal work one Barry attended for the embassy this week. Eric, the ambassador seems very nice based on previous meetings, and I'm anxious to meet his wife, Lucy. She attended Carleton to take the same CTESL program I did the year before I started. Last spring, Eric indicated he spoke to her about helping with the North Korean students through our mentorship program that we'd like to start. Hopefully it'll be a good match. As a spouse, she cannot work here, so she's happy to volunteer.
Tomorrow we'll go back to the same church with the hopes of getting settled in there. We met a few nice families last week.
I had planned to visit the neighbourhood Taekwondo studio again today to register the kids for a twice per week class, but this cold and the rain has kept me in. Molly and George don't really have any interest in martial arts, but they've agreed they need something to do, and this is just a 5 minute walk away. It'll be in Korean, but the instructor we met briefly speaks a little English. Hopefully the kids can start to meet kids in the neighbourhood. I suspect they won't make any bosom buddies the first week, but even if they have someone to say hi to it will be a start.
So life rolls along in the mega-city of Seoul. There's still so much we haven't seen or done, but we aren't tourists anymore - this is our home and everyday activities are taking over as priorities. There are many moments I wonder why we've intentionally made simple things like grocery shopping so complicated, but I hope those feelings will wear off as time goes by and it'll all be worth the daily effort. I also pray hard for a social life for our kids. Homeschooling in your own country is one thing, homeschooling here can be very isolating. Again, I hope time takes care of that. We will explore other options for the fall too.
As for today, we're laying low. City rain is unpleasant and I need rest if we're to attend church and host guests tomorrow. The sweats have taken over from the chills and I've gone from two layers of everything down to my undies....this too shall pass.