Now my narrative brings me to the first week in South Korea. Much like our training, this section is narratively short. Ultimately, the entire week can be shortened to adjusting to the schedule, training, going to the grocery store, going to church, getting our van, and getting our immunizations. It seems action-packed, but really those events are commonplace household events that happen every week in the States. Regardless, what is important is not necessarily what we did, but the culture we noticed while doing it.
We started our week on Friday, with one rest day to recover from the flight. On Friday, we picked up our van and went grocery shopping for the first time. The van pickup was pretty basic. The shop was under construction, so there wasn’t much to see inside, but the city gave some insights. They are a technologically advanced society, a fact made evident by the lack of police cars. They do not patrol, but rather have cameras that monitor your speed. There are advertisements almost everywhere. Luckily I am free of the propaganda as I cannot read any of them. Anyway, we return to our home with the van and set out to the grocery store. The store was called E-Mart. E-Mart has anything you could want. It is 4 stories tall, all of which are devoted to parking except the first. The second floor features a food court, but the first is where all the groceries are. There is also a basement where any sort non-food item can be found. The place is huge. It took us a while to navigate the store, but it was a delightful experience. Now that we had groceries and a van, we were ready for the week.
The next day, Sunday, we went to church. The church supporting us is the Joyful Church, which is huge. It has two buildings, each with two basements for parking and a total of seven floors (combined). They have a cafe, consignment shop, the works. We ended up skipping the Korean services, as the translation wasn’t available for that day, and attending the English service. It was enlightening, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I look forward to going to the Joyful church every week.
The last big thing we did on our first week is get our immunizations. It took a while, as none of us could read Korean, nor figure out where we were supposed to go. We finally managed, through lots of trial and error, to find the clinic. The entrance was a little sketchy, but once we made it to the actual clinic part, it was much nicer. The doctor spoke English and with a little Google translate, we had our Japanese Encephalitis shots and were ready to take on the rest of the week.
That’s where I’ll leave off for the first week. Again, a lot of stuff is skipped over because housework, homework, and training can be dry. Next post will be our second week in Korea, which included making a video, having a guest over, and more. Until next time!