My first day in Korea was also the first day of traveling to my school and meeting everyone. Clint took the day off to be my guide. The trip was an expensive taxi ride ($45) from base to Biin Elementary School. I was driven up to a scenic school with colorful flowers and enthusiastic greetings. The children were very curious to see us. They all wanted to say hello and ask questions. Only a few teachers spoke English; the rest of the staff tried to politely say hello and communicated with hand gestures and big smiles.
After seeing my classroom, we were seated in the center of the office. The staff came in and sat around us. They introduced us to everyone and then proceeded to hold a staff meeting in Korean. We were both puzzled, but maintained a decent sense of composure and tact. After some awkwardness with the principal saying we looked like Hollywood movie stars (specifically Arnold Vosloo and Patricia Velasquez from The Mummy) we were dismissed to go get my apartment. The trip around the city by bus was rather overwhelming. The co-teacher didn’t know exactly where the apartment was, and if I could even get furniture that day. The bus schedules were confusing. It was a true test of patience! But as I’ve advised my younger sister many times before in such frustrating situations, I also told myself to “man up.”