...but what's an adventure without some rough patches?
Because I will be arriving early, Na Yeong (the English-speaking coordinator at Keimyung) says:
"You may go through some inconvenience before the evening on 26 of August, which is the official opening day of the House, for residential facilities including hot water and cafeteria are not available to use."
So far on my first few days of Korea, I will not have hot water, internet (or a cell phone, for that matter), food... And because things aren't officially open yet, I'm betting I'll have to make due with the throw blanket and travel pillow that I'm bringing. :) Oh, yeah. I'm excited.
To wrap up my stunning bad-news intro of this post (don't worry, there will be some good stuff too), James has found out that his official document won't work to get his visa. That of course means that he still has half a week to a month or so to wait for his diploma to come to him. After that, it will take three days to get it to Korea. Then it will have to be processed in Korea in order for him to get a 'visa processing number,' at which point more papers will be sent back to him to get to the consulate here in Houston for the final visa processing. Even as soon as he can get all of that to Houston, though, he will still have to wait three days or so for the visa stamp to be put in his passport.
Confusing? Yeah... Annoying? Definitely. While none of this would have been a problem a few years ago, there have been a couple teachers in Korea who have encountered some problems and are now in jail. Their problems? They were uncertified. If I remember correctly what I read about it, one of them had actually forged a diploma. The government has since become stricter on it's policies about foreign teachers.
At this point, it may not even be worth it for him to go over there to teach at all because he'll end up staying until long after I'm gone. We'll see, though. Much praying is ensuing. :)
On a happier note, I have gotten a few emails from the school asking for more information about different things. One of them was t-shirt sizes. Yay! They say they "are preparing a souvenir at the orientation day" (I'm getting used to their sometimes quirky use of English. It's cute.). Another email was inviting the international students to apply to go on a field trip of sorts to "a beautiful willage at the foot of the Mt. Palgong." (No, I'm not kidding... it says "willage.") It will take up most of a Saturday in September, but we'll be able to see and experience a lot of Korean traditional culture, including a wedding and picking some of the apples that Daegu is known for. I plan to take plenty of pictures, so keep watching in September for that.
Other than that, I'm officially within my last week inside the US! The only thing left to do (I hope) is to get the last of my clothes packed as I get laundry done. If anyone has any ideas on things to take on a long trip like this that I might have forgotten or not thought of, I'm totally open to suggestions!