Today I started piecing together the room that will be my home for the next eleven months. On my daily trip to Dunkin Donuts (I'm so close to the free drink I can almost taste it) I purchased a holographic wolf poster from a vendor on the sidewalk for the American equivalent of $1.50. After taping it to the wall, I realized that this room suddenly doesn't feel foreign anymore; the 16 hour plane ride, not so apparent.
As I said while talking to a friend tonight, it's through the small idionsyncracies of a place, a person, an environment that one is eventually able to take ownership of and internalize. Along those lines, I'm slowly building up my sense of home at my homestay. It's contained in the smell of dwenchanchegae as I walk to my house, the 5 am wake up call from our dog, the way we have hundreds of crates of pears in our garage (straight from the pear farm my family owns).
Home is wrapped up in the obscenely loud rainbow colored clock hanging on my speckled bedroom wall and the large oriental cabinet behind my bed, where I occasionally hang my bathing suits (that's right kids, offending ancestors and traditional sentiment everywhere.)
At school, I've yet to find my perfect stride. Some days I stumble a bit, and yet it feels good to walk into the classroom, when I know my toughest challenges to date have been outside of it's walls.
Really, the thing I feel most blessed about has been the people in my life, either those whose words and advice and general conversation have followed me here through emails and texts and packages, or the new family I've begun to create within the Fulbright network. I've come a long way from fearing that there was no one I would truly connect with within our 73 person group.
What I'm looking forward to in the future:
-getting paid for the first time on Friday
-Chusuk: Korean Thanksgiving next week with the homestay family
-Oct. 1-4 First ETA Conference in Gyeongju
-Beginning a Glee (English) club at our local university in Naju
-Winter Break perhaps in India and Bali
...but mostly that free coolatta.