An English teacher's blog about his travels and his digital art.

Month: August 2005

It’s Official–Morocco Bound!

Yes, I passed all the physical tests required of me. That was my biggest fear, that I would end up having some weird African disease from my time in the Peace Corps or that Southeast Asia might have given me something to remember it by. But, no, everything is fine and I leave for Washington, D.C. this morning for a 5-day orientation/briefing. I’ll be staying at the Embassy Suites Hotel until Sunday, when I fly back to Great Falls. Then Monday I’ll go to Missoula for a few days, returning to GF on Wednesday. Then, on Sept. 6, I make the long flight to Morocco. To say that I’m finally very excited is to say the least. I’ve been holding my breath waiting for the physical results to come back, but now I’m beginning to really get into the idea of living and working in Morocco.

What have I been doing in the States? Not a whole lot, really. Going to minor league baseball games to watch the hometown Great Falls White Sox Voyagers, eating pizza and decadently junky¬† Beer Baron sausages, recuperating from jet lag, and visiting with family. Oh, yeah, and worrying about the physical. I also bought a new Acer computer, a loaded laptop with 80 Gb hard drive, DVD-RW dual layer drive, 512 Mb RAM, widescreen, etc. for $800, on sale this week at Staples. I’m taking it to D.C. to give it a workout; I have 14 days to return it if I don’t like it, but so far it seems great. It’s my first foray into a non-Intel computer (AMD Sempron processor).

Ok, I’ve got to go catch a plane–a 7:30 a.m. flight to Denver, then on to D.C. More later.

Goodbye, Korea

This is quite probably my last post from South Korea, at least for some time. Perhaps I’ll return in a few years. There’s nothing wrong with working here and I would recommend it to any new English teachers looking to get some experience, not to mention good pay.

So, it’s au revoir to the Land of the Morning Calm and on to the U.S., and then, hopefully, Morocco. I fly out of Seoul tomorrow at 6 p.m. I’ll probably leave Andong, my home for two years, around 10 a.m. I can’t help but shed a few tears, leaving this relatively quiet, peaceful city (quiet and peaceful for Korea, that is) and leaving behind some good friends at ANU. Good luck to all. More later.

It’s Official

Ok, finally I’ve made the decision to go to Morocco. There has been, for many reasons, a lot of indecision on my part whether or not to take the position, but after several sleepless nights, I’ve decided to go. So, the next few days are going to be extremely hectic, packing, doing paperwork, etc.

Here’s my agenda, more or less. I fly out of Incheon on Tuesday, the 16th of August and get into Seattle at noon, the same day. Then I fly from Seattle to Great Falls, leaving at 8pm, the 16th and arriving in Great Falls at 11:15 pm, Aug. 16th. Then, on the 17th, I have an appointment at the Great Falls Clinic to take my physical. I was very worried about whether or not lab results would be ready in time for my departure to Morocco, but I was told that lab results are usually ready the same day, so no problem there. From Aug. 24 through the 28th I must attend a 5-day briefing/orientation in Washington, D.C. and then it’s back to Great Falls and Missoula until I leave for Morocco, around Sept. 6th. Whew!! I hope I can get everything done that needs to be done between now and the 6th. Things like having my Dell laptop repaired (it hasn’t worked in 1 1/2 years), buying new clothes (especially underwear and socks), going to Missoula to visit and conduct some business, passing the physical (no problem, I hope), and other assorted stuff.

It’s been raining steadily all night long, so it’s cooled off a bit in Andong, though the humidity is still very high. I’m sweating profusely by the time I take the short walk to the bus stop to go to the university. Morocco has a Mediterranean climate, except for the southern area close to the Sahara. I don’t know what that means, but I hope the humidity isn’t 90%-100% like it has been here this summer. It’s been a tough decision on what to take with me, what to pack up in boxes and ship later, what to leave here, and what to throw away. Most of my old clothes are getting tossed and many of my books are being left for others to use. I think one of my colleagues is buying my bicycle, but no one wants the computer. I’ll leave it with another friend and hope that she can sell it to one of the new teachers. If not, no big deal. I’m sure it’ll find a home somewhere.

I’m also putting up photos in the gallery of my trip to Laos and Thailand this summer. Look for the Thailand/Laos 05 gallery. More later.


I got the Moroccan position and the briefing date is perfect, Aug. 24-28. So, I fly out of Korea around the 16th of Aug., back to Great Falls (are you reading this, Mom?) for a few days, then to D.C. and to Meknes, Morocco some time after that. Wow, am I pumped! I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight. I probably won’t get much sleep in the days ahead, either, packing, cleaning, filling out forms, teaching during the day, etc. Whew, this is almost too much to take in right now, 11 p.m., Monday night. So, tomorrow I’ll tell my supervisor au revoir (oh, yeah, I’ll be able to practice my French in Morocco), that I won’t be signing on for another year. More later.

More Job News

I was on pins and needles all weekend, knowing that I would have to wait until tonight to call the SIT people in Vermont. 3 1/2 more hours of waiting to make that call. I’ve been surfing Morocco information websites all weekend and I’m really stoked about going. I hope everything falls into place.

Decent news, though–my boss called me out of class today and told me that they would love to have me come back to Andong for another year and could I let them know by tomorrow morning my decision about signing a contract. Andong Uni. and Univ. of Mont. have a sister university relationship, and, since I’m the only Montanan here, the Director of the Language Center is very happy to have me return. So, if the timing for Morocco isn’t propitious, I at least will still have a job. There’s nothing wrong with Andong for another year, despite my infrequent grumbling to some of my colleagues. I won’t have to pack things up, I already know the curriculum and the textbook we’ll be using, and, best of all, I won’t have to clean my apartment!!! (Just kidding) More later tonight, probably.

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