I finally had my visa interview at the Korean Consulate in Atlanta on Monday. The day started off on the wrong foot when my mom called while I was already on my way down there and told me that the consulate had left a message on our answering machine saying I needed to bring a new passport photo with me for the interview… Thanks for the advance notice! Luckily when I got there they directed me to a place in the same building that did instant passport photos and I had enough time to get one taken before the interview started. The Wal-Mart Photo Center will be hearing it today when I return the crappy passport photos I had taken there… They cut the top of my head off!
The visa interview was very awkward. It was a group interview with me and four other people. The guy who was interviewing us had five big stacks of documents (one for each of us). He went through each stack and asked each of us a few random questions, but most of the half hour was spent in silence as he looked through our papers. When it was over and we were all waiting by the elevators, I was the first to speak up. “That was odd…” I began. Instantly everyone agreed and we all bonded over the thoroughly weird experience. I am sure it is only the first of many to come.
But the trip to Atlanta was fun. I really owe Zach & Kelly for giving me a ride and for getting me a ticket to the NBA playoffs game we went to that night! I had a great time cheering for the Hawks in my new $5 “I Don’t Believe In Magic” t-shirt and listening to the obnoxious guys in banana costumes sitting behind us.
Then I spent the last two days with my mom visiting my aunt and cousin at their cabin in Franklin.
I didn’t think to tell Adventure Teaching that I wouldn’t have internet access and sure enough when I got back last night I had a few emails from them. It turns out I have to start my orientation on May 24th, when I thought I wouldn’t be needed at the school until June 1st when I officially start teaching. So, I now will be unable to attend my ten year high school reunion and I had to quickly reschedule my going away party. I will be busy packing, shopping, and moving stuff this weekend, have my party on Sunday, go to the beach for a quick vacay Monday-Thursday, and then hopefully leave on Friday the 21st.
Luckily everything is working out but I am going to have to give Adventure Teaching some constructive criticism. They really need to work on their communication skills! I originally was told that I would arrive in Korea May 29th-30th and responded that I could leave anytime after May 23rd because I wanted to attend my reunion. That was all fine until the last minute when another person there informed me of the orientation on the 24th.
Another big ordeal that came up only recently was about my housing situation. During the job search process, I repeatedly told AT that I wanted Daniel and I to live together, and I thank them for making that happen. When I interviewed with my school they said that since Daniel was starting his job more than a month before me, it would be a good idea to have my own apartment for when I had to continue working after his contract was up. I passed this info along to AT who said that Daniel could extend his contract until I was done teaching next year and we could still live together. When I signed my contract, it stated that I would be receiving a housing allowance. But fast-forward a month and a half later and everyone thinks I am living in an apartment provided by my school! Apparently there was some miscommunication there but I sent an email to AT documenting our correspondence about the housing allowance so surely all the confusion is now cleared up.
But I am excited to leave for Korea in ONE WEEK and really ready to see Daniel again, it has now been over five weeks since he left! 😦 Hope everyone can make it to my going away party on Sunday from 3-6. Ice cream sundaes and my chocolate fondue fountain!!