Monday, August 3, 2009

The Beginning of the End

We were informed this afternoon that we would not here about our placements on Wednesday as planned, but tomorrow. A huge sigh of shock, excitement (and perhaps fear) escaped from 70 mouths. It is weird. Even though we all knew this was coming, and the announcement only got pushed up by one day, the end suddenly seemed very tangible. I think it hit a lot of people like a brick wall.

Personally, I won't sleep any differently tonight. But I cannot speak for the 69 other ETAs. Even dinner was a little more somber. It's kind of weird to think that the dinners left with these new best friends are numbered. The beginning of the end has officially begun. I can only imagine what tomorrow will be like.

Since we're on the "Debby Downer" track, I may as well announce that I have a really bad cold. I started feeling it on Friday and, despite advice from my mother (by the way, ALWAYS listen to your mother except in cases of skydiving) I went to my retreat on Saturday. That was the worst idea of my 20's. I ended up coming home Saturday night (a big no-no, but I absolutely insisted). I went to the emergency room on Sunday. The doctor - Dr. Park - is actually off to California in three weeks to get U.S. certification. His English was awesome. I think he told me that I have a really bad cold (upper respiratory infection, acute tonsillitis). Scary doctor words for, "You have a cold and you should have stayed home, you idiot."

Anyways, there is no such thing as OTC cold medicine in Korea. You have to go through a doctor to get any drugs. So, they gave me a mystery magic shot (as I like to refer to it) and two days worth of prepackaged medication. By prepackaged, I mean I take one packet in the morning, another at lunch and another at dinner. The one at dinner is a doozy; it knocked me out at 7:30 last night and I didn't roll over until 5 the next morning. I know that sounds peaceful, but I actually fell asleep on my nametag and had a huge square imprint on my cheek for over 30 minutes. I think I'll wait until I'm ready for bed before I crack into that packet again.

But I am feeling much better today. And the care package I received from home certainly helped. Oreos, KitKats and Caramel Creams. Can a girl ask for anything else?

I may as well mention the retreat now. For what I was there for, it was a TON of crazy fun. Actually, I'm pretty sure everything we did would be classified as some sort of hazing in the States. But it was a very positive experience. We swam in a nearby river and played a lot of teambuilding games, including a tongue twister race...but the tongue twisters were in Korean. Fantastic. We also played "Pass the onion ring" wherein each team member has a straw in their mouth and have to receive and pass an onion ring using on the straw. The other interesting game was "Suck and Blow" (don't worry, it's not bad) wherein you have to pass a plastic square down a line of people by sucking in when you are holding it and blowing out when you pass. Here are some visuals to assist. You can click all of them for a really big image:

Pass the Onion Ring

Suck and Blow (I probably got a lot of people sick...)

Get a good look now, because they'll probably (a) kill me for posting this and (b) make me take it down. This was the last activity I was there for...

The Drag Show
(These are the most manly men I've ever met)

I heard that the rest of the night was a lot of fun, but very exhausting. Everyone said that it was good that I went home when I did. Well, that should keep you chuckling (or keep your jaw on the floor) for a while. I will be sure to post about my placement tomorrow as soon as I can. In the mean time, pray for a very inland location (to avoid seafood). Thanks for reading!


  1. Hope you are feeling better real soon. Take good care of yourself, and listen to your mom!!

    Love you,
    Aunt Sandy and Uncle Jeff

  2. Hysterical. The people around my office cube are getting used to my outbursts... :0) For a second or two, I thought the picture with the knotty pine was taken in our basement. You defintely look skinny. Better eat more candy. :0) Momma

  3. Wow, how can you stand being around such studly guys? :)
    Eat some meat!

  4. Ha! This reminds me of the time we pick up Tara from her camps - all the hugs and tears from the "new best friends" who shared "crazy" experiences for a few weeks.

    And yes, those neatly folded packets of powdered medicine we came back with from the doctor's office. The doctor's private office would have a small room where he "made" those packets - sort of a little pharmacy of his own. A lot of times, the doctor's office would be a floor in his house and he knew all my family members. I remember the (nasty) way the powder would stick to my throat if I didn't swish it around with water in my mouth. I would be drinking buckets of water.

    Things must have changed by now. There used to be a LOT of OTC drugs (at least anti-biotics). One could go to the corner drug store (a pharmacy) and get anti-biotics in boxes without any prescription. I expect that it all changed (and that's as it should be, since I presume that anti-biotics were taken too readily via self-diagnosis).

    Hi Betty, thanks for reading my ramblings. I never thought I'd reminisce about my childhood. Don't know why, I just never thought I'd do that. It's actually been fun remembering these little things.