Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trading Spaces

Once again, I've been traded to a new team.
In the past few months,
the work load at my former school doubled.
It was exhausting.
Teacher's were ending up in the hospital weekly.
Being old and cranky,
I let my boss know things had to change.

Two weeks later she let me know I'd been traded to a new school.

My New Boss
 Now, one might think that I was being punished with this news,
but the truth is my last employer went out and found the perfect job for me.
She listened to what I needed
(something she couldn't provide)
and placed me perfectly.

My new landlord.

At my new school I'm the only native English teacher.
They love me.
I'm their investment.
They go out of their way to make me smile.

Shopping for my new home.
It's a whole new world,
where my boss and her sister
spend the night at my house,
communicating in broken English,
that they want me to be truly happy.

My welcome basket.
I'm extremely grateful for my new job.
Instead of 9.5 hours a day I work 5.
There are no more Saturdays,
no more late night meetings. 
Welcome home drinks

Now I have the time that I need
to write
to study
to live.
Late night party so I'm not lonely.
Second dinner, because I need to eat more after my giant welcome dinner.
Who knows if this job will stay so lovely,
who knows what troubles will come my way,
but for now I'm so happy to slow down
and feel the days as they happen around me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gone Fish'n

As a beautiful surprise,
my magic friends from Japan called one evening
and said, "Mind if we come for a visit tonight?"
Then whisked me away on a surprise camping and fishing trip.

It was the kind of magical surprise
that makes you smile for a week.

Bye Bye Babbie, Goodbye

 For one brief moment,
Babbie returned.

Then she was gone.

Her smile.
Her laughter.
Her brightness.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Waiting Games

There is no reason to wait at home,
reflecting on things you can't control.

Better to set out on an adventure
and let it fill the voids of "what if"
with the magic of "what is".

Alyssa and Landino: They came, they saw, they conquered.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Hero

My life has been made better 
by my students.

 So, when they said goodbye with pretty confections,
my heart felt full and blessed.
Of course, my coworkers have filled in the cracks
the students could never reach.

 Everyday, without fail, they were delightful.
Their stories and tears a welcome part of my day. 
And, although I knew I would miss them,
I did not reflect on if they would miss me.

So when they wrote going away letters,
(instead of just signing a going away card)
it cut through me in a way I had not considered
and this generally cold girl cried.

I see clearly in the gifts and words of
my students and co-teachers, 
that when the last lights are turned out 
and my bags are packed,
they are the heroes 
in this chapter 
of my drama. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Happiest Place On Earth

It's hard to say exactly how I ended up here.

Even he seems to think I've lost my mind.
Minnie, however, seems to be supporting the decision.  I feel reassured.
Suiting up for my scuba certification,
in diving caves below a country kindergarten.

There is actually a diving cave under all this as well.
Let's just say, a momentary crisis and access to internet 
always ends this way for me.

So there I was, suiting up 
in a private diving dungeon in Korea
to complete a SCUBA certification 
I started 25 years ago in Maui.

A training I ended up doing blind 
because I didn't have my contacts.

 It was kind of like this, but with less visibility. 

Somewhere in the middle I was richly rewarded 
with a street festival and a kebab.

And in the end 
re-learning to dive
in the basement of a Disney Castle
in the farm fields of Korea
was ... well,
surreal to say the least...
quite frankly,
the best,
most ridiculous, 
 diving adventure ever.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Summer Luv'n

When you have the best co-workers in the world
there is only on thing to do when summer comes around.
 Make everyone go to the lake for a BBQ.

I make potato salad and sauerkraut.
They bring the kimchi and meat.
We all bring our families and friends.
We all laugh and play in the sun.


When it's all said and done I don't think I know how to be a good expat.
It seems I'm just a little to interested 
in living a normal life
with the normal people 
who live in the normal country 
doing normal things.

I just want my life to be:
and a little bit