Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another year, another couple of countries

Things are winding down for me here in Incheon, South Korea. Just one more month of teaching, then I'm off. Hopefully it'll be a quiet month. Regular classes have just finished and just the after school program and a four day morning camp remain. When I finally ship out, I would have spent 18 months in Korea. Quite long for living in a country I'll never fit into.
While I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in South Korea (split into a one year term and a six month stint with some travel in between) I'm looking forward to a change of pace. During the in between time I was fortunate enough to spend three months in Thailand. The tropical climate and laid back pace of life was very appealing. However the tonal language (five ways of saying ma, each with a different meaning), rampant tourism and continuing to stand out in the crowd has pushed me towards moving out of Asia.
I've got a trip to the states planned (Route 66 Road Trip!), but getting a work visa was too much red tape for me to untangle. So the rich, green land of Costa Rica seems like a great place to go kick it for me. I'm planning on doing at least a month volunteer work on a farm in Purical to get a feel for the climate and culture, as well as to give myself a chance to establish some connections to find some teaching work.

There are several reasons I want to volunteer in Costa Rica.
  1. a Latin based language, so much easier for me to learn than anything here in Asia!
  2. amazing biodiversity in such a small country
  3. the chance to work physically, a welcome break from the purely academic requirements of ESL teaching
  4. the opportunity to connect with a culture more similar to my own
  5. learn new skills. Never I have I ever milked a goat. Or picked coffee. Or ridden a horse.
So my journey to Costa Rica is beginning over 8,000 miles away. Let's hope it's a fun ride!

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