Meeting my New Host Family {01/03/19} NSLI-Y Korean AY

01/03/19 Thursday

Waking up today was very difficult… my early alarm went off, telling me to take a shower, but I quickly shut that off in order to get some more shut-eye. Eventually, Addie, McKenzie, and I left our room to go get some breakfast. We were being provided breakfast by the hostel so we had free reign of the kitchen which included hard boiled eggs, toast, and cereal. I got to have peanut butter toast which has definitely been a breakfast dearly missed since coming to Korea. With my old host family, we never had an American style breakfast. The couple of times I did only happened because my host mom wasn’t there to prepare breakfast. It is kinda strange that I now have a host family that I will refer to as my old host family…

After breakfast, we all walked over to Better World to have part 2 of our Winter Break Orientation. For those couple of hours, we discussed our goals for the break and filled out a fresh and clean goal sheet. We also wrote letters to ourselves to open at the end of the program. Literally, at dinner, the previous day, Addie and I talked about having a little letter writing workshop because we wrote letters to ourselves at PDO during the summer program but didn’t end up doing that this year. It seemed that the 쌤s read our minds.


After all the official orientation activities were finished, we all headed back to the guesthouse to have lunch. We ate Dominos Pizza which honestly was probably my first time having that pizza chain in years—and we are in Korea at that. They had one “genuine” Korean pizza with potatoes, corn, mayonnaise, etc but I stuck with good old cheese and pepperoni. Very tasty.


Eventually, the people not switching host families were allowed to leave while the rest of us anxiously waited to be picked up by our new host families. I was literally shaking sitting at a table with everyone, clutching Shada’s arm so tightly.

It was a little after 1 pm when my older host sister showed up to pick me up. I could kind of recognize her from photos I had seen of her. She looked so kind and helped me carry all of my heavy pieces of luggage {Shada too~ Bless Her!!!} We got in the car and began the 30 ish minute ride back to their home—and I guess mine for however long. {Still not sure if they are willing to keep me for the rest of the program or if I’ll be switching again in the Spring.}

When I first got in the car, my host sister told me that if she ever says anything that I can’t understand then I can just tell her and she will make sure I understand. It seemed at first she was pretty surprised by my Korean which honestly felt good. I’m at no level to say that I’m good at speaking Korean but I’m at the point where I can mostly confidently navigate everyday conversation and most family situations {though I will forever be stupid and make constant small, basic mistakes.}

For the rest of the car ride, she told me about her family and the apartment as well as more about herself—her travels in America, what’s she’s studying in college, her work, etc. We also talked about hobbies and daily habits like what time we wake up and go to bed. My host family sleeps pretty late especially seeing that my host sisters don’t attend traditional school (one is on a break from college and the other is homeschooled) so they usually don’t wake up till 9-10 am so breakfast is usually about 10-10:30 am. This is good for me because I won’t feel like I can’t sleep in on some days but when I do have to wake up early {for supporter meetings, cafe studying, and eventually school at 하나고 again, I will be eating breakfast alone.}

When we got home, my host sister had to leave for work at 학원 so I was left at home for around 2 hours until my host mom came home but even then we didn’t talk much until dinner that night. During that time, I hung out with their dog Andy and got to know him {He’s the cutest ever! And I don’t even consider myself the biggest dog person!} And I also unpacked all my suitcases and tidied up/organized my room.


My New Room!

I had dinner with all three members of my host family: my two host sisters and my host mom. Our conversation during dinner was quite funny because my host mom, not used to her host child speaking Korean “well” when they first arrive, would ask my older host sister questions to then ask me (probably in English). My host sister would then always reply “Ask her yourself! She can understand.” Dinner was fun albeit a bit awkward but as time goes on I assume that we will soon get more comfortable with each other. After ending our dinner together with some 귤 (tangerines), I went with my host sister to walk 앤디 (my host dog) around the apartment complex but also the walk was used to show me how to walk to the subway station and use the keycard to get in and out of the apartment. Luckily for me, the subway station is literally like a 3-minute walk from our apartment. The apartment complex is actually connected to the station with a bridge-like connection that not only brings you to the subway station but also this three-story mall/ shopping district type of thing (I really do not know what English word can accurately describe it). But the area is really nice; it has everything I would ever need only 2 minutes away! I am talking about several bakeries, cafes, restaurants, convenience stores, drug stores, clothing stores, etc. They even have an E mart, Artbox, and Daiso!! (Honestly, this may be bad because… now I can spend money more easily… that could soon be a problem.)

And that basically sums up the first day with my new host family! I am really excited to see what this new half of the program will bring me~ My host family seems really great and we are already planning out things to do together which makes me excited. I hope we can get closer (especially if I try harder not to be so shy!!) I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Thanks for reading~

  • Emma 엠마


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