Lola O.
I finally have a moment to myself, and even though I am super sleepy I know I will feel a lot better if I do some writing. So lets start with the day before I left...

It was an awesome way to leave Arizona. Lots of friends and family came over to the house to visit, my grandma cooked all my favorite Nigerian foods, and I could just feel have loved and blessed I am because of the people in my life. I laughed a lot, cried a bit, freaked out for a second, and then just felt peaceful and excited to finally be making this happen.

 I had no problem with my luggages. I'm pretty sure all three of them were over 70lbs but the guy didn't even weigh them, and just asked me how much they way. I paid my excess luggage and was on my way. I had my carry-on, pillow, backpack, and purse as I went through security so that was a bit of a hassle, but no one stopped me when boarding started to tell me I had to much stuff. Once, I landed in LAX I got a bit stressed. That airport is huge and confusing. I had to take a shuttle from Domestic to International, and I had no clue where Korean Air was, but these nice people helped me find where I was going, and made sure it was the right area. I had to recheck-in, go through security all over again, and by the time I got to the gate they has started boarding people. I was sweaty, out of breath, and stressed, but I made it through, and got on the plane.

Thirteen hours is soooooooooooo long. I was beyond bored, and didn't find any of the movies interesting. We had soooooooo much turbulence and it freaked me out, because I am not fond of flying and the turbulence made it scary. I mean this was some hardcore turbulence we experienced and it came in increments throughout the whole flight. The food was yummy! I had bibimbap, some chicken and rice thing, and these yummy buns with some kind of meat inside them. I really liked Korean Air, the flight attendants were very kind of helpful. I sat next to three Korean girls and didn't really get to talk to anyone for the whole flight. It was a weird feeling of loneliness and excitement throughout the flight.

Once I got to the Incheon Airport, immigration took forever, and then I couldn't figure out where my luggages were. This nice man directed me to the correct carousel, and then I couldn't figure out how to get the luggage cart out, and this tiny little man comes over and does it for me. I must have that "I'm so lost and confused look" going on because I got so much help from people that day. So once I got my luggage, I exchanged some money, and then was on my way to find Gate F, which turned out to be quite the walk since it was on the opposite side of where I was. I found the meeting point, met my recruiter, and got my first meal in Korea. Don't get to excited it was just veggie kimbap. It was yummy and cheap!

I didn't really talk to any of the other people there because I was super tired and all I could think about was a shower and some sleep. We had to wait like an hour before enough people came and then we got on the shuttle. This nice man pushed my luggage cart for me to the shuttle and put everything on it for me. I didn't even ask, and felt kind of bad because everyone else was pushing their own luggages. Thank God for the kindness complete strangers have shown to me on this journey to Seoul. The shuttle ride was long, and that was due to the driver getting lost of something. It took more than two hours to get there. It was after 9 before we arrived there. I checked in, met my roommates (awesome and funny girls), and then took a shower and slept like a baby.

I have no jet lag, which is nice, and am already on Korean time. Orientation really doesn't start till Monday so we have A LOT of free time, which is good and bad. Good because we all need to relax before orientation starts. Bad because I get bored easily. I met a lot of people today, and even though I don't remember all of there names, everyone has been really interesting and nice. I met a lot of the girls from the FB Smoe Spring 2010 group, and we all seem to be meshing well. I just hope at the end of orientation we get placed in the same or nearby districts.

Today they took us to E-Mart. My first Korean shopping experience, and it was interesting trying to find snacks and things I would like. I spend like $10 bucks and got quite a few things. There was even a Starbucks there:)! After dinner, I went to this Survival Korean class and it was a waste of two hours because it was stuff I already knew. Hopefully the next one will be more useful. Now I am just relaxing in my room,  listening to music, and writing in my blog. It feels good to have this time to myself after spending the day around other people.

As far as how I feel, everything feels so dream like. I know I am in Korea, but at the same time I wonder if I need to pinch myself to make sure this isn't a dream. I have a lot of "WOW" moments; like when I see how different it is from AZ, or when I saw God of Study on the tv and was like I can watch dramas live now, or when we are eating and I just look around and am amazed to be here and really making my dream a reality. I feel a little overwhelmed and rushed just because everything is so new and different, and I want to capture every moment ,but at the same time give myself space to just absorb it all in.

I'm sure lots of other people must be feeling the same way. IDK, it is a weird kind of happiness I have right now. It really hit me that I am doing this, and am going to be here without my family for a whole year. I felt pretty sad about it, but at the same time I am happy to be challenged to do this on my own, for me.

I'm starting to fall asleep so that is it for now. I think I will be blogging either bi-weekly or weekly, depending on what interesting things happen in my life. I bought a journal for the everyday moments of reflection, and hopefully will get a chance to write in it soon.

Be Blessed,
~Lola O.~
12 Responses
  1. WOW! Dele. I am sooo excited and happy for you. Though I guess excited and happy are like the same adjectives. whatever. I'm looking forward to reading this blog and reading all your adventures...p.s. I'm really happy Starbucks is there. I know you can't drink it....but I'd like to go there when I visit....lol


  2. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Lola, it's really cool that you've finally made it and I look forward to reading your entries! I have a few questions. I was wondering if you are fluent in Korean? Also, would it be possible to get by without knowing Korean?
    -mud


  3. Mike M Says:

    Hope you have fun. Keep us posted!


  4. Joy Says:

    Yeah! Exciting! That funny about the tiny little man. I could just imagine you saying that. :). So excited for you Dele!!! Love you.


  5. Anonymous Says:

    We thank God for your safe arrival Dele. We know the Lord that has begun a good work in you will perfect the rest of your one year stay in Seoul. Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
    love always,
    Sister Grace.


  6. Sounds like it wasn't bad traveling after all. I experienced the same thing on flights to Korea. THe people next to you generally don't talk. It is kind of an opener to the country (people keep to themselves here).

    Monday is a holiday for Koreans in case you didn't know. (Korea's independence day).

    When you finally settle in and get started let's all meet up:)


  7. Lola O. Says:

    F.Joy, for sure, within the next two weeks once I get to my apartment we will find a day to hang out. We still have orientation even though it is a holiday.

    Mud, I am not fluent in Korean, just a beginner, and no you don't need to know Korean to get by, but knowing it will make your time here a lot better and people a lot more welcoming. I plan on learning as much of the language as I can.

    Thanks everyone for all the love!!!


  8. Maria Says:

    Your journey sounded so pleasant, with all those people helping you. I can only hope that when I finally decide what to do, I'd have some of your luck too. XD

    and lol, watching dramas live on TV. That would definitely make me realize that I'm not at home anymore.


  9. Lola O. Says:

    I felt really blessed by all the help I received from strangers. It made everything less scary and confusing. I'm sure you will find help when you least expect it.

    Yeah, I have a lot of moments where I realize I am not home anymore.


  10. i'm so glad things went well! i hope we can get together soon! it's so cool that you're here! ^^ hope you're orientation went well!!! good luck this week!!


  11. Lola O. Says:

    Thanks Gabi, once I get settled in we will meet up:)! See you soon!!!


  12. new_in_town Says:

    Congrats Lola! I had a very similar experience at Incheon airport. After the long line to get through immigration I spent a good 10- 15 minutes looking for my baggage only to find it being watched over by two Korean airport workers in some random corner! I'll check in again soon to see how your apartment and stuff works out... all the best. Been here for a month today! It really does fly by.