The couple days leading up to this year’s Thanksgiving, I was feeling very homesick. There was a lot of commotion back home as my family prepared for their Thanksgiving holiday. My older brother was bringing his girlfriend to meet the family for the first time, and my family also just got a new puppy, so I felt like I was really missing out. However, what made it a little better is ChungDahm provided the English teachers with a traditional Thanksgiving lunch! We had the essentials: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Before we started eating, our faculty manager opened the floor up to anyone who wanted to share what they were thankful for. Yes, it was as cheesy as you can imagine. A couple people shared, but I was too shy and embarrassed. In retrospect, if I had the chance to say something I would have thanked the staff for organizing this Thanksgiving lunch. It meant so much to me that I could still spend Thanksgiving with other people whom I enjoy spending time with.
We shared some good laughs and I learned a little more about my coworkers. When everyone finished eating we had to do something with all the leftovers, so I filled up a tupperware full of food and took it home with me. I wanted to show off to my family that I had Thanksgiving food too! Later that day, I went on Skype to talk with my family. My mom’s famous corn casserole was in the oven and I watched them all get ready to go over to my aunt’s house for dinner. Skype is really a double edged sword. If you’re feeling homesick it can either make you feel better when you see and talk with your family, or it can leave you missing home even more. Thanksgiving has come and gone, so I don’t feel as homesick anymore. I don’t think that Christmas or New Years will be as bad because those holidays are celebrated here too. Actually, Thanksgiving meals are celebrated here, I just couldn’t partake because I was sick. However, here is a list I found of restaurants in Korea that serve traditional Thanksgiving meals: Your Guide to Thanksgiving in Korea 2011
You’ll definitely have to refer to the above link when you’re teaching English in South Korea, and get a group of friends together and all go! For all of you reading this from back home, I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. Although my Thanksgiving wasn’t anything spectacular, it did make me appreciate my family and our memories together. This is all part of my personal growth while I’m here in Korea.
Yuna Lee is a current instructor at Chung Dahm Learning. Yuna was born and raised in the D.C. metropolitan area and graduated from the University of Mary Washington. She has traveled to many different places including Honduras, Ecuador, and Nepal. However with her father being Korean, she wanted to learn more about her heritage, so she set off to Seoul, Korea to do some soul-searching. Now, she is loving the freedom and independence of her post-college life. Teaching at Chung Dahm has been such a rewarding experience. Follow her blog to read up on the interesting things she has to share!