On the bus from Incheon airport to Jeongju University, Myrna, who is El Salvadoran, and I discover that we have both been on the same trajectory. She made a stop in Egypt on her way to Korea. Not only that, but we were on the same flight from JFK to Cairo on Thursday, February 12, delayed one day by the east coast blizzard. We stayed in Cairo the same number of days. Then we both got on the same flight from Cairo to London on Tuesday, February 16 at 9 am. We stopped over in London Heathrow for 8 hours and then got on Asiana Airlines headed for Seoul. We did not know each other during these flights. I didn’t even know this Myrna person existed!
Who else on earth would make a stop in Cairo on the way from the US to Seoul?? After all, it is the wrong way around the earth!!
Fate has thrown us together. I don’t know the reason for this, but I think it will reveal itself in time. In Jeongju University, we were not roommates, but our dorm rooms were next door to each other. When we got our assignments in Gyeongsangbuk-do province, we were both assigned to teach in Seongju, a rural area west of Daegu, Korea’s third largest city. Seongju is home of the yellow melon. It is basically miles and miles of “vinyl houses,” what we in the USA call greenhouses, for growing this yellow melon. Myrna was assigned three elementary schools in Seongju and I was assigned two. When we arrived in Seongju, we found we are the groundbreakers, the first native English teachers ever to be assigned to these schools. There were no apartments for us. Our co-teachers, Mr. Smith and Coffee J, are friends, and they worked as a team to get us situated. We now live in apartments across the hallway from each other on the west side of Daegu, near Keimyung University.
I am learning much about my new Latina friend…. I like her very much… J
Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Myrna and Cathy in Daegu!!