Upon arriving in South Korea the Harrington's as well as a crew of other Westerners were loaded onto a bus to continue their 12 hours of travel for an additional 3 and a half hours. The Harrington's struck up a few conversations with potential Daejeon friends before drifting in and out of sleep. The crew of new EPIK teachers finally reached their destination of Jeonju University where some paperwork was cared for and they were given room assignments. Mike and Melissa Harrington wasted no time in getting into their room, setting up their beds and entering sleep...however, they did take time to look into their gift bags and feel genuinely welcomed by EPIK (English Program in Korea) as well as the entire nation of South Korea The following morning the Harrington's had a chance to check email and make a couple calls back home. These emails and calls unfortunately brought with them the sad news of a loss in Melissa Harrington's family. While the Harrington's were in transit, Melissa's Grandpa Al passed away -- potentially escorting the Harrington's on this new journey. With the love and support of her husband, strength and encouragement from family back home Melissa was able to enter the week of training with confidence that she and her husband were where they were meant to be and that Grandpa Al would now be serving as their guardian angel.
The week commenced with an impressive showing of Korean cultural performances, delicious foods and the acquiring of new friends.
The week continued with a number of helpful and informative lectures of which only a few managed to bore the audiences - most proved surprisingly engaging and entertaining. The Harrington's felt encouraged, inspired and at times overwhelmed with the responsibility and privelege of teaching South Korean children our native language. As the week drew to an end, the Harrington's and other EPIK teachers grew anxious to meet their co-teachers, see their schools and begin applying all they had learned to the upcoming year.