Sunday, March 25, 2012

Our next expatriation...South Korea!

I have been dragging my feet about updating the blog about our next expatriation to South Korea... yes you heard me correctly we are moving to South Korea... Ulsan, South Korea to be exact.  We are excited to see what God has in store, anxious about all the changes and sad to say goodbye to our home , friends and church of 4 years here in Singapore.

Oh how we will miss Singapore (this country and the people sure have been good to us) but our time (Blake's job responsibilities) have finished here and now time to start a new one elsewhere.  When we came here 4 years ago (in April we will celebrate 4 years) we were only to be here 12-18 mos.  Packed all of our stuff up in an small storage unit, rented out our house, and parked our car in a families' drive way and sad goodbye (temporarily) to our friends and family... well things changed and now we find ourselves doing it again just 4 years later and leaving the country that we love, saying goodbye to friends, leaving the condo we call home, and storing memories of the place where we have raised Pierce and made tons of lasting memories.

We are excited about South Korea but as you can imagine it is bitter sweet... I even find it hard right now to even write about here... so I will have to come back to that one... but we do feel like our time here has come to an end and know that God has already gone before us to SK to prepare the way and we look forward to the lasting memories and friendships we will make there.

Let me introduce you to our new country of residence in South Korea... we plan on moving in early May...

Ulsan (Korean pronunciation: [ul.s͈an]), officially the Ulsan Metropolitan City, is South Korea's seventh largest metropolis with a population of over 1.1 million. It is located in the south-east of the country, neighboring Busan to the south and facing Gyeongju to the north and the Sea of Japan (East Sea) to the east.
Ulsan is the industrial powerhouse of South Korea, forming the heart of the Ulsan Industrial District, which is home to the world's largest automobile assembly plant operated by the Hyundai Motor Company,[1] the world's largest shipyard operated by Hyundai Heavy Industries[2] and the world's largest[citation needed] oil refinery, owned by SK Energy.[3] In 2008, Ulsan had a GDP per capita of $63,817, the highest by far in South Korea.[4]

Blake and I got to take a little sight and see back in Feb. to find a school (there is only one English speaking school), to find a home, to find a doctor/hospital (for baby #2).  We had a very productive trip and got everything accomplished... I will share with you later Pierce's new school (which looks fantastic) and our new home... but in the meantime enjoy some pics of the town.

As soon as I found a Starbucks I had to take a picture... now all my friends can rest assure that they have chai tea.. yeah.....I think I will now survive.

Ulsan does have a small beach that is pretty but I hear it is packed in the summer (yes they have 4 proper seasons... we are so excited about this...).  It is very near to our house and Blake's work... will be a place that we hang out for sure.

Here are some pics of the town (another concrete city for sure... but check out those mountains in the background)...

The food will be a challenge for us... while there for a week the best thing we had was this pizza... that was served with pickle juice... it will be interesting for sure.

Hallelujah... they have a Costco... it is about 1.5 hours away from Ulsan but we imagine we will be going there once a week.  It is very similar to the US where it is wholesale buy in bulk, some of the products are the same and some are different (Korean style)... but this is where I will be buying our meat (all written in Korean), our diapers, wipes, drinks and more... we are so pumped about this...

Ulsan is known for their parks and walking trails... but there is not a zoo, bird park, army museum, sentosa island, botanical gardens (oh I better stop)... but in Busan which is about 1.5 hours away there is this aquarium... I am using this picture to entice Pierce to get excited about moving their...

Communication will definitely be hard... unlike here in Singapore where almost everyone speaks English... this is not the case in Korea... We did find it rare to find someone who could speak in English... even all the signs, bill boards, information are all written in Korean (which it should be we are in Korea but just wanted to say that will be an adjustment)... and I have already signed up for a class here in Singapore before I leave to learn some basics.  We do plan on learning the language and Pierce will learn it in school.

A random shot of a huge mountain alongside one of the highways we were on... oh we can't wait for winter... and just a side note we are one hour away from the nearest ski slopes... so come and visit... we are pumped about that too...

Well there you have it... it is out in the open now... and on the wide world web... I guess this means it is really happening... I need to live in reality and embrace that we are really leaving Singapore... Please join us in prayer as we anticipate this journey and change.  More to come...

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