Friday, May 20, 2011

Some interesting Korean news...

Hello everyone!  SO sorry it has been a while since I have done a blog post, things have been kind of busy around here.  Mike finally came home yesterday from his Warrior Leader Course.  He spent about 3 weeks up North, actually really close to North Korea, training how to fulfill an E5 position (since he is an E4).  We are hoping he will promote to 5 by Christmas (which would make him a Sargent)! 

The weather is finally warm WOO, thought I would never see the day.  Everyone raved about how great spring was and how cool it felt but it almost seems as if we went from the hypothermic winter, to a few days of cool, to what is not very humid..and at the moment raining.  Yuck.  But during that smither of spring, the Cherry Blossoms did bloom.  They were the prettiest things I had probably ever seen (and I thought everyone kind of over-rated them).  There was a festival we could have gone to down south which has fields of them...but there was an estimated 60 million people going, sooo we thought we'd pass and just go see the few on base.

So, now for the interesting news (Bad or good, however you want to perceive it).  In Korea, or actually I think anywhere you live overseas in the military, you have this thing called Command Sponsorship (I'm sure you've heard me talk about it in the past).  Command Sponsorship is an approval-based thing that gives family the privileges of having a car, going to the on-base schools, things of that sort.  Last July, Mike and I were put on the Command Sponsorship and thought were to be approved.  We packed up or "take with us" things and Fort Bragg put it in a short-term storage unit, our stuff to leave got put into long-term storage.  WELL, then 2 days before Mike left, the Command Sponsorship became "unapproved" I guess you could say because Korean was to full with families.  So, then we were put on the waiting list.  When we flew me out here, we applied for AIP (to staying an additional year, making it 2 total) because Command Sponsorship was said to have been put on hold for the next 3 years.  A couple days ago, Mike's Sargent came into the bank just to let me know the list started moving again, and it might add another year here.  If you don't want to stay, you might need to pull it out.  So, I called Mike that night (because he was at training) and told him the situation and he said Oh, no problem.  I will pull it out Tuesday when I get back to work.  Something tempted him to check his DEROS (date to leave the current duty station) and it had already been changed to October 2013.  SO, in a nutshell, we thought he had only another year and a half here in Korea..but turns out we have 2 and a half more years.  That was difficult news to hear, there are a lot of positives (like it is good for Mike's career to gain rank & for leadership positions, and I am very thankful for my job) but being away from family and just the states in general is going to be tough.  GOOD NEWS is, we get to ship our stuff we never were allowed to, get to ship our car for free, the whole nine.  And, we get to fly Space A free to the states so now we are starting to plan our visit back.  It looks like we are shooting for December/Christmas of next of 2012.  We will see though.  I might be taking a trip sooner if I can get the vacation time!  Woo, sorry for all that rambling.  And sorry to bring that news.  We are truly always at the mercy of the Army.  We were very caught off guard by that too, so this week has kind of been a tough one.

Now for something funny...

There is this really cool place around 5 miles from here called Yatap.  It has a ton of really good restaurants, neat shopping places, things like that.  We went into this store called Home Plus..kind of like a Korean Walmart.  As we were just browsing through, I came across this MATCHING husband and wife..undergarments.  

Another neat place in Yatap is a really nice grocery store called Kim's Club.  Kind of like a Publix...well a Korean version that is.  It makes me laugh because in the "Imported Section" that have pasta noodles and Heinz ketchup. HA!  Well, they also definitely have some interesting options of things to eat, being Korea.  So yes, right under are staring at dehydrated Anchovies.  EW

And then in this picture, those big black actually SEAWEED.  Now doesn't that sound just absolutely appetizing.  How am I going to make it 3 years, haha.

But we love you guys and miss you.  Sorry again it has been so long.  Hope you all have a GREAT weekend and we will chat with you soon. SU-GWA-SE-YO (Bye!)


Mike and Britt