Life kept on keeping on with the foster pups. Pebble, Sofia and Summer where the superstars of June. Shit, even I was even starting to look like a dalmatian when the bruising from my ITP started acting up. It happened from time to time and, even though I was keeping my platelet count monitored, it still was a bit of a head-trip. Kinda cool, too.
Then there was my beloved job as an ESL teacher. Teaching up to ten classes a day without even a minute in between was exhausting. Still, I adored the work and my students. The cookie a student had made of me and a pup for Teacher’s Day the month before had continued to be such an endearing reminder of how much it all meant. A reminder that filled my heart with what I had to give from my culture that they didn’t already have was the stark contrast between a westerner and Korean teacher’s classroom. Mine was full of color, art projects and self-expression from my students. In my colleague’s (whom I adored), it was impossible to tell anyone used it at all. When I was lucky enough to tie in those two main loves of my life, rescue and teaching, I continued to bring in the fosters from time to time so the kids could play with them and experience that they were so much more than street trash.
The academy wasn’t the only place I got to enjoy putting smiles on faces by bringing the pups. It made the day for airport employees in the quarantine office when they got to play with them. What I was doing in rescue was recognized as special there and they put a pict of me and three of the pups on a board of success stories. Seeing more Koreans who actually cared about their street dogs and rescue efforts fed my hope in return. That and finally getting to meet the team of volunteers helping Sofa since I was the one who flew her to Seoul.
She had been one of the pups to get her paperwork done at the quarantine office that month as it was time for her to leave for her adoption in L.A. Something I told myself I was happy about, though I really wasn’t. If only I wasn’t so overwhelmed and exhausted from all the rescue avalanche I had been buried in for months. Maybe I would have realized she was the one for me. I could have adopted her as my own. I wouldn’t realize that for months, though. And, yeah, if could have taken my adventures off track long term since the income I had planned to save for the conversion van that would have allowed her to travel with me was all going toward rescue.
Taking Sofia wasn’t the only reason I needed to go to Seoul. I also needed to see a more experienced hematologist than what I appeared to be able to on an island where ITP didn’t seem to have even been heard of. Finally there and getting in meet with that new doc, it was a relief when she instantly knew what the autoimmune disorder was and quickly wrote up the prescription I needed for Promacta. The bad news, however, was a big enough blow to leave me crying on the sidewalk outside the pharmacy with the belief that I was going to have to leave Korea. That bad news was finding out that the meds weren’t covered by the public healthcare system and were going to cost me $400 a month. Luckily, instead of going back to the US, I would eventually decide to take my chances and stay. I didn’t know it then, of course, but my platelet count was about to stay at a surprisingly acceptable level the rest of the time I was in the country. They’d spike as soon as I got back to the US, though. Shocker.
As far as my partner went, had a “nail in the coffin” weekend getaway that caused results opposite of what I had hoped for. He continued to smother the hell out of me the entire time and get things wrong when trying too hard or continuing to do things he didn’t know how to do. It was driving me fucking nuts. For example, when I booked the place, I did it for the spa hot tub in the room. It came with a package of powder that turned the water into cool colors. That’s why I booked it. He went ahead and only put in half of the package which meant that it wasn’t that impressive. I found out too late to add the rest and, when I asked him why he didn’t used the instructed amount, he didn’t have an answer. I sent a painfully comical video to my island bestie venting and looking for advice that would later make me feel stressed all over again as well as bad for not being more zen. It did also kinda make me laugh, though. From what I had seen, he was a decent person, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. Especially sober. And that ain’t no way to have a relationship.
My uncle died. A heart-shredding reality of living abroad. Losing a loved one and being on the other side of the world. We weren’t close but he was such a kind man and had really made an impact on me the last time we had met to talk about my writing. He had also stayed with my aunt after, decades ago, her mental health problems had taken over and stayed. Losing him was a big blow to this world.
During the month, there wasn’t too much time for anything besides teaching and animal rescue but I did manage to find a bit here and there. The Olles and HASHes continued to be my favorite hobbies (even once being elated to find horses on one of the trails), Hitchhikers continued to be my favorite local bar and the sushi restaurant by my work continued to be a favorite Friday night dinner spot.
Sometimes, what makes a month exciting, is that it isn’t all that exciting. I had one of those for the most part. And I was damn happy with that life I had built for myself.