I just met Ta’eh, my next door neighbor. I was having a hard time getting me stove to work, and I figured there would probably be some gringo next door who could help me out. So I cleaned up a little and knocked on the door directly next to mine. A sweet little Korean girl opened the door, took one look at me, and said “hello” with a thick accent. I smiled apologetically and told her that I was her next door neighbor. I offered my hand and my name and she offered hers. I smiled and told her that I had a question about my apartment. I’m pretty sure she didn’t understand me, but my hand movements showed that I wanted her to come into my apartment. As she walked into my apartment, she asked me how long I have lived here. I told her that today was my second day, at which she gasped in awe at how much my apartment looked like a home. It turns out that my new neighbor has lived in this apartment complex for 6 months, she lived in Davis, Ca for a few months, and she is here now to work on her English before she goes to another university in the states. We both offered to help each other with any language questions. And before she left, she told me that this area is boring sometimes and that we should go out sometime.
At this point I have to make a comment. I told myself on the plane that I would be patient with myself. That I needed to not expect things to happen right away. That I needed to allow myself time to learn about the culture and to pick up the language. But as those of you who know me know well, I am not a patient person. So as I have gone through the last 2 days, I have found myself impatient to get the things I want. I wanted hangers. Took me 2 days and lots of walking from store to store to find them. But the moment I did, the first words to pass my lips were “the Lord is good”. I had been praying all day that the Lord would provide in this situation. I really needed hangers and I was frustrated that no store had them. But instead of complaining that God wasn’t answering my prayer, I trusted that He was. Just in His own timing. It is like that with relationships here. I have spent the last two days wandering the city where people won’t look me in the eye. Most of the people I have come across don’t speak enough English and I don’t speak enough Korean… And to be honest, I was getting frustrated that I hadn’t been able to connect with anyone yet. But I prayed that God would provide in this situation. And He did. And He will. Ta’eh is proof to me that God is the one taking care of me here.