SO YOU’RE MOVING TO CANADA? As you know, our recent departure from the USA has been planned for about a year, so it is merely a coincidence that we happen to leave at this time when so many people that are displeased with the result of the recent US election have been (nervous-jokingly) making remarks that they now want to “leave the country”and move to Canada, etc.
I GET IT. You want to escape. But the shitty aspects of U.S.policy and culture are present in so much of the world, so it’s just not realistic to think you can hide (even in Anjeong). Besides, Korea has its own problems with dictators at the moment. Most people know about (part 3 of) the hideous regime up North, but recently here in the South there has been labor strikes, student protests, and disruptive street demonstrations demanding that the current president step down, due to ties to scandals and widespread corruption.
FYI the Canadians (nor anyone else that I’ve met) around here that are a part of Gwangju’s International Community are not gloating that they “would never elect such an incredibly vile, offensive, and dangerous pair as Trump and Pence”, because they understand that it can occasionally happen to a nation. Many of my friends from Albuquerque are part of groups have been calling for street demonstrations, and continuing to publicly denounce the new administration, and I support this totally appropriate form of non-violent, democratic, and free expression. Some are calling for an all-out stay home/ shut down (general strike) on Inauguration Day, January 20. More updates as they develop.
ADDRESS CONFUSION There was recently an incident with UPS in which they were unable to deliver a package to our Anjeong address. The takeaway lesson was, don’t use UPS to ship to Korea. So far there have been no other incidents, but please hold off on mailing anything valuable until we get some confirmation. There is currently a mailing address change being implemented here in South Korea, so we have slightly altered our Anjeong mailing address to comply with this.
SOYEON & PETER GALLO
전라남도 장성군 북일면 안정길 74
74 Anjeong-gil Bukil-myeon
South Korea (57230)
Please inform us if you decide to send anything valuable, so we can assist with details, such as tracking the package, etc. We do not need anything at this time, but we will most likely be sending out our own Holiday Greeting Cards. Do we have your address? Don’t be shy, share it with us! And then, keep an eye out for suspicious, foreign looking mail. “If you see something…” or was it, “Loose Lips…” ? (Just open it)
THIS POST IS BEING WRITTEN ON A REFURBISHED ASUS LABTOP. It’s my first “Windows X” machine, and no buyer’s remorse, yet. After running Ubuntu on and old Toshiba for the last few years, this thing rocks! I hope to be using it for photos, videos, and other document storage, plus as a dropbox source for such writing projects as regular submissions to Gwangju News.
I WAS ON THE RADIO! You are encouraged to check out this English Language radio station(GFN 98.7fm) broadcasting from Gwangju, South Korea. To listen online (for free) scroll down and look for the box on the right side of the screen with some options. This is the player, which should “live stream” a quality signal through your speakers.
HELLO KOREA HOST, LINDSEY GOT ME TALKING ABOUT OUR EFFORTS here in Anjeong to help out with the family farm, and to stimulate some interest in a potential exchange program with International Farmers and Educators. The rice Harvest is wrapped up for the season. All the fields have been trimmed down to the nubs. I hope to have more intensive agriculture details in future posts. So if you are an ag fan then stay tuned.
THERE ARE ALSO SOME DEVELOPMENTS with the design and build a new family home, so definately more on that in the upcoming posts. We have a few consultants, one friendof the family, currently designing and building his own home, and another couple who built there own home that I once was a guest in during a 2014 visit to Korea.
SHINHEUNG MIDDLE SCHOOL UPDATE I stopped by there a few weeks ago, while on one of my recumbent bike riding adventures, and was encouraged to see farmers harvesting rice right outside the gate. I didn’t bug them, but I did contemplate hopping the fence to get a closer look at the property and the facilities. It’s been closed for over a year now, and we still have no details about upkeep and maintenance, etc. According to the district school officials that Soyeon and I met with , it is being sold to the Jangseon County for about 100 Grand (US). Next, we need to get a tour of the place to assess the condition, etc… Soyeon and I met with school district officials, but they don’t know what the county plans to do with it. Rumors are spreading about our presence, and our interest in running it as an international school, guest house, and cultural exchange program. More updates are sure to come.
IMMIGRATION PAPERS We have now received our residency cards, which function as our main source of legal ID, here in Korea. We used them to get bank accounts, for example. So now we can receive international bank account transfers. We still have our US bank accounts, that remain in Dollars.
GALLO PETER JOSEPH is my official name here, so that’s how I have to write it on official documents, such as a bank account forms. We had to sign many pages, and I had to write my full name next to each signature. It was a little disorienting.
US DOLLAR AND THE WON What’s happening these days with the currency exchange rates now that the market is tanking due to the recent upsets in the US election? Lately it has been strategically favorable to wait until Christmas for any large sum exchanges. We’re waiting this out before any serious transfers.