My fascination with Asia began quite by chance. After a few years in Europe, I really developed the travel bug. What better way to see the world than to work and travel at the same time? Asia is the perfect place to teach English and see the area all at once. I taught English in Korea for 4 years. During that time I had the opportunity to visit Bali four times, Singapore twice, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, and traveled extensively throughout Korea. I also managed to go home to Canada each summer. I have yet to see Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Mainland China. There is much to see.
My fondness for Asia was multiplied when I met my husband, Ken, in Korea. Not only did I meet him there, but he is half Korean as well. We share a love of Korean food and the ability live in Korea with much ease. Ken lived in Korea for a few years as a child where he developed his taste for the street vendor foods he still craves. His grandmother's still lives in Korea. Her scrumptious dokpogi--spicy rice cake--is the one of Ken's food memories of Korea. Below are a few pictures of us. The only picture missing is the newest addition to the Book-McGrath family--our 5-month-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever named Scout. I am currently studying international communications with an Asian focus at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Ken and I expect to return to Asia next year.
Two of my four years in Korea were spent teaching conversational English to freshmen at Dongguk University in Seoul. Dongguk is the oldest Buddhist university in Korea. One of my best classes was a group of monks and nuns who hardly spoke any English but always made an effort to improve. I have fond memories of teaching at Dongguk's centrally located campus especially in the springtime during Buddha's birthday when the campus is lit by colorful paper lanterns.
Check out Dongguk's website in English.