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I've been back in Korea for exactly a week now.  For the first 3 days it
was obscenely hot, with air roughly the viscosity of a saturated sponge.
 For the remaining 4 it has been pouring rain so that the rest of the
landscape is just as ripe with liquid as the air already was.  My
sometimes roommate Erik washed clothes 2 days ago during an intermission
in the deluge and has finally resorted to hanging them in front of our
battered fan.  He's hoping to dry them out before his plane leaves for
Hong Kong tomorrow morning, though I think considering the mildew stink
of the rest of the clothes in the house this may be a tad optimistic. 
The skin on my feet, unaccustomed to anything except my flipflops all
(dry!) summer long, is bubbling up like a bad paint job and I am now
single handedly (footedly?) keeping the 3-M blister tape people in
business.  It is good to be home!

The ridge behind my house has been completely shrouded since the rain
began, shrinking the view to a vertical wall of green and white that
starts a couple hundred meters from the windows.  Since Changwon sits in
a natural basin surrounded on all sides by the ridge, I haven't been
able to see beyond the mountains on any side since the rain began.  This
more than anything else has driven in the fact that I'm not in Kansas
anymore, Toto - even stormy skies in all the parts of North America that
I just spent the last 2 months in go on and on and on.  

It's funny how the things you notice change the longer you spend in a
place - culture
is rarely shocking these days, but landscape...now that's surprising. 
There was so much SPACE on the other side of the ocean (I am fighting
the 'home' problem here that I talked about in an earlier message - was
I just home or am I home now, and how do I communicate that both really
are without becoming totally confusing in print?)!!  Here the farthest
out I see, at least from the valley floor, is the top of the ridges,
pulling my eyes upwards to the clouds.  It takes a lot longer for sky
and land to meet on the prairies, or over the ocean.  And both are

Now 3 more days have passed since I started this message.  My feet, as
long as I keep them firmly in socks and runners, are healing up and
things are steaming away in the first sunshine since last Tuesday.  The
temperature has gone up about a million degrees since yesterday, so the
storm clouds are already gathering on the ridge - a few more hours and
it'll be hidden again.

Back at school, classes are heading into the second week and students
are perking up.  Since we started a week sooner than every other school
in the area, last week was a bit of a wash with about half of the
students not present.  None of the materials I requested over the
summer, so that I'd be (for probably the first time ever) TOTALLY
prepared for the start of term, are ready and so, as usual, I am running
around piecing together things at the last moment.  Keeps me on my toes!

At immigration today, for the first time ever, everything went
exceedingly smoothly and I was ushered on my way with a smile while
everyone else stood around in varying states of confusion and
frustration.  Dealing with immigration year after year has been one of
the perpetual headaches of living abroad, but it seems that this year I
did my penance in Montreal (that's a whole other story - and a doozy at
that...) and so the local officers were inclined to be nice to me. 
Halleluia!  Leaving me plenty of time to get back to my office to

Which is what I should be doing now, so I will end this for today.  More
from me soon, and in the meantime, I hope you are all well and eager to
send your own updates!  Roberta