Welcome to my life

2004

2004

I finally decided to move back to Korea, a decision that I didn't believe was a logical one but I felt very clear on doing it. This was a decision I believed God lead me to. I left everything in Singapore and moved back to Korea. It was the New Year holiday and so I remained at home. My mother was cross with me citing justifications for her anger. I had spent all my savings and had come back home empty-handed. 

After coming back I thought that Singapore was nice but now I wanted to travel some place very far away. I started to search for jobs on the internet. I found a website for which I had to take a membership by paying about 30 dollars.

I saw an advertisement about a position opening in Madagascar for someone who was Korean, knew French and willing to move far away. I knew instantly that this job was made for me. I called the number of the head hunter at about 4 pm and was in his office without any makeup at around 6 pm. To my surprise he said that the company owners were waiting for us at that moment, which was actually quite crazy.

I took a subway with the head hunter and reached the office of my would-be employees. There in one day, rather in about 4 hours, I had landed a job in Madagascar. Frankly speaking I couldn’t even point at Madagascar on the world map. I searched for it on Africa but later saw it was a big island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. After one month of returning back from Singapore, I was off to Madagascar.

I thought I was an adaptable person easily able to settle into any environment. However, Madagascar was a tough cookie to crack. The first thing that struck me hard was the poverty. The number of people on roads asking for free money was way more than I had ever seen anywhere else.

My job was with a textile company which made clothes and exported them to Europe and the USA. My first job was to open a factory and help the company settle. The company had just finished the construction of its factory. I was in charge of importing everything to the offices and the factory. I was very young but had a lot of responsibility. 

We had 3000 openings in the new factory. I was amazed to see the desperation of the local people in search of a proper job. They walked for hours, and then stood in a queue for hours just to have a shot at a job; such was the state of poverty in Madagascar. Those were the craziest days of my life as the work burden and office hours increased every day.

The two people who influenced me the most

The first person was Jeff, who was a friend and just like a brother. He was Canadian and knew a guy that had lived in Madagascar. He introduced me to the friend from whom I gathered a lot of information about Madagascar.

The second influence was from a couple who were from South Africa but taught in a school in Korea. I met them in Korea. Later, they came to Madagascar as well and helped me in every manner possible. Their names are Lendy Bear and Sonia.

2005

2005

2004

2004