Camera Cafe 꿈꾸는사진기 - Dreamy Camera Cafe just outside Seoul, South Korea

Dreamy Camera Cafe in Seoul South Korea Cute Korean Coffee Shop_Artboard 3.png

I am rather late to writing this blog post and sharing these pictures (in the time since I visited Dreamy Camera Cafe, Farmboy and I...and our pup Shadow, moved back home to South Africa, settled on the family dairy farm and I had a baby! Whew...An awful lot considering these photos were only taken a year and a half ago!).

A quick recap if you're reading this post and wondering what on earth we were doing in South Korea...

Farmboy and I moved to South Korea for our second stint of teaching English (the first was for a year in 2010 when we had just started dating, and ended up living in Daejeon...our second round we returned as a married couple and were placed in the teeny tiny rural town of Buan...which you can read more about by scrolling through the posts here:

One of our absolute favourite things about Korea has got to be their plethora of themed cafes.

Koreans sure do love their coffee, and what they love more than good coffee, is a cute place to enjoy it in.

I'm linking below, some of the other cafes we visited (there's a racoon cafe, dog cafe, cat cafe, flower cafe, teapot cafe...the list goes on!):

And now back to Dreamy Camera Cafe...

The cafe is situated outside of Seoul, and isn't that easy to get to. We had in a car while living in Korea and so were able to get drive there ourselves. But, the owners are so friendly, and before we had a car I had been in touch with them and they had given me really good directions for using public transport. I'll put those details at the end of this post.

We took our pup, Shadow (he went everywhere with us) and he had a ball meeting the two local pups who live with their owners (the camera cafe owners) in a sweet little house next to the cafe. You'll find them in one of the polaroid pictures below.

The cafe itself is set inside a model of an actual classic Rolleiflex twin-lens camera. The cafe is a double storey building, with seating upstairs as well as downstairs. Every square inch of the cafe is filled with cameras and camera paraphanalia. It's a photographers dream!

It ended up taking us a good hour and a half driving through the peak holiday traffic in Seoul, and so we spent the morning at the cafe, drinking coffee, eating cheesecake and being served delicious homemade pink lemonade! The owners, Park Sung-hwan and his wife Kwak Myung-hee began construction on their dream in 2012, and first opened their doors a year later. 

Both Sung-hwan & Myung-hee built the cafe in the hopes that people would visit for longer than the time it takes them to snap a photo in front of the iconic building and gulp down a cup of coffee. They encourage their customers to spend time dreaming and leave inspired to bring their dreams to life.

They even take photos of their customers with a polaroid camera, encourage them to write down their dreams and hopes for the future. Here is our Bucket List...and I often look back at it with fond memories of our visit to the cafe:

IMG_0307.jpg

They even take photos of their customers with a polaroid camera, encourage them to write down their dreams and hopes for the future. Here is our Bucket List...and I often look back at it with fond memories of our visit to the cafe:

Farmboy and I fit right in with our collection of cameras (I had my Nikon d750...used for the photos here in this post, and my polaroid, and Farmboy came armed with his GoPro).

If you're looking for a fun daytrip from Seoul, I highly recommend heading out to Dreamy Camera Cafe. Take a book, your journal or even your knitting, and spend a few hours in the peaceful surroundings. The cafe is also just as magical in each of the 4 seasons. Head on over to their Instagram account (click here) to see more photos of the cafe in the snow, the blossoms and the Autumn leaves.

Dreamy Camera Cafe Cuet Korean Cafe Seoul South Korea by Roxy Hutton of CityGirlSearching Blog_0020.jpg

Address:  

341-13 Jungwon-ri, Yongmun-myeon, Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

Phone:

 +82 31-771-3264

Opening Hours: 

Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Closed on Mondays, Sundays & Public Holidays

Directions: 

If you come from seoul, there are two ways.
1. Use the Subway:
Jungang line station (youngsan, oksu, wangsimni, Cheongnyangni station...etc). 
Transfer to the Jungang line and go Yongmun station(용문역). 
Get out from yongmun station(용문역) Exit 1

* 2hrs need from Chungnyangni station to Yongmun station

2. Use Mugunghwa Train (usually once every two hrs)
You can only start your journey at Cheongnyangni station.
Cheongnyangni station (use the subway) and take the Mugunghwan Train to Yongmun station.
It takes 40minutes from Cheongnyangni station to Yongmun station.
At Youngmun station, take exit 1.
Take a taxi (it's 7km to the cafe). Tell/Show the taxi driver  "중원리 꿈꾸는 사진기"
+-10,000won need (about US$ 9~10)

Find the camera cafe online:


More posts on life in South Korea:

The Best Places to eat in Korea: Burger Bridge, Gwangju, South Korea

The Best Places to eat in Korea: Burger Bridge, Gwangju, South Korea

After a second visit to this delightful burger place in Gwangju, I am 100% convinced that this will be one of the best you'll eat while in Korea. I'm talking real, homemade, grilled patties with plenty of extra toppings that will leave you with a very full stomach and a happy heart.

Burger Bridge is a small restaurant located on the other end of downtown Gwangju, near Mudeung Mountain 무등산. It's in the Chosun University area, a place filed with the trendiest cafes, bars and restaurants. It's quite nearby to Florida Cafe and Hertz Guesthouse (one of our favorite dog-friendly places to stay).

The best part about this place (apart from how good their burgers are and what good value for money they are) is their opening times! Most restaurants open closer to midday in Gwangju, which is a real pain if you wake up early like us. Burger Bridge is open from 10 am! The restaurant itself is small, but oh-so-charming, and the guys who run it are super friendly. You can tell they are proud of their burger joint!

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Our final few weeks in South Korea - A Daily Vlog by Farmboy

Our final few weeks in South Korea - A Daily Vlog by tincabin

Today is the 6th of June, and in T-minus 20 days we will be boarding a flight that will take us back home to South Africa.

Farmboy and I have been living in Buan, a teeny tiny countryside town in South Korea for the past 3 years. We are about to wrap up our final teaching contract and head back home to sunny South Africa,

It's been an incredible adventure filled with all sorts of challenges and excitement (the biggest being the rescue of our Korean street pup, Shadow):

Over the past 3 years we have traveled to Bali, Vietnam, Malaysia, Borneo & India all while working a full time job teaching English. I've written travel guides to these countries as well as posts filled with photographs of each place. Click the images below to read and see more:

We have also spent many a weekend camping, something I never thought I would enjoy before I met Farmboy. You see, I really am a city girl, but somehow the inconvenience of toilets or showers pales in comparison to the beauty of the places we have camped in.

It's been so worth the few moments of being uncomfortable. Click the images below to read and see more about camping in Korea:

As we get ready to pack up our lives here (and as I attempt to take back every single item of Korean stationery and beauty products!), Farmboy has taken on the challenge of a daily vlog.

These videos are a really fun glimpse into our lives here in Korea, and they also take you behind the scenes of what life is really like here in Asia.

I hope you'll join us over on Youtube and that you like and subscribe if you enjoy the videos. Farmboy will be documenting these final few weeks as well as the whole process of taking Shadow home (dealing with the steps and processes of taking a dog from Korea to South Africa) and of course us fetching him on the other side after his stay in quarantine. 

Here is one of the vlogs from our weekend in Seoul, enjoy!

Teapot Cafe in Jangseong (Jeongeup Countryside), South Korea - En Rogel Teapot Café

Teapot Cafe in Jangseong (Jeongeup Countryside), South Korea -  En Rogel Teapot Café

I have been wanting to visit the Enrogel Teapot Cafe ever since reading about it on Seoul State of Mind. When my friend Sam from There She Goes Again (you might recognise Sam as the stylist behind a lot of my styled photo shoots) recently took a trip there and I saw her photographs, I knew I had to make a plan to get there. Most of the weird and wonderful places to see in Korea are in Seoul. As I live way down south in a tiny little town called Buan, getting to Seoul is only really possible on the weekends.

I was delighted to find out that the teapot cafe is a mere 40 minute drive from Buan, and so I was able to go visit it one afternoon afternoon after school.

The cafe itself is actually just outside Jeongeup, which makes getting there quite easy as you can catch a train to Jeongeup and then from there a local bus. I am not sure of the exact route to take via public transport as I have a car (having a car in Korea is a real game changer especially if you have a dog here like we do).

The cafe is located in just outside Jangseon village , which is between Jeongeup & Gwangju and is actually quite near the famous Baekyangsa Temple in Naejangsan National Park. Naejangsan is particularly famous for its display of Autumn leaves, and Baekyangsa temple is a very special place to visit during Autumn.

We visited the teapot cafe at the end of Spring, and must have just missed the cherry blossoms. We were able to catch a glimpse of the end of the blossoms, but from the little we could still see of the blossoms, it must have been magnificent during full bloom. The drive itself from Buan to Jangseon is beautiful, and well worth an afternoon drive if you have a car.

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Winter in Korea and our latest snow fall!

Winter in Korea CityGirlSearching

I have been complaining for the past few weeks about the lack of snow this Winter in Korea. Facebook kept reminding about all the snow we had here last year, and all we got was a measly few centimetres at the end of November. Well, the weather man finally heard my pleads for snow and we had a non-stop flurry of snowflakes which started last thursday afternoon and only let up Friday night, nearly a full day and night later.

While this was wonderful for me and my camera, it wasn't so great for my car. Poor Cherry (the VERY old red Matiz) had to spend the night at the bottom of the driveway after she failed (on more than one attempt) to get up the drive way to park. She spent the night under a tree and woke up to her handbrake and wheel frozen solid.  Farmboy and I spent a solid 15 minutes trying to pry her from that icy grip but to avail. Luckily the 1 degree increase in temperature during the day had thawed her a bit and we were able to get her started again...come on Cherry!

Here are some photographs from our early morning walk with Shadow, who simply adores being out in the snow. This will be one of the things we miss the most when we return to South Africa. 

An afternoon in the Damyang Countryside

Damyang House dog friendly accommodation in Gwanju South Korea

I spent the day in and around Gwangju this weekend, and ended up at the Damyang House for an afternoon stroll with a great group of fellow rescue dog owners. Sean & Jo-Jo own the gorgeous Damyang House, a beautiful (dog friendly) holiday home for rent in the surrounding Gwangju countryside. You can find out more about renting the Damyang House on Airbnb by clicking here

Sean & Jo-Jo often arrange get togethers at their dog friendly rental holiday home, and I was very happy to be able to join in this past weekend. Having a dog in Korea isn't easy, especially when your dog dwarfs 90% of the other Korean dogs, and so to be able to go a place that gave him plenty of space to run around and socialise with other dogs is a real treat. 

Sean & Jo-Jo own two rescue dogs, Soonie & Gauda (the small black and tan & the regal looking white pup) and we were joined by Meg & Ben who own Millie (the little, long haired black and white rescue dog) and their friend Ryan. I also met a lovely Korean lady, Jiseong, who brought along her two little Maltese rescues, Coco & Gucci. Of course, Shadow (the big black and tan Jindo mix) was a bit of a handful for the smaller dogs who weren't too interested in his playful advances, giving him a run for his money through the mud and farm lands. He had a ball regardless, none too phased by the barking and chasing he received when he tried to get too playful with them. 

November in a nutshell

November wizzed past in the blink of an eye and looking back at my photographs I realised it was one of my most photographed months of the year. Instead of leaving my photos sitting in digital storage, I wanted to share some of them here with you. I have posted a few of them on Facebook, but I know that a lot of what get's posted on Facebook business pages get's lost amongst everything else.

November was the month of leaves as Autumn slowly drew to a close and my mom was here visiting us and got to experience a real Korean Autumn. We also had our first snow towards the end of the month, and have yet to have any since. Let's hope it comes back so we can have a white Christmas! Having my mom visit was the highlight of the year, as was each and every single cup of tea (and boy oh boy did we drink a lot of tea!). 

So here is November in Korea, in a nutshell. 

Enjoy!

x

English Science Camp And Activities for kids - VOLCANOES

EnglishScienceCampActivitiesVolcanoKids

I taught a rather fun science English camp to different groups of students at the end of last year. I wanted something that was very hands on for the kids, while being fun and educational. I did these lessons with both elementary and middle schoolers and all my kids loved these experiments. We made exploding volcanoes and did the Egg drop experiment. This post will be focused on...

Volcanoes

I started the lesson by having my students in groups of 4. I gave each group a picture of a volcano that I had cut up into small pieces. I placed the picture facedown and then told them they had to put the pieces of the puzzle together and the first team to do it would be the winner.

Then we went over a very basic power point presentation showing the different parts of the volcano and completed a worksheet (I found the worksheet on Waygook, an incredible research, free rich website aimed at teachers here in South Korea). 

Then we set about making our volcanoes. I found all the ingredients that I needed at my local mart:

Ingredients for the Volcano

Vinegar

Oil

Flour

Dish Soap

Baking Soda

Water

Salt (try to use buy a ground salt...I learnt this lesson from the No Cook Play Dough recipe I did last year, course salt is horrible when making clay!)

Water based paints (i found these at the back of my English room)

Bottles (for the structure of your volcano)

How to Make the Volcano

For the dough a.k.a. the outside of the volcano

- In a large bowl mix together 3 cups of flour, 1 cup oil, 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup of water. Keep mixing! Add more flour, salt, oil as needed.

- Add paint and keep mixing and kneading until fully absorbed

Building your Volcano

-Tape down your bottle onto a plastic plate or piece of cardboard (this is very important and the volcano will make a lot of mess when you ignite it).

-Using bits of clay, build up your volcano. Make sure to leave the top open for the volcano to explode out of.

Making your Volcano Explode

-Now the fun part! Fill the bottle 3/4 full of hot water (be careful as the plastic bottle will melt if boiling water is used).

-Add 1/4 cup dish soap & 2 Tbs baking soda

-Add red paint/food colouring

-When you are ready, add 1 cup of vinegar and watch the volcano erupt!

It's best to do the erupting outside as these volcanoes tend to make quite a big mess. Make sure to come back for the second part of my Science camp, The Egg Drop Experiment!

The Hunger Games English Camp - Lesson Ideas for Teaching English in Korea

The HUnger Games English Camp ideas for teaching english in korea

If you're an English Teacher here in Korea you will have (hopefully) heard or know about the English camps you are required to teach your students during the winter & summer holidays. According to your school schedule and hoe many schools you teach at you may have 1 or 2 camps (or even more) camps. We are all supposed to teach 20 hours of camp during the vacation (you may have more/less) but 20 hour is the standard. I usually break this up into 1 week of camp with 4 hours a day. My classes have always been in the morning. 

Hunger Games English Camp Plan

In my first year at my current middle school I developed a Hunger Games English camp (thanks to this  wonderful thread and the original creator 'Marbar' on Waygook!). I have successfully done this camp 3 times now with different students. They all LOVE it! I teach at an all girls school, but the lessons would suit mixed students too. I have taught this to First & Second Grade Middle School students, and then have just slightly adapted the lessons for the higher/lower level grades.

The camp is based on the first book, with lessons and fun activities surrounding a poster they will complete by the end if the camp, leading up to the final day where the students present their poster and watch the full screening of the first Hunger Games movie.

I want to share these lessons with you in the hopes that they might help you in your camp planning. I will post a Google download link to the camp below where you will be able to download the plan, lessons I created (and be able to edit them to suit your school) as well as the workbook I created for the students to fill in as we went along (I basically just inserted the powerpoint slides and made blanks for them to write down notes etc). Here is a link to download the plan, the printables, the ice breaker for the first day, the actual power point slides and the workbook:

I don't break my schedule up into hours/lessons (although this is how the plan works) but I rather teach until I can see the students need a break and then stop to give them some time to relax. I have found on some days we only stop for a short bathroom break as the students get really into the lessons and have a lot of fun. You will have to judge the timing based on how your students respond.

I always start off my camp with an ice breaker activity, and then divide my students up into their teams. I did this following the reaping ceremony in the Hunger Games whereby my students reach into a hat and pull out their team. They stay in that team for the entire camp and the activities are based upon that team. I also use their team names to keep score of points for prizes/snacks throughout the camp. (pictured aboveO. 

I wanted my students to produce a poster by the end of the camp, and so on the first day I had my students divide their poster page into 5 sections (4 sections and a centre circle for their team name/logo). I have the section 'Homework' on the camp plan above (that is more for admin purposes as some schools will want to see you at least plan to give the students homework) but I have never given them actual homework to do. There has always been time in the lessons to finish all the work.

Here are the finished posters:

One of the activities my students loved the most was designing the costumes for the Opening Cemerony. I went to my nearest Daiso and bought a whole bunch of random supplies (bubble wrap, tinsel, gloves, ribbon, string, cleaning cloths and sponges etc) an then gave the students free reign to do what they liked. This is what they came up with:

I hope you found this camp idea useful. If you use this idea or have any other great ideas for English camp themes I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Happy camp planning!

Cherry Blossoms in South Korea

Cherry Blossoms In Korea

Spring in South Korea has got to be one of the most beautiful seasons, and my absolute favourite time of the year. Although, I must say that Autumn is also beautiful in it's own way with gorgeous red and yellow hued leaves falling gently to the ground (click here to see photographs of Autumn in Korea). It's Autumn right now, but it's Spring for everyone in back home in South Africa and so I wanted to share these pretty flowers with you today. 

These photographs are a selection of blossoms that I have taken over the last 2 Springs that we have had here in Korea. The gloomy & wet photographs are from an afternoon wondering around Gaeamsa Temple, just outside of Buan (Jeollobukdo, Korea) in the rain. It was pouring but I was really happy with the effect the rain gave to my photos. The last set of photographs are from the first day after that rain where the beautiful sunshine meant I was able to do a styled shoot with my friend Alysha. 

Enjoy!

x

Photographs all taken with my Nikon d700 and 50mm 1.4 & 85mm 1.8 prime lenses. Edited gently with Lightroom.

Chopping off your locks - Donating your hair to Charity in Korea

Chopping off your locks - Donating your hair to Charity in Korea

It's the start of the cooler weather here in South Korea and I have been wanting to cut a fringe for the past few weeks. Cooler weather means much less maintenance when it comes to a fringe, or bangs as my American friends say. All girls with a fringe will sympathise with me when I say that that part of your hair does not tame easily, especially if you exercise a lot.

A few weeks ago I noticed a number of my students had cut their gorgeous, long hair in favor of a bob, and when I asked them why they had cut their hair, I was quite surprised at their answer. They had donated their hair to cancer charities. After asking a few more questions about it, I decided I wanted to do the same with my hair. In the past 20 years I have only had one 'short' hair cut and that was to below my shoulder, hardly short I would say, and so this was quite a big deal for me. Instead of thinking about it too much, I decided to make the change last week Tuesday and then walked into a salon here in my small town and had it all chopped off. Over 30 cm's of hair!

Here are a few snaps of my hair pre-cut (as in, the morning of the day I cut my hair). It was long, wavy and looked a bit endy. I was never the type of girl to spend hours curling or straightening my hair, and this is how it looked naturally after a quick once over with the hairdryer after a shower. 

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Water Lilies in Korea

Pink Water Lily South Korea

Every month new flowers bloom here in Korea, each as unique and distinctive as the changing seasons. As this is our last year here in South Korea I am hoping to be able to capture them all with my camera.

July brings with it humidity such that I have never experienced before (I have been told Dubai is worse though so I won't complain too much) but with that humidity comes the beautiful water lilies. These photographs were taken just outside my town at around 5h30am, with one the last one being an extra special photograph of my pup, #ShadowTheJindo

As much as I hate spiders, they were all over the lilies and I felt I just had to include at least one of them. I'm sorry if it makes you jump!

Enjoy 

x

What's your favorite flower here in Korea? 

How to Plan your own Murder Mystery Party

How to plan murder mystery party

I organised a Murder Mystery party for Farmboys birthday and it went so well that I thought I'd share some details on it in case you too want to host one. I hadn't been to a murder mystery party before, and so really had no idea where to even begin. I started off getting in touch with a girl here in Korea who holds an annual murder mystery event, and she was so incredibly kind. She gave me all the info I needed to get started, as well as as sample character bio's. Her event is the larger end of the scale, with up to 40 people attending. As I only had 22 guest, things were a little easier. You can buy complete party kits online, and there are loads and loads of free printable goodies on Pinterest, but to really save time I followed an awesome plan I found online, put together by Nick Breen (click here).

Nick lays out an entire scenario, characters, backstories & email templates so all the hard work is done. Then it's just up to you to send out characters to your guests and hope they all dress up! I would also suggest asking a friend to help you if you aren't the creative type. I had the help of a very talented friend, Kim, who helped me in creating more characters and their backstories. Thank you Kimmie! I couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you for all the help Kim! Photo taken by Ian Bethune

Thank you for all the help Kim! Photo taken by Ian Bethune

I used Facebook to create an event for the party, and from there was able to send out group messages (I'm sure theses were terribly annoying at times) but they helped to let guests know what was going on, as well as to send reminders for things like directions, starting times & pre-ordering food.

The hardest part of the entire planning process was making sure I didn't send the wrong character information to the wrong person! I sent out a message 3 weeks before with the basic details of the event (time, place & theme) using the following template adapted from Nick Breens site:

You are all guests at an upscale casino in Las Vegas. You have very rare tickets to the best night of excitement on the strip; the famous Elvis Impersonator. It's 8 o'clock and everyone has gathered into the swanky casino bar for the star performer, the best Elvis Impersonator of all time. 
As the show starts, a gunshot echoes throughout the bar. The curtain comes up, and Elvis goes down. The casino's bar doors slam shut and everyone in the bar is now a suspect.

You are requested at the party to determine which of our friends is the murderer. Throughout the night you can talk to any of the suspects to see who they are and to determine if they are the murderer. One person will be the murderer, if you are not the murderer, you can try and trick everyone into believing you are, or you can simply hunt for the murderer.

I will be giving everyone attending a short character backstory. I encourage you to develop your character as much as you want. I have given you a lot of room to be creative with your character. The more you shape your characters backstory, the more believable it will be. Some of the character backstories that I will provide you with will contain clues which you must tell everyone else at the party. Piece together enough clues and you may find the murderer.

In order to guess who the murderer is, you must answer the following three questions;

1. Who Murdered Elvis
2. How did they murder Elvis
3. Why did they murder Elvis.

Each person will be allowed two guesses throughout the evening. All guesses will be made publicly. The first person to correctly guess these three questions will get a prize.  I will be sending out your character information next week so you can prepare a costume etc.  It should be a lot of fun! 

I had 22 guests and so had to create a few more characters than those suggested by Nick Breen on his blog. If you do this, you need to make sure the new character stores tie in with the existing ones. I also suggest creating one or two extra characters in case you have a few unexpected guests. You can make these character roles minor, so that if they aren't in the plot the story still makes sense.

Then I sent out the characters 2 weeks before the event, and a few final reminders in the last week.

I asked Dave (the owner of the Jeonju Diner in Jeonju) if we could host the event at his restaurant. I also asked very nicely if he would be our Elvis too. He was very gracious and went all out in preparation for his role as the murdered showman. It was fantastic.

I was thrilled to see that most people really got into character, and their costumes were great. I had asked guests to start arriving at from 7pm with the aim of the game starting at 8. I did this to make sure that everyone had arrived by the start of the event. If you do this, make sure to let people know they should not be in character until the game starts otherwise you will have people guessing and chatting about their characters, and possibly even solving the mystery before all your guests even arrive! On that note, to keep a real air of mystery, remind your guests to keep their characters secret until the actual party.

I really had a great time, and I think so did everyone else. It was a wonderful change from the usual dinner and drinks shenanigans, and it was great fun hunting for clues and sending people off onto the wrong trail in their hunt for the murderer. 

Let me know if you host your own Murder Mystery party. I'd love to hear how it goes as well as if you have any tips or advice for making things even better.

A Winnie The Pooh Baby Shower

Winnie the pooh baby shower theme

One of my dear friends from university will soon be having a baby boy here in Korea. This is both a very exciting and scary time for her, being so far from friends and family back in South Africa. Even though it may seem incredibly daunting to some people, Vicky and her husband have done everything they need to stay up to date with how things work here when it comes to giving birth, and have an amazing support system, made up of new friends who have all come together to help in any way they can. Her friends threw her a very surprise baby shower a few weekends ago, and I was able to be part of the surprise, and to capture a few photographs of the special day. Everything was organised and put together so beautifully, and the Winnie the Pooh theme was just so cute. 

Vicky, you are so brave and so strong. I admire you more than words can say and I can't wait to meet your baby boy.

For any soon to be moms here in Korea, there are a whole number of really great Facebook support groups created by fellow expat moms. Let me know in the comments section below if you would like me to put you in touch with them.