November 15, 2011

How to Welcome an Ambassador and/or ruin your future in international relations

Hey Folks! It's been a busy few weeks (I feel like it's always busy) but here are some updates:

1) I'm coming home for Christmas! I arrive on the 22nd of December and I leave January 4th. I hope to make a trip down to Dayton in between Christmas and January 30th when I leave to visit Poppa and Crackers in NC.

2) The Korean Soonim (I think that's what it's called) was last week so one of my friends teaching in a high school came to help me teach my 3rd graders on Thursday. Even with three teachers in the room some classes are still out of control! (Ok, they're not really out of control but really really loud.)

3) I went to Junju to practice a K-Pop dance (those are two of the 5 songs we'll be dancing too) that we will perform for the NEW AMBASSADOR!!! ahhhhhhh I don't know why I'm doing this but it should be interesting. We practiced in a college dance studio that my friend Anthony got from connections with his cousin who teaches dance there. We will be performing at the Thanksgiving Dinner in the embassy this weekend. If there's a video I'll make sure to post it!

Today was a nice Tuesday, it was Kimchi making day but I was in school. Really kimchi making day means the house smells bad and my mom cuts a lot of cabbage and puts it in a jar in the refrigerator for a year with other spices (traditionally it's buried the culture has evolved) in school we did "role play" in 4th grade which was about Beauty and the Beast eating dinner and the Beast losing his fork. The lesson involved a lot of 4th grade students dropping the f-bomb while trying to reenact the story. Maybe we'll work on pronunciation next class...

For the advanced 4th grade club class we used the stickers and stencils Gig sent us (thanks Gig!!!) and learned about Thanksgiving history and food items. I think I'll bring the stencils home and Sol and I will make some decorations. The students sat through a powerpoint presentation then spent the class playing the matching came with vocab words and pictures and choosing 4/6 stencils to draw then label. Here's the finished product!!

BTW the old 5th grade English teacher who used to be pregnant is back!!!

Also, Poppa, thanks for the skittles!!! I wish I could use them for prizes in classes but I just love them too much to share with anyone except the English teachers!! It's funny that you sent them because I was JUST telling my friend about how much I wanted some!

November 7, 2011

Lucy's Apartment in Daegu

This weekend I went to go visit Lucy in Daegu and stay with her host family! Leslie and I came on Saturday morning to spend about 36 hours in one of the bigger cities of South Korea.

Lucys host family consists of a hostmom named jooyoung who speaks English fluently and her job is translating tourist brochures and signs into English. (She actually translated all the brochures that we used in Gyeongju!) Her dad, who I cant remember what he does but he doesnt speak much English, and two host brothers Min Jun who is in 3rd grade and very VERY good at English and Min Sa who is in first grade and also surprisingly good/humorous with English.

It was nice to have Leslie around because she would translate what Min Sa was saying to Lucy and her brother which ended up being things like In the name of Justice I will punish you!!!

Leslie and I arrived around lunchtime so we had a very nice lunch out then went to a show with the whole family called High Kick. It is the sequel to the show Jump which Monica and Aunt Elizabeth saw when they visited Seoul. High Kick was about soccer and most of the show was them doing cool soccer ball tricks. After High Kick Joo Yung, Leslie, Lucy and I went up a mountain (in a car) and saw one of the biggest temples in Korea and I think it was the most beautiful one that Ive seen so far it had a really great lantern tunnel to a huggee Buddha and other nice temple rooms. We went to dinner in a restaurant up in the mountain by the temple then went to a tea house and spent about 2 hours talking which was very nice.

After we got home Leslie had to meet her friend so we went downtown and got ice cream with her. Leslies friend works at Camp Walker one of the army bases in Daegu (I think there are three). We also met one of her friends briefly named Garren who has been at Camp Walker for 18 months and he says hes supposed to be stationed there again which is unusual but hes happy because he likes Korea.

Coldstone was nice but we were all really tired at it was about midnight when we got home. Leslie asked Lucy about taking a shower in the morning then Lucy had to explain that her hair had clogged the shower drain and that we can only leave it running for 15 seconds at a time so at 1am we decided to try and fix Lucys drain.... unfortunately it didnt really work out but it was pretty funny at the time.

In the morning her mom made us a feast. She had made banana pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs (I avoided those), cereal, hash browns, yogurt and then a bunch of Korean dishes too. We had about 20 minutes to eat everything before going to their church that Lucy teaches Sunday school at.

Lucys host family actually founded their church which is a nondenominational English church. Lucy had told me stories about how she didnt really agree with the pastors preachings so I decided to stick around Sunday school with her instead of going up with the congregation. (Leslie went and she said I would have died because all he talked about was the commandment about not murdering and she thought it was a bad mass.) Lucy is one of the three women that were there working at Sunday school and that Sunday was the day they decided to start on the Christmas play which they adapted to some sort of animal craziness and all the army brats (there were like 4 Korean children and then the rest were just children/literal brats of the militants from Camp Walker) were going crazy about their parts. It made me happy I dont speak the same language as the students I teach.

After mass the church served everyone lunch which turned out to be curry, yum!! Then Lucy was supposed to have Youth Group but there was a lot of things going on (they were originally supposed to go to a zoo type place then bowling then everything was cancelled so they were going to do a lesson lead by Lucy) and NO ONE CAME. So Lucy, Leslie and I said goodbye to the host family bought tickets home and sat in a coffee shop for 2 hours.

The coffee shop was really cozy and I had a great Lemon Slush (I had a lot of coffee at lunch and seriously, how often do you find Lemon Slushes in Korea?). All and all I had a great time visiting Lucy seeing Leslie this weekend.

Now its Monday and I would be sad exxxcceeepppttt Im getting an iPhone!! J more on that later!!!!!!!!!!!!!