December 6, 2011

Thanksgiving with the Ambassador

Ok, I am sorry that this has taken so long. No excuses.

It's time to talk about the big thanksgiving with ambassador Sung Kim.

So, we've been practicing our dance for awhile but we hadn't really perfected it. On the Friday before our Thanksgiving Anthony and I had a quick practice, Leslie was too sick to move and Esther still hadn't come to Seoul from Gwangju. We also met with a few other ETAs that were in the Fulbright building where we practiced.

The next morning we wake up and Lucy, Leslie and I got coffee in Insadong and did some Christmas shopping. We were then a little late to the dance practice but Esther, Anthony, Leslie and I managed to get together for another hour and a half of practicing. It still wasn't perfectly ironed out but we looked presentable.

We met up with Jake, Gem and Paddy who came from Gwangju and we all got in taxis to go to the Cultural Museum (the same place I went with KU for orientation). In the rush to get there on time Jake lost his phone in the cab.

Then, we get to the site and they are having most people take the tour but myself and a few other ETAs helped set up for the dinner (the museum was sort of interesting the first time but there was no way I wanted to go through that again). We finished setting up for the dinner and were sitting on some benches outside when an important American couple walked into the museum so the ten of us stood up and were unsure of what to do but ended up just introducing ourselves. Turns out the couple was on the committee to write our applications for Fulbright crazzzyy. That was the time when we decided that we should move in case the ambassador comes and we don't know what he looks like or how to welcome him and whatever so we went to the main room again.

At the same time that the ETAs were finishing their tour the ambassador comes in and we greet him and Mrs. Shim (our Fulbright Director) with the traditional welcome (bowing and saying hello in Korean). It was then time for the Thanksgiving formal dinner. We were supposed to find places at some of the many tables. There were different name cards on them for people that work in the embassy. As I was walking around Anthony pulled me toward a table and sits me down saying "we're doing this" before I know what is going on the table fills with my friends Anne (I'm taking Korean with her this fall), Paddy (he came to my school to help me teach) Anskar (he holds the camera for our dance) and others. I look at the place cards and not only is MRS SHIM sitting with us but also AMBASSADOR SUNG KIM. Within minutes everyone was sitting down. Not only was I nervous about the KPop Dance that Mrs Shim didn't even KNOW WE WERE DOING but I now had the AMBASSADOR sitting at my table for Thanksgiving.

The entertainment for the night went in the order of traditional Korean music, dinner and the talent show. I was in the front row (as you will see later) for the talent show with the ambassador pretty much staring at the back of my head for the whole time. Then the people who were in the talent show were supposed to eat dinner before everyone else and because Anthony and I were the only ones in the talent show we went up to get dinner first with the ambassador and Mrs Kim. By the time we sat down with them no one else was at our table because they were in line for food.

Anthony is probably going to be a diplomat at some point in his life but I was just still nervous about the dance. We had some small conversation then the Ambassador asked me "How my stay has been going so far" what I THOUGHT he said was "how is your dinner so far?" Don't ask me whyyyyy because I don't know. He was far away and he had a different accent because he lived in Korea until he was 12 then moved to the U.S. so my answer was "the turkey is great" and because no one talked for a while after that I said "I like the stuffing too." That's when the ambassador and mrs shim started talking to each other so Anthony turned to me and said "you know he was asking about your year right" and then I smacked myself on the head which probably just made it worse. DOESN'T MATTER. it's cool.

After dinner we decided that it was time to change and practice our dance one more time. Needless to say we were really worried, we were afraid that we'd forget the parts (don't worry it happened), we were afraid that the dance would offend Mrs. Shim or the Ambassador, and I was afraid that I had too much to eat at dinner and I would be so nervous that I would throw up.

The first part of the talent show were three ETAs who were essentially placed in NK doing a glow stick dance to Party Rock. After they went on and Mrs. Shim didn't lose it we felt a lot better. Then one of the ETAs played his violin in a very classy way. While he was practicing his violin Anthony took the time to record our feelings in a video. mom.

Well, the stage was set so it was time for us to go on. Anthony did a little introduction talk to say how this dance made us more approachable to our students etc. The empty chair that you can see is MINE and the boy filming was sitting next to Mrs. Shim who was sitting next to the Ambassador which just shows you how close they were sitting. And now, the moment you've been waiting for. The Dance.

As you can see, we did an OK job and I definitely messed up a bunch of times but it was all worth it when we went back to change into our clothes and bumped into the ambassador who left right after the show and said to us "that was GREAT." Even Mrs. Shim loved it. And THAT is how awesome my Thanksgiving with the ambassador was.

To see the original music videos of the songs that we put together look at these links (in order of how they were performed

I'm so Sorry but I love you-Big Bang

1 comment:

  1. I have to wait until I get hope to get the audio. Next time you get the Ambassador at your table -- grab him by the lapels and ask him for a job!