Monday, August 28, 2006

This weekend

This weekend a couple of our new friends from school showed us around Seoul and Guri. We discovered how quite complex the subway system in Seoul really is. Luckily the stops are in also in English! Most of the signs here are in Korean, so finding restaurants where we live is difficult for the time being, until we learn how to read a little.

The area we went to on Saturday, Itaewon, was one of the ones more frequented by foreigners, so there were more Westernized restaurants and lots of other teachers like us, along with other tourists. It's also close to the army base so there were lots of soldiers too. We ate at a Chinese restaurant called Ho Lee Chow, haha. The food was good, kind of reminded me of PF Changs.

Downtown Guri

Sunday we went to the downtown area of Guri and got to see all the shops. There will be some great shopping there after we get paid! We also got to stock up on things for the apartment at a store that's a lot like Dollar General. Name brand Korean stuff, for cheap! It's interesting to see what Koreans snack on...dried squid and fish. So much for beef jerky right? You can get this stuff from vendors on the street and take it in to the movie theater for a snack. We also found the shopping mall in Guri, very nice with lots of stores we've heard of. We even had dinner at Popeye's Chicken! Needless to say, we aren't missing many of the comforts from home!

Fresh Seafood in the Guri Market

Today was our first day back at school and the weekend didn't seem long enough. We're told that the kids' parents are really interested about the English teachers at the school and a lot of them want to come in an meet the new teachers, us. I've had one visitor so far, but today, Thomas got called out of his class to meet about 5 mothers from his kindergarten class! They brought him a cake and everything. It's kind of funny to see the title on it because ALL of the students call us "Teacher! Teacher!" because it's hard to remember our names.

Thomas's Cake!

Thomas's K1 Class

These pics are of some of the students from my class. My class is a little different than Thomas's in that I serve mine lunch each day and eat with them. These are during lunchtime.

My K2 Class

Saturday, August 26, 2006

What a week!!

Thomas on Rodeo Drive

I don't even know where to begin really. Saying goodbye to people that last week in the States was a bit emotional but everyone held it together really well. Then on the 19th it was off to LA. We had a great anniversary in Los Angeles, I rented a car and we drove all over the city, Rodeo Dr., Hollywood, Sunset Blvd, Santa Monica, Pacific Coast Hwy, we went to Grace Community Church on Sunday and listened to John MacArthur (I loved it).

Grace Community Church

Monday brought a very long twelve and a half hour plane ride. Leslie and I didn't get to sit together because we bought our tickets so late. We each have our own stories about who we sat with and what we learned if you want to hear a pretty funny one write Leslie and ask her.

We finally arrived in Seoul Tuesday night very tired. Since our apartment wasn't ready yet, the school put us up at a Hotel the first two nights. Each night in Seoul we walked around, it was wonderful seeing the city for the first time. In the markets there were stands with crazy looking creatures in all sorts of different containers. What each little creature is only the Creator knows but the Koreans are certainly excited about eating them all (sometimes cooked, sometimes raw).

Wednesday we had orientation, the director of each department (kindergarten, Elementary) took a turn telling us what they expected and after a couple hours we were like college freshmen in syllabus shock.

Thursday was straight to the wolves for Leslie since the teacher she is replacing left on Wednesday. She did wonderful and the kids are already falling for her. Also, Thursday we were finally able to move into our apartment, check out the pics of the bathroom. The toilet, washing machine, shower head and sink are all in the same little room with no shower walls...interesting.

Friday we both taught kindergarten from 10am to 2:30pm (our classes are right beside each other) then we had 4 different elementary classes from 3-7pm. During our kindergarten time, we both had kids in our class with a birthday that week, so there was a big birthday party for them. Some parents came and there was cake and presents and lots of pictures. There was also chicken nuggets and pizza!

Birthday Party

Leslie's Kindergarten Class

Friday night the school had a welcome dinner for us where we were introduced to Korean BBQ, it was good, different but good. You BBQ thick pieces of bacon cooked over hot coals, along with some Korean side dishes.

Saturday two other teachers from the school took us out and taught us the transportation system. The subway here in Seoul is AWESOME, massive and complex; I can't wait to explore it, each stop is like its own little city. We were able to go to E-mart, sort of like a multi story Walmart, to get things for the apartment. We also went to the Korean market in Itaewon where we discovered a place for some great deals. Seven and Dolce&Gabanna jeans for only $20! I (Leslie) got a cute watch for $4 and Thomas got a Korea World Cup tshirt for $5. We'll definitely be back there soon.

Well, we are both very excited to be here and are pleased with our school. They are all really taking care of us and it seems we definitely made the right decision as far as the school. We'll try to keep you all up to date with what's going on and take more pics!

Leslie and Thomas

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

We're Here!!

We arrived in Korea safe and sound! Our flight left at 2pm California time on the 21st and we arrived in Korea 7pm their time on the 22nd which is 6am East Coast. Basically we lost an entire day by flying over the international dateline. Our flight was smooth and we both had very nice passengers to sit beside. The flight was so full that we got separated and had to sit in front of each other in different rows. O well. When we got off the plane the director of our school, Mr. Kwon, was there to greet us and he took us into Seoul to stay in a hotel for the next two nights. Our apartment will not be ready until Thursday when another teacher moves out. We're very excited to finally be here after all the talk and preparation but are also very tired. I'll write more as soon as I can and add some pics from our layover in LA.

Thanks for all the prayers, we love you guys!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New York Trip 2006

Me, Mom and Crystal Thornburg went to New York on the 20-23 of this month. We stayed at the Rockefeller Center Hotel. It was a great time! We rode the double-decker tour bus and saw parts of the city I haven't seen before. We saw Hairspray and Mama Mia on Broadway, toured the NBC studios and ate at TAO chinese restaurant and Balthazaar, an awesome French restaurant. We also went to Chinatown on Canal street and mom and Crystal got designer knock-off pocketbooks, boy was that an experience! In the back alleys, let me tell ya. We were a little scared. We also met up with my friend Karen one night and had dinner then went to Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village and got some very delicious cupcakes that they're famous for. The highlight of our trip for me was going to the Brooklyn Tabernacle. It was like a glimpse of what the worship in heaven will be like, with every tribe, tounge and nation worshipping God with strong voices and hands raised. This is how church is supposed to be. The music was amazing you couldn't help but be moved to tears.

I can't wait to go back to New York with Thomas. Hopefully we can go next year when we get back from Korea before we start working again. :)
Mom and Crystal on the Bus

Brooklyn Tabernacle

Cherryville Girls

Last Friday night we went to dinner in downtown Charlotte to McCormick and Schmick's Seafood restaurant. Our food was so good! It was our last time to all be together before Thomas and I leave for Korea on the 19th of this month! It was great to see everyone.