Monday, October 30, 2006

Snow White

Last week Thomas's class theme was Movies and Cartoons. So he decided to undertake filming a movie with his kindergarteners. The decided to do Snow White. He recorded it on our digital camera and I pieced it all together for him into one continuous movie. It turned out pretty well, see for yourself! It's really cute.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Mountain Trip

Last weekend we went to Seoraksan National Park in the mountains off the north east coast of South Korea. It was a 3 hour bus ride to our hotel which was only a short walk to the beach. We walked out to the beach and watched people shooting roman candles off all over the place. By the time we arrived it was about 11pm so it was dark and very cold! We got up early the next morning and drove to another park that had a spring. Apparently it's the thing to go drink this water. Which is what I'm doing in this picture to the right. It tasted like Sprite almost! Very much like minerals and also a little like it had soda bubbles in it. Weird. Then we were off to the National Park. One of the Korean teachers named Rira went with us so she could meet her boyfriend, so we were lucky enough to have him drive us around all weekend!
Rira, Catherine, Me, Miriam

Two of the most interesting things inside the park was a huge Buddha statue and several Buddhist temples. The temples were very colorful and ornate. Thomas and I felt so sorry for the people who were going inside to bow down to the Buddha idols.

View Inside One Of The Temples

We figured we walked over 10 kilometers that day. We were so tired that night! After the park we had the Korean meal of sam gep sa. They brought so many side dishes, our table was quite the sight!



One of the nice things we've discovered about Korea is service. This is free stuff either a store or restaurant gives you when you buy something from them. They just give it to you and say, "Service, service!" So, Saturday night we went back to our hotel at the beach and shot off some Roman candles, for our purchase we received some sparklers as service. It was fun playing around with them, they were really long! Sunday morning we only had a few hours before we had to catch our bus back to Seoul. We went for breakfast at a local Korean restaurant and had...yes it's true...spicy catfish soup. For Breakfast! The fish in the soup was cut into about 4 large pieces, head, bones, tail and all! It was actually pretty good. I was surprised! Then we walked down to a Salmon festival that was being held nearby. There were lots of stands selling various fish, one of which was WHALE! We didn't even know you could still kill whale anymore. But there were quite a few stands selling it (click on "Our photos" on the side to see a picture of it). We watched some belly dancers shake it on stage. Our bus ride back took six hours as opposed to the three it took to get there! Lots of people leave Seoul for the weekend, so apparently the norm is for it to take almost double the time to get back on Sundays. I guess everyone else wanted to see the leaves too!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kenya...


You can take the boy out of Kenya, but you can't take Kenya out of the boy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gathering Chesnuts


Our second field trip with our kindergarteners was to the mountains again so they could "gather chesnuts." It was pretty funny because the whole thing was staged! The school bought a whole bunch of chesnuts and had some men come spread them out in strategic locations and then we led them there to "gather." Haha. They had fun running around and seeing who could get the most in their bag. Then we had a nice lunch out at a creek. It was a nice break during the week.


This weekend we're going to the beach with adjacent mountains for some hiking. Should be beautiful with the colorful leaves and the ocean at the front door of our hotel. We're excited to get out of Seoul for the weekend and see a new area of Korea. We'll take lots of pictures! Please pray for safety as we travel 2 hours each way by bus. Also, please pray for our health as we're both battling colds! We think the clean air outside of Seoul will be good for us. We love you!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Posting Comments

Just a little FYI to those of you who would like to leave comments but don't want to start a Blogger account. I changed the settings so anyone can leave a note without the hassle. Woo hoo! We'd love to hear from you guys! – Leslie

I miss designing

Friday, October 13, 2006

October in Korea


It's hard to believe that we've been here over a month. In some ways it feels like we've been here a long time and in others it feels like we just arrived. Our weeks really fly by. We're so busy at the school each day that we never have time to stop. So it's 7pm before we know it and time to go home again! We're starting to get a better handle on being teachers and are controlling our classrooms with more authority. Now I can sympathize with all my girlfriends from back home who are teachers!

This is a Korean meal at a restaurant in an area called Gangnam. It was a hot soup with lots of different types of mushrooms, greens, pumpkin and onions. We're starting to learn that food here is either pretty spicy or bland. This was a dish that was sort of bland. At least we had lots of vegetables with it though. Usually our vegetables with Korean food consist of only different types of Kimchi.

The following photos are just a bit of what the shopping experience is like on the streets in Seoul. You can buy about anything from a street vendor. Food, clothes, drinks, shoes, jewelry, underwear...

Headbands

Dog Outfits

Cell Phone Trinkets

Earrings

Shoes

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Birthday Party Video

Ok, this is our first attempt at putting a video on our site. It's not really that great, but you can hear the kids singing Happy Birthday in Korean and it's cute. Now that we know this works, we'll try to make some more interesting videos!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I didn't think this would happen...

So, we've only been here a month. And I'm already attached to the kids! One of my favorite students, Billy, had his last day of school on Friday. His parents are moving out of Guri and into Seoul, so he'll have to attend a different school. I was SO sad to see him go! I think I even teared up a little bit! What am I going to do in when we leave them all for good? I'm so emotional. Thanks a lot Sheila! haha

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy Chusok!

This week is the Chusok holiday here in Korea. Chusok is sort of like Asian Thanksgiving, celebrated on the 8th full moon of the year they enjoy the harvest and pay respects to their ancestors. They also wear traditional dress, as pictured above, which is called Hanbok. The boy in the bright pink top is one of Thomas's favorite students, Bradley. He's so funny!

Last week we had parent teacher conferences with our kindergarten kids' parents. That was interesting. We were paired up with each childs mother for about 10 minutes each, along with a translator. The meetings went well for both of us! All of the mothers thanked us at the end for teaching their child!

Saturday our school had a small Chusok festival for the kindergarten kids. There were different booths they went around to with food and games. Thomas had the station with the game called To-ho. It's a tall basket that you stand two yards away from and try to throw long chopsticks into it. The kids love it. My station was one with some Korean candy that looked like long white sticks. They had to break the stick in half and count the number of holes. Mine was not as exciting as Thomas's. After the festival our friend Shawn went with us to Technomart where we purchased a cell phone! Technomart is a site to behold let me tell you. This place is 10 stories tall, 6 floors of nothing but electronics like cameras, cell phones, computers, washers and dryers...anything you can think of. The other 4 floors or so are clothing shops, a hair salon, home furnishings, jewelry and purses, along with a massive food court. We're glad to have a phone in case we get lost, now we can call for help!

After Technomart we explored a different area of Seoul called Hongdae. It's close to Hongik University which is known for their great art school. It definitely reminded us of a college town in the States. Lots of young people, restaurants and trendy shopping areas. We had a great time.

We worked again on Monday, our only day to work this week. All the kids wore their Hanbok to school. We had class the first part of the day and the rest of the day they played games and ate lunch. Then we had our elementary classes from 2:30 to 7pm. After school the Korean teachers took us out for a Korean dinner, Sam gep sa. It's where you cook these thick pieces of pork, looks like thick bacon, on a metal grate over hot embers. You also cook some kimchi, onions, garlic and spicy bean sprouts. After it's all cooked, you take a piece of lettuce and roll it all up together. It's really good! When we were finished with dinner, all the English teachers went to a Noori Bang, which is a Karaoke room! Thomas has been boycotting it since we got here, since he's basically tone deaf and refuses to sing. We had a good time though, I sang (like a rockstar!) along with everyone else, except Thomas! I'm sure we'll go back again.

If you look at our pictures, there are new ones from the past two weeks, Chusok and another birthday party. Thanks for keeping us in your prayers!