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!

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