Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bull Fighting Festival

This weekend we went to the Bull Fighting Festival in Cheongdo. We caught a train in the middle of Seoul at 7:20am on Saturday morning, along with our friends Josh and Jamie, Josh and Bethany, and Erin. They all work for GKI's Seoul campus. After a 4 1/2 hour train ride we arrived in the rural town of Cheongdo. Saturday was a bit cloudy and rainy so there weren't a ton of people there. We had fun watching the bulls fight and toured the grounds of the festival.

That afternoon we decided to find our hotel. All we had was a printout of the hotel that was in Korean. We showed it to several taxi drivers and they told us it wasn't far away, just to walk. Ok great! So we walk. And walk. And walk. Stopped several times to confirm we were going the right direction. We were! We've gone through a market, a residential neighborhood, restaurants, then an open field by the side of a highway, up an on-ramp. Still nothing. Finally, after walking for almost 2 miles...we see it. The Renaissance castle. It was definitely a "love motel." Complete with red neon lighting in the halls and bedrooms.

Exhausted by this point from lugging around our backpacks for 2 miles we were ready for some food. We had the hotel call us a cab and we went to the only galbi restaurant in town. The food was delicious but the service was lackluster, they were slammed considering the bull fighting festival is the only thing that brings people to the town.

Back to the hotel. We're inside a store across the street for some ice cream and when we come out we meet JJ. JJ's father it turns out is the Minster of Tourism for Korea and has helped organize part of the event with the "American Cowboys." Surprisingly the "cowboys" are staying in the room right beside us. He gives them a call and Jeremy comes down to chat. Then we find out that for the past 4 years they've gone and recruited American soldiers from the Osan Army base to come and ride bulls in the festival. But this year, the base had something going on and no American soliders could come! They were in desperate need of some foreigners for the Rodeo Show and some bull riders! Ahahaha. JJ tells us that he'll pick us up the next morning and take us to the festival. Ok, it's on!

We go to the rodeo at 10am. Thomas and Josh have agreed to ride the bulls, Erin is going to commentate on the loud speaker and the rest of us are going to sit on the bull chutes and cheer them on like idiots. The event begins and we all have to do a lap inside the bull ring carrying this huge banner! Through the mud and crap. Oh yeah. Hoopin' and hollerin'. We were a sight. Did I mention that the weather was beautiful and there were 18,000 people there? Thomas and Josh rode the bulls "successfully" and got bucked off without getting hurt, thank God. Then we were ushered to sit in the VIP section with a great view. JJ also upgraded our train tickets so we got to ride home on the bullet train, first class. We made it home in 2 hours instead of 4. It was an awesome weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cool Website

out for some interesting buttons!

Monday, March 12, 2007

New Class

Back Row: Dennis, John, William, Wendy, Monica, Andrew, Peter
Front Row: Bryan, Esther, Jinny, Julie, Herald

Here's a picture of my new K2 class! I have 7 boys and 5 girls. The boys are a handful, but lots of fun. Quite the change from last time with only 3 boys. This week we're learning about Human Body Organs. Wahoo!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

This is a video from a teacher in Korea. I ran across it and thought it was hilarious.

Graduation Dance Practice

Our K1 and K2 kids practiced with their Korean teacher incessantly for the graduation dances. I'm glad I got some video of it since we were unable to record anything during the actual ceremony. This was during our Sul-Nal day so they were wearing their hanboks in honor of the Korean new year's tradition.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Starter Class

This is my Starter class from Elementary. I'm happy to say that they're all moving up to Level 1! Wahooo! Can you believe all these kids but 3 came into class knowing no English at all? I taught these boogers to read! Too crazy. Thomas will have a few of them this semester. Oh yeah, I got to name most of them too. The boys (from left to right): Noah, John, Tom (named after Thomas), and Mike. Girls: Anabel, Michell, Sue and Susan

Sorry we haven't been updating as frequently. The past few weeks were crazy with graduation and such.

Today we visited Jubilee Church which meets at a coffee shop in Gangnam. We met up with two other married couples that work for GKI Seoul campus. The music was awesome. It was a fully English service with mostly Korean nationals but a lot of foreigners too. The pastor's sermon was only ok, but the opportunity to worship with a body of believers was great and much needed. After the service we went for burritos at Dos Tacos with our new friends. It was a fun but rainy day!

Big day tomorrow with the new kindergarteners, we'll let you know how it goes. Keep us in your prayers!

Saturday, March 03, 2007


In Korea the public school year ends in February and resumes in march. So, last month was our kindergarten graduation. After a rushed month of planning and practice, K1 and K2 performed Wizard of Oz and Snow White for a sold out crowd of paparazzi parents. It feels good to be finished with the added pressure that graduation brought, but sad to say goodbye to our K classes. We had both grown quite attached to the monsters.

This coming week Leslie will get all new K2 students. Thomas is going to be moving to a new class where he will teach kids who in Korean age are 6, but in America we'd say they're 5. (Koreans seem to think you are 1 year old when you are born.) Prayer for Thomas and his new students would be extra appreciated as this presents a much harder challenge than the K1 class. We also have new elementary classes. We are excited about teaching different levels and getting to know new students.

Outside the classroom, life is improving. Due to consistent prayer on the part of Thomas, God has in His good grace allowed the weather to warm up a bit. We are now seeing temps in the low 50s and it feels like summer in contrast to the arctic chill that was December and January.