Saturday, July 28, 2007

Proof they are here.

Stephanie and Alison took all the pictures from yesterday when they came to the school but I do have these two pictures to prove they are in Korea.

Also, here's a picture of my awesome new shirt. Is it talking about the environment or about golf? Or about something completely different? I'll let you be the judge.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Things that happened today.

I'm really surprised that this week is going by so quickly. I thought for sure it would drag along because I am so anxious to see Stephie and Alison (TOMORROW!!). This is how you know I'm really busy.

Today we had our July birthday party at school (for Lily and Cathy) and it was pretty standard but we were the only class that had birthdays this month and therefore the only people who got cake. It was delicious (Matt)! Heheh.
After work we went to Home Plus to take out cash and buy groceries. We decided to grab a bite to eat before shopping and we saw one of the students from school. This student is named Juliet and although I've never taught her, she loves me. A lot. It's really cute (she's about 10) and she's very smiley and sweet (she always holds my hand! Awww!). So we said hi and proceeded to wait for our food. Then Juliet came up and bought some of these [sweet?] potato snack things. I went over to tease her and ask if she was buying me a present and then she handed them to me! I've seen these snacks around a lot and always assumed they were hot and tasted like french fries. Yeah, not so much.
They are incredibly hard and crunchy and shockingly cold. They tasted all right after we got over our preconceived expectations of what they were 'supposed to' taste like. It was really kind of Juliet and her mom to buy us this snack because now I know what it tastes like and know that I don't need to try it again. Hahah.

Just 'bee' yourself!

Joi and Teek are back in the country- living and working near the Incheon airport. Apparently she can see the beach from her window. I'm slightly jealous (but only slightly because she is even more in the middle of nowhere than Gimpo is). Look at the awesome welcome back present I got for Teek! Isn't he adorable? I'm a great doggie daddy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In less than 48 hours,,,

I'll be at the Incheon airport to pick up these two lunatics, I mean awesome girls! I really hope they packed these outfits because then they will totally fit in with Korean fashion. Heheh. We're going to have sooo much fun! I can't wait for them to come to school with us on Friday and meet all my kids. Also they are supposed to bring me some Reese Peanut Butter cups. Reason enough for the trip! We have lots of cool and interesting things planned so hopefully we can show them a good time. I just hope it won't pour like it is now while they're here.

I should go and do some last minute cleaning and preparing- I'm so excited!!! And I managed to finish the last of my report cards today. It's going to be a great week!

Swimming Fun!

Last Wednesday we had our July field trip and we took the kids to a pool! We were a bit concerned things would be canceled on account of rain (it's an outdoor pool and it's the rainy season right now) but luck was on our side and it was a beautiful day! I learned some new things about Korea on that day- people do own bathing suits, when you swim at a public pool you wear bathing caps and high heels are still favored by some patrons. I took some cute pictures (I was nervous about doing so and looking like a pedophile but then Janis Teacher was snapping away and I thought, "What the hell!?"). The kids were so excited and everyone brought some kind of inflatable. More pictures here.

In one of the pictures you can see our new teacher/roommate Brian. I'll let you figure out which one he is. (^ ^)

Boryeong Mud Festival

It's hard to believe that it's been almost 2 weeks since the mud festival. Things in Gimpo have been pretty hectic indeed! The festival was totally fantastic and we had a lot of fun with Eddie and Gisela. I was planning to write a huge entry about all the crazy things we did but it seems Eddie has written two outstanding entries himself and done the work for me. It's a two part epic and you can read all about the great time we had here and here. I know, I know, I'm a lazy cop out but his blogs are really awesome (they should be- the guy is a professional writer, after all). Here are some of my favorite pictures though.

You can see all the pictures here.

Oh, and something I want to clear up. Eddie made it sound like Gisela was some sort of mud bungee cord champion. In fact, she openly admitted to be a giant wuss and that she backed up any time she felt the bungee tighten up enough to make her fall down. Some people might call this strategy however I call it wussing out. I had a lot of heart in that mud pit and I think I would have been voted the People's Choice Winner, if there had been such an award. And a side note, soju and orange Fanta taste a lot better together than you'd expect.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Lily!

Yesterday (Monday, July 16th) was my Lily's birthday and she was more precious than usual. I'm pretty sure I got a few cavities from her sweetness. I took a few videos and they turned out all right. No singing involved this time!

This one of Lily is probably my favorite. She is such a little muppet. It's also cute how Janet and Andy say things in the background (like "Today is Monday!" and "Happy Birthday Lily!"). The other two are of Will and Andy doing air guitar and of some of the Lion kids showing their animal identification skills. Will kept trying to pose for pictures and then wanted to look and see himself on my camera. Oh and Jake is usually perfect at the animal identification but I wasn't able to point at the animals and shoot the video so that's why he was confused and sidetracked. Alexa is a super star though! I'm so proud of them and it's so hard to believe that 4 months ago they didn't know a word of English!

Sports Day

Friday we had our monthly theme day and this time it revolved around sports. Most kids wore a soccer jersey or a t-shirt with a basketball on it or something but a couple of kids stood out a bit more. I was taken aback by the little girls in ballet/dance outfits! I mean, they were so adorable but dance isn't the first thing that springs to mind when I think of sports. There were no kids with bowling balls, however. Heheh. I took some cute pictures and in the spirit of sport day I filmed my kids during gym class when we created a simple obstacle course for them. Probably no one is that interested in seeing all the videos but if you are then you can go here, scroll down and look at all of the videos I've made. The gym class ones have the kids names as the title.

The best videos are the ones of Alexa, Jake and Andy and they are really short (a minute or so). I know, I know, I am pretty obsessed with my kids but come on! They are brilliant and super cute!

For all pictures from Sports Day you should go here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

We're Off!

We're going to the Boryeong Mud Festival this weekend and won't be around at all. I hope you all have a good one. A special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister Stephie who'll be 18 on Saturday. Expect lots of fun blogs when we get back.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Konglish from Yeongjongdo

From a box of tissue: Living- Just like your life so soft and clean.

From a bottle of cologne: ah! AH FEEL 365 Free Skin: She opened her door and her window. And the heart and the soul came through. To her right hand came the red one. To her left hand came the blue.

Unfortunately my camera sucks at getting close up shots (or possibly I suck at using it) but you get the idea and can see that I'm not making this up. I love Konglish. I should make a series of posts about all the hilarious stationary I've collected sometime.

It does exist!

Unfortunately I cannot reveal it's location because my dealer would be angry.

A Lazy Sunday...

This weekend has been great since we've really had a chance to unwind, relax and sleep a lot. Today we did take a walk downtown and had some shabu shabu and frozen yogurt before trying out a noraebang right by our house (it wasn't too bad because we found a bunch of other English songs hidden at the back). Now the weekend is over and it's back to work. This week is a big week since our new teacher is supposed to be coming Tuesday night. Seems they are trying to make some [positive] changes at our school and even though the poor guy will have to be at work on Wednesday, they aren't just thrusting him directly into his class (like we were). He gets the rest of the week to shadow his classes and then Monday he'll be on his own. Which means one more week and then I get my regular schedule back. Thank goodness!

Anyway, cross your fingers that our new roommate and coworker is really, really nice and doesn't try to watch us while we're sleeping or lick our eyeballs or something.

Look at how beautiful it is out here! Doesn't it look like we're in the lower mainland or something? Everything is really green and lush. Supposedly we're in the rainy season and Joi made it sound pretty grim. Maybe this year isn't going to be so bad though? It hasn't rained too much yet and when it did it wasn't too bad and didn't last all day. Or maybe the worst is yet to come?

Canada Day in Korea

Last weekend was a really busy (and important!) one for us since it was Canada Day! On Saturday we had a bit of an Augustana reunion with the folks we know that are living around here. We all met in Ilsan and then traveled to Paju (which is very close to the border- like 6 miles from North Korea). Jess and Jon are currently living and working in Paju and were kind and generous enough to host this event. It was a really fun time with good conversation, fantastic food, beautiful scenery and a few drinks too. It was really cool to touch base with people that we hadn't seen in a few years but that are out here too.

On Sunday we met up with Eddie and Gisela in Seoul. The boys were responsible for the planning and they did a decent job. We went to the art museum (you may recall that Matt and I were there in the winter but the art has been changed since) and admired the Monet exhibit. Then we walked to Meongdong, window shopped a bit, had some supper and found a noraebang with the fabled "good song list". I was glad we had the good book since we'd been telling them it existed for quite awhile and I think they may have been a bit skeptical. Monday ended up being a bit of a tired day but it was worth it since we had so much fun with everyone.
As a result we have laid pretty low this weekend because we're old and because the new teacher (who was supposed to come last weekend but had some kind of emergency) is supposed to arrive this week and we wanted to clean up a bit. If you want to see all the Canada Day pictures look here.

My kids are really, really cute.

I took some more videos of my kids singing and they amuse me. If you're bored or can't get enough of 4 year olds belting out classics then you should go here, here, here, here, HERE! You may have noticed that 2 of my students were missing on that day (Grace from Lamb and Sara from Lion) but the eight of them are still cute.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Super Dooper Jezebel

Matt has been meaning to post this for a very, very, very long time and since I am trying to clean up the place I wanted to finally type this up and save it somewhere so we don't have to keep the paper copy hanging around the apartment. Anyway, this is a story that one of his elementary students wrote last semester. She's no longer at the school but she was part of one of the higher level elementary classes at the school. Keep in mind, this has not been edited, the story (and English) were actually this good.

Super Dooper Jezebel
Jezebel was perfect in every way. She was so perfect she was called "Super Dooper Jezebel". When other children came out of school they were sometimes untidy but Jezebel was always super dooper neat! Jezebel always kept her room tidy and she always put her things back in their boxes and she cleaned up after the cat.

When she went to play with her friends Jezebel always kept clean. When she had spots she always took her medicine. She could do up buttons and tie real bows on her lace-ups. Jezebel told other children not to do things because it was nice being perfect.

People began to get mad at Jezebel. One day a crocodile escaped from the zoo! The zookeeper said, "You naughty boy, you've eaten the best girl in the world!"
But crocodile always thinks, "I've tasted better!"

Our Trip to Wolmido and Yeongjongdo

As I mentioned, Matt and I were feeling the need to get out of the city for a bit and see the sea. I searched around a bit and we decided to check out a couple islands near Incheon- Wolmido and Yeongjongdo. (In Korean 'do' means island.) We had a great time, even if it wasn't blue skies and margaritas. It only drizzled a little bit and the overcast weather made things nice and comfortably cool. We left on Saturday and came back on Sunday. I would recommend taking a weekend to check these islands out or else some of the other small islands in the same area. Incheon airport is actually located on Yeongjongdo so if you need to fly out it's definitely worth exploring it and then catching your flight the next day. Anyway, if you want to see all the pictures you can wander over here or else just look at these highlights.
(left) Wolmido sea front.
(right) Look closely at the sign on the balloon popping game place. Isn't a hunting rifle a bit hardcore?

Look at the outfits they have made these poor girls wear. They are part of the show for one of the ferries (the one we took was purely for transportation). In the other pictures I took you can see their neon bustle and gold shoes. Hey Steph and Alison, I think I found you a job!

The seagulls were totally crazy! People were feeding them snacks and they were swooping right in and taking them from their hands. It was advertised in a brochure as being "very romantic" and as you can see from this video, there is no stronger aphrodisiac than being attacked by seagulls.

(left) Yeongjongdo! Look at the fresh seafood market.
(right) Don't forget your beach essential- high heels. Another odd thing is that no one wears bathing suits. I guess most Koreans can't swim so they just wade in their regular clothes. I even only saw one little kid in a bathing suit.

We hiked around and the terrain was interesting. Some of the bridges were pretty ghetto but we didn't plummet to our death (or our injury even). It was all good.

We didn't do anything incredibly exciting but we had a lot of fun lounging around, reading, eating delicious fresh seafood, singing at noraebang, and playing arcade games. It was exactly what we'd been needing.

You can see our delicious clam bake and our neat little motel room. Very cosy. I think that we were given extra clams and oysters because we're foreign. Possibly because we're Canadian (since I was asked if I was American and when I said I was from Canada the whole staff lit up like a Christmas tree). I love free stuff.

Look at me and my amazing skills! I made the high score! I'm a Korean legend!