Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!
It doesn't feel like Christmas here.  No snow, no Christmas songs....hardly any trees decorated or lights.  Don't have the usual Christmas service.... lots of family time.  Within a 4 month span, almost my whole family from the states has come to visit me.  I enjoy the time with my family~~ I think that I'd feel more lonely because they came, and soon my mom will be leaving soon...

My co-teacher and I bought couple "inside shoes." We were strongly recommended to buy "indoor shoes." Our Assistant Principal gave us the up down look and noticed us wearing our shoes indoors.  It's a nice investment! So comfortable not have to wear heels all day!

Do you recognize this person? It's supposed to be me...thanks photoshop...

Got my burrito fix in Hongdae..it was delicious!!

Dinner one night...all this cost me roughly $4...isn't that amazing???!!!

My birthday cake my coteacher bought me!! Yummy!!

I went to see another musical.  김종욱 찻기(Finding Kim Jong Ook) It was a very "chick flick" type of show.  Very sweet.  We got chocolate and beer as gifts.

When my sisters came to my school, the Assistant Principal made this Welcome poster for them.  It was very cute.

Such a surprise from my best friend.  I received a package from USA. I was soo excitede!!!

Goodbye family...spending Christmas apart...


빼빼로 Day

The weeks have definitely been passing by quicker than the first month I was here.  It's a good thing...right? The work seems to be pretty constant.  I try to lesson plan "ahead" but it seems to do more damage than good because it's always changing, something always comes up, and I have to change my lesson again.  SO....I wait until a day or two beforehand. =)

On November 11th, it was 빼빼로 Day! Meaning, it is a day where you give 빼빼로 to your loved ones, etc...(total commercial holiday). Nonetheless, I enjoyed eating 빼빼로 throughout the day from the gifts that the kids gave me.  My favorite one was this: It says that ENGLISH CLASS IS SO FUN, THANK YOU TEACHER. This was given to me by one of the 6th grade girls...and 6th graders are in that stage where they're almost in Junior High...they're too cool to do anything....mode...so, I was touched!

It's been a very busy time for teachers because we're having an all school talent/variety show this week.  Teachers are busy practicing/preparing with students, so a third grade teacher invited all the third grade teachers (plus English teachers who teach 3rd grade) to have a nice home cooked dinner....just like momma used to make. 

I went to visit Anyang for a friend's birthday party.  I had fun!! We MADE it fun...we were practically the only ones there. Yay! No lobster...this is after the affects wore off and lots and lots of water, plus a cookie (which I'm holding). I met a bunch of new friends who were cool.... but VERY young...I felt old... =(
I'm excited that my family will be here soon!!!!!


Fall Fun!

Let's see....it's been a very busy month...I can't believe that it's already been about 2 months since I've been here.  It's gotten sooo much colder.  I bought a Northface jacket and a scarf/muffler looking thing.  I HAD to.  It was getting too cold.  I also bought a pair of puma shoes and a puma suit.. =) need to cut down on the shopping. =)

I went to watch GREASE in Korea.  The skit was in Korea, some similarities but also some differences.  FIRST, we were NOT allowed to take ANY pictures in the theater.  We were sitting waiting for the musical to begin, and I pulled out my camera only to be told to put it away.  My sister in law told me to just take one...but they security people were right there and wouldn't leave...so, I missed my chance.  VERY GOOD musical though... some NUDITY.  This guy "mooned" the audience!! I couldn't believe it...There were kids there, and everything, but no one seemed to make a big deal of it...he did it again towards the end of the night.  Everyone was pretty much casually dressed except for my aunt and me.  Also, some people came in late...kind annoying..

This is our "study room" that was reserved for our bookclub...it was pretty intense.

A typical Wednesday afternoon after teaching four classes, our school "gathering" decides to go mountain climbing.  We start from our school and walk to Incheon....which I am aware of only after we start walking is an hour and a half away.  So, before we even REACH the mountain we're supposed to climb, we climb another MOUNTAIN...ugh!! I was sweating, and then cold....these teachers were all suited up in their mountain climbing gear.  Note to self, buy hiking shoes.  It was so slippery with my regular sneakers.  The total distance was 10 km...a little over 6 miles...doesn't seem to bad...UNTIL we reach the STEEP TRAIL OF DOOM!!! Felt like we were trying to climb up on a complete vertical...I'm glad I went though...got closer to some people...and got the whole experience. Would definitely go again...BUT not both mountains on the same day.

Most of the younger girls didn't come up.  About 50 of us total teachers, but only a few of us went up the mountain.  We joined together again during dinner!!

Yummy food we ate after mountain climbing. It tasted SO good after the hike...

I got sick this week...from the cold and preparing for Halloween festivities.  I was going to quietly let it pass, but the kids kept asking if we were going to have one.  I guess last year, the native teacher celebrated it...SO, I did too.  They want a Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's party....I said keep wishing. =)
My coteacher and I went as sushi!!


Fall is Here~

The weather has been up and down, but fall is DEF here! The trees are beautiful, and I busted out my green trench...which def stands out in the sea of black and gray.  Slowly and surely, I'm settling in.  I wore my big, purple ring (which I was hesitant about b/c of the school culture).  It was a BIG hit! I got lots of compliments from it, students and teachers...so, this week I painted my nails...GREEN! We'll see how that goes.  I've been pretty busy lately....but I like it.
Mondays = Yoga
Tuesdays = walking club
Wednesdays = study group, Yoga
Thursday = walking club
Fridays = Yoga
**Book Club once a month, and starting Latin Dance classes Saturdays with open practice sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays!!**

My school started with a brief meeting...not really sure what they were doing...but took a picture~~

Study session dinner prepared by the wonderful cook Yun Jong! I LOVE her plates!

Our materials for the study session, lots of tea, milk, honey, juice...and books and notebooks.

Went to a street market for some corn...

Saturday, went to eat and hang out.

We wemt to buy some more children's books and look at curriculum...ahh~~ felt like home

Met up with some friends to eat some yummy curry.  This is a level 2!! Pretty Spicy! There's 5 or 6 levels of spicy.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it...the spiciest level is called god...heard it does wonders for your colon =)

Afterwards we went to a lovely cafe: Stephanie's Cafe.  Everything is handmade, very cute!

Ended the night with a long....and I mean VERY LONG walk down the Han River...my feet hurt after the night...but a great one!



Korean Thanksgiving

The biggest holiday in Korea is Chuseok, otherwise known as Korean Thanksgiving.  I literally emptied out my savings account to give gifts to all my relatives. It was a nice break.  I had a whoooole week off to explore Korea and spend time with my relatives.  I wish I could've gone somewhere, but it was soo cold. 

This is a picture of my aunt and uncle teaching me how to make "songpyung," the traditional rice cake for Chuseok.  My first songpyung look like huuuuge eggrolls =) I got much better by the middle of the process.

My "obba" cousin and his wife and adorable baby!!

The feast that my aunt had prepared...very yummy!

My uncles and cousins chillin'!!

cute puppy taking a nap from all the Chuseok activities

My cousin took me to Outback...good food.  Oddly enough, I NEVER go to Outback back in Chicago...yet, I went to the one in Korea. I love how you don't have to tip.  They gave us each another bread roll as well as tea at the end, included of course with the meal.

I got some extra money for Chuseok....so, guess what I did???!!!

I went out with my coworkers, yummy food and great drinks!! We had pineapple, grape, and strawberry soju.  My new favorite cocktail is pineapple soju!

My first experience at a "noraebang." It was pretty fancy! It had a drum set, piano, dancing lights, stage...it was great!