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Adventure Fridays…

I’m writing this at my Friday school Kongcheun Elementary 공촌초교. Kate is sitting next to me after an unexpected trip here from her Friday school Jangho Elementary 장호초교. How did we arrive at this pleasant surprise? The story, I will tell…

This morning early, at about 8:20, Kate and I were picked up by Stephane (pronounced – [Stef-awn] – A 40 something single Korean man who enjoys going to singles night at his christian church. His nick-name is Stephane from the time he spent working as a missionary in a French speaking country. We drive the 25 minutes to my school Kongcheun listening to Korean Christian ballads and not really talking much at all. This is all part of the Friday Routine (if you can call it that). I get out at my school and walk up to find many extra cars in the parking lot. (No longer are we on a normal schedule – from here on out it gets more and more random). I walk in to find Principals from other schools, VP’s from other schools and other high up administrators from the ministry of education in Samcheok. This was somewhat expected because today I was teaching in a Demonstration Co-teaching class. We practiced for this last week so that students were well rehearsed. I walked around a met some of the “powerful people” and then we practiced a bit before the class at 10:10. The back of our classroom filled up with observers and we taught a most perfectly rehearsed class. Even the Korean teacher, who doesn’t speak much English, said most of her English directions without having to look at her script. We were all pleased. Then they started to move desks in for some bigger meeting, so I left and went back downstairs. One of the supervisors for Elementary Ed in Samcheok (who has introduced himself to me now, 3 – 5 times, he drinks a lot and already smelled of soju at 9am this morning) came into the office and asked me to come upstairs to discuss our lesson. I obliged and went to sit in on an hour meeting (ALL IN KOREAN) about my co-teacher’s and my class. It was very exciting. :( Then I waited another hour doing nothing but chatting with Kate on gmail about how confused we both were, then ate lunch – a sprawling traditional Korean meal (made by the school cafeteria) including raw octopus, wheh (raw fish), snails, Noodle soup with beef (all I ate) and of course – rice and kimchi. Everyone ate and was merry for 15 minutes and then left. Seriously, it was that fast.
After everyone left, I sat and started to write this post. Then I hear “Chad? ” Whoa it’s Kate!!

Kate’s day was less surprising in the morning. No large crowds of important people or raw Octopus. But, because her principal was at MY school, they had a very relaxed day and decided to out to eat and go fishing. Fishing however is MAN’s Activity, so she was banished to the joy of Kongcheun. Stephane wanted Kate to come fishing, but no one else did :) So they all went out to eat, then drove her to my school and said “Go find your boyfriend”. Then, “Hitting Bong” (seriously, that’s his nick name – his last name is bong) came in and told us we are going to dinner with him and his principal. Then we find out it’s the whole school in celebration of the morning. Now everyone is cleaning up the school, and we are sitting here bored and slightly confused. This is the tale of pretty much every Friday… It’s always an Adventure.

If anything else crazy happens we’ll be sure to update this post. But for now, wish us luck!

October 16, 2008   Comments Off

Hand Art

Intertwined, October 2008, Seoul, Korea
This blog post holds another quirky chunk of our trip to Seoul. The day after we experienced the amazing Hotdog Fry we took a walk to the palace near our hostel. On our way to the palace we noticed a little science museum. We decided to check out the little museum. Our two friends that we were with at the time, Eve and Dave, both worked in a Science museum for kids in England so they were very excited!
At the end of our tour of the museum we noticed a bunch of kids crowded around this station. They were all getting these lovely little personal sculptures. Despite our fast approach to our mid-twenties we decided to koin in the Hand Sculpture fun!
1. Choose pose.
2. Cover hand in lots and LOTS of hand lotion.
3. Soak hand(s) in huge bucket of ice water.
4. Dip hands into the hot wax.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until your hand feels like it is being squished to death and the man helping you dip signals for you to stop.
(I clenched tighter and tighter as the wax got firmer and firmer. I’ve never really been to into sticking my body into hot wax. . .)

6. Watch the Master of Wax-Hand Sculpture shave away any random shoots of wax that protrude from your creation.

7. Pick your colors!

8. Place Hand Sculpture in clear plastic bag so that everyone you pass can see your beautiful creation.

It was fun! Now our Hand Sculpture is sitting on top of our huge TV, I hope it doesn’t melt!

October 16, 2008   Comments Off