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English Festival (Updated!)

Last week the Samcheok Office of Education hosted an English Festival for all of the Elementary and Middle Schools.  This 3 day event was mainly a competition consisting of speeches, skits, and quiz games.  Our school participated in all of the events and Kate and I judged a few of the events as well.  All in all it was a fun few days and a nice break from being at school :).  Here are some pictures from the event.  For the full album visit this page.

I’m also in the process of uploading videos from the event.  They’ll be up soon. UPDATE: They’re up now!

As always – click the image to see a larger version.

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This is MinJae – one of the students in our skit.  He’s amazing… and has the best smile around!

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Our 2nd grader, Hanbit, reading an English story about his mom.  Be sure to check out the video of this… adorable.

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This is Miguem.  Kate wrote about her speech a few weeks ago here. She did a great job!  Again – a video will be up soon. is here!

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These little guys were from another school and they sang and danced to a song called “Do the Elephant!”.  Pretty amazing!!  Check out the video soon!

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We did “Who’s on First” for our skit.  It was pretty great – at least we thought so.  They did a great job and I think they understood it which was great.  This is Who, What, and I don’t know – the players.

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This is Jaeook and Minjae – the fans going to the baseball game.  They’re both really sweet boys in the 6th grade and they did a great job in the skit!

Throughout all of this – Kate was more nervous than any of the students.  But they all did a great job and Kate made it out alright too :)


November 21, 2009   Comments Off

Fall Pictures

I’ve been hoarding a bunch of new pictures for the past few weeks – waiting for a good time to edit them down and post them. So here we are. Be sure to check the captions on the pictures for more information about them. We’ve had some great adventures lately and these hopefully capture a bit of them. I’ve been trigger happy lately ending up with 5 and 6 hundred photos from some trips, so this is definitely a sampling – but it’s really all the pictures anyone would ever actually want to see. :) I’ll be posting some more photosynths of places around Korea soon too. (That’s really where the photo counts go up like crazy! )

Enjoy and please leave a comment!


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November 6, 2009   4 Comments

September Sketches

When we returned from our trip to America I brought back my favorite kind of sketch book. When it comes to drawing I am not a Moleskin fanatic. My best quick sketches come from square sketch books – they can be rectangular or square. Last month I set a goal to do at least two quick sketches every week. I have actually stuck to it. My sketch book has tagged along on every weekend adventure and it has gotten some attention.
I am doing this for many reasons. First of all, when I lived in Cortona I was graded on the sketch book I kept. The result of that exercise was countless memories from my time there. Despite the fact that I express myself visually, I am oblivious to the visual world. Unless I sit down and spend time with it it is lost on me. The other main reason I am doing this is to regain my drawing skills. I used to be good at drawing at I’ve lost that. Painting is an easy way to ignore drawing. Drawing is a fundamental. Without that structure any piece of art, realistic or abstract, is weak.
To hold myself accountable I will be sharing a few of these sketches on my blog. I hope you enjoy them!

Sept 28, 2009, Samcheok-si, South Korea

As you can see, this image is of two sketch merged together. Chad and I climbed the big hill in Samcheok one night to have a picnic. As he snapped pictures I drew the ship yard on the East Sea/Sea of Japan. I did a couple of quick sketches of the shipyard then settled into the one on the left. For better context I did the other sketch – I wanted to remember the contrast of the shipyard and the rolling coast. If you let your eyes wander to the left you can get a little bit of the vast feeling from the ocean.

While I was drawing there was a Korean man with me in the pagoda. He sat for a long time then got up and did a bunch of exercises for a good ten minutes. As he was preparing to go he came up to me and told me that he liked my camera case. My camera case is an old gift card bag from Anthropologie. He was pretty sweet, didn’t speak a word of English. We said good-bye and then Chad arrived for the picnic.

September 5, 2009, Samcheok-si. South Korea, Beach

This is the view south up the coast towards Donghae. We go to Donghae for sandwich sized wheat bread. More than once we have seen huge ships going in and out of that port – once we even saw a submarine! This particular day was one of relaxing in the sand. We were surrounded by Koreans playing in the water. There was a group of Koreans there from a tour bus. They were very enamored with us and one even asked for a picture together. A a little while after he came back because he wasn’t happy with the first picture. I held out my hand and said, “Mon won!” which means “Ten dollars!” Luckily, he laughed.

The next two sketches are from a bit further down the beach in the little cove you can see in the sketch above.

September 29, 2009, Samcheok-si, South Korea, Beach

I drew this on the day of our last cookout on the beach. Every other weekend or so we all go to the beach to grill. In this little grilling cove we are surrounded by rocks, the ocean, a bit of sand, barbed wire, and a military lookout point complete with a gun rest. These lookouts are scattered every kilometer or so along the coast.

September 29, 2009, Samcheok-si, South Korea, Beach

I didn’t finish this sketch but I like it. Gareth and Chad were waiting for the grill to heat up while I sketched. As I started this drawing everyone else arrived. I love drawing figures. I have a long way to go to get back into shape but I still enjoy it.

Well, that is all you get to see from September. I have started using some graphite in October so next month will be very exciting!

*This was also posted on my art blog. Sorry for any doubles!
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I hope everyone is well. We miss you all and can’t wait to get back to the States next spring. (Today marks 300 days until we get married!!!!)

Have a great week!


October 11, 2009   1 Comment