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Sports Day

Sports Day consisted of warm up stretches, speeches in Korean, speeches in Korean, cheering and running, relay races, games, relay races, games, cheering, dancing, really races and speeches in Korean. Oh, and the teachers all were a uniform and the kids all wear white. The kids are then tagged with either yellow or blue to designate which team they are on.

Finish Line!

Tug of War!

This is Teacher Kim. She acts as out co-teacher and English speaking connection!! She has been absolutely wonderful to us. She usually teaches at a Guendeok branch school but the branch school joined us for sports day!

Chicken fighting. Falling. Like what we weren’t supposed to do in the pool when we were kids. The do it on the ground as part of school.

Aerobics. . . what we would call organized dance party for minors. We practiced the dance with them. Pretty fun. We’ll show you when we get back. At my other school, Jang Ho, the students wore spandex midriff and back exposing, bell bottoms, corp tops and halter-mini dresses. Electric green and yellow with kelly green ruffles. Whoa Nellie.

Dress the little guys in clown outfits for their relay race!

Not only the kids do relay races. The parents are major participants in Sports Day. Sometimes they are competing alongside the children, other times against each other. My favorite of the parents vs. parents games is the one bellow.

1. Inflate balloons.
2. Place filled balloon into a huge trash bag.

3. Compare balloon-stuffed trash bag height.

4. Relay race with the balloon-stuffed trash bags.

For sports day Chad and I were assigned to stamp the kids 1st, 2nd, or 3rd when they cross the finish line. Then we made them sit down in their respective line and wait to be escorted back to the holding area for the children. It was a fun way to get LOTS of high-fives in.

During one of my stamp and squat sessions teacher Kim (our English speaking guide) ran over to me, dragged me over to a line-up of mothers with their children and stuck me in a mother place. She told me “You are his mother,” and ran off. No direction, just go with the Korean flow, Kate. The first kid I was mother to was not happy to be stuck with the tall white woman as his Mom, the second held my hand and my third child was incredibly cold and then told me “Good job!” in English when I caught the ball on our turn.

This kid is the only one that held my hand as I played surrogate Mom.

After I acted as Sports Day Guardian to a few children Chad got to play Mom too. The teachers thought he looked sad because he didn’t get to play. :)
He caught it!
Waiting for out turn.
We had to squat the whole time. They constantly squat for EVERYTHING! Have we mentioned that? Western knees don’t work that way.

We won!!

Our VP is the little guys in the blue baseball cap. He is pouring beer for everyone at lunch. The lunch that preceded the noontime beer drinking consisted of lavish sea things. . .Raw? Not sure.

Have fun? We did!


September 28, 2008   1 Comment

Sports Day and the Nore-Bang…

Sports day finally came – the kids did their dances, ran their races, and hoolad their hoops. It was kind of amazing. But I’ll leave the details of that post to Kate on another day… We have a TON of pictures from the day so they’ll all be up soon too :) – Just wait, it was great. I’m writing about… what happened after Sports day….Teacher Kim (our pseudo-co-teacher Loves Nore-bang!)

After Sports day All of the teachers and staff went out for a traditional Korean Meal. We ate lots of Samgyupsal (삼겹살) and had a great time. The meal is basically strips of pork that are grilled at the table with a few veggies, then wrapped in lettuce with a spicy pepper sauce, radishes, and other veggies. It’s very interactive and communal – like most other Korean food. Kate and I are veterans to this meal as we had it the first night we were in Samcheok. Many of you know that alcohol is a huge part of the Korean dinning experience and their general culture. In small doses this can be kind of fun and freeing. People who never even make eye contact with you normally are “empowered” and want to say every English work they know for you. As this was our first full gathering of the school since we arrived we were treated like the guests of honor and asked many questions about everything from the states to what we call noisy children. :o) I sat across from the principle which was very intimidating as he is known for being “the best with Soju”. Soju is a drink, a lot like vodka, but not quite as strong (but just a gross). So you can understand how sitting here made me weary. The tradition is that you never pour your own drink; someone hands you their glass and you take it – they pour soju into the cup and you drink it. Visa versa… in other words everyone uses everyone’s glass and it’s very jolly and scary. It’s not polite to refuse so you learn (quickly) to say just a little, and thank you quickly as they pour. Then pour it into the other glass you have and sip slowly… That’s my strategy at least. This is only important to understand how the next part of the post happens so naturally. But enough about that… (Hi grandma :o)

We ate and were merry, then decided to go to Nore-bang. (I’m leaving out a pretty important part about a shift in dynamic between the men and women that Kate and I were pretty happy with, but I’ll leave that also for her to explain.) So Nore-Bang… literally “Singing Room” – aka Korean Karaoke, only in a smaller room with just the people you are with… not a bunch of strangers. For those of you from IU – Think Japonai. So imagine what Kate and I were expecting – from our experiences with karaoke in the states… awkward fun. …. no……..

This is Nore-Bang. Even Kate sang!! Everyone gets into it…

Crazyness!! Everyone just loves it… even our really quiet reserved Vice Principle.

Anyways… that was our Tuesday night last week. :)
We spent the rest of the week planning lessons for next week (our first week of teaching) and we spent this past weekend hiking in Taebaek with our friends Michael and Melanie for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving). More on that later. Friday we’re having a Grilled Cheese party.. :) It’s the little things like cheese that you’d never think you’d miss so much….

-Adios Muchachos! (I also miss mexican food…)

September 17, 2008   2 Comments