earthquake drills

There are rumors around here of a big earthquake.
The rumors started spreading after the earthquakes we had a couple of weeks ago.
People were saying that we were going to have a big one this past Thursday or Friday.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

But, recently with the shifting of Earth plates and what not, Korea is no longer safe from them.  It has moved into the “ring of fire.”
The shift has put Korea in a place where if a big one happens in Japan, we will feel it here. (Sorry my geological lingo isn’t the best:)

We have practiced earthquake drills at school.  Teachers have specific roles/duties for each announcement and the kids are learning what they need to do.


some of the students doing what they do best, being kids

 

All that to say, we are safe, but please keep us and this place in your prayers.

 

much love!

earthquakes and hanbok

I’m not sure if it made world news, but we had a couple of earthquakes here Monday night.
The epicenter was in a different city, about 15 miles from ours.
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map with the earthquakes

The first happened while we were in a store, shopping.
The second, was while we were walking home.It was the first time for Sam to experience an earthquake, and he experienced the biggest earthquake recorded in South Korea.

Don’t worry, we are fine.
In our house, only a small container fell off of the shelf it had been on.I want to have a smooth transition here, but honestly, I can’t think of anyhting creative to say:)
So, I will just start telling you the we had a big event at my school today.
Actually, many schools had a special event today.

This Thursday is Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving (I wrote a bit about it here).  We have a three day holiday, starting tomorrow.  Thus today was a big Chuseok party for our kindergarten kids.I had to go to school early today, in order to go on one of the vans to pick kids.

Of course, I had to wear traditional Korean clothes, a hanbokimg_0324with two of the other foreign teachers

 

The kids were adorable in their hanbok as they played traditional games and did other Chuseok activities.img_0338discussing the deep, philosophical things of a seven year old life

 

img_0326I was in charge of the hopscotch 

 

We don’t get very many breaks from school here, so I am excited for this five day weekend!

 

much love!

fun end to a weekend

Adjusting to this (can I still say new?) married life has its challenges, but it’s also very good.
There may be a lot more dishes and cleaning.
But, it’s exciting to do life with and see the world through someone else’s eyes.

Such as the potential of going to a baseball game for the first time. Granted, I have never been to a Korean baseball game, so that was pretty cool for me, too.
The only thing is, it was cancelled, due to rain, before it even started.

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outside the stadium

 

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inside the stadium

 

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in our seats, waiting for it to start

 

So…we ended up going bowling.
Which was also a first for Sam.
And he was a natural at it.
He scored over 100 in the first game; and halfway through he was giving me advice to try to improve my game.

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bowling

 

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bowling!

 

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the group we were with

 

much love!

the day i changed my name

Back in the month of March, in a land not so close to Korea, or America, a pretty momentous occasion happened.  If you’ve read my blog before, or you know me, you’ve probably already guessed the location – Uganda.
But, what was the occasion?
I was in a wedding.  This wedding though, I wasn’t one of the bridesmaids, I was the bride!

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with my new husband

 

From the time I was little, I was never one of the girls that planned her future wedding.  There were little thoughts or ideas, here and there, but that was about it.
Let me tell you, this wedding was beyond anything I ever would have imagined or thought of.
I was surprised by some of the different details of the day, and just the sheer amount of people there.
It was amazing though, if I do say so myself.

So without further ado, here are some pictures of the day.
The day Sam and I started our new life together.

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with the wedding party after breakfast

 

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the band that lead the way to the church

 

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our line of cars being surrounded by the kids

 

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do you see how many people there were – and there were many more inside

 

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walking up the aisle with my dad

 

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my parents giving me away

 

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with Sam

 

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our families

 

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Sam and I ready to go to the reception

 

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the wedding party

 

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with Elizabeth, my matron

 

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some dancing and entertainment for the guests

 

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dancing back in after a change of clothes

 

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feeding each other the cake

 

We were surrounded by so much love, joy, and excitement.
This was a day I don’t think I will ever forget; so, so great.

 

much love!

lots of rice and a cold hike

If you are living outside of Asia, you might not have known we celebrated Lunar New Year’s a couple of weeks ago.
In Korea, it is called 설날 – or Seolnal.
Lunar New Year’s is more important than the changing of the calendar year on January 1st.

For this holiday, families gather together.
The younger generation bows to the older generation.
The older generation typically gives kids money for luck in the new year.
And many families pay respects to their ancestors.
There is a traditional dduk, or rice cake, soup.  There are also a couple of sweets made from rice.

What did I do for this holiday?
Well, of course we had a big party at school on Friday for all of our kindergarten kids.
One of the other foreign teachers and I had to teach bowing – like we know how to bow better than the kids.  Haha.

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with two of the other foreign teachers, Shea and Abraham, in our hanbok

 

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intently listening to the presentation about 설날 traditions

 

Then, with three days, out of my five day weekend, I went with three friends up to Soraksan.
What is Soraksan, you might ask?
It’s a beautiful mountain in the north-east of South Korea.

On Saturday, we traveled, hiked all day Sunday, then traveled back on Monday.
We weren’t necessarily prepared for how much snow was there, but it was definitely worth it.
The climb was cold, at times painful (I may have fallen more than twice:), but the views were beautiful.
The company was not too bad either!

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Erin, Alisha, and Kirstin
quite the surprise to get off the bus to more snow than you’ve seen all year, yet be staring at the ocean!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmost of our walk was like this, snow and ice-covered – but also add in hills and stairs!

 

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view from part way up

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAErin, Kirstin, Alisha, and me on the top of Ulsanbawi Rock!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAabout to hike to the waterfall – which ended up being frozen

 

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from the waterfall “observatory” – you could see the ocean in the distance

 

much love!

 

30 by 30

I feel as though I’ve mentioned this before, I’m not a big goal setter.
I’m not really sure why that is; I’ve just always been that way.

Well, I have had one goal for the past few years.
At first it seemed rather doable.
For a while it seemed bleak.
And honestly, until a little less than a month ago, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be fulfilled.

But, today was the day.
Today, when I walked through immigration and rode the train into the city, I entered my 30th country before the age of 30.

Maybe a semi-lame goal, but when I heard a friend mention it a few years ago, I thought it was cool and wanted to do that myself.

So where did I go?

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maybe this will help – but maybe not!

 

Any guesses?!
If you said Hong Kong, you would be absolutely correct!

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looking back at the sky-line, after getting off the ferry

 

Although it was cloudy and even started sprinkling a bit, I enjoyed a little (teeny-tiny:) taste of Hong Kong.
Didn’t do anything too exciting.  Mostly just walked around and found my dad one of his favorite candies in the world!

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this is monkey:)

 

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before I  got back on the ferry

 

much love!

 

ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding

Back in 2013, this video was really popular in America.
Being in Uganda at the time, I had no idea.
But last year, a couple of my friends introduced it to me, in an effort to explain why foxes had become such a popular design on clothing, jewelry, bags, and home decor.

 

If you’ve never seen it, or it’s been a while, I think you should take a couple minutes and watch it now.  It’ll definitely help the rest of my story make sense:)

So Thursday, as I was teaching one of my Hollywood Kids classes (where we put on musicals); we were going over the Gingerbread Man story.  I would turn a page in the book and ask what happened.
As you read this conversation, try picturing me talking with a class of eight Korean 6 year olds.
Maybe this picture will help you remember how small and cute my kids are:

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walking back to the bus on one of our field trips

 
Back to class…
“Oh, grandmother and grandfather wanted a child, then what did they say?”
Next Page.  “Who did the Gingerbread Man meet next?”
“A cow!”
“And what did the cow say?  “You look yummy or I want to be your friend?”
“Look yummy”
“Who did he meet after the cow?”
“A horse!”
“What did the horse say to him?”
“Eat you”
“And what animal did the Gingerbread Man meet next?”
“A chicken!”
“What did the chicken say?”
“You look yummy.”
“Who did he meet next, a goat or a fox?”
“A fox!”
“And what did the fox say?”
“What does the fox say. Ha-ti-ha-ti-ha-ti-ho! Ha-ti-ha-ti-ha-ti-ho! Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow!  What does the fox say?!”

As soon as I uttered the question, “What does the fox say?,” I thought of the song.  But it made my day when my students started sining it.
I don’t think it could have been better if the moment had been planned.

It’s those moments
Those moments get me through each day and every week.
My kids are so precious and make me smile.

 

much love!