new year. new project.

New Year’s Eve, three years ago, I was celebrating the countdown in Germany, while my heart was in Uganda.

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New Year’s Eve in Berlin

 

A few days ago, I was bringing in the New Year in South Korea, while my heart was in Uganda.
This year, my heart is even more so in Uganda than before, as my husband is there right now.

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Sam on an outing with our family, the day after New Years

 

Why would my husband go to Uganda and leave me in Korea?
Great question.  So glad you asked:)
We have started a new ministry, called CITY; one of our first projects is starting a school.
CITY comes from the words, Christ’s Identity, which is an important part of all we do.

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our logo

 

CITY’s first school will be a nursery and primary school; basically the equivalent of pre-school through middle school.  The name of the school will be Christ’s Identity Nursery and Primary School.
There is a lot that goes into starting a school, as you can imagine.  The first step we need to take is buying land, so we can start construction of the buildings.

Sam has been asking around and checking out different potential properties. We are hoping to get at least two acres.
So far, it looks like the cost will be around $28,000.
Although that might seem like a lot of money, I think it is reasonable for a decent amount of land and for it to be in a good location.

How will we raise all of that money?
If I am completely honest, I don’t know.
But I do know that God will provide; whether it is through you, or maybe even someone you know.

Please consider partnering with us to help build our school.
Also, if you have any connections or suggestions of someone we should reach out to, to help with this endeavor, please let me know.

All donations are tax-deductible!
We have partnered with an organization called The Cause.  Any money you would like to send to us / CITY, please do so through The Cause.

Find out more information on how to give HERE.
or
You can click HERE to donate!

Thank you in advance for wanting to be part of what we are doing in Uganda.

 

much love!

sometimes three pairs of socks isn’t enough

When I was little, I loved snow.  Not only was it fun, but it was beautiful.
I never really enjoyed driving in it, but the beauty made up for that.
There was even a time I would have said winter was my favorite season.

The past few years though, have been quite different.
Now, I don’t look forward to cold or snow.
I look outside in the morning, not with anticipation, but with dread, that there will be snow.

Although, this year, there is a tiny part of me that wants snow.
I want my Ugandan husband to see snow for the first time!

Coming to Korea, he has experienced many new things, including the weather.
He has now become a professional layerer; including his socks and scarves.

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bundled up for outings in the snow

 

It’s been fun for me to experience season changes, for the first time, with him.
He loves the fall leaves as much as I do.

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of course we took a leaf picture:)
although the colors aren’t quite as good here as in America

 

He also was able to experience American[ish] Thanksgiving for the first time.
The children’s English class we help with on Sunday mornings, at the church, had a Thanksgiving meal the Sunday after.  I was excited for macaroni and cheese (it’d been a long time since I had had cheese).  He really enjoyed the stuffing.

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at the Thanksgiving meal

 

As we are well into the holiday season this year, we hope you are able to take time and reflect on some of the things you are thankful for this year.
Also, that you can enjoy time with friends and family.

 

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!

 

hanbok and a holiday

At school last Tuesday, we celebrated Chuesok.
You may be asking, “What is Chuesok?”
It is a big Korean holiday in the fall, and is often called Korean Thanksgiving.
There are different cultural customs that go into celebrating this holiday, and normally it is observed for three days.
This year, Chuseok fell on Sunday [27th] so we had Monday and Tuesday with no school [28th and 29th]!

Back to celebrating at school…
The five foreign teachers were asked to wear hanbok [traditional Korean outfit] for the celebration.
I had volunteered to ride in one of the vans in the morning to help greet kids, to make this day a little more special.  When our students started entering dressed in their own hanbok, I was surprised.
They were adorable!

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in my hanbok – apparently it was a fusion dress (not quite traditional)

 

IMG_7115with Kate and Shea, the other two female foreign teachers, before the festivities

 

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the kids in hanbok and the hats they made

 

IMG_6595isn’t she adorable?!

 

IMG_6618and one more, because he’s pretty cute as well!

 

Not only was Chuseok a good reason to get dressed up and have a party at school, but having a four day weekend was also pretty great.
I took full advantage of the time off of school and Korea’s close proximity to other countries.
What did I do for Chuseok?
I’ll let you know soon:)

 

much love

 

microphones and malaria

When I returned from Uganda, I planned to give you an update on the Hallelujah Project.
I thought that would have been posted by now.  But you know, school started back up right away, I got malaria, and have needed rest, lots of rest.
And yesterday was Open Class – parents come in for a few hours on a Saturday to watch us teach their precious children.
No big deal, right?
WRONG!
The past couple of weeks have been prep for this special day.
Prepping materials and practicing with the kids.
We have to make a specific lesson, make posters or other materials, and work on pronunciation and what not with our classes.

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my materials for my two classes

 

This past Monday, was my final day taking malaria medicine, which I don’t normally feel so great when on the tablets.  So in my mind I thought I will wake up Tuesday and be strong and healthy again.
Tuesday I woke up and was starting to lose my voice.  Each day I had less and less of a voice.  Saturday, when I was greeting my co-teacher, she decided I needed to wear a microphone in order for parents to hear me.

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I felt like a tour guide or a game show host!

 

My body still feels exhausted a lot faster than normal.  But, I am making sure to eat well and get a lot of rest (so no one is allowed to worry – I am fine:)
Open Class is over!
One of our Hollywood Kids performances is over (we did that as well yesterday) – My six year olds put on the Ugly Duckling.
I have another group of six year olds doing the Ugly Duckling this Wednesday evening.

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the costume rack and where they put on the performance

 

Now that open class is over, I will be writing more soon about my trip back to Uganda.

 

much love!

 

what does it take?

Sometimes in life, we are asked questions to which we don’t have the answers.
Other times, there are questions asked where we have an answer in words and feelings from experience.

So what does it take to learn a new language?
time
practice
lessons
You know, all of the logical answers.  But I the one I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately is passion.
I think it takes passion and desire to learn a new language.  I’m sure there are people who learn without that, but at least in my life and in the students I see, that makes a big difference.

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during one of my Korean classes

 

Last week, I finished the very basic level Korean class.  But I feel like I don’t really know anything; and besides reading, it’s hard for me to implement what I do know.
Although I want to learn Korean to communicate better here, I find it difficult to study, and I easily become distracted.  There are times I even start looking up words in Luganda [the language I learned in Uganda].

 

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my Luganda notebook

 

When I was learning Luganda, it was so much different for me.  I kept wanting to learn more and take more in.  I still become enthralled looking through my notes or learning new words.

In my students, I see passion being important as well.  The ones who don’t care or want to learn English, I don’t see as much progress as the ones who have enthusiasm for it.

I think this is applicable in other parts of life as well, but, recently I have been thinking about languages:)

 

much love

 

overdue for an update

Many days I think about writing a blog.
Then something happens and the blog gets put on the back burner.
What comes up?
Day to day that varies…
somedays it’s having extra work that needs to be done for school – like comments or plans
or maybe prepping for science project or an English Village day
sometimes it’s a friend asking me for dinner or coffee
other times it’s Korean class or needing to study my Korean
then there are the days when I am just too tired

For those of you that have been asking yourself (or even me:) things are going well.
Yes, I am adjusted.
In all honesty, I don’t really feel like there was a big time of adjustment for me.
When I came here, it was a new country, and I needed to learn what the food was like and get used to how life is done here.
Really, my adjustment was more to working in this school and being a teacher.
So, besides teaching at school every week, what have I been up to in Korea?
Quite a bit actually.
I have been hiking a few times

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view from my last hike

 

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from the first time I went hiking here – Mt. Apsen, overlooking Daegu

 

eating some great food
and desserts:)

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bing su, with my friend Colette

 

going to a beautiful island

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on Namhae

 

attempting to learn Korean
trying to keep in touch with people from America and Uganda
making friends and hanging out with them

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with some of my friends here

 

As busy as my days and weeks may be, I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have to be living here and doing this.

 

much love!