land, land, and more land

As much as I want to be in Uganda and helping Sam with the starting steps of our school; I feel like I wouldn’t be of much help.  Let me try to explain.

Sam has been looking at various properties.  It doesn’t sound like the most exciting part of this process to me.  I’m not sure I would be able to look at different places, some of them seemingly very similar, and be able to make a good judgment about how it would be for our school.  Thus, I am very thankful for the effort and work Sam has been putting into this.

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one of the properties

 

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another one
similar, right?

 

First, he has been asking around and trying to find out about different locations for sale.
Then, he has to track it down.  There aren’t really addresses, and not all the roads have names.
There are times he has spent the better part of a day, unsuccessfully, looking for land he heard about.
But, there are really encouraging times as well.  Seeing good property, in a good location, for a decent price.

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it would be so great to get this place or one like it:)

 

So as we mull over the places found and still search out more, please consider helping us be able to purchase the land.
Our target amount, to purchase land, is $28,000.

Click HERE to donate and be a part of our school and the lives of whom we will reach.

 

much love!

 

(If you ever have any questions, please feel free to let me know,  I would love to give you more information:)

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!

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!

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!

 

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