This is a blog to keep our family and friends up to date on our lives even though we all live so far away from each other!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fourty Three

I have officially started volunteer work at a Hakwon (english teaching school) in Korea. I am helping teach little children English. I met a man who owns a Hakwon and he asked if I wanted to volunteer and help the kids with their pronunciation. Of course I said yes! The children are elementary school age through middle school age. It all seems so easy to me. Pronouncing english words. SO easy. The Korean language has different sounds than English. For example, they don't use the sound "r" so they don't know how to use their mouth and tongue to create the sound. That's part of my volunteer work- showing them how to shape their mouths and where to put their tongue. It's interesting. 'B', 'D' and 'V' all sound the same when they are first learning. In fact, they have a hard time with those letters for a while. They can't say 'o' very easily, either. The word "doll" is hard for them, as well. They pronounce it like the word "dull". What I have learned is that the middle schoolers are hard to teach. They are in the "we have to look cool" phase so they won't listen as well, but the elementary kids are so fun. I make silly faces and give them high fives often. They go right along with it. Since they know the names of body parts, I taught them that song "head, shoulders, knees, and toes". The middle school girls didn't really want to participate but the elementary boys thought it was hilarious! We even got their teacher to join in! It's neat to see them learn and hear them say the words correctly.
When I talk to them in basic sentences, I always try to think of funny things to ask them. Today, I asked each of the boys if they had ever kissed a girl. They all giggled profusely and said "No, no, no, no!!" Haha. Very precious.

Other than that, nothing too exciting has happened. Two days ago, we officially surpassed our 6 month time period. We are less than 6 months away from being home! I can't wait. Korea is too much for me sometimes. It has some really great things to offer us, but other times it just is too far away from being like home. I hate not being able to communicate with most people I come in contact with and I will be glad when I can read all the signs in English. It has been a nice experience but these last 6 months can't come fast enough. I've been here about 3.5 months, so total I will have been here about 9 months once we make it back to the states.... *Whew* I'm ready to go! lol

We are going to try and see a movie tonight. Mom mailed me movie popcorn salt from home so I am excited to go eat some tonight. Yum!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fourty Two

*Whew* We are almost completely settled into our new home :) I have been trying to be Susie Home-maker as much as possible!
We haven't eaten out (except once when I went to visit Joshua on his break for lunch one day) since we have moved into our new casa. We have kept right on eating home cooked food. (I'm actually pretty proud that we have been able to continuously save some money by not eating fast food or eating at restaurants!) I'm a pretty awful cook. I can bake like no one's business but cooking is not my strong suite. I have been cooking some pretty simple things since we've gotten the house: meatloaf, sloppy joes, etc. Every time I try to make some major meal, I always fail at it. I just can't get it quite right. [Although I will say all of my desserts have been fabulous :P I even made some yummy cinnamon roll cupcakes with homemade icing. They were divine.] I just hate cooking because I always worry that I won't cook the food thoroughly and someone will end up sick! So I always seem to undercook things in an effort to not OVERcook them... Ugh. Who said it would be this complicated?! :P If anyone has any cooking tips, please feel free to email me lol.
I have fallen in love with a certain part of Korean life. The fish market. It's an covered outdoor market that (you guessed it) sells fish. Different vendors set up to sell fish and they also sell fresh fruits and veggies. The first time I went, I bought about 2 lbs of strawberries for 7,000 won (about $6.00) and bought 3 good sized heads (with the stalks) of broccoli for 2,000 won (about $1.50). Fabulous deals. Today I went with one of the wives that has come to visit. I bought 4 large sized potatoes for 3,000 won ($2.50) and for one head of broccoli for 1,000 won ($.75). The first set of broccoli that I bought, I steamed. This one that I bought, I am going to use in a batch of broccoli, rice and cheese. Joshua's step mom gave me the recipe so I'm very excited to try it out.
At our new apartment, we have a little playground for all the little kids in the complex. Every day when we leave the apartment, we walk right past it. It amazes me how similar children of both cultures are. I will walk past and the Korean children will be playing the same games as you would see American children playing. It's amazing that both sets of kids are unique yet still the same. Ever since I have been here, I have felt like an outsider, but everytime I walk past those kids I feel like I fit in. Those kids are no different than how I was as a child. They roller blade, play on the see saw and they swing like crazy. They even play little fighting games.... Love it.
Off for now. Going to see Joshua at work for a bit as he is still working extra duty with his soldier (it's 9pm here).