S: Loving the Adventures of LIFE: Gunsan, South Korea June '09-'10
FC: so many | Loving the Adventures of LIFE: Gunsan, South Korea June '09-'10
1: Our Home in Gunsan, South Korea June 2009-June 2010
2: Our travels went really smoothly. It was really long but we are grateful that we didn’t have any holdups. We headed to the Salt Lake airport at about 7:30 Tuesday morning and when we arrived in Seoul, South Korea it was 11 pm Wednesday night in Korea, which is 8 am Wednesday in Utah.
3: Jennifer, the principle at the school we are working for, picked us up at the bus station in Gunsan around noon. First she took us to the school we’ll be working at to show us around a little bit. It is a very small school. There are just 4 small classrooms that fit about 12-15 students squished in. And then there are 2 teacher offices. Then she took us to our apartment that is about a 15 minute walk away. We have a great view of the city from our balcony. The shower is kind of funny because there is no stall it is just a hose that goes up from the sink and hangs on the wall. I really love it here. The people are so nice. We have the coast and the mountains close and a lot to do in the city.
4: GUNSAN, South Korea
6: HAPPY | We teach students from about 8 years old to 16 or so. The kids go to a regular school in the morning, and then come to English + (the name of our academy) after that. I am still not sure how the Korean education system works, but it appears that the younger students get out of school first, and the older they are the longer they stay in school. So we start teaching at 3pm, and our first classes are the youngest students, about 8-10 years old. Our last classes of the night are from 8-9pm, and on Mondays I teach a 9-10pm class. The last classes of the day are the oldest students, 15-16 years old. My biggest class has only had about 8 students in it, I really like that. After teaching classes of 25-30 students, 8 students seems almost like one-on-one. Our part of the teaching job at the school is to mostly get the students comfortable with speaking English and getting their pronunciation accurate. The Korean teachers mostly deal with the grammer part of it. A big thing that they want the students to be able to do is form sentences. If you ask them something they almost always just give one word answers. So I ask them a lot of questions during class. I have them answer first with their one word answers and then I demonstrate how to properly answers with a complete sentence and then I have them repeat me. It has seemed to work pretty well. They are gradually catching on and I will sometimes get a proper answer. When that happens it is so exciting.
7: Vicky's drawing of Mr. Waite
8: SPICY SPICY SPICY | So we heard that the food is spicy and that is definitely true. Everything is very spicy. Liji and I are lucky that we like spicy food and have gotten ourselves used to it by eating a lot of spicy food because the food is even very spicy for us. If it was any spicier I don’t think I could eat it. Liji can handle really spicy also and it is almost too spicy for him. There had also been a lot of sea food and I’m having a hard time adjusting to that. Even food that is not fish, tastes like fish. They serve a lot of seaweed type food.
9: Today we went to this huge marketplace that we found as we were on our way home from exploring yesterday. When we left it looked like it might rain so we took our rain jackets but we were definitely not prepared for the storm that came. Looking around in the market was fine because there was a roof overhead. They had a lot of clothes, fabric, bedding, drapery, shoes, and food there. I don’t know if I will ever adjust to the putrid smell of dried fish. They seem to have fish just out drying everywhere and it just smells so so bad of rotting meat. There was some animal cut in half and laying out to be sold. The smell was bad but we couldn't tell what it was until closer inspection. Yep, that is a dog paw! It’s really hard looking around at buying stuff without speaking Korean because they are very aggressive sellers even in the grocery stores. If you stop to look at something for longer than 5 seconds they’re following you and shoving everything at you. They seem so upset when I seem interested in something and then don’t end up buying it. We tried to shop long enough to wait out the storm that was going on outside but finally decided that we were just gonna have to get soaked. So we tried to get all of our stuff under our rain jackets we brought and headed home on our bikes. Needless to say we were drenched in less than a minute. We had a lot of fun and at least it was warm rain. It was actually kind of refreshing. | Public Marketplace
11: MAKING MEMORIES
12: The Singing Room
13: Touring the Fire Station
14: Professional Baseball Game
15: It's The Little Things In Life That Matter | Fire across from our Apt.
16: Cute Kids and Husband This last week the kids in my class have been telling me that I'm hot. It was kind of embarrasing me and I didn't know how to respond to that because I didn't really know why they would be saying that to me. So I pretty much just ignored them and would move on. Finally Ben, a boy in one of my classes, told me that Mr. Waite had been giving his classes the homework assignment to tell me that I'm hot. And then Ben said he thought that Mr. Waite really liked me. I asked Liji if he had told them to tell me that part also and he said he hadn't. So the kids had just inferred that on their own. Cute! | 8 Crazy Boys One of the classes that Liji and I teach consists of 8, 13 year old boys and they are off the wall. You might be thinking, oh that's a small class size. Yes, they are boys but how difficult could it be. But they are literally 8 of the silliest, most hyper, crazy boys you will ever meet. Liji just gets sucked into their crazyness and they have a ball together in his class. For me however it is a bit more difficult. I think I must try too hard to keep them in line and quiet so we can actually have a lesson. Because by the time their class is through I'm usually on the verge of ripping my hair out or just breaking down in hysterical laugher from the things I have just witnessed these boys do. Just to give you a little idea of what an average class with them is like; I will give you a little description. First I have got to get everyone to stop singing and talking long enough to start a lesson. They do well for a few minutes then I've got to yell at someone for standing up on top of their chair or on top of the table for some odd reason; I'm not really sure why they do that. It is mostly 2 of the boys inparticular that do that. We move on and then I've got to tell someone to put their shirt down and stop showing off their chest. I've got to tell Wade to stop banging on his desk like a drum, Jim to stop mauling Alex and practically kissing him; when he then tells me that he loves Alex. (They are not gay, it's just part of the culture to be very touchy, feely.) Then I've got to tell Hunter to get down from standing on his chair again. Tony has got to stop using his dictionary playing a game so I take that away. Then I take away a razor blade from Jeff who is using it to cut and sharpen the plastic case from his pencil lead. Throughout all this I'm also trying to ignore Wade constantly saying to me, "Your, Hot. I love you." I tell someone to get down off their chair about 3 more times and someone to stop singing about 10 times. We finally make it throught the lesson and so I decide we'll have a little fun and play a game. I ask everyone to stand up. That was a bad idea. I now have 8 boys standing up, dancing around the room, singing, and some hugging eachother. Utter chaos. They finally calm down enough so they can listen to my instructions on the game we will be playing. We have fun playing and then, finally, class is over! And I am exhausted. This is no exaggeration! Liji loves having them, but for some reason the schedule always ends up that I am having them a few times a week, when we normally only have the same class about 1 or 2 times a week. I am getting much better at having them and things are starting to go well, so I'm not quite so tired at the end. But man, these boys are definately an experience.
17: Being A Celebrity Since being here in Korea I feel as though I'm sort of a celebrity. Everywhere we go people are staring. Liji and I like to go to a school field across the street from us to play frisbee together. Well it's funny because we'll look over at the school and there is all these heads poking out the window watching us and chatting about us. So we wave and that gets them so excited. Many of the older men that we pass on the streets seem so excited to try and talk to us in English, even though they may only know 3 words. They are seriously so excited. They say "Hi, Hello, OK!" it's so funny. I've always said that my hair is stawberry blonde, or I just say red. Well no one here seems to know what my hair color is. Many adults and kids have asked me what I call my hair color. They all think that it is either blonde or brown; kind of funny. They just don't really have any red heads over here. So now that they've gotten more comfortable with me one little girl got brave enough to start playing with my hair. Then all the other 10 and 11 year old girls in my first class saw her, so now they all want to play with my hair. They are like so fascinated by it. Yesterday about 15 minutes before my first class I had about 5 kids in my office surrounding my chair braiding and playing with my hair. I loved it; it felt great. They ended up styling it in two braids that were then tied together at the bottom. It was so good I left it in all day. I wanted to get a picture of the style but we didn't have our camera, sorry. Maybe later. The kids are also really fascinated by my green eyes. During class one will just be staring up at me and then when I ask them what they are looking at they are like: "your eyes, what color?" It's so funny.
19: Yesterday Liji and I were able to go with one of the base branch members on a base tour of the DMZ (de-militarized zone) between N. and S. Korea. It turned out to be a very long and exciting day. Since it costs about $13 dollars to take a taxi out to the base one way we thought we would wake up just a bit earlier and ride our bikes out there. I was thinking ok, yea that will be good to wake up early and get some exercise in. To get onto base you have to be checked in by one of the air force men. So Michael, our friend, was meeting us at the main gate at 6 am. We took off on our bikes at 5:20am thinking that would be plenty of time. But we had sorely underestimated the distance, and even though we did get there right at 6 we had been booking it the whole time. A lot of it was up hill so we were pretty tired when we got there. We walked out to where the bus would be picking everyone up at 6:40, then while we waited I went into a bathroom and changed from the jeans I was wearing to some shorts. We wore pants because they had said the dress code was pretty tight, but when we got there lot’s of people were wearing shorts and it was really hot so I went and changed. Well in the pocket of my jeans I had placed my base visitor’s card that you are supposed to always have with you while on base and then you need it to get off base. Well I’m pretty sure that while I was changing that card fell out of my pocket. I didn’t notice then but I did later in the day and it caused a lot of grief later on. So we headed out on the bus for a 4 hour bus ride to the DMZ. We stopped along the way twice at different sight-seeing places and to eat lunch. So it wasn’t until about 2:30 in the afternoon that we were actually at the DMZ. It was so crazy to see all the guards and stuff with their weapons and to see how serious this line between N. and S. Korea actually is. I learned so much about the Korean War and the ongoing conflicts that these two countries have had over the years. You can mostly see everything that we were able to see in the pictures that follow. There was however a lot of places that we couldn’t take pictures at because they wouldn’t let us. We got to go into this very deep and long tunnel that the S. Koreans discovered a number of years ago that the N. Koreans has built to try and get into their country for an attack. Coming back up out of that tunnel was a huge work-out in and of itself. It was 400 yds. at an 11% grade. I hope you enjoy all the pictures we took, and that it will give you a feel for what it’s like there. It was so interesting to see all of this. At one point we were surrounded on 3 sides by N. Korea. And there is just this guard who stands there all day watching the tour groups go through with binoculars. So we headed home after all the site-seeing and arrived back at the Gunsan Air Base at 11pm. Well because I had lost my visitors card the sheriff had to come out in his car and take us to the police department so I could make a statement about what happened with my card and then it wasn’t until midnight that they finally let us off the base. It was sprinkling as we came out and it was so late that we thought about taking a taxi but there weren’t any around so we just decided to head out on our bikes. Of course just as we start going the rain picks up and it really starts to downpour. I was just laughing so hard when that happened. Some of the things that I have done since being here I just can’t even believe that I’m doing them so I can’t help but laugh at the situations that Liji and I get ourselves in. I thought it was actually really fun riding our bikes home early this morning. We got home at 1 am drenched and happy with our fulfilling day. Today Liji looked up how far we went and it was about 8.5 miles one-way, from what we can tell. On the bike ride out to the base I thought that there was a lot up-hill, so I was thinking, ok, on the way home it should be mostly down-hill. Well, instead it seemed that there was even longer up-hill parts on the way home. So I was telling Liji this as we were riding home in the rain and he was trying to tell me that it was because the Earth had rotated. So at night what was down-hill in the morning was now up-hill at night. What do you think; is Liji telling me the truth? DMZ
20: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories. ~Cathy Allen | Sucheon Mud Flats
22: YUMMY SUSHI | Lot's of EATING | Kimchi
23: Mission Zone Blitz The elders had planned for me to go out and proselyte with one of the missionaries, but when we found out that Christina did not have anyone to go with we had to change our plans. A missionary suggested that both Christina and I accompany a missionary, which sounded good to me. Before we could finalize our plans, the ward mission leader began insisting very loudly and forcefully that we go with him. I had better explain about this particular member. We cannot understand a single word he says because he speaks Korean. At times he attempts to speak English but we can never understand him. Whenever he says anything, everyone bursts out laughing; I guess he is just a funny guy. When he started saying that we should go with him, we didn’t know what was going on. He kept pointing to us and saying something really loudly. Sometimes I think he is yelling, but the missionaries told me that he just gets excited and talks louder than he needs to. Anyways we ended up going with him to visit a less active member; she is a fifteen year old girl who speaks English better than most of the students at our academy. We invited her to church but she didn’t come, but we are excited to know someone that we can fellowship. We are making plans about how we can help her feel welcome at church. When she does come back, she will be the only young woman. After visiting the less active member we went back to the church and watched part of “The Testaments” in Korean. Part way through the movie I got to go on splits with a missionary, we knocked doors and actually got into an apartment which I guess is pretty rare. The elder translated for me so I could share my testimony. Later in the evening, there was a fireside, Christina and I both spoke about Joseph Smith’s first vision.
24: These are the four guards of the Temple. They guard the four directions: North, South, East and West. | Buddhist Temple Area
25: This is Lim Ji Sun. She is 14 and we just met her and her family last week. We have been wanting to play badminton but when we had tried to find it we ended up coming home unsuccessful after a few hours of searching the city on our bikes. Ji Sun had said she knew where the courts were so she became our travel guide and this time the morning was a great success.
27: We took a ferry to Sun Yu Island. It is only a 1 and a half hour ride and the island was beautiful. There weren't many people there either which was nice because it seems like everywhere here is very crowded; especially the popular tourist spots. We even found a small little secluded beach that we had all to ourselves. The water was not that clear but the temperature was perfect. There were jelly fish everywhere. I was scared at first and made Liji touch one before I'd come very far into the water. It didn't sting him so then I got in and eventually even got brave enough to pick one up myself.
28: Fun At Daecheon Beach!!
30: A family is pieced together with hope and faith. A family is quilted and bound with love and grace.
34: GOAL! | Play Ball! | Jeonju Soccer | The Fans
35: Our ward on the other hand went undefeated. All the teams played 9 man volleyball so that we could have everyone on the court playing and they do not rotate. After playing we all enjoyed eating some watermelon and dumplings together, and some popsicles for dessert. | Gunsan Ward!
36: We met the Lim family at 1:00 for lunch and spent the whole afternoon with them. Ji Sun's parents don't speak English so she has to translate the whole time but she does really well. She is so smart.
37: Sister Che spent a whole hour with me washing my facing, doing the skin peeling and putting this laser on my face that kills the germs under the skin. It was so nice and relaxing. She did it all for free. I went to her again on Monday of this week. The Asian have such beautiful skin I am excited to try out and learn more of their treatments.
39: TOURING JEONJU
40: Friends are Flowers that Never Fade | Elder Kang | Elder Jeong | Jud Yeon and Chi Hoon | Zarai | President Ault
41: Elder Truhaft
43: You Make My Sun Shine | Recently the Elders have been teaching the Gospel lessons to a man named Aaron; he is actually from China though and that is his English name. Liji and I have been able to sit in a few lessons with him and we have really been touched by him. He is just so humble and sincere. About 2 Sundays ago we were able to listen to Aaron's first prayer, and it was such a spiritual experience. I've never been able to be a part of something so humbling and I am so grateful for this mans strength and wonderful example to me, it has been so good to get to know him, and feel of the love that our Heavenly Father has for all of his children, especially those who are just finally coming to him for the first time.
44: Can never take too many pictures! I love summer! | Best summer ever! | SCHOOL BBQ
45: We loved Preparing Sunday Meals on Base | Chaplain Colon
46: Summer Time!
48: Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination. | Bird Festival
49: Korea's Memorial Day | IKSAN Dinosaur & JewlryMuseum
50: Buddhist Temple | Exploring | Winding Trail | We found Jinsi Falls the beginning of Oct. and loved it so much we had to bring our friends back.
51: Hiking | Eating Lunch | On the top of the Falls
52: Leaves of all Colors
53: Fall Photo Shoot
54: Trick or Treat
55: FHE at the Orphanage
56: When we first got here we boiled all our drinking water, but then we found these spring fountains that they have set up at a few places around town. Now every couple of weeks we get to feel somewhat like the pioneers and take a trip to the well:) | This last Tuesday Liji got off work early because a student wouldn't be coming, so he secretly did some shopping and then hid the food he bought. The next morning I woke up to a delicious breakfast served to me in bed. Wow, I am so LUCKY!! | Primary Program | Disgusting!!
57: A Day to Give Thanks | The week of Thanksgiving it was really hard to feel like it was the holidays and that Thanksgiving would be in a few days, because there was nothing around us to make it feel like that time of year. I think we both felt really homesick that whole week. I don’t think I’ve ever had it that bad. I started tearing up just having a passing thought about my family at all. We did get a Thanksgiving meal at the Air Base the Sunday before; which was really nice and very good. Wednesday night we had the Elders over for dinner. Originally we had planned this to get a member who has been having doubts about the Gospel over as well so we could talk with him but he didn’t end up coming. We decided this would be our Thanksgiving Day instead of Thursday because on Wednesday we have a short day of work. It’s only from 2:30-6pm instead of 2-9pm. So Wednesday morning before work we worked hard to have a good meal prepared. Since we don’t have an oven we couldn’t do your traditional Thanksgiving meal so we had Fajitas instead. Liji made tortillas from scratch and I made fresh salsa. The only beans we could find were some beans in tomato juice; kind of like sweet beans or pork and beans but we wanted to do refried beans. So we still bought the cans and just drained all the juice and smashed them up. They turned out well except for the face that Liji put way too much garlic in them. The Elders came over about 7:30 and we had a really yummy meal, we even had sour cream that we had gotten from the Air Base. The Elders shared a wonderful message with us about Faith. Thursday morning Liji made us a delicious Thanksgiving breakfast of fruit in crepes. So yummy! Besides that we just had to work late into the night. I am so thankful to have a husband who loves to cook and has such a talent for it.
58: Play Ball! | Stake Sports Day and Music Festival | GOOD JOB!
59: So I don’t think that I have yet talked about some of the extreme differences that the youth here in korea face than what we had in America growing up. In Korea they have what they call Hagwans or Academies in English. We work at one of them that is specifically geared towards English. But it is not just English academies that our students go to outside of their regular public schooling. There is an innumerable amount of different sort of academies. Just to name a few that we have heard of would include a: Math Academy, Science Academy, History Academy, Korean Academy, Homework Academy, Study Academy, Art Academy, Piano Academy, Music Academy, Taekwondo Academy, and many more. So our students are in school pretty much all day. When they are finished with their public school which goes way longer than our schools alone they then go to a number of different sorts of academies. All of this can get pretty expensive so it seems as though most of the adults are having to work very long ridiculous amount of hours to be able to provide the education for their children. I was thinking about this recently because Liji and I have shown a lot of pictures to our students now of us and our family back home doing a number of different activities. Well just the other day one of our higher level students told me that in Korea they don’t have the time to do all the stuff that we got to do. He just can’t believe all that we have done because for them he says they are always just working or studying. I think our students think kids in America just get to play all the time. Which comparatively I would say it’s true. But I am so thankful for the quality play time I have been able to get in, with my family and friends. These kids have Middle School finals coming up next week and their whole focus has been on this test for the last three weeks. The test has like eleven different subjects on it. Liji and I can’t believe that they are actually retaining much information because there is just so much that they are cramming in. Koreans are also very conservative. We have a friend named sister Oh, who is 30 and living with her parents. She told us that part of the culture is that they can’t invite friends over to their house of the opposite sex unless they are like seriously dating; boyfriend/girlfriend. Otherwise it is just not proper. They also usually live at home unless they move to another city away from family for school or work. There is no just moving out because you’ve graduated from High School and your ready to live on your own, or with other roommates. It seems to be much safer here than America. They don’t have Gangs problems. A lot of men do seem to smoke and drink a lot but you don’t usually see the youth out doing this. Liji asked one of his classes of boys about what sort of crime that they knew of or what was the worst thing one of their friends had done, and the most he could get was one of the kids had a friend who had stole something before. So very low crime rate. Also I was kind of surprised at first that I didn’t see a whole lot of my students coming in with their hair died at all, like to a lighter brown or something like that. But I found out why from the students when they told me that past Middle School you can only go to school if you have Black hair or ‘naturally’ Brown hair. I guess I wouldn’t be allowed in. So we haven’t seen any of the teenagers going around with extreme hair styles, baggy pants hanging way down, or loads of earrings. It’s actually kind of nice that way. | Culture in Korea
61: Muju Ski Resort | In Su
62: Taking out Trash; Korean Style We have had to learn to do a lot of things differently in Korea, perhaps one of the most annoying chores that we have is taking out the trash. You see, in Korea they recycle everything, and there is a special way to prepare the trash. We learned how to do this within our first few days or arrving. When we first got here, there was a bunch of stuff in our apartment that we did not want or need, so we put it all in the trash. Our trash can filled up in about one day, but we had no idea where to take our trash. We asked our boss, and she said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you how to take the trash out, there is a special way to do it." We asked what we needed to do, and she insisted that she come over and show us what to do. She came over and brought some special bags with her. She explained how the trash needed to be sorted and only 'real' trash could be thrown away, everything else had to be recycled. Niether one of us had ever recyled before (unless you count picking up popcans off the side of the road for the deposit) so we asked her what constituted 'real' trash, her reply, "You Know, not paper, not plastic, not metal, not glass, just trash." What other kind of trash is there besides food trash? Then she looked in our trash can and asked us why we had chicken bones in it. I pointed out that bones are not paper, plastic, metal, or glass so the should go in the trash... not so. So I had to sort out all of our trash, luckily it wasn't too bad, mainly because I don't believe in throwing away anything edible, and because I strip chicken bones completly clean before I throw them away. She told us the food trash was separate from all of the other trash and had to be put in a special trash can for food only, I will let you imagine what that special food trash can smells like. Because of the smell, niether Christina or I jump at the chance to take the food trash out. If we didn't have a pint sized food trash can, we would probably take it out bi-monthly (or sooner if the smell in the apartment got to bad) It has gotten pretty rank several times, and since niether one of us wants to take it out, we have to resort to Rock, Scissors, Paper, to decide who has to take it out. Early last week I noticed that the food trash was starting to stink, because of procrastination, we didn't actually take it out until Friday. By that time it was the worst smelling anything that I have ever smelled in my life, worse than a pail full of rotting diapers in midsummer, worse than a landfill, worse than anything. I don't know why it smelled so bad, but it was terrible. We live on the 12th floor, so when we take the elevator, more than half the time there are other people in it with us. When we got on the elevator was empty, and I was silently praying that no one else would get on, about that time a very fashionably dressed lady got on with us. As soon as she stepped in, a look of horror spread across her face, at first she covered her mouth with one hand, but by the time we reached the bottom, she had both hands over her mouth and nose. We were on our way to gas up the scooter and run some errands, so we were gone for close to an hour. As we were parking the scooter after we had finished, I wondered out loud if the elevator still stunk, it did. It's pretty hard to hold your breath for a 12 floor elevator ride, but I did it. Maybe next time we won't wait so long to take the trash out. Going back to the special trash bags that we have to use, well the ones that our boss gave us ran out. No problem, I thought, I'll just run to the store and get some more. Well I couldn't find them everywhere, so I just got some bags that were the same color. They worked just fine for us until we were taking out the trash and a very irate Korean woman made it very clear to us that we could not throw the trash away in that type of bag. We easily solved that problem by taking the trash out late at night when no one is around to see that we don't have the right type of bag.
63: Liji's Awkward Moment So I've really been meaning to post about a really awkward moment for Liji from last Friday. So we usually always head down to work at about the same time every day. Well on Wednesday last week when we came out of the elevator there were some men workers waiting to get on the elevator. Well one of them who is probably in his 20's spotted us right away and started saying Hello and was just so excited to meet us. We said hello and continued on our way to our bikes and headed to work. So a couple days pass and Friday we come out of the elevator and there is this same guys, seemingly waiting for just us to come down on our way to work. As soon as we stepped out he is just so excited. He says hello and then he puts up his hand to Liji and says, "High Five" So Liji gives him a high five but then he like grasped onto his hand for a while and like tried to give Liji this side hug, which I was almost dying laughing by the look on Liji's face when this happened. But the guy was not satisfied with this small side hug, and I guess he felt more comfortable with Liji now that they had high fived and side hugged so he said "Hug" and full on bear hugged Liji, and told him how Handsome he is. It seemed like he just wanted to hang onto him forever. Man, that made my entertainment need for the week. Koreans are very affectionate towards other people of their same gender. It is not unusual here for our male students to be sitting in my class and have their arms intertwined holding hands. But this is just their showing of friendship, not romantic sort of love. It took awhile to get used to but it's not that weird now, and this hasn't been the first time that Liji as had some stranger come up and give him a hug like this. But it still gets me every time.
64: I finally got a picture with some of the older girls. We just don't understand why they are so camera shy but the kids around 14 and up are especially shy about getting their picture taken. The only way I got this one was because they wanted to get a picture of me with them, so I said I would take one if I could get one too. They agreed, but as you can see the 2 sitting down next to me made sure they had their scarves on so they could cover up half their faces.
65: Gingerbread Houses | Piñata
66: Dear Santa, I want one of everything
68: Welcome To... Hong Kong
69: Brisbane, Australia | Fun with the Macphersen's
70: Happy B-day Liji!! | Rafa's Baby Blessing
71: Brisbane Temple & Downtown | Didgeridoo
72: Beach Time | ~Waves~
74: Gunsan Military Branch Members
75: Liji bought some Cuttlefish this last week and had some great fun disecting and eating that thing.
76: In February we celebrated the Chinese New Year at the Bishop's house. We also had the missionaries over to enjoy yummy tacos. Elder Jeong loved Sour Cream. We also got a whole new kitchen, which was really nice.
78: Temple Trips to Seoul
79: Oh Sun San
82: This is Nina; our youngest student and she is always at the academy the earliest. Everyday we have about an hour to plan lessons before our classes start at 3. Well Nina always shows up about 2:30 and completely demands our attention the rest of our prep time, so we now have to make sure we are ready for the day before she shows up. Well a couple of days ago she came in our office and was hanging out as she usually does, but then she acted kind of funny for a minute and she left the office. She does this a lot so it wasn't really that unusual but when she came back in she suddenly burst out with "I Love You, Mrs. Waite. I Love your, Mr. Waite!" We haven't taught her that and so I'm pretty sure she had gone out and asked our boss how to say that, but it really melted our heart. | Froggy Project | My niece had a school froggy project, where each of the students have a chance to take froggy home and then share his experiences with the class. Well Rebecca sent Froggy to Korea and here is some of the fun things he got to see. Our students loved having him in class.
84: Cherry Blossoms
85: Wolmioung Park
86: May 5: Children's Day
87: Sinsido | May 5th is Children's Day Holiday and we got the day off. It was such a long day outside and I am still super exhausted from it. We all met at 9:30am at Gunsan Lake. Here we are setting off on our hike around the Lake. The hike was about 5 miles and then we had a picnic. I don't think the hike had been planned out very well and I'm not sure if anyone had actually ever hiked all the way around the lake before because most of the people ended up going about a quarter of the way and then turning back because they were too tired. Just before getting to our quarter mark resting point there was a pretty steep incline and a couple of the sisters were exhausted and seemed really put out that his hike was so hard. It was pretty funny. As we were going up this last hill I went up to Sister Che who was breathing really hard and asked her how she was doing. She does not speak hardly any English, but in her broken English she said, "I hate Sports; I never doing this." She especially seemed mad at her husband; he must have talked her into coming. Liji and I, and a few others wanted to go the whole way so we kept going to make it all the way around. It was so much fun to spend the morning with such wonderful people.
88: Maison Provincial Park
89: This past Saturday we went to 'Maisan' which means something like 'Horse Mountain.' There are two mountains that look like horse's ears. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time.
90: Outdoor Learning Festival at Eunpa Park
91: We just happened upon these beautiful Pink Blossoms while out on a walk one day.
92: Climbing Daedunson
94: Honuk Traditional Village
97: Jack's Class | Jack's Class | Sam's Class | Jay's Class | Vicky's Class | Jay's Class | Alex's Class | Jay's Class | Alex's Class | Monica's Class | Monica's Class | Jenny's Class
98: Saying Good-Bye's
99: Our Youngest and Sweetest student Nina. We said our goodbyes to her in the afternoon but then that night as we were in with the oldest class there was a little knock on our door and there was Nina. Tears came to my eyes just seeing her there and I was so touched she came back. She had made us some little crafts and came to have another goodbye. She is one we will never forget. That morning she was the first one to the Academy and when she came into our office she came over to me, hugged my arm and whispered to me, "Mr. Waite and Mrs. Waite go uhm."(motioning her hands away) I nodded my head sadly and said, "Yea." Then she just squeezed my arm so tight and started moaning and saying, "nooooo." It was like the sweetest thing ever.