Monday, August 28, 2006

another day gone by.....

well i am finally feeling a bit on top of things. i left school today about 5:45ish and felt prepared for tomorrow which is a first for me here. it was a nice feeling and i am hoping that as more time passes that i will continue to feel this way. i have afternoon recess duty this week. it is nice to get out of my "cave" to the sunlight. :) i also get to know the kids which is a huge plus as well. :)

for dinner this evening suzy invited me over to her house. she had some chicken from the weekend and then she made rice and these pancake/crepe like things that are korean. they are really yummy....she puts veggies in them and they are my favorite so far. :) she is going to teach me how to make them soon. we then had some cake that her friends had brought over to her. it was good as well.

i am exhausted as i did not sleep very well last night----too much Starbucks. they do not have decaf here so i have been naughty. i am going to get some rest tonight.....i hope. :)

i would love to hear from you all........the in's and out's of your life.....please update me!!!

it is monday morning here......

woo hoo.....another busy school week begins here in seoul!

Sunday, August 27, 2006


i have uploaded more photos so please check them out...................
happy having a look!!! :)

tis already over....

it is hard to believe that once again the weekend is already over. it has been good though. productive, restful, and full of fellowship.

i was really glad for it to be friday....the first full week of school and it was busy. friday was also our first payday......yeah! friday night the new teachers had to put on a skit for our penpals and other folks from school. that went really well. afterwards the school took us out for bulgogi, which is traditional korean food. although the place was really, really busy the food was ok. we also had bibimbap (a rice dish) which was good. i sat with new friends and got to know some folks more which included my penpal, christy. the evening was followed by a long wait on the curb for the school bus to take us back to campus. once back at SFS, i went home and called it a night. i was exhausted and went to bed at 9ish.

saturday began with a trip to costco with some other folks. i needed a few things and also had some requests from buffie to pick up some dried blueberries. :) wyatt, suzy, kelly, and nate went on this trip. the highlight of the trip for me was finding the special k red berries cereal which is my favorite!!! woo hoo!!!! then i got home and still needed to get some cat food so i went for a scooter ride with my neighbor sarah down to the local neighborhood grocery store, sahruga. we ordered sandwiches at this little shop across the way and went to the store while she prepared them. fun fun fun! the sandwiches were really good........i am definitely going back to this place. :) cafe dough is the name. yummy! i took a two and a half hour nap after lunch and then piddled around my apartment. it had started to ran pretty hard while i was sleeping which made the nap so nice. :) i then learned of another group that was headed to Tesco, very similiar to Target. i went along on this trip as well. i know it may sound as if all i have done is shop, but more than that it is a chance to get off the school hill and get out around town. you take when you can. both costco and tesco are easier to get to with a car and i do not have a korean license so when other folks invite you go along. at tesco, i bought a small rice cooker which suzy is going to give me proper instructions on how to use. i also got some other little things i needed. i did buy the first season of friends on DVD so i can watch something when i need a giggle or two. yeah! in addition i purchased a new litter box for my cats that has the lid/house thing on top. 40,000 won!!!!!!!!! the friends DVD was cheaper than the litter box.........i could not believe it. i would have continued to use the old one but they had been slinging litter all over the floor. :) at the end of shopping we treated ourselves to chocolate milkshakes and large fries from mcdonald's which is inside tesco. it was good. this is the first time i had eaten mcdonald's in korea.

this morning i ventured out to church---onnuri. the same place as last week that i felt so great about. the group grew this week by two people which made for a fun time! we walk to the subway and on the way grab a starbucks on the way!!!! :) the service was amazing again this week. i cannot believe how connected i feel when i am there. the music and the message are really good. WOW! i went to the visitors table this week to get more information and to fill out contact infomation. i am anxious to find ways to get involved more there in the community. i also saw two of my students there which was great! how nice it is to attend church somewhere they are also going. it was really a great feeling. i had my first korean snack today---it is like a pancake/pita with honey like stuff inside. it was really good and cheap too! i do not know what they are called, but they are really tasty!!! mmmmmmm............

we ate lunch in the area near ewha womens university. we had korean and i ordered my lunch today with suzy's korean tutoring right before. :) it was fun!!! it was fried rice with veggies and chicken then an egg on top. it was good and very filling.

after lunch suzy and i went shopping in the area near the university. we had a good time shopping even though i was not really able to do much shopping. suzy is a little korean girl from england and she is considered pretty average here in korea. she said that she thinks she wears about 1 or a 2 in US sizes for pants. as you can imagine with this bit of information i and the average american woman are considered large. most of the time i have heard if i were to walk into a shap that say "no lar-gee" and redirect you out of their shop. it is quite frustrating. today since i was with suzy, they did not say anything to me. i would have never gone into a shop without her to divert the sales folks. :) most places do not even carry clothes above a size 4 or 6. i found an american apparel today and was quite excited about it. we went in and suzy asked if they had any larger sizes in womens. only small and mediums..........ugh! that is ok though i realize that i do not need to shop for clothes here. i can have some things made if i need something in particular. we went to the hyundai department store which reminds me a lot of foley's. it was good....i did try on a pair of low top converse sneakers but they were too big. it was fun to walk around and see what all they had there.

we met for deok-galbi this evening as we have been doing each sunday since i have been here. it was yummy! after dinner, we went just a couple doors down to baskin robbins. good stuff!!!

i am at home reflecting on my weekend and trying to get to bed early. :)

i have added many pics from the weekend to the photo link, so be sure to check it out!!! :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006


today was a good day! my kids went to the library today which is always a joy to me. i love to share my love and excitement for reading with my kiddos. i have already befriended the librarians which is a nice plus too! i had my first taste of teaching religion to 4th graders. that was very foreign feeling at first just because i would be in big trouble back home for doing just that. it was interesting and definitely something that i will have to pray for more guidance on. i feel such a sense of responsibility. the curriculum for 4th grade religion is the old testament. it was a busy afternoon after school. i came home early and rested a bit then paul was a lifesaver and helped me get together a CD of audio tracks for the new teacher skit which is tomorrow night. thank God for paul and his amazingness with computers! i just ate dinner----another cheese quesadilla. yum! i am getting low on my tortillas and feel as if i should ration them. i have already begun my shopping list for when i am home at christmas holiday. :) well i am readin a fantastic book at the moment---To Own a Dragon by Donald Miller. i completely recommend it. a great read and just really insightful! i do not have a TV here which no real surprise to any of you i am sure. so instead i read and toodle around on the computer. :) good read!

i am thankful tomorrow is friday! each day seems to bring a bit more organization to my brain in the arena of school which is a great thing. i look forward to my kids and the conversations i have with them. the weather is still hot and sticky here. hoping it will cool off soon...........

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


i went to a small group Bible study tonight with two of the folks that went to church on sunday--suzy and wyatt. we walked to ewha womens' university which was about a 20-25 minute walk. it was good. we sang some worship songs and then broke into smaller groups. i enjoyed the time there. on the way back we went a slightly different route through e-dei (sp?) which is the area near the university. we stopped at starbucks.........yum! then on the walk back we saw the cutest, smallest puppies ever. there were a couple of kinds in the group of small boxes---some looked like maltese, some like little cocker spaniels, and then some like schnauzers. sooooo precious. they were little rambunctious cuties. whimpering and looking around alert and all. i wanted so badly to take them all home to cuddle and love on them all, but we cannot have dogs on campus. :( i am sure that is good for me. they pups were only 50 thou which was cheap. i am going to say prayers for them to find nice, loving homes. they were so stinkin' cute........pray for the furry friends!

sam and india are doing well and are lovable as ever. india has really become more cuddly. not lap cat yet, but more affectionate for sure.

2 more days until the weekend................yeah! :)

it's hump day.....yeah for wednesday

so this week is half over already....the time is really flying. monday at school was a typical monday. i was a bit stressed out in the afternoon, but it has gotten better. monday night a group of us went over to suzy's house for dinner. she is from the UK, but korean too. she made some fantastic Korean food!!! Rice, pancake things, stir fried veggies......yummy!!!!

Tuesday was better, but it seemed really long. our kids had a lot of specials on this day and it made for lots of walking across campus. after school we had our first faculty meeting and that went well. one of the kindergarten teachers has the scrubs seasons here with her------YEAH! she has season 2 & 3.....thank goodness for Sara. I ate dinner ate my neighbors house---salmon, rice, broccoli, and salad. it was really yummy. was good. for some reason i am really tired. i got a good nights sleep last night, but i am just wiped. i am going to a small group Bible study tonight with the folks i went to church with on sunday. i am quite excited. school is getting better each day and i seem to figure out a bit more each day.

don't forget to check out the links to the right...................

Sunday, August 20, 2006

the weekend.......

i cannot believe it is already over.............i wish i had one more day of rest before the week starts up again.....

friday when i got home from school i was going to lay down for just a minute and ended up taking a nap for two hours. whew........i was pooped. i toodled around my apartment and then just went back to bed. i figured i needed the rest more than anything.

saturday morning there was a seoul city tour given by one of the teachers who grew up here in seoul, went to SFS grade K-12, and then is now back teaching here. he and his wife have been teaching here for 18 years. they call seoul home more than anywhere else. we drove around the city in the SFS school bus and saw many sites. check out my photos on the link to the right. we stopped at the major palace here and then made our way up to mt. namsan for the seoul tower. it was beautiful to be able to see the city from 360m up. i love it here. so green even though seoul is a huge city. after the tower we ate lunch in itaewon, which is the shopping area closest to the base and there are many americans. we had subway----yum!!! then i went shopping with the teachers here too. they have two kids---george and lucy! we had a good time. we made our way back to campus via taxi and then i just hung out at my apartment for the rest of the afternoon. the weather here has been amazing for the last two days...............gorgeous and much cooler than it has been. i have had all my windows open and letting the breeze cool my apartment.

saturday night i went down through yonsei university to sinchon with my friend sarah. we ate dinner at ruby tuesdays and went for a free donut at krispy kreme. they give them away here while waiting to order. most people just get the freebie and then fake looking at the donuts. after they "ponder" what they want, they suddenly decide they do not need to buy any and sneak out the door. i know it sounds naughty, but it was fun none the less. :) we giggled about it for a block or two. then sarah took me to this cool music shop called syannara records. they have CDs and DVDs. i bought the newest passion album. good stuff!!! then we hiked back to school. sarah and i had great conversation tonight and i really enjoyed getting to know her was nice!!!

this morning i went to a new church----onnuri. here is theor web site--- i went with three others from SFS. we met up at 10am and then headed for the subway in sinchon. we made a pit stop at starbucks.....this was awesome considering paul and i stopped here before church each sunday. it felt normal!!! we made our way to church.....we got there about 11:30am and church started right after. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! they have a worship band which includes a acoustic guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, and three vocalists!!! the music rocked!! i really enjoyed my time here and really felt connected to the spirit! the pastor's message was good and i got a lot out of it. i think i have found my new church home-------wow!!! it was such an incredible feeling. i also found out that they have small group ministries around town during the week which made me happy. i am going to try one on wednesday night with a couple of the school folks i went to church with. thank you God!!!! this was an answered prayer to find this community...........i hope that it continues to be the place God wants me to worship.

after church i had my first solo adventure. i rode the subway to the military base to meet my friend nicole's brother, jeff. he is stationed here for a year. we met and then he treated me to lunch at the dragon hill lodge on base which is a big deal here. from what i have discovered it is a big deal to be able to get on base so to have jeff here is nice. the buffet was good. i really enjoyed hanging out with jeff since he is someone from home. :) he gave me the tour and we caught up and such. he also showed me where his apartment is which was really cool. it was great to hang out!!!

then i headed back to sinchon solo to go back to campus. it was fun to manage the subway solo for the first time today. it felt like a major accomplishment. i had a starbucks and walked around the streets while waiting for the dak-galbi group to make their way down for dinner. every sunday there is a group that eats out for dak-galbi, spicy chicken korean dish. it was nice to hang out and share a meal.

it is now sunday night and i am pooped again! i hope to get some rest and re-charge for this week. pray that i can continue to adjust, make connections with friends, and learn to earnestly follow God in my walk of life.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Sydney Shalom Hammon came into the world this morning at 7:34 a.m. weighing 7 lbs 5.6 oz. Baby and mother are doing great, father is stable and listed as day-to-day.

Congrats to Cameron and Matt Hammon!!!

I cannot wait to meet her when I come home in December...........

Wish List

I am starting my wish list early I know, but as things come up that I miss I would like to keep track of them and my birthday is in September and all. :) I do plan to come at Christmas.......I am in the process of purchasing my ticket. I have created a wish list at They ship to Korea....yeah! Here is the link:

Wish Lis of items that are not at
  • wheat tortillas from central market!!!!!!!!!!!

this week

yeah it is the weekend. this week has been full. i am glad the first week is over and plan to rest as much as possible this weekend. school is going kids are really great and things are fantastic. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

and we're off.....

full speed ahead with a new school year. today went rather well. although there are many differences to get accustomed to, they are good changes. it will just take some time to adjust. one of the major changes is just letting the kids go. for instance when it is time for recess you just let them head out the door without you and there are assistants and the principal out there to watch. i do not have any lunch/recess duty until the last week of august. it is wild the amount of freedom, but everyone keeps telling the kids can handle it. it will be great once i get used to it. the other major difference is the amount of planning time. today i had my kids from 8:20ish to 9:30 and then they went to PE, from there to recess, then to computer, then to lunch and back to the classroom at noon. wild stuff! i really think i am going to love it here after adjusting.

my kids are great and the parents i have met so far have been really nice. one dad this morning said "welcome to korea!" to me and that really helped start my day. i know it sounds trivial, but it was nice to hear. the same dad also asked me about phi slamma jamma at UH......i have my id and such on a UH lanyard. i was taken by that b/c not many people will ask about that. it was a good day...........tiring, but good.

i think my kids are going to be a awesome bunch of kids and i am looking forward to sharing my love of learning with them. :)

179 more to go............

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

tomorrow is the day...

school begins!!! the last two days have been full of work! i was at my classroom until after 8pm both nights preparing for the first days. :) it has been tough, but well worth it. i have come to the conclusion that i work best under pressure and with a deadline. not the healthiest observation, but i am aware of it which is sometimes half the battle.

today we had new student orientation so all the kids that are brand new to SFS come to meet the principal, counselor, find the classroom, and meet the teacher. it was only about 45 minutes total so it was quick. i have 7 new students. they were great to meet and the parents were nice as well. it should be a great year! i spent the rest of the afternoon getting the classroom ready as much as i can. there are still things that need to be tweeked here and there, but i also want my kids help so they can have a sense of ownership of our classroom.

i bought my first round of SFS spirit stuff today. i got 2 t-shirts and they are cool. i cannot wait to wear them! :)

Sunday, August 13, 2006


i was able to hang out with some friends and share dinner this evening. about four of us went over to suzy's apartment for pasta! it was fabulous and loads of fun! we all had good laughs and time together. i have really enjoyed getting to know the people here and forming a new community of friends to fellowship with and laugh with. i still miss all the ones back home, but making new ones to add to the old ones is exciting too. there are pics up on the photo page.

before dinner we had the communion service which was wonderful. it was held in the black box theater and it was great. we had great worship time and a pastor from a local presbyterian church came over to help and speak. he is orignally from the states and i really enjoyed what he shared.

more photos....

i have uploaded more photos to my photos. check them out!!!


so today i went to the grocery store and i was a bit shocked at the amount of my bill. i felt like i was keeping track pretty well in my head as i shopped around. i got home and was having a look at the receipt and realized that i had purchased something that was 18,000 won. what?!?!?! i did not buy anything that was that pricey. i remembered deciding whether or not i should 3,950 won on a glade plug in so i know that i had not placed anything in my basket that was quite that much. the entire receipt is in korean so it is not like i could figure out what exactly the item was on my own. i had to recruit help from my friend suzy who informed me that the pricey item was the juice packets in my fridge. again....what?!?!?! are you kidding?!?!? well, folks today was my first "oops" moment. i just purchased a box of 4, yes i said four, juice packets for 18,000 won which is roughly about $18. USD. WOW!!!! they better be good is all i have to say. i could not believe it. i really must have 1) read the wrong tag or 2) miscounted the zeros on the label. :) oh well, my fine juice and i will enjoy one another. it was definitely my first completely laughable moment here in seoul!!! :)

here is the cute little box that my juice packets came in...

here is the juice packet......i have four of them. :)

iris sized green onions...

today has been a restful day! i went to church this morning at seoul union church. here is the link to the church website: it is about 15 minutes or so from school and many teachers attend church there. it is a small church and the pastor is from ghana. it was nice. they had a worship band---two guitars, piano, and two other folks singing. they sang familiar songs to me which was nice.

after church i ran to costco with the gaylords. they had to fix a phone card issue, so i just went along for the ride. they are great folks whose company i enjoy very much. john is my principal and his wife, lynn, is the AP at the high school. they are wonderful!

when i got home i talked to paul via the computer....yeah!!! then i fixed myself some cheese quesadillas for lunch....yummy! thank goodness i brought whole wheat tortillas from central market with me. they have been a lifesaver!!! i might need to recruit a supplier back home to send me more when i get low. :) i took about a 45 minute nap. this has been a sunday after church ritual since paul and i started dating. even though i am 7,047 miles away i still want my afternoon nap on sunday!!! :) i met my friend jenny at the guard pagoda near the gate of the school to make a trip to the grocery store---sharuga (sair-a-gu). we walked to the store.....our first adventure out without someone who has been here. jenny is new like me. we walked the entire store and bought the stuff we needed. we got a taxi home and it cost each of us 1,000won which is basically a dollar each. what a bargain and we did not have to hike back up the hill with our groceries. YEAH!

while we were shopping jenny and i could not believe the large green onions here......"they are the size of irises!!" to quote jenny. it was funny!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

let me see

i cannot believe i have not posted a thing since thursday. it feels like that was ions ago. :) yesterday was a great day......the whole staff was back here at the school. i was able to work in my classroom and make some furniture moves. it stll feels a bit institutional but i move the beginning of october!!! i went to costco yesterday evening as well so that was good.

today i went to to itaewon with two friends from my building. we went to a few shops and met the shop owner which is really important in the korean culture. then we went to go get a manicure and much fun!!! only 32,000 won for both!!! :) after our girly time we went to this great pottery it!!! it was amazing. this afternoon there was a campus picnic. it was fun we had hot dogs with sausages and all sorts of sides and deserts. tonight there was a group of folks went out to itaewon again. it was nice to hang out with other folks and be able to visit. :)

tomorrow i am headed to church and then going to rest. then in the afternoon we have a communion service on campus. it should be a good day!

hope to hear from you all soon! please fill me in on what is going on in your lives~

Thursday, August 10, 2006

cheap entertainment

as i sit here at my computer updating my blog india is on a mad chase of the small moth like creature buzzing about my apartment. she managed to catch one i think. she is really fun to watch as she stares at the wall waiting for the next pounce. it amazes me how focused and intense she becomes. :) nothing like a thursday night at D21. :)

parking the car

tonight for girls nite out we drove to sinchon. before i had just walked but since there was a large group and people willing to drive we took a car and a school van. well parking is an issue. we turned down this very skinny alley to come to this driveway type area. the car was in front of us. since things here in korea are kind of tight they usually build up....well that includes parking garages. so here is the pictorial story of what happens:

the car pulls onto the rotating area noted by the yellow circle on the ground and the man pushes a button to rotate the car to face the garage.

once the car is in the correct position the car elevator door opens...

and the car pulls in. I do not know what happens after this as I was in the van that got to park just to the right in the picture along the wall. The van was too big for the car elevator. WAY FUN new stuff in korea!

friday... the big day! all the returning teachers report back to work and we all meet together as one large, happy staff. there are 191 teaching staff. crazy! tomorrow will be a long day that is full of many, many activities and meetings. today i finally worked in my classroom a bit. kathy helped me think through some furniture issues and we had a look in some of the boxes in my room. i had to ask my principal about some things but it is coming along. there should be no worries.

my front door...

i think....

she might be a keeper! so mrs. lee even arranged all my friends on my bed after she had made it up. :) yeah!!!! have a look.........

the cave

here are some pics of my classroom aka "the cave". please take notice of the fabulous murals of "the man" aka jesus on the far walls. this room was previous used by the youth as a meeting room and such. historically it has been used for many activities and groups. :) i like it!
this one is my favorite of the four!

from the door

girls' nite out

thursdays are girls' nite out here in korea! i went out with some ladies from campus. it is a multigenerational group which makes conversation fun and interesting. i had a great time. we actually drove vans to sinchon and ate dinner at ruby tuesdays. it was good and the conversation was plentiful. the lady i sat across from has been here at SFS for 16 years. they do something everything thursday, so i am planning on staying involved with them as much as i can. a great way to socialize with lots of different ladies and learn about all sorts of stuff. :) woo hoo!!!!


adjumonies rule!!! mine came today and it was fabulous! her name is mrs. lee and she does amazing work. she cleaned, did my laundry, did my dishes and ironed my clothes!!!! wahoo!!!!


i have uploaded more pictures so please click on the "My Photos :)" tab in the links section to see them!

my vacuum

this is "goldie" my vacuum

the escalator...

eric, chris, and deborah on the cool magnetic escalator at tesco!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

all is well...

i have fanta pineapple! so yummy!!!

plants, plants, and more plants

yesterday instead of going to the used furniture store and open market i opted to go with a group to the plant market! shelly, you should be so proud!!! :) it was a little ways from the school, but it was cool! i got some little plants whose pictures are below. i thought it would give something to take care of and make my apartment more homey. :) it was REALLY hot at the market. there are 2 plant places across the street from each other and then next door to one of them is a large place with lots of pots for your plants. the guy is nice and works hard. the prices were reasonable too. now i just have to keep them alive. :)


the internet guy came today and this is my first official post from my apartment. i am sitting on the couch enjoying the sounds of cicadas and construction. :) during the day i have been turning off the A/C and have all the windows open. electricity here is expensive and so i am trying to be conservative. i close all the windows at night when i come in and then turn on the A/C for the night. it works. i get hot and sticky from being outside so it really does not matter at this point. when in korea, do as the koreans do!!! :)

I HAVE INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


costco was busy! it is much like the ones back home just lots more people. they have the coolest escalators though. you take your shopping cart on the escalator with you and the wheels are magnets that stick to the ramp like floor. it is wild. even though your basket may be loaded down it does not budge once on the escalator. it was cool! i ended up shopping with another girl so that we could split things. i was exhausted physically and mentally afterward.

yesterday evening i was able to visit with some of the other folks that are returning who live in my building. my neighbor, buffie, is the aquatics director and further down is isabel, the curriculum corrdinator. both are great ladies!!! we had fun visiting and learning about each other.

today has been more meetings and such. all the curriculum standards and such are located online which is good. we have been learning about what is there and how to use the program. i still have not really worked in my classroom at all. i went in today to look for a computer which i don't have yet.

at 4pm we are taking another group trip to a used furniture market and a traditional open market nearby.

i plan to upload more pics soon! the internet guy is supposed to come by tomorrow!!! :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

sunday & monday

paul left yesterday and as you all can imagine that was tough for us. he has already gotten home and safe in houston. yeah! after he walked down the hill i went to the church service on campus. it was very much what i needed in the moment. the rest of the day i worked in my apartment getting my things sorted out and such. i have made much progress. paul took two of my trunks with him empty. the rest of the trunks have been emptied and are currently hanging out in my entryway awaiting their trip to my storage closet in the next building. i have one left and that has all my school stuff inside waiting to go to my classroom--"the cave". i have not worked in my classroom at all yet. i am trying to get my life and apartment sorted out first. yesterday evening a group of folks walked into sinchon for dinner......we had korean! it was a dish called dak-galbi (i think). it is a spicy chicken dish. it was yummy. there are small round tables that sit about 4-5 people and in the middle there is round skillet type dish. they bring you this large bowl of chicken, rice noodley like things, cabbage, sweet potatoes, etc. then it cooks in the skillet. when it is finished they add noodles like spaghetti to the mix and stir them in. it was great!

after dinner we went for baskin robbins and then walked through different areas. the coolest one was near ehwa womens university. there were tons of shops and lots of cool stuff to look at. i definitely want to go back.

today we had more meetings and i think i also got my internet stuff in the process. the technician should be out on wednesday or thursday! YEAH!!!! pray that this works out for me. i also got to meet my neighbor. she is the director of aquatics. i mentioned that i swam for 10 years and she has instantly recruited me for the swim program. i am excited!!! this afternoon we are headed to costco. i am interested to see what it is like here versus in the states. i have a list of things i need so i hope to get some things while we are there. :)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

saturday 5 august

today was another day full of orientation. after lunch i had a meeting with the elementary school principal. there are 12 new elementary school teachers this year. my principal's name is john and so far he has been awesome!!! he is laid back and easy going....really concerned about what is best for the students. he has been working overseas for many, many years. he and his wife are both here and both are really great! his wife, lynn, is a high school asst. principal. i was able to talk with her some when we went to carrefour. she is a woman with a heart for God and she is really nice. i am hoping to chat with her more while i am here. paul and i worked in my apartment after the meeting and were able to get some things sorted out. he was working while i was in the meeting too. such an incredible boyfriend i have. God is awesome!

later in the evening---4:30ish--- we were headed out to sinchon which is just on the other side of yonsei university. it is the major area i mentioned before and also the closest subway stop. we ate dinner at ruby tuesdays in sinchon. a whole group went together as afterward we rode the subway to an area near city hall to see some tradtional korean performing arts. very interesting! it was at the chongdong theater. there were about 5 different types pf traditional korean arts performed. some with instruments, a lady kind of sang a monologue, cool drums, and then ribbon dancing with drums as well. the funny part of the evening was when paul said "hey that guy over there looks familiar." we watched this guy sit down with a girl and paul began to ponder the idea that the guy might have gone to letourneau with him. after the performance, paul and i went over and YES, he did go to school with this guy and his wife, the girl. the guy even had on a letourneau shirt!!! SMALL WORLD!!! who would have ever thought 7000+ miles from texas we would see anyone we knew. the guy, marcus, lived in the same building as paul at school. we spoke for a minute and then headed back to the subway.

the weather is crazy hot and humid like texas! the only thing is in texas we spend most of our time inside. here there is a lot of walking and not all the buildings have A/C. where we meet does but a lot of the hallways don't. so most of the day i feel pretty gross and sweaty. i have been drinking tons of water, so that is great. my fingers are swollen from the heat. :) too much fun!

there is a family here that is from the UK but have most recently been teaching in shanghai. they are a lovely couple who are very friendly. i have enjoyed talking to them. they have 3 of the cutest children i have seen. 9, 5, and 3---arthur, isaac, and florence. well last night on the walk back to SFS the mills' were walking with paul and i. most of the group had taken taxis back from the theater. there youngest boy, isaac, was chatting away and asking lots of questions about cicadas. there are tons here and they do not have them in the UK. i laughed so hard the entire way home completely entertained by this little guy. :)

the crazy thing here is that it is such a close community! it is like extended family. like last night when we were making our way to dinner and then the theater, we were all helping to make sure all the kids did not get lost or separated from the group. what a blessing! it is great to visit with everyone and hear their stories. where they are from, where they have taught, the fun stories they have to share about things that have happened in their adventures. fun fun fun!

today paul leaves to return to the states.....sadness! i would ask for prayer for his safe return and for our relationship. i pray that even though we are living 7000+ miles away from each other that God would continue to keep us close and work in each of us. paul and i both know that it will not be easy, but believe that God will take care of us. he is riding the airport bus to the airport and the stop is just at the bottom of the school hill. it should take about an hour to get there and then he can check in and wait for his plane. he is packing his bag as i write this. he has internet access at his place. with that said it might be a few days before i blog again as i do not have internet at my apartment yet.

hope you are all doing well! i would love to hear from you.....what is going on in your life and anything fun happening. :)

grace and peace!

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Hi to all....
I have added link to my photo gallery on the Links menu to the right. Please check it out. I have many more to add, but have to update my account to add more. They are arranged in sets to be able to organize them easier. I hope you enjoy!!! :) Right now I am sitting in the middle school computer lab about to learn about the school's technology stuff. FUN! Just to let those of you know who are educational tech suavy----there are smart boards in almost every classroom!!! WAY COOL!!! :)

until later....

Friday, August 04, 2006

the cave, walking backwards, sweat

Today was a long, orientation filled day! I learned more information about various campus life here. Also there was a time for discussion of money and benefits. Good stuff although it begins to feel overwhelming with ALL the new information that is given. Recycling is the real deal here......all sorts of bins for all sorts of types of garbage----food waste, styrofoam, plastic, glass, cardboard, cans, paper......the list seems to go on and on. I am a little paranoid when it comes to throwing something out...."Hmmmm, which bin does it go in?" There are certain garbage bags I must use or they will not take the trash per the Korean government. The funny part is that the streets are covered with litter?!?!?! Not sure how they thought this through, but whatever. It will work out I am sure.

Just before lunch I got to see my classroom that is aka "the cave"! There are no windows which gives it its name. I like it! I will only be there until October and then will move to another room when the ES building is complete. :) My principal is awesome! He is laid back and easy going and seems to really love what he does. We got to visit with him a bit today during the tour of the ES. There are 12 new elementary school teachers.

This afternoon we all took a trip to a major store called Carrefour. This place was crazy and had everything. I bought some toilet paper, paper towels, a microwave, a laundry hamper, the cool Korean cookies (thanks Swaroop!), a fan for my bedroom, Paul got some new brown shoes, some plastic binis for leftovers, hangers, and a dust mop and trash bins. FUN! It was really interesting and the store is attached to World Cup Stadium! :)

After we made it home and Paul put together the fan and took care of the microwave we decided to take an adventure. We walked through the "back" gate of the school grounds through Yonsei University to an area called Sinchon. From what I had heard previously this is a hip and cool part of town with lots of young folks. Well, sure thing!!! Yonsei reminds me of Rice a little and the area is very busy and there are lots of young people. LOTS of them! The streets are crazy crowded and there is no such thing as personal space. We walked about 2 miles or so just taking it all in. We passed three Starbucks and many other coffee shops too. It was so fun! We ate dinner at Outback Steakhouse and then headed back in the direction of the school to have coffee at Holly's Coffee. This was an experience. I ordered my drink--"short, decaf, nonfat, iced vanilla latte"---I know I got a latte, but I am not sure about anything else. She started talking to me in Korean and I just did not know what to say or do except repeat my order. AH! I was able to check email on the computer there while we waited on our drinks.....this was cool. Then we went upstairs to watch the people on the streets. We could see a Starbucks across the street. FUN FUN FUN! Then we walked back to campus and I am sitting now updating the blog.

The weather has been hot and humid just like Houston. It might not be quite as hot, but I have been outside lots so I stay pretty sticky and sweat lots. They say it will be like this until September. Yeah.......just like home! :) I have been drinking lots of water and each week I can pay to have water delivered right to my front door. I bought a water pump for the big container that makes it really easy. I have been walking tons and tons. There are lots of hills. Again, if I do not lose weight living here there is something wrong with me. Not only do I have to walk a lot up and down, but there is an indoor pool that is open every morning and a gym for us to use!!! :)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

the trip

weighing in
carry on luggage
sleeping :)
crushing wireless card
buying a new one out of a vending machine
pricey italian sandwiches that were not worth it
diverse people
long flight
less than desirable airplane food
yellow rubber tag lock on trunk that sings
stinky cat
unstable luggage

We are here!!!

After 24+ hours of travel we made it to Seoul safely and without any major happenings. :) Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers! Yes, all my luggage made it as well and they were all under weight limit at the airport in Houston. Yeah! The second flight of 12 hours was long and sometimes boring, but I tried to sleep and rest as much as I could. We landed at 5:30pm (Seoul time--3:30am Texas) on Wednesday evening. Then we got the baggage and cats and headed to customs. Only one trunk had to be searched. They placed this large yellow padlock thing on the front of it and when you pass a certain point then it starts to sing and make lots of noise. No worries though. The cats made it through quarantine check well too and we were all happy. Then we proceeded out to meet the SFS crew....WOW mandy new teachers. Loaded all the luggage on this van/truck (like a UHAUL) and then we got to ride in a small bus to the school. It took about an hour to get from the airport to the school. The drive was really pretty. The sun was setting and the scenery was great! Paul mentioned that the area reminded him of Seattle.....water, trees, metro area....really cool! Once at the school it was dark and we were handed the keys to my apartment and a small Pizza Hut pizza! We had to hike up the hill to my apartment building.....D! If I do not lose some weight while I am here there is something wrong with me. The hills, stairs, and amount of walking should help my figure.

My apartment is HUGE in comparison to my place in Houston. I feel like I am living in a mansion. There is a mud room like foyer when you walk through the door then the living room area. To the left is the open kitchen with a small dining space. Then you walk through the living room to my bedroom. I have a small room with closets, dresser, and desks then to the left is where my bed is which has sliding rice paper doors. The very traditional doors that are white with the wood geometric shapes on them. It is super cool! I love it! The bathroom is just off the living room area to the left. It is a nice place and I like it. The cats seem to like it as well. They have been roaming around sniffing and checking things out. They had some food items in the apartment for me when I arrived......Coke, Coke Light, Water, OJ, bread, cereal, etc. The bed is new and comfortable so that was good.

I was able to get some good rest last night which was wonderful. I did not have an alarm clock so I had to use the kitchen timer instead. It worked like a champ!!! I woke at 7:45 and piddled around. I had to look for some things to shower and such. I never imagined showering would be so wonderful! I journaled a bit as well. Then headed off for the morning activities. We spent the morning doing orientation like things---devotion, breakfast, informational stuff, money, ice breakers, etc. Then we had lunch in the school cafeteria. It was yummy! Paul worked in the morning and then joined us for lunch. There were sandwiches on the western menu and then noodle like dishes on the Korean menu. I had some o-e kimchi with rice. It was great! I also had pineapple Fanta in this skinny can! :)

After lunch we went on a tour of the school then went out to the neighborhood--Yonhi-dong. We saw lots of shops and even went to the local grocery store. They sell EVERYTHING there......clothes, computers, name it, it will be in the grocery store. CRAZY! I bought some drinks, BBQ flavored Cheetos, and some laundry detergent. I also opened a Korean bank account today and had some Baskin Robbins ice cream.

Tonight we have a family cook out. It should be fun! The people are fantastic and very friendly! It has been such a great experience so far. I really feel "at home" here. The sense of community is amazing and everyone really helps everyone else. I have taken some pics and plan to share them soon!

Until next time.........

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

a few hours...

so here i sit in paul's room looking at the carry on bags that we are taking and realizing that i am leaving in just a few hours to embark on this new adventure in my life. moving to south korea! in about an hour paul will phone my brother to wake him so he can take paul, sam, india and me to the airport. wow! it is really happening....i am moving 7,047 miles away from the only city i have called home. i would ask for prayers as we journey to the far east. i pray that the airline people will be gentle in the morning when it comes to weighing the trunks and arranging paul and i's seat assignments. we are both at a tender spot of emotional unrest. i pray that God will protect both of us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. thanks for all of your thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement.