After laying out our "first day of school" outfit and our leather patent shoes last night, Austin and I survived our first days of school as Elementary School teachers and even have a few funny stories to document. But first, here is a run-down of our days:
Posted by Lauren at 8:23 PM
Posted by Lauren at 12:58 PM
You were going to get a quick tour of our apartment with some picture that I took, but this computer is taking forrrrever, so that will come soon!
Our adventures in Korea have continued to be new, different and very eye-opening (We Americans sure do have a way of thinking that everything we do is correct, even if we love to think that we are open-minded). After talking to our parents on Skype yesterday morning, (yahoo!) Austin and I ventured over to a Christian church that was down the street from the little bakery we were sitting at…yes, Koreans surprisingly LOVE their baked goo
ds AND they don’t have any funky fish products in them, unlike most of their foods. This bakery’s name was ‘Paris Baguette,’ which makes me laugh really hard because about 90% of the people in our city do not even know what “Hello” means! There are some random shops with English names that for a second makes me excited to think that there are English speakers, then
when I remember the situation we are in I get very confused as to why they would name their shops with English words. Continuing with that thought, I have yet to see one Korean with a t-shirt with Korean writing (hanguel)…yep, all English. I want to go up to them and say, “I’m sorry, do you e
ven know what your shirt says?” It confuses me.
Back to the church topic: So Austin and I mosey on down to the church (the only reason we know it is a church is because of the large cross at the top of the building- everything else in Korean) and walk
in only to be stared and pointed at by all of the people in there! It was like they had never seen an American before. There were four little girls who were probably about 7 years old that continually ran up to us, giggled and said “helllllooooooo!” They were the cutest things ever and it made me w
ant to adopt a Korean baby (Austin and I decided they are some of THE cutest babies out there!) We were welcomed by two women who grabbed my (Lauren’s) arm and led us into a fellowship/community area. The assistant pastor then came and sat with us and, amazingly, spoke excellent English. He wanted to know everything about
us and was totally amazed that we had only been there three days and were interested in finding a church. This man (his Korean name translates to David) had been a missionary in the Philipines for 18 years and was pretty much fluent in both English and Filipino, as well as Korean. He to
ld us all about the church, told us he would love for us to attend their church and informed us that we are the only foreigners to have ever visited! We went upstairs for their 3 pm church service and were amazed by the hospitality. They had us stand up at the beginning and the congregation sang a welcoming song to us, complete with hand mo
tions and all! At one point, they waved their hands in our direction to demonstrate them sending blessings and welcomings our way. The assistant pastor gave us ear phones for us to listen while he translated the events of the service. We watched a special kids’ performance and listened to the telling of one of the church missionary’s trip to Ezra, Jordan. It’s funny…we American
s don’t really think about Christians from other countries (especially Asian countries) being missionaries and going into other lands to share the gospel. I realized how narrow-minded we can be! Our first Korean church experience was so interesting bec
ause neither of us have ever felt SO welcome at any church and only ONE person could speak to us in our language. Hmmm…
So today Austin and I sat down at our kitchen table and really tried hard to learn as much of the Korean language (Hanguel) as we possibly can. We began with learning the alphabet (hanguel characters) and then attempted to learn the words. It is tricky, this language, because it is a double
whammy- first learning a totally new alphabet that looks nothing like ours and then having to learn new words. While reading Hanguel I feel like a first grader sounding out the c
haracters slowly. It taked five minutes to read one sentence and even after that, I still have no idea what it means!
This is what we have learned so far:
Thank You: kam-sa-ham-ni-da
I’m Sorry: choe-song-ham-ni-da
Chicken meat: tak-ko-gi
This is my practice sheet:
Lastly, today we went with our co-teachers into Busan (Pusan, either spelling) to get our Alien Registration Card (ARC). You have to have one of those if you are staying in the country longer than 90 days…and to set up internet, cell phone and a bank account! The ARC card was simple to apply for, but we don’t get it for 10 more days (Bummmmmer). Buuut, after we did that they took us to Hyundae Beach, which is the most famous beach in South Korea. It is on the outskirts of Busan and has tremendous views of the city, Japan Sea and mountains. We walked along a pathway and onto the beach and saw many a grandma doing sit-ups, jogging and stretching! It is amazing how active everyone is here. Hyundae was beautiful and we are planning to go back…the real news from that trip is that we saw: OUTBACK, STARBUCKS, PIZZA HUT & BENNIGANS!!! I thought Austin was going to cry he was SO happy. So it looks like we might be making a quick subway trip to Busan when in need of some back-home-cookin. Busan was definitely refreshing because we saw many foreigners, most of the signs has English translation and the before-mentioned American cuisine….All I want to find now is a yummy salad bar!
Grandpa working out (Note: his wheelchair is next to him. Don't worry, he only needs that to get around.)
For now, An-nyong-hi-kye-se-yo!
Posted by Lauren at 6:36 PM