Monday, February 26, 2007


Well, I am now moved into my new home. I don't yet have my telephone or net set up. I'm hoping to get that done this week, but I'm not sure if that will happen or not. Moving is sooooo stressful. I didn't really sleep all weekend, due to packing and such. Now I have to figure out where to put everything. My new home only has one small wardrobe that is only shelves. Maybe 1/4 of my clothes fit in it. There is no where to actually hang up clothes. I have to ask my new school to get me a closet or dresser or something like that. I am still waiting for my water cooler, too.
It will take me a while to figure out the area. Where my home is, it is like a maze of little streets, some too small for cars to go down. It is in the hills, almost at the top of a hill. There are two entrances to my building. One on the first floor, where my home is, and another on the 3rd floor. Once I am settled in I will post some pictures. It is really an interesting area. It is almost right below Namsan Tower (Seoul Tower).

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Yesterday was supposed to be my last day working at the kindy... the last day that I'd have to get up early (until I start my new job, that is). However, during my last day of work at the kindy, I was told that it wasn't actually my last day of work; that I DID have one more day. Today is the graduation ceremony for the 7 year old classes. Since there are so many of them, they have to do the ceremony twice. AND... I have to go onto the little stage and speak infront of all of the parents for both. The way I found that out was when they told me I had to come today, they handed me a little piece of paper with my name on it and a bunch of Korean writing. They told me "make some words". What is that supposed to mean?? It took me quite a while to get them to actually explain that I had to give a mini speech. Some of the students got an English award, and on the award was a little blurb in Korean. My speech has to be similar to that. I got the Korean English teacher to translate it for me and then I fixed it up a bit. After work yesterday, I had to come to the kindy to do a trial run of what I was going to say. They had basically just told me that I had to do it, and then wanted to know what I was saying, and were confused that I hadn't already planned and memorized some sort of speech. ACK.
Anyway, the first ceremony is now finished. It wasn't too bad, I suppose, but those that know me well know that I am not a public speaker. I am a very reserved person. Actually, public speaking terrifies me.
The kids all have little graduation gowns and caps to put on. Outside, there are people selling bouquets of flowers and candies. It is a huge deal.
One down, one to go.
I will miss these kids. :(

Roe Deer Class

Today was the last day of classes at the kindy.
I will miss my kids soooooooooo much. All ~350 of them.
This is my Roe Deer Class. They are now Korean age 6 (4 years old).

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

moving II

Tuesday will be my last day teaching at the kindy, so until the 28th, I'll have my mornings off. I'll need them, since I'll be spending my evenings trying to organize my things to get ready to move next Sunday. I'm still not quite sure how I'll be moving, or how my stuff will fit into the new home. Right now I have a small closet with 2 drawers on the bottom, as well as 3 fairly large 3 drawer drawers. My new home only has a small closet with 2 drawers. Plus, I also have another set of drawers with stuff for my computer, stuff for Tokki and other misc. things. I'm not sure where I'll put them. I have a tv table and coffee table set, which I'm not altogether sure will fit in the new home. I guess I'll find out when I get there. I'll have to get a few things (or get my new school to get them) to help me organize after I move (book shelves, etc). They are supposed to be help me move my stuff on the 25th, but I want to be all packed up and ready to go by the time they get here. I'm going to have to find some boxes or such to put my stuff in. I'm still one suitcase less than when I came.

Happy New Year...

The Lunar New Year is being celebrated this weekend. It is a 3 day holiday in Korea. Unfortunately, this year it falls on a weekend, so it is only one extra day off work.
The kindy boss once again gave gifts to all of the teachers. Last time it was a soap/toothpaste set. This time it is a huge box of han-gua - puffy rice cake snack thingies. They are semi-tasteless, except for a bit of a honey taste. If I had a choice, I'd rather just get the money. A huge box of these little rice thingies is too much for one person. I don't mind them, but just cannot eat that many.
For the Lunar New Year, Korean kids typically get money from their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I found out that I have to be out of this home on the 25th, so I talked to my new school and they arranged it so I can move into my new home that day. Yay! That means I don't have to move twice. My new home is near Sookmyung Women's University subway station. I am told that it would take about 7 minutes to walk to the station from my new home, which is near the top of a hill. It is a fairly new building, so it is clean. The only problem is that it is quite small. I'm moving from an old Korean home with a bit living room, a big bedroom, a small kitchen long hallway, to a one room studio flat with a balcony that is accessed through a low window (I almost laughed when I saw that). LOL. I'll send pics after I move in.

Friday, February 09, 2007

how sad

2 people that I met when I was in Egypt in 2005 died almost 4 months ago, both from liver problems. Maybe this has something to do with their problems:

Better Infection Control Programs Needed to Help Combat Hepatitis C in Egypt
EGYPT: 5 million infected with Hepatitis C
The annual infection rate is more than 70,000 new cases, of which at least 35,000 would have chronic hepatitis C," said Dr Manal el-Sayed, Professor of Paediatrics at Cairo's Ain Shams University and member of the National Hepatitis Committee which is currently formulating an action plan to fight the disease.
Hepatitis C is a lethal virus which can cause liver cirrhosis and cancer. Egypt has one of the highest prevalence rates of the virus in the world, say specialists. An estimated 10-15 percent of the population, some 8-10 million people, are carrying hepatitis C antibodies, meaning that they either have or at one time had the virus. Five million of those are actively infected, according to government figures.
No vaccine is available for HCV although it can be treated with a combination of drugs if detected early enough.
Egypt's very high prevalence of HCV is largely the legacy of government campaigns prior to 1980 to treat rural populations for schistosomiasis (or bilharzia), a water-borne disease which at one time was endemic in Egypt. The treatment campaigns, which involved repeated injections, did not follow rigorous hygiene standards, and as such spread blood-borne HCV throughout the population.
As it may take up to 30 years for a patient to display symptoms of HCV or for the disease to become active, the full extent of the problem has only recently become known.
Those at risk of new HCV infections in Egypt are not just those in medical contact with existing patients, however. The children and relatives of individuals affected during the schistosomiasis campaign are also a high-risk group, as widespread behavioural practices - such as the re-use of syringes, sharing of toothbrushes and even circumcision - all increase the risk of contracting blood-borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
[BBS News]

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

pencil cases

Korean kids have such cool pencil cases. I have an obsession with pens and pencils and all things related. Being in Korea only feeds this obsession. :P
There is such a variety of pencil cases here, from the simple, to the video game models.
A relatively simple pencil case.The lid flips up to find a writing board. It comes with a little whiteboard marker and eraser.The writing board then flips up to find the pencil compartment."DRAGONDRIVE"
This one has a compass on the top.The top part flips over and the other lid is a little writing board.Philly's pencil case.
"Racing Action-Z"
"I go forward for the world! Nice man. wawa109"The top flips over to the racing game.Cindy's pencil case
"I hope to hear your merry voice."
"floral heart"
"So romantic!"
"MINI M"The game slides out like a drawer.
It comes with several game cards (in the slots to the right of the game screen).

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

busy, busy, busy

Well, this is a fairly busy month. I have to move SOMETIME. I'm not sure when, exactly, or where. I'm changing jobs. My contract at the school(s) I'm at will finish the end of the month. After much confusion and disagreements at the school, it has been decided that they will hire a new teacher (money was the deciding factor, as they save money by hiring someone with no experience), rather than keeping me (I had actually decided I wanted to stay). Anyway, I am taking the job at an English kindergarten in Dongbu-Ichon-Dong (more central Seoul, just South of the river). My home won't be near the school, though. It will be 3 subway stops away (there is also a bus that goes that route). As their previous teachers have been army wives, they have to find a home for me. They have been looking around and are looking at 3 different places near Sookmyung Women's University station. I will go with them on Saturday to look at them (I basically get to choose). Then they will get furniture for me.
As my new home is not contracted yet, I don't know when I can move in. And, my current school will be getting new accommodations for the next teacher (a one room studio style apartment closer to the school), and the contract on this home is supposed to be finished on the 28th. I work on the 28th. So far, they don't know exactly when I have to move out. They have suggested I might have to move into the new home here on the 25th, and then again to my new home on the 1st (a holiday here). Or, I should move the morning of the 28th and then go to work. I dont' think so. Plus I think my new school wants me there the morning of the 28th for an introductory/registration thingy.
I should be allowed to move on the 1st. They are still trying to figure it out.
I also need to know how big my new home is so I know if I can take all of my stuff or not (I have a coffee table, tv table, etc) I don't want to take it all there if it won't fit. I guess I'll be able to figure that out this weekend. I also have to pack sometime soon. I HATE packing. And I have nothing to put my stuff in. I have some things that I got the last time I was working in Korea, as well as the stuff I brought and what I bought. I came with two big suitcases, but one broke on the way (the handles fell off) so I got rid of it, so now I am in desperate need boxes or bags or what ever I can find. I don't want to go to the post office to buy boxes just to use for moving (I don't particularly want to carry them home, for one). I think my new school will help me move, but I have to pack first.
Anyway... the last two weeks here will be fairly easy, as the kindy finishes on the 20th (and the 19th is a holiday). That means my last 6 days are afternoon teaching only. YAY!!!
My first day at the new school is the 2nd.