Saturday, June 27, 2009

Latanya gets her hair did..done..whatever

Dan and I have been hanging out with this couple named Tania and Stephan. They are so much fun and know were all the American food in Korea is. They have been living in Korea for about a year and 3 months Tania is originally from California and Stephan is from Michigan. We met them at a friends birthday party in our area and have been pretty much inseparable for the past month. At the party, I gravitated towards Tania and we spent like an hour talking about our naturally curly hair and how to style it for the summer. On the other end of the room Daniel was talking to Stephan I assume about sports. It is such a relief to meet another couple because Dan n Tan were basically the only couple among our friends. Anyway, the day after the party Tania and I did an English workshop together, the following week we did a teaching orientation Tania was my roommate and lesson planning teammate, then the following week we went on a temple style together. So this weekend, Tania invited me to get my hair done with her in Itaewon (a foreigner area in Seoul) at Family hair shop. I was really skeptical about getting my hair done in Korea because I had no idea what to expect but a lot of foreigners go there so I figured they must be doing something right. I arrived at the salon at around 3:20 Tania and Stephan were waiting for us. As soon as Stephan saw me he was like time to go so Daniel and him took off. Tania was getting a relaxer and I got a deep conditioner, flat iron, and trim. The salon was packed it took about 45 minutes just for my hair to be washed. Latisha a beautiful African woman took my hair out of the hair tie and all she could say was "Oh my god, you have so much hair" she shampooed and conditioned my hair which felt amazing it has been 4 months since someone else has washed my hair. She left the deep conditioner in my hair and put this hot box over my head and I waited and waited for what felt like hours but was quite entertained by the Glamour, Essence, Shape, and black hair magazines. The salon reminded me of being at Cheyenne for 5 hours on a Saturday. Finally a Korean lady washed my hair out and combed it out with this tiny comb I sat there thinking how is going to come through my hair with that comb but she did it with minimal pain. She tried to blow dry my hair but it was so thick she passed me on to another Korean lady who blow dried my hair so straight that it was unbelievable. Now for the true test the flat iron, I guess they don't use pressing combs in Korea, they have the hot stove and the flat iron which was great since it took half the time. This lady worked magic on my hair in 30 minutes with a flat iron I was in utter and complete shock and my hair looked so healthy and straight. I am definitely going back. After the hair salon we met up with the guys and had dinner at a Thai restaurant the food was so delicious, to top dinner off we went to Baskin Robbins for ice cream, and then parted ways.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Three weeks ago Latanya and I went on an orientation adventure. The GEPIK group, which is the organization that runs all the public schools in our Province, was hosting a teacher orientation. They hold these events once every three months or so. We tried to go to one when we first arrived but unfortunately it was full.
On Tuesday morning of that week we set out for our trip. We went to Guri, (a nearby city) to meet other foreign teachers, to catch our chartered bus. We were warned before we went by some friends that we will meet some real losers on our trip. We just so happened to meet some interesting people, (better way of saying losers) and we also met some really amazing people. The bus ride was not long at all, maybe a little over an hour. We arrived to the center which was nestled in the beautiful hillside full of trees with nothing for miles, with the exception of a small group of buildings down the hill. It looked to be a faculty also used for some sort of military training. They had a giant field of obstacles.
There were about 220 foreign teachers at the orientation and it lasted 4 days and 3 nights. They locked the campus down at 7pm and let's just say it's a good thing they sold beer at the cafeteria, otherwise a lot of people would have been in a frenzy.
The orientation was basically just a lot of informative lectures and group work. We learned what the Korean government expects from us and what we should actually be doing. It was actually very informative. I wish we would have been able to have this orientation when we first got here. I would have understood more clearly, exactly what I was supposed to be doing. We also were given a lot of support and resources, as well as many contacts. Simply just hearing from other experienced teachers helped immensely.
We formed a really close bond with our group. We were of course the most lively bunch. Each group was put together with people that were in one's surrounding area. We actually had met a few of them at a house party the Saturday before, such as Tania and Steven that LT and I just went out with.
At night after each day of lectures and meetings we were all able to let loose and have a good time. It was a foreigner extravaganza. People brought guitars and there was a guy with a sax. Lots of singing and drinking, but nothing too crazy, which was nice. All in all it was nice to take a small break from teaching. We made some good friends that we have already been planning trips with. I am sorry it took so long to get this story on the blog. I guess I have fallen far behind. That's it for now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Co-Workers (Dan)

So two weeks ago my school had officially welcomed two new foreign teachers at my school. I knew we were hiring two new teachers soon so this was obviously no surprise. My school also hired another Korean English teacher as well. I was actually apart of the interview process, I felt really official. You can believe I will definitely put that on my resume. Anyways, the new teachers are so nice. They are a couple from England. They are around the same age as LT and I. Their names are Lydia and Ben. They love to travel and we all hit it off really well. We went out for dinner on Saturday with and had a great time. We had great food at our favorite restaurant and then hit up a local Fish N Grill place that serves primo soju cocktails. After that we headed to the Noribang or Karaoke room for some awesome lyrical amazingnous, I know not a word, but you get the point. We did not get to the Noribang until after 1:30am or so. After three hours of wailing we were hoarse. It was a grand ole time. Anyways about why my school hired more teachers. We are opening up an after school English center. It consist of brand new construction of a huge multi-purpose room, kitchen, dance studio and broadcasting room. It is still being constructed, but is almost finished. This new program will be attracking children from the entire area and will be on high demand. I was asked to pick up more teaching hours when we open fully for the second semester. I said as long as I get overtime, heck ya! Why not? I am at school anyways doing nothing, might as well earn some extra cash in the meantime. So you can see why we need these extra teachers. Everything else with school has been going well. My after school class I teach is finally getting better for me. I teach it by myself, so I found it hard to control the kids without my Korean co-teacher. But yesterday I laid down the law, or the law was being laid. It was fun to actually teach and the students listen. I told them they had to speak English only as long as they were in my class. I let them go all out in Korean for two minutes and then no more. It was quite funny. I am sure they were saying some really bad things to me in Korean, but I just laughed. That's it for now.

First Things First

So Latanya and I have not only been having the time of our life we are accomplishing so much while we are in Korea. We are paying off any debt we have. Latanya is paying off her car while giving it a well deserved rest. We are able to save so much into savings. Not only that we are not pinching every penny like we were at home. And all that is just a big financial relief. We are seeing the world to make it even more of a sweeter deal. Next month we are planning a trip to China. We want to check out Beijing. This weekend we are going to stay over night at a Buddhist temple. It's going to be great to center ourselves and meditate. We have met so many great people thus far. It has been one great time after another. Just to think we are getting paid to live abroad. How great is that? Well I am posting this one and will follow shortly with another.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Away away away

Dan and Tan have not been good on updating the blog and top to things off we are going out of town for 4 days and 3 nights to a teaching orientation. Thank you everyone for keeping up with us on the blog. Korea has been such a blessing for us and we are glad to share our experiences with our wonderful family and friends . We have a lot to update you on so next week be ready.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Myung and Tan Reunite

This past Monday Myung invited me over to her house for dinner. It was quite hilarious before she served dinner she asked me what I had for lunch at school that day. I told her and it happened to be the same food she cooked (rice, beef-galbi, garlic, mushrooms, ssamjang- spicy red chile pepper paste you put all the ingredients in a leaf of lettuce and wrap into a ball and stuff it in your mouth) it was so delicious and even better than what I had a school. I thought she looked well rested and elated it was great to see her not constantly stressed out about work. Myung said she is so fortunate to stay home and raise her son, i'm so happy for her but I really miss her at work. We spent 4 hours catching up, and reminiscing on the 2 months we taught together. Her son Kyu Min took out all his English books and wanted me to read them to him it was so cute when I finished reading one book he would pick up another book for me to read after 3 Myung told him to stop. All in all it was a great time.

Diaper Cake

I miss doing arts and crafts so when I found out one of the teachers at school was having a baby I jumped at the chance to make a diaper cake. In Korea they don't have baby showers family and friends usually give the expecting parents money and gifts for the baby. Myung suggested a craft store across the street from Emart and I practically ran there. There was so much amazing stuff I ended up spending an hour and a half in the store just looking. Finally, I found everything I needed for my duck themed diaper cake. I got home and had a brilliant idea to add bubbles to the top of the cake to make the duck look like he was in a bath tub. It was perfect cause it gave me an excuse to go back to the store. It took me 3 days on an off to complete the diaper cake. I hope the teacher enjoys my creation.