Kind Mr. Won

Yesterday one of the English teachers brought in yogurt drinks for the English department.  I have not had the chance to talk to him too often, but I do get to listen to his classes since his room is right next to my desk.  This drink is a blueberry yogurt drink.  비피더스  is the name/brand of the drink.  I was sure to thank him for his kindness.

The yogurt drink. You can also spot my new umbrella!

I love these keyboards at school; you can switch from the Roman alphabet to 한글 (Korean) with the press of one button. I should figure out how to do that on my Mac soon!  I have found that I am learning Korean pretty well by buying food at the stores and translating the packaging when I get home.

Korean Red Ginseng.

This is a popular drink in Korea.  It is made from Korean red ginseng.  I have been offered it twice while at school.  Once when I was introduced to the principal, and once while grading the 4th graders exams.  It tastes like cola syrup with an herbal twist.

This is red ginseng; I kinda like it.

I love These Students!

Today I was possibly going to Daejeon for my ARC (Alien Residents Card).  Alas, my documents did not return yet, so I will have to wait until tuesday or so (Monday is Buddha’s birthday; no classes).  That was a bummer because the ARC allows me to get a phone, and an ATM card as well as health insurance.

My homework.

Today was not a complete bust though,  I had a great lesson by my favorite Korean teachers!   Again with the Jenga and games.  This time they brought a guitar too!  One game I played with them that they seemed to like was to have them write in one of my Moleskine notebooks.  I would have them write a word in Korean, then teach it to me, then I would help them spell it in english.  It was a pretty good system!

My latest gift is a bouncy ball!

I am still receiving gifts from my students.  Today I received a bouncy ball, 2 chocolate candies, a vitamin C candy, and a John Grisham book.  I ate the candy, it was pretty tasty! It made up for the fact that I also did not yet receive my computer in the mail.  It was supposed to get here on Wednesday, but it got held up in customs I think.  Oh well, Tuesday it is then.

This is the Candy Giver!

My friend, the candy giver stopped by several times today.  He seems to be a little shy, but he is very nice.  I think some of the students just like being around me.  That isn’t meant to sound conceded, I think they just enjoy being around the foreigner.

My Korean Teaching Gang!

Every time these guys stop by it is so much fun.  The girl in the middle always pulls faces and is very emotive.  The girl on the left is really smart, and is pretty good with English.  She is also the one who likes to stack the Jenga blocks as high as possible.  Today I learned the word for:

Eye: 눈 nun

Hand: 손 son

Ear: 긔 kui

Nose: 코 k’o

And several others.

One of my regulars.

She stopped by today, and she brought the guitar; I think she was on her way to lessons.  Her English name is Jenny.  That is easy enough to remember because it is my sisters name.  Jenny has been thoroughly introducing me to K-Pop (Korean Pop Music).  Her current obsession is a group called Nu’Est (Newest).  Their song “Face” is kinda catchy.  Yes, it is essentially a boy band; it’s K-pop.

I saw this on the way home.

On my way home I saw this cement pump filling in a 3rd story floor.  There are so many buildings going up around mine.  It’s kinda nice to see the empty lots being used.  Granted in Korea there is no wasted space.  Even in a one foot strip of land next to a road someone will be growing radishes or something!

So this ends my first week in Korea.  I was slightly nervous about how the students would be, but they have more than proved to me that I will love this job.  Every day they manage to do something that makes me smile!  I am looking forward to teaching them and learning from them!

A Night’s View From My Rooftop

Kim informed me today that our rooftops were in fact accessible!  This was after an incredibly long walk into what seemed to almost be the country-side, and a dinner which included dumplings and pork.  After that lovely bit of the night, I went up to my roof alone to take some pictures.  Here is what I came up with:

North of my apartment.
South East

South West

Down between the buildings.