Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Friday, April 17th: First field trip of the year! In celebration of Easter, we brought the kiddies to a large park and had an Easter egg hunt. Alright, they only actually hunted for Easter eggs for about 10 minutes and they weren't even chocolate eggs. They each had to find an Easter egg that was a actually an egg-shaped contained full of bubbles and they loved it! After lunch and an exciting game of duck-duck-goose, we took a walk and found a large playground where the kids could let loose and run around like hummingbirds on speed. Introducing Banana and Cherry class being their silly selves.
Saturday, April 25th: Not that we ever need a reason to get dressed up and have a girls night, but this night was extra special because a bunch of us went to see the a bilingual performance of Vagina Monologues presented by V-Day Seoul 2009. As described in the
performance brochure, "V-DAY SEOUL is a dedicated group of foreign and Korean citizens who have come together for the third annual bilingual production of The Vagina Monologues. We are raising awareness, through the play, to prevent violence against women and to help shatter sex taboos in the Korean community." To say that the show was amazing would be an understatement. Acts such as "My Angry Vagina" and "Vagina Happy Facts" made me laugh out loud, while others such as "Say It" and "I Was There in the Room" made me cry and most importantly, made me think. A lot of the more intense ones had to do with Korean comfort women, women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during WWII. It's painful thinking about what those women went through and what some women are still being forced to go through in this day and age, but I think it's important that we do think about it because as long as it's in our consciousness, those women won't be forgotten. I'm so happy that I was fortunate enough to see this performance and would recommend to all women (and men!) that if you get the chance, go see Vagina Monologues. I guarantee that you won't regret it!
Monday, June 22, 2009
The day started off with a bang when Tara and I discovered WineAid, which we purchased in the 7-11 located in the Balsan subway station. WineAid is a basically a wine cooler, in a can. Yes, you read that correctly... in a can. Here's Meghan, Tara and I showing off our cans of winey goodness. (Pretty sure the girl between Tara and I was less than appreciative of the photo op. The man next to Meghan looks pleased to be included though!)
Once we arrived in Insadong, Kelly and I felt the need to enter the mystical realm known as the 'Auto Toilet':
Nothing like a giant yellow button to make a girl's day! Anywho, the remainder of the afternoon was spent wandering the streets of Insadong venturing into one shop after another. I ended up buying a pretty paper fan (it was sooo hot that day! Definetly a sign of spring!) a pair of earrings and a pretty amethyst ring. Korea's fairly reknown for its amethyst and since it's my birthstone, I felt it was necessary to buy myself a piece of amethyst jewelery.
April - to be continued...
Since living in Seoul, where trees are mostly for show (There's many trees, but you can tell there all fairly new and were planted mainly for aesthetics. No 100-year old trees in downtown Seoul, that's for sure!), I've realized just how much I love nature. It's very easy to take for granted those things that surround you everyday; things that you grew up with. But when they're suddenly scarce, you start missing them. Since being here, I've taken so many tree pictures (Amanda teases me mercilessly) because I get so happy to see them. I was looking at some pictures that I had taken and that's when my "AHAAAA!!!" moment came to me. A tree tattoo!!! Now to decide what kind of tree. Well, I've always wanted something that shows I'm Canadian. There came my second "AHAAA!!!" moment. What's more Canadian than a maple tree! I'm VERY happy with Hojin's work and am thrilled to have a permanent memory of my time in Korea. After the tattoo was complete, a few of us went out to Hongdae to celebrate Jen's birthday, which is February 15th. All in all, I do believe this was the best Valentine's Day to date!
Saturday, February 21st: First off, this day is my dearest and oldest friend Sab's 26th birthday! Wooohooo!!! We've often missed each other's birthdays over the years, but never has there been so much distance between us when our birthdays come around. *tear* This day, a Saturday might I add, was spent at school. We had a "seminar day" from 10:00am - 3:00pm which all of teaching staff had to attend. We spent the day talking about the different SLP programs which ended up being more insightful than originally thought. We also had a guest speaker from Oxford Press who was very interesting and who gave us great pointers to increase our effectiveness as teachers. SLP bought us lunch which we had at VIPs, a tasty restaurant with an American-style buffet. To say we ate our fill is an understatement! Everyone was pretty sleepy after that, so we were happy that the day was nearly done. We actually finished earlier than anticipated which was excellent!
That night, we were supposed to go our for Jen and my's combined birthday party extravaganza at Monkey Beach, but a series of events forced a change of plans. Amanda made dinner for some of us, which I started to eat but then had to leave. AJ got hurt on his way here so I went to meet him at the subway station. I didn't really want to leave my injured bf at my place all by his lonesome, so I stayed here with him. I was very disappointed missing the Monkey Beach dance party, but turns out that no one actually made it there. Everyone ended up at Adam's then went to Hongdae and Monkey Beach was rescheduled for the following weekend.
Thursday, February 26th: Today was the last day of the school year for our preschoolers, meaning my last day teaching my 6-year olds and 7-year olds. *tear* It's amazing how quickly our 6 months together went. There was a graduation for the 7-year olds since they'd now be going to elementary school and would no longer be going to SLP every morning. Each class took their turns going into the Rainbow Room and reciting a poem for their parents. They also received a year book-type photo album (with their English name engraved on it...very nice! I'm still sad that I didn't get one too.) and a certificate stating that they had completed preschool at Gangseo SLP. This morning went by very quickly and I was sad having to say goodbye to my little minions.
Friday, February 27th: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!! 26... YIKES!!! Since there was no preschool that day, I got to go into work a little later than usual. Not by much though, since the morning was dedicated to meetings to discuss the new schedules that we'd be receiving because this was the last full week of the 2008-2009 session. Once work was done at 7:00pm, I headed to VIPs with some of the girls for my birthday dinner. I wore a silly birthday hat (always a requirement!!!) and ate many, many food. It was fantastic! Once we finished stuffing our faces, we headed over to Madigan's, an Irish-pub that's become a popular hangout place for us on Friday nights. It's very chill and not usually super busy, which suits our large group perfectly! We were there to celebrate/mourn the departure of Alisha and her bf Jinmo, as well as Jon. It's not that dramatic, considering they're all returning to Korea in the summer and fall, but a bummer nonetheless. Must of us planned for it to be an early night, until we found a large private room that contained a noraebang (karaoke) machine! The early night turned into a singing all night, especially Laura, Amanda and I who spent many hours singing our hearts out. I do believe it was nearly 4am by the time we relunctantly dragged ourselves away. What can I say, noraebang's addicting and oh-so much fun!
Saturday, February 28th: Official birthday party night! Some of the girls met up earlier in the night for some pre-drinks, then we made our way to Monkey Beach. The rest of the work group made their appearance at some point in the night which made me very happy, although Jen, my birthday-partner, fell asleep and never made it! AJ was sick and also didn't make it. Bummer. :( Their absence was felt, but it was still a fantastic night and the buckets of booze (I'll never tire of this concept and am so happy that I have 2 in my possesion... They're so great!) flowed freely. Oh! And there were glow bracelets and glasses and other funness! Kelly managed to procure us some, which isn't that shocking considering Kel's a pro at getting free stuff: "If it's free, it's for me!" There was much dancing, much drinking, and much laughing. I'm very happy with the way my 26th birthday played out! If anyone's wondering if I received any gifts, I did! Meghan gave me an amazing gray purse which I adore. She knows me too well! Tara got me a glass Hello Kitty phone charm. Jen got me a ginormous panda pen, some Hello Kitty socks, Hello Kitty stickers and Hello Kitty post-its (she also knows me too well!). AJ got me lots of DVDs from his local DVD man, including several seasons of Friends and the Heroes. My favourite gift also came from him: A GIANT TEDDY BEAR! Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit that I still love stuffed toys and this one is especially fantastic! He's at least 3 feet tall and very cuddly, just like AJ! (AJ's definitely taller though!) What's even better is that AJ won him for him at a carnival game that's close to base... Tee-hee! I'm still unsure as to how I'll be getting T Bear back to Canada, but he's coming with me, no ifs ands or buts!
March - to be continued...