Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Yesterday we were able to have the Elders over for Lunch and we've been preparing for this feast for quite awhile. We've been saving up some corn tortillas that my mom sent us and we had some cheese and sour cream that we got as left overs from one of our meals we cooked at the Air Base. Elder Jeong hadn't had sour cream before and you should have seen the way he loaded up his tacos with that stuff. It was so much fun. We all stuffed ourselves and at 10 pm that night we got a text from the Elders saying they didn't eat dinner they were still so full. It was then that Liji and I realized that we didn't eat dinner either and weren't hungry even though we hadn't. We ate a lot of tacos and they were good!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Taking out the trash, Korean style

We have had to learn to do a lot of things differently in Korea, perhaps one of the most annoying chores that we have is taking out the trash. You see, in Korea they recycle everything, and there is a special way to prepare the trash. We learned how to do this within our first few days or arrving. When we first got here, there was a bunch of stuff in our apartment that we did not want or need, so we put it all in the trash. Our trash can filled up in about one day, but we had no idea where to take our trash. We asked our boss, and she said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you how to take the trash out, there is a special way to do it."
We asked what we needed to do, and she insisted that she come over and show us what to do. She came over and brought some special bags with her. She explained how the trash needed to be sorted and only 'real' trash could be thrown away, everything else had to be recycled. Niether one of us had ever recyled before (unless you count picking up popcans off the side of the road for the deposit) so we asked her what constituted 'real' trash, her reply, "You Know, not paper, not plastic, not metal, not glass, just trash." What other kind of trash is there besides food trash?
Then she looked in our trash can and asked us why we had chicken bones in it. I pointed out that bones are not paper, plastic, metal, or glass so the should go in the trash... not so. So I had to sort out all of our trash, luckily it wasn't too bad, mainly because I don't believe in throwing away anything edible, and because I strip chicken bones completly clean before I throw them away.
She told us the food trash was separate from all of the other trash and had to be put in a special trash can for food only, I will let you imagine what that special food trash can smells like. Because of the smell, niether Christina or I jump at the chance to take the food trash out. If we didn't have a pint sized food trash can, we would probably take it out bi-monthly (or sooner if the smell in the apartment got to bad) It has gotten pretty rank several times, and since niether one of us wants to take it out, we have to resort to Rock, Scissors, Paper, to decide who has to take it out.
Early last week I noticed that the food trash was starting to stink, because of procrastination, we didn't actually take it out until Friday. By that time it was the worst smelling anything that I have ever smelled in my life, worse than a pail full of rotting diapers in midsummer, worse than a landfill, worse than anything. I don't know why it smelled so bad, but it was terrible. We live on the 12th floor, so when we take the elevator, more than half the time there are other people in it with us. When we got on the elevator was empty, and I was silently praying that no one else would get on, about that time a very fashionably dressed lady got on with us. As soon as she stepped in, a look of horror spread across her face, at first she covered her mouth with one hand, but by the time we reached the bottom, she had both hands over her mouth and nose.
We were on our way to gas up the scooter and run some errands, so we were gone for close to an hour. As we were parking the scooter after we had finished, I wondered out loud if the elevator still stunk, it did. It's pretty hard to hold your breath for a 12 floor elevator ride, but I did it. Maybe next time we won't wait so long to take the trash out.
Going back to the special trash bags that we have to use, well the ones that our boss gave us ran out. No problem, I thought, I'll just run to the store and get some more. Well I couldn't find them everywhere, so I just got some bags that were the same color. They worked just fine for us until we were taking out the trash and a very irate Korean woman made it very clear to us that we could not throw the trash away in that type of bag. We easily solved that problem by taking the trash out late at night when no one is around to see that we don't have the right type of bag.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Froggy Project

My niece had a school froggy project, where each of the students have a chance to take froggy home and then share his experiences with the class. Well Rebeckah sent Froggy to Korea and here is some of the fun things he got to see. Our students loved having him in class.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The best choice?

So from time to time I have wondered whether coming to Korea was the best thing that we could have done right after my graduation as a certified teacher. Could I have found a job in the States? A job with real benefits and in a country where the majority of the people speak the same language that I speak. Well last Sunday the question was answered. When we got to the Korean Ward there was an American sitting in front of us, since we don't see a lot of Americans I was curious as to who it was and why he was in Korea. When he turned around I immediately recognized him as one of my classmates from BYU-Idaho.
I didn't remember his name, but we took at least one class together and graduated at the same time, last April. Turns out he was looking for a job since the time he graduated but did not have any luck. He finally gave up on the real job search and looked for a job overseas. So he has been without a job for almost a year. We got our first paycheck last July, but he has yet to receive a paycheck. The worrisome thing about discovering that Matt (the new English teacher that we met at church) is teaching overseas is that he is the third person from that one class of only 20 students that had to look outside of the US to find a job. A close friend of mine is teaching at an American high school in Shanghai China. We are so glad that we have a job, and that I have been accepted to a Master's Program. We know that we have been directed to be where we are at this time, we have made many friends that we never would have met without coming here, we have no debt and we are in good shape to start school again, we both have gained valuable job experience, and we have definitely come to appreciate the freedoms and opportunities of the good Ol' USA.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Liji's Awkward Moment

So I've really been meaning to post about a really awkward moment for Liji from last Friday. So we usually always head down to work at about the same time everyday. Well on Wednesday last week when we came out of the elevator there were some men workers waiting to get on the elevator. Well one of them who is probably in his 20's spotted us right away and started saying Hello and was just so excited to meet us. Well, we said hello and continued on our way to our bikes and headed to work. So a couple days pass and Friday we come out of the elevator and there is this same guys, seemingly waiting for just us to come down on our way to work. As soon as we stepped out he is just so excited. He says hello and then he puts up his hand to Liji and says, "High Five" So Liji gives him a high five but then he like grasped onto his hand for a while and like tried to give Liji this side hug, which I was almost dying laughing by the look on Liji's face when this happened. But the guy was not sattisfied with this small side hug, and I guess he felt more comfortable with Liji now that they had high fived and side huged so he said "Hug" and full on bear hugged Liji, and told him how Handsome he is. It seemed like he just wanted to hang onto him forever. Man, that made my entertainment need for the week. Koreans are very affectionate towards other people of their same gender. It is not unusual here for our male students to be sitting in my class and have their arms entertwined holding hands. But this is just their showing of friendship, not romantic sort of love. It took awhile to get used to but it's not that weird now, and this hasn't been the first time that Liji as had some stranger come up and give him a hug like this. But it still gets me everytime.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Girls Playing Tag