Wednesday, April 11

South Korea: Mass e-mail #3

Hello friends and loved ones!
I find it strange that as I age I become less aware of time and dates. Life events gel together and become one mass of conversation, thought and experience. I just so happen to be 2 months into the event-blob I will refer to as "South Korea".
Today at school I had the type of day I would dream about before coming out here. I used to picture myself in a bubbling mess of rambunctious, eager students. We'd be silly but (of course) at the same time very dedicated to our school work and a deepening grasp of the English language. Clearly those types of days happen less frequently than one would hope. But today was one of them! We had a birthday party and a special delivery from "chickenman". Actually two men dressed as chickens came bearing fried goods. The class went insane and we had a photoshoot. My kids make me laugh so hard.
Peter is the youngest in the class. Since they are so young (5) you can recognize when certain kids are a bit behind developmentally just because of a few months age difference. Peter is incredibly sweet and loves to participate, but sometimes he just can't keep up. I think he tries to overcompensate with a loud and deafening tone of voice. He literally screams when he is overjoyed. I have to tell him to be quiet while trying not to laugh out loud. One morning our class took a bathroom break, and we lined up right outside the boys bathroom. While doing his thing in the stall Peter must have thought of something very exciting and pertinent to share with me. He comes bursting out of the stall with his pants and undergarments around his knees and his arms wide open and he screams, "JOY TEACHER!". The entire class had a very clear view of this event and we all burst into laughter. He looked down and realizing that he was not fully clothed, jetted back in the stall. It was the first time I have laughed to the point of tears with the students, and they were intrigued by my overactive tear ducts.
Last weekend I had the chance to be inspired by nature and physical exertion when I made the trek to the top of a mountain about an hour away from Gwangju. It was a wonderful time hiking 4 hours in a herd of well over 2000 Koreans. When we got to the top people were feasting and enjoying the windy mountain top. We were well-fed by complete strangers, and I drank from a natural spring. I enjoyed the whole experience, and my aching legs and muscles served as reminders of the great time for many days.
Aside from these my life is life. I just told my friend Dan that this is no vacation and no study abroad trip. I live here. I think that is good to realize. It is important to be present wherever life takes us.
Well, I suppose I should be turning in for the night. There is another day full of verb tenses, flashcards, sticker books and tutoring sessions awaiting me on the other side of this moon we all share.
I send my love to you all!

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