Once a Pirate, Always a Pirate: Halloween in Korea

Who would guess that the best Halloween I’ve experienced would be in a country that doesn’t even officially celebrate it?

It’s been a long week of preparations and decorations, but it all came together last night around 1am.  The people I work with are awesome.  We all spent the last few nights at the school decking the halls with ferocious ghosts and goblins all to ensure the children have a “spook-tacular” Halloween that rivals any other kindergarten class experience in the USA.

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What a late night at work does to you.

We did it!

We did it!

I really think we showed Korea what Halloween is all about.  It was such a neat experience working with all the TN staff members into the wee hours of the morning and watching the whole production come together.  The best part?  The looks on the children’s faces, their sheer excitement for the costumes, decorations, and activities planned made everything so worth it.

Hailey and Brian: haunted house buddies.

Hailey and Brian: haunted house buddies.

Dan the man showing off my sword.  He requested several angles to get the perfect pose!

Dan the man showing off my sword. He requested several angles to get the perfect pose!

These boys are such cuties!

These boys are such cuties!

Emily teacher and I: Tinkerbelle and Captain Jack Sparrow

Emily teacher and I: Tinkerbelle and Captain Jack Sparrow

My last class of the day was brutal, I was utterly exhausted and ready to clean the Jack Sparrow smudges from my face, but as I walked into (and left) the classroom my class began humming the Pirates of the Caribbean theme in unison.  How could one not get a laugh out of that?!  It was definitely the energy boost I needed.

I didn’t even get to the greatest part yet: It’s not over.  We get to dress up tomorrow AND host another festival on Saturday so the older children have the chance to attend.

The kindergartners and teachers after a great day!

The kindergartners and teachers after a great day!

Time to try to attempt to clean the black eye liner from my face.  Happy Halloween!

Making the World a Little More Colorful

I’m sitting in bed bundled up to my nose in blankets, in retrospect…I probably should have spent the day like this, but my day was anything but blankets and bedside lounging….

I started the morning peeved that, once again, my battery operated “high-tech” door lock stopped working.  Turns out, dollar store batteries last about as long as you’d think (not even a month).  I scrambled to get my stuff together, all while my body ached with some sort of cold virus.  I’ve been pretty lucky, most of my co-workers have caught the seasonal cold but I was able to dodge it for a good three months – it was only inevitable.

Emily, Monica, and I made our way to the bus stop after Monica lent me some batteries to repair my stubborn lock.  To our surprise, we made it to the bus stop just as our bus turned the corner.  We hopped on the bus only to find ourselves packed like sardines.  There really is no limit to the amount of people you can cram into a bus here.  We ended up standing, squished and pushed into the middle of the of the bus for a good 30 minute ride.

After making a quick jump off the bus (we were the first at the middle door, so we had to literally JUMP and run to avoid being trampled), we treated ourselves to a BK whopper and met up with our volunteer group.  This Saturday, we volunteered at the local orphanage.  This volunteer group does a lot with this particular orphanage to the point where some of the children recognized Monica from past excursions.  The children were so lively and curious and excited to see what we had in store for them today.

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I ended up getting most my paint ME rather than the wall.

We had a huge group show up all to volunteer time and money to paint three huge murals for the orphanage.  It turned out to be a long day, but the time flew!  It truly was a great time and bonding experience, though I lacked the artsy side and most of my painting had to end up being corrected, or washed off my face I still had a blast with some amazing individuals.

This diem has been carpe’d.

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The mural I helped paint, I mostly just painted the pink hearts though haha.

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Staircase to the orphanage complete with a white dove! ❤

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Mural photos credit: Yeoul

Learning is Power

Life has swallowed me whole.  I’ve been busy, not too busy to update, just busy being…enjoying, loving, seeing, exploring.

Shall we begin the long overdue update?

Toward the end of September, we took the kindergarten classes on a field trip to a pottery class.  This day was one of the first crisp, fall days here in Korea.  It was definitely a welcomed break from the humid, 80 degree weather we experienced the majority of September.

Teachers and students all learning the craft of clay pottery.

Teachers and students all learning the craft of clay pottery.

Dan learning how to use the wheel.

Dan learning how to use the wheel.

Kevin and I almost finished with our pieces!

Kevin and I almost finished with our pieces!

Pottery lined the walls of this place!

Pottery lined the walls of this place!

Later, we enjoyed a picnic at a nearby park.  Sometimes, all one really needs to unwind is a crisp fall day, sunshine, and running around with bunch of five and six year olds.

Torch class, these boys are a handful but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Torch class, these boys are a handful but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Brian's expression!  This is probably my favorite captured moment. Photo Credit: Dalena.

Brian’s expression!
This is probably my favorite captured moment. Photo Credit: Dalena.

They say when you find where you’re supposed to be, you just know.   Everything falls into place.  I think this is it, I think I’ve found it.  This is where I need to be.

Learning is powerful.