6 months in!

We have been teaching here for 6 months and have had a wonderful journey so far.  We just sent our third set of visitors home, celebrated Akasha’s birthday, and finished the mid-term of  our second semester. Here’s a quick rundown of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.

Mike: Teaching has been a pleasant surprise for me. The students are for the most part eager to learn, and my fellow teachers are generous and supportive. The curriculum’s curious syntax is often a challenge (How’s your sister? She is tall!), as is trying to keep lesson plans fresh, but I’m getting more creative every week.

Akasha:  My students are wonderful. My co-teacher is a great guy, we plan and teach 50/50 and he likes to have fun and keep the kids motivated.  My only gripe is that the curriculum isn’t very demanding.  The students repeat nearly identical lessons for 4 years of elementary school, by the time they are in 6th grade it is hard to keep them engaged.  The highlight of my 6 months was definitely teaching summer camp where I got to develop the curriculum.

Getting around has been easy and relatively inexpensive. Since we’ve been here, we’ve seen the following cities: Haenam, Muan, Gwangju, Yeoungam, Busan, Seoul, and the islands of Wando, Oedaldo, Biggeumdo, and Cheungsando. For our anniversary we are planning to go up to Masan for the Chrysanthemum Festival.

The Future:
Is unknown.  We’ve been debating what to do next. There are many interesting options out there.

What we miss:
More than anything, we miss you.  There is nothing in the world that can replace years of friendship or the bonds of family.  We’ve been so lucky to have 4 friends visit, made millions of Skype calls, and we love your post cards, but we miss you.  A lot.  We’ve made some great friends here.  Every few months there is a new group of teachers and we get together to welcome them with dinner and a party.

 This weekend we’ll have a Halloween party. I, Kasha, am volunteering at the bake sale, and Mike is volunteering at the poker/ darts tournament.  All proceeds go to the orphanage that I volunteer at. We also miss burgers.  It is a 45 minute bus ride to the nearest hamburger.  It is a good burger, but it’s no Juicy Lucy.

I hope the next 6 months of teaching go as well as the past 6 months have. Keep your post cards and care packages coming, and we’ll keep on posting our adventures here and on Facebook for you to share.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Birthday time

It is almost time for my B-day, and our 6 month mark here.  I’m a little homesick for the bonfire and barbeque we would be having at home.  There’s no good place around here to have a fire, so I think we’ll just go out for Korean BBQ with a few friends. I hope that we stay here for a bit, but I can’t wait for my next backyard birthday BBQ with ya’ll again.  (pout)

In the mean time, there is nothing that we would love more than a birthday postcard and or bday Skype call.

I am excited for the Halloween party we’ll be having in Mokpo.  It’s a fundraiser for the orphanage I volunteer at and should be a great time.  In addition to a thriller dance-off, and a costume contest, there will be a bake-sale.  I’m trying to find the ingredeients necessary for a cookie-bar extravaganza!   Marshmallows go for $10 a bag here, dashing my krispy bar dreams, but I’ll whip something up.    Halloween is not a Korean thing, but it seems the foreigners know how to do it up right.