Christmas in Korea

Hello, friends and family!

I apologize for not writing since last week, but it’s been rather busy around here. As you know, Glenn arrived last Thursday! He slept on and off throughout the night, which means I did too (I’m a light sleeper), and then he started work Friday morning. It was the funniest thing when we walked into the meeting room, because everyone clapped and cheered for him! Thanks to my constant talking about him for the last 3 months, everyone already knew who he was and were so excited to meet him, unlike other newbies who show up and we all go, “Oh, hey, I don’t know you… are you new?”

After the one morning class, Glenn got to observe the best closing ceremony, ever! There were 2 kids who beatboxed on stage together, and they were REALLY good! Then, we had a Gangnam Style dance contest, and one of the same kids who beatboxed was also in the dance contest, and was an incredible dancer! The audience went nuts for them and their energy and spirit really made it enjoyable! It was a blast and I had to tell Glenn that unfortunately, then closing ceremony isn’t usually that exciting.

The meetings in the afternoon were boring as usual, but Glenn got to meet a lot of people and so that part was kind of fun. He was exhausted by the end of the day and he just crashed when we came home after work. He slept on and off again throughout the night (so did I) and the next day, Saturday, I had to teach and he had devo all morning. In the afternoon, he helped with the Christmas event (which was basically the Halloween event, except with Christmas activities) and I taught again. Our weekend kids were horrible! They were really badly behaved and not very nice. I was glad that they were weekend kids and not there for a whole week! Lucky for Glenn, being new and that being our last weekend, he didn’t have to teach them. He was assigned to the cookie-making station and sat and watched kids decorate cookies for 4 hours. He enjoyed it and was astounded that he got paid to hang out all morning and to watch kids decorate cookies in the afternoon. And I just told him, “Welcome to English Village!”

Sunday, Glenn was given the day off – we aren’t sure why. But I’m glad he didn’t have to work, because he was still super jetlagged and hadn’t had any recovery time yet. I felt jetlagged, too, just because I hadn’t slept well the past 3 nights and I ended up working in the morning but taking a half day off after lunch. I had a headache and felt too exchausted to help with the Christmas event, and they had plenty of teachers so I didn’t feel bad for taking a half day. I slept 3 hours that afternoon and then went grocery shopping that night after I taught my salsa class. Glenn napped throughout the day and night.

Monday was Christmas Eve! We had to work but there weren’t any programs, and we just had devo all day. It went by quickly because we had a couple of meetings in the morning and afternoon, and in between them we all hung out and/or surfed the internet. After work, we went to dinner in Ilsan with some of our co-workers. Ilsan is the next city over (where the Costco is) and is about a 20-minute cab ride away. It looks and feels just like Seoul, only smaller, and was nice to visit after having been stuck in Paju for the last 3 weeks and for Glenn, who had only seen a little of Seoul when he was in the cab going from the airport to GEV. We ate at a burger bistro (the burgers were amazingly delicious!) and they had darts and pool, which we played after eating. It was a wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve, so far from home!

It snowed overnight and we woke up to a white Christmas! It was such a fun day! Glenn and I got up early (well, he was awake by 5 and got me up around 7:30am) to open presents, and thanks to gifts that Glenn brought with him and gift boxes I received from my parents and grandparents, we had a nice pile of presents to open, plus stockings! (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) We loved all the gifts we got and put everything to use right away! Unfortunately, we had to get ready for work then. Glenn spent the morning surfing the internet and watching a movie with some of our co-workers, and I went to the cooking room, where there were about 6 other people, and we all made food and shared what we made with each other. It was such a blast! We had way too much fun and I can’t believe we were paid for that! I had tried to find Glenn to bring him there and join us, but he had gone off to watch the movie and I didn’t think to look in that room. He had a good time too, though.

During lunch, we Skyped with my Mom and Dad; that was a nice treat for us! 🙂

After lunch, we had to spend 2 hours helping with the Christmas event, and Glenn and I both got assigned to the table where kids write letters to Santa. It was the easiest station, I think, and it wasn’t nearly as crowded as it was on Halloween, so the crowd was manageable and dare I even say, pleasant! Plus, it was nice for Glenn and I to be able to work together. We hung out in the computer room for the rest of the afternoon and after dinner, we went to our friend’s Christmas party. Our friend, Shaka, lives in an apartment about half the size of ours, and probably close to 30 people made an appearance. Shaka had made all kinds of side dishes and had even baked an entire ham. People also brought food to share, and later we played a game and there was a white elephant gift exchange. It was a great party and Glenn and I were so happy to have spent our Christmas there!

The next day, Wednesday, Glenn and I got up early to Skype with his family, who were all just finishing Christmas dinner. His parents, sister, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and grandparents were there, and it was really nice to see them all there together! It was a short conversation because we had to go to work then. We had high schoolers from 7 different schools come, and they are very lovely kids – we have all enjoyed working with them this week. They’re staying until Sunday, so Wednesday was kind of like a Monday, and Sunday will be kind of like a Friday; an unusual schedule, but I’m sure nobody will mind considering we all like these kids a lot. Yesterday, Glenn shadowed people all day (he got to shadow me in the morning!) and today, he actually got to teach a little bit, which he really enjoyed! I think he’s surprised at how much he is liking it (and at how easy it is)!

Tomorrow is Friday, our first “real” Friday, and the 8th day in a row that we will have worked! This weekend we will catch up on some much-deserved rest, and then go into Seoul Saturday afternoon and do dinner for Lila’s birthday. We might stay overnight – haven’t decided yet – because the next day is a hockey game that we’re also going to with Lila in (belated) celebration of her birthday. I think Andy and Lucy will be coming to dinner on Saturday, which means Glenn will get to meet them, AND it will be Glenn’s first time in Seoul! It’s going to be a great weekend – a REAL weekend! 🙂

I took a ton of pictures on Christmas Eve and Christmas day! View Photo Gallery

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2 Responses to Christmas in Korea

  1. zimzimmie1 says:

    Christmas so far from home must’ve been hard but it sounds like you and Glen still had a great time! 😀 I hope I get to see you in a few months! Keep your eye on your mail! I’m sending invitations this weekend!

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