English Culture in Korea and China

Anyong haseyo, family and friends!

First off, I would like to apologize to anyone who has recently emailed me and who has not yet received a reply. Things have picked up quite a bit at work and I haven’t found the time to reply to everybody yet. Now that the weather is (FINALLY!!!!!!!!) starting to warm up, we have been getting more visitors, in larger groups, and we have been averaging 1-2 hours of devo per day. We haven’t had any legitimate breaks in the day for the past 3 weeks.

As I mentioned above, it is finally warming up here! Some days have been as warm as light-jacket-weather, and today was the first day I was able to go outside in my sweater without a coat! Oddly, though, it’s rained almost every day… or has been overcast, at least. The “rainy season” is usually in the summer, but from what I understand, the weather has been wacky all over the globe this year.

In my previous post, I wrote that Glenn and I were put back on weekends until the end of May. Weekends have been just as busy as during the week, which is not usually the case. In fact, yesterday (Saturday) our hours were 1-9pm instead of the normal 9am-6pm, but today (Sunday) we worked 9am-6pm. Needless to say, after cleaning up from the last cooking class last night and having to get up early for the regular work schedule this morning, and having only an hour of devo each day, I am rather exhausted. Moreover, we had 74 1st-3rd graders here who were not only badly behaved, but whose English was so low that most of them couldn’t even answer, “What is your name?” ….yeah, I’m pretty much entirely out of patience, so I hope that the kids we get tomorrow are both better behaved and understand a higher level of English.

As of late, due to frustrations with EV administration and lack of interest in learning English from students, I have questioned whether I’m making much of a difference here in Korea at all. But today, I was thinking about it and realized that even the simplest things like making something using the oven in cooking class is a foreign concept to these kids (the vast majority of Korean homes do not have ovens; they buy baked goods from actual bakeries). Another thing they really like is a class called “Dance Party,” in which they learn how to do the chicken dance, which is something that everyone from an English-speaking country grows up knowing and automatically understanding that it will be played and danced to at every type of party/occasion. From our perspective, it’s strange to think that there are people who grow up not knowing the chicken dance, like here in Korea!

Speaking of English culture… guess who went to Shanghai for the weekend without me to play in a rugby tournament? Glenn left Friday afternoon and should be coming home tonight, any minute now (it’s currently 10:42pm). We had no way of communicating with each other over the weekend, so I can only hope that he was safe, had fun, and didn’t break his nose this time!

Next week is pay day and warmer weather, so we will see where that takes us! There is still so much of Seoul to explore.

Wish us luck this next week with our busy schedules, and please keep your fingers crossed that we get nice, well behaved kids!

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