Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Long time no post!

Due to a reminder from a good friend, I decided that I should put a little note up here at the very least. Teaching in South Korea is so busy, and when I have free time I just want to vegetate. However, that means I often fall behind in communicating with all my wonderful friends that I have all over the world. I love my friends and miss all of them very much. And while I may not be updating like I should and sending out pictures, I do honestly think about my friends everyday.

Anyway, things are going well here in Seoul. I got moved to another institute within Seoul at the end of 2007. It is a little bigger, but I am really enjoying it. The students are really nice. Oh, and the area is considered the "Bel Air" of Seoul, meaning that it is the most expensive and rich area. Which means that we actually have to live in a smaller apartment! But I am okay with it. These days I am hardly home except to sleep anyway. I am teaching 8 hours this term, starting at 6:30am and ending at 7pm. So I have a few hours break in the middle of the day, which in this business is essential.

Sharing Jesus is not the most easy thing I have come to find. It is almost like being in the USA. Most everyone has everything that they think they need, so recognizing their need for God is not so stark. But I am making friends with some of my students and sharing in little ways how I live my life because of God. And there is also religion class that I teach. I would appreciate your prayers! Thank you!

Not much actually has been going on other than teaching. Christmas was a total fiasco, but more about that another time. They did have a Vincent Van Gogh exhibit at the Art museum for the last few months. It was actually a large portion of his work and I went to go and see it with another foreign teacher friend of mine. It was really neat to see the real thing up close. However, it does not rival being in God's artwork, nature. And I have seen way too LITTLE of it! Living in the city is probably the hardest challenge that I have right now, I get tired of walking around the little parks with a few trees. And walking on the streets with all the pollution? Forget it! Oh, to be back in Norway with all the fresh clean air and the mountains to go hiking in! Or even home in Arkansas, after all, my parents now live on the lake, outside of town. But enough of that.

I think have rambled on long enough for now. Will try and post some pictures very soon. Thanks everyone for your prayers and support! God is good all the time, all the time God is good!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Random and Cool

Life in Korea is never dull. I happened to go downtown on Friday with my roomate's friend who is visiting from the States. We went to one of the traditional Korean markets, and saw a changing of the guard ceremony. It was really cool.

First we were at this gate by the market, where there are guards dressed like during the Josan Dynasty, when they would actually guard the gates to palaces and such. We posed with them, but it felt so weird!

Then we made our way down towards city hall, where there is another palace. We got there just before 2pm and they were making an announcement that the changing of the guard ceremony was about to take place. So one of the Koreans who was with us, Michael, bought tickets, but then we found out it was right there at the gate and we did not need them!

It was really cool, they did the whole replica of how it was done back in the day. It actually was pretty long process with a procession and secrect handshake (or more like secret actions) and everything! Afterward they had some free costumes to put on and take pictures in. And we took pictures with the guard again. The two Korean girls we were with were so excited. This was the first time they had done anything like this, or seen it. So it was fun all the way around. Everyone got to see something that we had not seen before.

If you want to see more pics check out my Ringo page.

Just a couple of other random things I have noticed about Korea. In general, it is very hard to be vegetarian when going out to eat. That being said, I could never eat meat. My body is just not used to it, after not eating meat for what, my whole life. So needless to say, I avoid eating out as much as possible. there are places where I can find some things to eat, but buffets are probably the worst for vegetarians here.

Another thing they like to make here is "toast". Actually it is an egg sandwich that can be made several different ways. There is the veggies one, that has eggs, raw cabbage and sweet pickles. I actually like it. Depending on what shop, they may also garnish it with sugar or ketchup, or even both! I have not tried it with sugar, but the ketchup does add a nice touch.

Sweet pickles are about the only thing you can find here. They apparently don't believe in dill! Such a hard thing for me, as I really dislike sweet and love dill!! Ah, such is life. (They even eat sweet pickles with their pizza!)

Anyway, just a couple things about daily life here in Korea. Keep looking up!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wow! I feel really great. Extremely busy, and life is more hectic then ever, but I am having fun.

And I climbed my first Korean mountain this past Sunday! Ok, so at 639M it is no Bessegen (In Norway), but it was still fun. And it was not that long of a hike either. All told it was about a 4 hour round trip. But it was worth it. I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time hiking, and just being outside in the woods. Living in the city makes that a challenge. But actually, this mountain was kind of in the middle of the city. Seoul is huge, with around 10 million people.

I would like to add more, but I have to run to class right now. Will try to post some pics here in the next day or so.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Life in the Fast Lane

Hey guys!

Why is it whenever we really want to do something, like say post a blog, somehow stuff keeps happening to prevent it? Life for instance, I have wanted to post so many things in the last few weeks, but obviously that has not happened. But such is life I guess. I will just have to keep trying.

We just finished one term here at the SDA Institute in South Korea. After a 2 day break we started the new term today. Each term is 2 months, or 36 class days. This term my schedule is a little better. Well, I don't know that getting up at 5am is better for the night owl in me, but we learn to deal right? That means that I teach at 6 am, 7am, 9am, then have a break from 10am to 3pm. In the afternoon we have Juniors (kids of all ages, including teenagers). I teach for another 3 hours in row, then a one hour break and my last class is at 7pm. So my day officially ends at 8pm! I have had split schedules before, but this has to be the most challenging. But it is also fun.

I am starting to really enjoy it, and I love the Korean people. Friends are also starting to appear. I have a really wonderful roommate, who is from California and we get along really well. Also, one of the Korean Junior teachers and I have been hanging out quite a bit these last couple of weeks so that has been nice as well.

I would love to write more, but I must get to bed. Here are a few pictures from the other day when I went to Seoul National Cemetery. It is mostly graves from soldiers who died during the Korean war, and some during fighting for freedom from Japan. There are also 2 former presidents buried there as well. And it just happened to be a good place to see some fall colors as well!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Busy Life

I really have a bunch of things to say, but right now all I have is a few minutes. So hopefully I can get around to writing something more substantial this weekend. In the meantime, I have to preach the sermon this evening for Vespers, and I am not nearly as prepared as I should be. We are reaching the end of the term, so I am very tired. Last weekend was very busy, more about that later.

Please pray for me. Thank you!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Living in the City

Well, I have now been in Seoul for over a month. I must say, it has taken getting used to, but I am getting there. I was really spoiled last year living in Norway with all the nature and clean air all around. It is tough to be living in a huge city of how many millions of people.

But I can't complain. God is good and I am getting into the swing of teaching English. This last week there was a holiday, the Korean version of Thanksgiving. And I was very thankful that one of the Korean teachers invited all of us to his parent's house in the country! It was absolutely wonderful to breath fresh air again! And to be surrounded by mountains.

I will try to put up some pictures this week if I can figure it out. I am not really great at this whole blogging thing yet, so if anyone would like to give me some pointers, that would be wonderful!

Until next time,

Thursday, June 21, 2007