Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Korean class begins

After being in Korea for over a week now we finally started our Korean class. Sadly I’m already lost. It is very difficult. The teacher speaks Korean the entire time, which I know is the right thing, but the class is already difficult. We learned the basic alphabet today and how to read basic words. I need them spelled out phonetically instead of listening to be able to grasp the concept. So hopefully JiHyun, my buddy, can help me.

The guy from California that is full Korean and speaks it fluently but reads on a very low level said the class was even hard for him. So that made me feel a lot better. Being able to read is the beginning of speaking the language so hopefully this will get better. Tomorrow’s unit looks to be on basic conversation.

Oh yeah, late last night around midnight the speakers in the dorm went off saying something, in Korean, so we didn’t know what they said. About 30 minutes later someone came knocking on all of our doors to check the rooms. So obviously the announcement said they were having a random room check to make sure everyone was in. we have a curfew of 12 or either 1 we are unsure. But if you are late they will not let you in so you have to find a comfy place outside. We learned random room checks are normal when asking around today.

Back to today’s events… after class we met our buddies and had lunch. Lunch consisted of a lot of different types of danishes and sweet bread. I had a danish with a hotdog in it. I’ve seen this a lot so I decided to try it. It was different, but I don’t believe I will be eating it again. After finishing up with lunch we took an hour bus ride to a small village area to make pottery.

But in order to get to the building we had to hike up a huge mountain in the heat. We were all beat by the time we made it there. The pottery experience was fun. I tried making a bowl, but the man who owned the place came and completely redid mine.  We finished off our pottery class with tea, green tea of course. We watched the man make traditional tea and we were served rice cake. Lane and Allie liked these cakes more while Rachel and I like the ones we got to make in Incheon better.

After a picture we waited for everyone to finish looking around and taking pictures of grass, like they had not ever been around grass before (UK kids), it was blistering hot. Rachel and I decided to lead the pack back down the mountain. The bus ride was very pretty we got to see the green mountainous area that we all hear about when we hear of Korea. But I decided I would take advantage of the quiet bus ride. I had a great nap on the way back into Busan.

It was dinnertime when we got back to campus so all of the Korean Summer Session students (KSS, all of the foreigners in this program) went to the cafeteria and had dinner. This was much better than the food was this weekend. We were all pleased. Rice and kimchi were on the menu as always and either chicken or pork I could not tell, but it was great. And to change it up instead of hot green tea with the meal they served what was a combination of tea and lemonade… little do they know that it is called an Arnold Palmer in the States.

After dinner we took the bus back to the academic building and met with our groups for the elementary school mission. My group is planning on doing something with fairytale characters and super hero’s. I’m really not sure of the direction we are going, but we will figure it out. I got assigned Snow White. I joked and said I had to have 7 men if I was going to be Snow White. Ms. Na surprised us all and got us pizza to snack on while we were working. We had traditional Korean pizza, from Dominos.  My group’s pizza had cheese, ham, sweet potatoes and kiwi. Surprisingly it was sweet and delicious. We were all starving because dinner is served at 5:30 every evening.

Tomorrow we have class again and then a short lecture on Korean politics. I know this will be fun for me to hear how this country’s political system works. I think tomorrow afternoon and evening is dedicated to working on the mission again. Everyone is starting to warm up to one another. The UK kids (as I call them) are starting to acknowledge us more, this weekend will be the test when we go on an over night trip together.

Maybe in my next post I will be able to say Hello and Good Night!!

PS:  Ms. Na informed me this evening that Monday the Lander students will get to have lunch with the President of Dong-A. This makes me very proud to know we are the only ones invited.

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