Friday, April 30, 2010

O my Soul

Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth!

Serve the Lord with gladness!

Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good; his stead fast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. * Ps.100

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity, who heals your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit,

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!

Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!

Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul! *Psalm 103 1-5, 20-22

Thursday, April 29, 2010

School Picnic: The Food

Yesterday was all about the festivities of the school picnic. Today we'll take a little gander at the food side of things. This isn't your bring a sack lunch with a sandwich and cookie type of deal... this is bring, kimchi and kimbap if your a student, and if you're a teacher you get this....
Yes, the parent's association set all of this up! Burners, millions of side dishes, drinks, bulgogi dish (beef dish... delish!) It was pretty impressive.

But then they decided to add this:

Why yes, that is live squid, and you can see that it is trying to escape the pan.... it threw it's tentacle over the edge.... *shudder*

And just when I thought our dish was safe... they threw two guys in. One was strangling the leaf with it's tentacles... I did take a video which is slightly horrific seeing an animal being boiled in front of you while it writhes around. But of course I can' figure out anymore how to put up videos. so you've been spared.

Little Fish anyone? Yes they have their heads, eyes, mouth etc. Yes, they are  chock full of calcium... so eat up!

Kimbap... which is poor man's sushi. It's actually not bad and the one thing I will eat.

Raw Beef... anyone....anyone.....anyone? Ummm... no thanks, I'd prefer not to spend the rest of the evening sick.

What would a school picnic lunch be without beer?

Joanne and i enjoying the festivities!

Dig In and Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

School Picnic Day!

Last Thursday the four middle schools on the islands had their picnic! It was supposed to be outside, but because of the bloody rain, it was in Amtae (Jon's) Gym. A picnic is kind of like what a field trip would be to us, and and the same time it isn't really the same... at all.

First off the kids are just expected to show up on their own. There are no school buses, parent chaperones, or permission slips.

This post is full of pictures and videos,  ok I can't find the place to upload videos!!!! NOT OK! They were so great! ugh... hopefully I'll find another way.

All the students in rows listening to directions for the day.  This is all 4 schools together... about 175 tops. 

Some of Jon's students

Some of my girls! Once they saw Jon it was "Oh so handsome! Love you! Love you!"
yes my husband is studly :)

The two "announcers" I'm not sure what she's doing... but her pants were tiiiiiiight.

Some of my first grade girls :)

This was so ridiculous! These two girls were dancing and the three in the background were "singing"... and when I say singing I mean they were putting their hands in front of their mouths for half of it... and being embarrassed and just ridiculous!

Some students and teachers thoroughly enjoying themselves!

The guy up above in green is our gym teacher and everyone was shocked when the boy below was going to sing! He only studies and nobody knew he had it in him to sing... so the gym teacher slapped his butt on the way up to the stage... would that ever fly in the U.S.?

Some more girls showing off their skills

This guy was ridiculous. Who shows up in a 3 piece suit!? He was carrying his wallet and phone around acting really important. It was pretty funny. We later found out that he's one of the biggest trouble makers at his school... perfect.

After the talent shows we had lunch (which is it's own post) and then we were done for the day! woo hoo!

Overall it's a fun day because the students are so excited and it's a nice break for the teachers too!

What was your favorite school field trip as a kid?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Wedding

Most weddings are a unique expression of the couple that is getting married. There are always little special touches, that really show who the couple is. You could get married in a church, outside, banquet hall, or maybe in a court house.  You may go totally casual with a beach theme or be extremely formal with a ball and fancy meal.  And for the most part... your day is your own. You aren't sharing with 30 other brides... it's all about you!

In a Korean wedding... this couldn't be further from the truth. Most couples (i.e. 95% of them) get married in a wedding hall. A wedding hall can be 30 stories (like the one we were at) and each floor can house about two weddings. And the wedding is a whopping 20 minutes long... and then it's time for the next couple to get married. Then either before or after the wedding you all head down to a huge banquet hall where hundreds of others are also eating after or before their wedding.  It's a bit of an experience... so now I'll take you through the day in pictures! There's lots... get ready.

Here is the lovely bride :) sitting in her own private room attached to the main hall just waiting for people to come in and take pictures with her. Where is the groom you ask? He's outside mingling.  Yoon Jeong was BEAUTIFUL seriously looked like a princess :) But honestly this whole sitting there like a queen waiting for people to come in and take pictures, would've driven me nuts!

The main hall with ALL of the guests. You can see in the background the actually wedding hall for the ceremony.

The wedding has begun... most everyone shuffles in, although there are maybe 80 seats for 200 guests. For those of you who watch Gilmore Girls you know why we were running in to get seats! "only 52 seats and 62 koreans!"

Here are the mothers of the bride and groom walking down the aisle... and the woman bowing on the side is like an attendant of sorts?

And hey... did anyone see the videographer or photographer!? Oh yea... they are right in your face.

I'm sorry but how cool is this... what guy wouldn't want to walk in with swords raised above his head?

Ahhh the subtlety of the media, how's that for romantic?

Also, keep in mind that during this entire ceremony people are in the background talking. And not quietly. It's not the hush and quiet of a western wedding. It's noisy, loud, and yes cellphones were being answered.

This chick,  was the official "primper" She was ALWAYS out there fixing Yoon Jeong, always fixing her dress, fixing her hair, etc. I would've decked her. So annoying!

And then there is the husband prostrating himself before everyone... he also did this when they bowed to both sets of parents.

And then he proceeded to give his mother-in-law a piggy back ride... ummmmm what!?
I'm pretty sure you missed out mom!

He then proceeded to pick up yoon jeong and do about 10 squats, proving his strength?? I don't know.

STREAMERS! This was about 2 seconds after she shot them out of a trumpet making me freak out and scream... clearly I blend in well.

Ahh what a nice photo of them with their pastor, father, uncle, close friend, principal. Yes... this is the school principal, and he "officiated" the ENTIRE service... is that even legal? And who doesn't want their first photo as a married couple with their boss?

There is "primper" lady back on the scene... mopping up sweat.

Both sides of the family.

And a picture with the friends! This I thought was a pretty neat idea. Just grab all the friends and grab a photo! Can you spot the two whities in the group?

Tossing the bouquet and boutonniere.. no garters here. 

And that's it!

It really was quite the interesting experience. One I know I'll never forget!

It really made me thankful for how personal our wedding was! What was your favorite part of your wedding??  I know mine was the dance :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

The 10k

Well I did it! The 10k is over and it was AWESOME! Everything went smoothly, despite the large panic attack I had worked myself into a week beforehand.  I was really worried that we'd get lost, not find the shuttle bus, be late, miss the race, not get the baggage checked... etc. But God was watching over the day and things couldn't have gone better! I'm so happy I did this little "mini"race before the 1/2 because I know what things to change for next time. I also learned a little about the racing world of Korea. Here's what I know for next time...

1. No matter how many times I go to the bathroom before the race ( I went 4 within the hour before) It's inevitable that I'll have to go the minute before the race actually starts. I forgot about it until there were 2 miles left in the race and there I could see the porta- potties, but I decided to hold it and not add on extra time, and I made it!

2. EAT MORE! Usually I can't have ANYTHING too close to running or I feel completely nauseous. Well this time I had a banana, and a muffin with peanut butter, and some strawberries. Literally 2 minutes into the race I was starving which led me into bad decision...

3. Eating a hot dog after the race smothered in cheese because the only thing they offered was some crap danish and a power bar and I was soooooo hungry. I then felt sick the rest of the day. But at least I wasn't starving anymore??? I'm looking for some better pre-race food for next time, because that will be twice as long, which means twice as hungry, which means more post race bad decisions.

4. I'm obsessed with my Garmin Forerunner watch... seriously obsessed. I check it ALL THE TIME. and then I start to analyze.... "this is my pace, I wonder if I'll keep this pace, maybe I should go faster, maybe I should slow up and save it until the end, is this really how far I've gone?, etc..." I guess it keeps me occupied and off the fact that I'm running in the hot sun... but seriously I don't know what I'd do without it... it wouldn't be good.

5. I was soooooo happy to actually see other Koreans running, and women for that matter!! I know this sounds stupid, but for the past two years I've lived in rural Korea where NO ONE runs! I am a freak of nature to these people! I had a police car stop the other day and the officer was trying to let him drive me home. Last year a man in his van followed me for a good ten minutes wondering what I was doing. I finally felt normal!

6. Some Koreans run... exactly like they drive. And that is not a good thing. For the most part there is no consideration of other runners, and they have no running etiquette. We are taking basic things here. For example. We round a pretty tight corner and this man in the middle of EVERYONE decides this is the perfect moment to stop... and tie his shoe... in the middle of the corner.  I had a group of like the 3 girls stop right in their tracks a few feet ahead of me and take a picture!? That and I'm sorry but if you're going to walk.... please move to the side. I was pleased that I could tell other Koreans were annoyed at their fellow countrymen... there was a lot of Korean griping... and I didn't feel so bad at my annoyance after that.

7. When running an "Eco" course you'd expect like a trail run of sorts... well it's Korea and it was not what I was expecting. We were kind of running along a marshy rivery thing on a track like surface and then there was the actual river. But the fantastic part was that there were construction workers... in the middle of the trail... PAINTING and spraying it all over. So not only are you trying to catch your breath and breathe regularly you are also inhaling paint fumes... not so Eco friendly Korea...  and you are also no trying to dodge workers and not trip over the 50 cords everywhere and the huge generator... couldn't take one day off.

8. I realized how frustrated I get with the sprinter/walker guy who wants to look good. For the last 3 miles this man was playing this little game. He would be walking, I would pass and he would sprint.... then I would catch up to him as he was walking... as soon as I passed... you guessed it. He'd sprint! Pick a pace people!  And to top it all off I passed him when we maybe had 1/2  a mile to go ( he was walking, and panting pretty hard). Literally in the last .15 miles of the race I start sprinting and the lane for the finish is only 2 people wide so I'm on the right sprinting and the people on the left are going considerably slower, I hear a man yell "move, left, move!" I take a glance, it's annoying sprinter man... well I will not be beat... so I pick up my pace and he continues to yell at me to move... dude I'm .02  away I'm not going to slip into the slow lane because you just decided to pick up your pace... I'm FINISHING THIS RACE MY WAY! And I did... and then he almost took me out at the end, and gave me a glare... and I stared right back.... yeah... I'm competitive...

9. Racing is good for people watching... it helps the miles go by.

Alright on to the pictures!!!!!

Group stretch!

You'll never guess who sponsored the event...

The marathoners comin' through

Can you spot the white girl, in the bright pink amongst the sea of blue koreans???

There she is!  I love the guy next to me waving at Jon too :)

There she goes in all of her pink glory :)

I LOVE the guys face behind me... priceless!

Literally the second after I finish.. checking the watch! And you can see annoying sprinter boy putting his hand on my arm taking me out.... I should've elbowed him.

Finished 6.2 miles in 54:59! My goal was to be under 10 min/mile and I  definitely accomplished that goal!

My sweet medal and bib number! So happy to be done!

So there it is folks! The recap of the race. It was fun, the running was great, and I'm hoping I can do this well during the half!

Tomorrow you'll get to see the amazingness of the Korean wedding... and let me tell you it was different!

Oh and any tips on pre-race foods!!!??? I need some help...obviously.