Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Where to see the New Year in?!


Oh yes in just over 24 hours we will be boarding a plane Philippines bound! This shall be the first time we will leave Korea since arriving in February and I am so excited I have no idea how I will sleep tonight!

Our plan whilst at the Philippines is:

  • 2 days in Cebu- See in the New year, cycle a mountain.
  • 1 week in Bohol- Chocolate Hills, Tasiers, Snorkeling and soooo much more.
  • 5 days in Puerto Princesa- Underground river, beaches, dolphins.
  • 1 more day in Cebu- Lapu Lapu before departing.

Back to Korea, quick dash home, change the summer bags for the readily packed bags prepped for the harsh British Winter and off home we go!

I shall try to keep folk up to date on here, but no promises (I promise to tell all upon our return however- imagine the photos)...I'm sure if we have internet at the hut I could spend some time lounging in our hammock, rum in one hand, blogging away!

Oh I just can't wait!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A traditional Jolley Christmas in Korea!

I spent Christmas Eve prepping as much food as possible for the following day. This was mostly due to a fear of how I would ever cook so many different things in the smallest kitchen ever! That night we went for chicken and a coffee, we were hoping to meet people out for a festive drink but failed as I was pretty sick. Instead we headed home for galaxy hot chocolate with rum, delicious. At 12 o'clock it was time for the tradition of new pyjamas and as we are in Korea, we just had to have 'couples' ones!

Christmas arrived and I was sick. Whaaat.... devastating times. All Christmas eve I had felt like an elephant had slept on my head and although I was unble to sleep Christmas Eve it seems this had not stopped the elephant from climbing on board yet again! I refused to let this hinder my Christmas...

The day went something like this.....

Christmas Hats were Law:

Opening presents...

I like to put things on as I open presents

This is where it all went wrong, now my house is covered in BB gun bullets in every nook and cranny!

The Korean face mask, worn by most here, especially in Spring to prevent the 'yellow dust from China' from getting in.

Cooking Dinner for 6, pretty Stressfull...

Roast potatoes 

BBguns while I cook....

The feast.....

Chicken, pigs in blankets, roasties, mashed orange and cinnamon carrots, broccoli, stuffing, gravy, delicious!
Handmade Crackers with presents, jokes and trivia...
Caspar got a glasses cleaner

The table display...

The evening ended with Christmas cake and Ice-Cream, board games and drinks.....

We also time shared skype throughout the day with interactions taking place between, South Africa, England and Wales. My mum also sang two Christmas carols to everyone, quite painful to the ears and I got to watch my family open all their presents which was glorious.

Christmas in Korea was actually wonderful, I was dreading it in a way as Im just a baby. However, we kept things traditional, a good old christmas dinner, presents, Christmas Hats, Board Games, Christmas music, Lots of Drinks and good company!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Grown up Christmas

We have just finished our first ever Christmas shop. It's pretty cool to say that your first ever Christmas as a host was in fact in Korea. It's not so cool that we shall have to cook everything in a kitchen the size of my shoe and I'm a size 3, along with an oven that will just about fit a single chicken (yes Chicken, Turkey here is expensive, like soul exchanging expensive)...

Our Borrower size kitchen: Usual for Korean Apartments

The oven: This is sizeable for Korea, most are toaster size.

The oven is in fact on loan from a friend who shall be joining us for Christmas dinner so mustn't grumble as I can't actually explain how wonderous it is to have an oven in our household!

So we have just been to the local HomePlus (AKA Tesco in the UK and Lotus in Thailand, I'm yet to see any other branches) or 'Homeplus-uh' to Koreans, and stocked up on Christmas goods. We were shopping to feed 6, a first for me and I had no idea how much to buy. I hope we got enough, Our fridge looks pretty good.

Our Christmas Goods: Chicken, Veggies, Wine, Champagne, Tonic for gin.

It doesn't feel like Christmas here in Korea, although more lights have just appeared downtown which I shall snap tomorrow. There is a severe lack of 'Festive air'. For the first time since being here I miss British society. I miss late night shopping in the cold and rain with the lights twinkling outside, carol singers and the man that plays trumpet on Bold Street, I miss getting home to Wales and wrapping up on the sofa in a furry blanket with the fire on surrounded by the outrageous grotto that is our house in December. I miss Christmas adverts, they dont have them here, the worktops being filled with ridiculous amounts of food and drink and even the pub on Christmas eve, when theres a sense of excitment and companionship in the air.

My first Christmas away from home shall be hard I think, I'm still far too spoiled at home. My mum makes Christmas just as special as the days when I believed in Santa and I shall miss my family even more than I already do day to day.
Mum and Tony last Christmas: All the presents you can see are my Mothers, she is very loved that woman!

However, we shall make it as special as possible here, surrounded by good friends and hopefully delicious food and soon we shall be home! I shall of course keep you updated on the days events...

But, for now, its time for a minature Christmas pudding courtesy of my delightful Christmas parcel from Genna.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Moments of greatness...

Just this afternoon one of my wonderful students (quite possibly my favourite-I know I shouldn't have them but this girl is exceptional), came bursting into my classroom in quite some haste. 

She was also shouting "No Teacher, No!" Once she got close to my desk she began telling me "Teacher, I need you, Teacher I want you" I was very confused...

Next to follow was "Teacher you go Yungu (England) why Teacher, I need you here"...

Lisa dancing on sports day!

Her moment of panic made me chuckle. How will I ever leave?!

Her friends then tried to explain their homeroom Teacher had just told them the PE Teacher, My CoTeacher and myself would be leaving. This had left little Lisa in despair! 

I explained I would not leave until February 2012 when she was a 6th grade student and had turned into a little monster. All was well....for 2 minutes then she turned and said "Teacher just one more time?" with the saddest little face.

I may have to stay, at least until she has left this school, no all through her education, I shall just move from school to school with her. Simple!

Moments of Greatness....The boy behind the words (most of them)

This is Shinee, whose comical words regularly feature on my "Moments of greatness" posts and sent me this Christmas card:

To Corey Teacher, Merry Christmas!
I want a baby boy and Touch Phone.
I love baby boy and you.
Goodbye Teacher.
Shinee, Pak Byong Song

What a lil man! He acts out everything for me with the greatest of facial expressions imaginable and LOVES the word 'maybe'...

'Funny Face'

Korean Pose 

'Grandfather Frog!?'

"Teacher maybe you good"
"Teacher maybe you pretty"
"Teacher you pretty, no maybe, no"

I told him last week: "Shinee your hansome, maaaybe" to which he laughed and had a slight look of pride over the fact I understood his humour. 

Can't you just see what a cheeky lil chappy he is!

He has also told me "maybe I love you Teacher, maaaaybe", to which I mimed "Heartbroken".

Christmas Joy in Donghae School

This week is my final week of teaching for 2010 (in my school that is, I have winter camp in a different school), so I decided to make Christmas Cards and letters to Santa with my 3rd and 4th grade students (Aged 9 and 10). It was truely joyous! We had Christmas music and films on in the background, I wore a Santa Reindeer hat and Christmas Jumper and the students told me they were "Very happy because Teacher is Rudolph".

Heres some pictures of the process and the outcome:

'Monday Boy' wants a bicycle

Kevin: The most enthusiastic child you could wish to meet!
Kevin wants a soccer ball

Ardellio: Charismatic lil chap!

This Kid is great, awesome student and pretty hilarious. Last week he came in with a jumper that had a face thats mouth opened and he began to eat everything on my desk!
He wants a notebook and Santa wants a pie.

Mischievous little fella
"Love Corey Teacher" apparently was meant to say
"I love Corey Teacher."

Amerikid: The Secret Spy.

I also had a few cards given to me:

At the end of each class some students began to worry how Santa would get their letters or cards and I decided they should place them under their pillows Christmas Eve and Santa could read them. I took the cards in, placed them in a bag with Santa on and told them I would send them. To be honest I didn't expect any of the students to 'believe' in Father Christmas so I was a little unprepared for such childlike wonder, it did make everything seem all the more glorious!

Just because.