Getting into the Groove

Hello (with a little bow)!
We are getting into the groove here in Korea. The last time we wrote we were still a little culture shocked as we settled into our new lives in Busan. I feel like as soon as we both got over a little jet lag and stopped drinking Soju (watered down vodka), we have hit the ground running.

First, school has been going really well. My morning class of 7 year-olds (really only 6) keep me entertained everyday. I called one of them a silly goose one day and now the whole class calls me that! They pick up on every little saying and then use it correctly to my shock and astonishment. The other day we were talking about our weekends and a little boy kept saying fish but it sounded like “iiishhhh” because Koreans have a hard time with the letter F. After the whole class was yelling fish at me I finally figured it out. One of my clever students yelled out “Ashley Teacher does not know any English!” So I have to be on my best behavior during class so I don’t pass on any bad habits. When you hear the kids say “ohh my God” you know they didn’t just think of it.

Our social lives are doing just as well. We have a full schedule every weekend up until after October! Just this past weekend we had our second  round of Korean lessons for two hours. They are going well and we are just learning the alphabet. There are so many foreign sounds to my tongue that each lesson is a true workout. After that a large group of Korean students went with our Korean lesson teachers for a nice raw fish lunch. We spoke English during lunch but our teachers still made us order in Korean! We spent Sunday morning at a philosophy club that meets at Starbucks. For two hours we had some deep discussions and laughs. It’s pretty casual but the best part is the people who come. There was about 20 people last week and afterwards many of us went out for Thai food near the beach. We met a yoga teacher so next week we will add Yoga to our Saturday afternoons. We have plans for a Buddist temple stay for Jason’s birthday on October 11th and a long weekend in Seoul October 2-4. There is no shortage of things to do each day and night. My favorite weekday activity to just to go for a run along the river next to our apartment and watch the older Korean population beat their stomachs like King Kong while attempting to work out on the gym equiptment along the trail. Although, they have these weighted hula hoops that are really popular so I decided to try it (all the older ladies do the hoops). I lasted about 4 minutes until I was in so much pain I had to stop. Sure enough, I had bruises on my hip bones the next morning. So I guess beating your stomach prepares it for battle with the hula-hoop. Also along the trail are the most random English phrases on shirts you will ever see. I am going to try to start writing them down so I can share them word for word. They are worth it!

So, we are just loving it here. We are adjusting to the food quite easily since we met a fellow veggie who has pointed us in the right direction. Busan has THREE veggie restaurants so we are now breathing easier. We cook almost every night and save eating out for the weekends. Busan has thai, indian…..almost everything back home. Ordering is still tricky but we are getting better.

On another note, we have been gone for 4 months (we left May 14th) and have def. felt a few bouts of homesickness. The more we get used to Korea the easier it has become but nothing can replace the feeling of home. I have posted pictures of our kids, Makai and Nalu, because I can’t talk to them on the phone (I have tried but they get upset hearing our voices). I know they are in wonderful hands and are probably more spoiled than when they are with us! But we miss our families and friends (basically all of you reading our posts) dearly. We know in the end that being away this long will be worth it but you are all on our minds constantly. We miss home and love hearing what’s going on back in the “real world” as we call it. Please continue to send your love, we can feel it all the way over here.

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