Friday, August 8, 2014

That One Time, In South Korea #1: Jang Choon Ho

To jump start this series, I thought I'd share with you a particularly touching moment that happened in 2009.
I was a student teaching English as a volunteer with other university students from the US. We had our first real teaching experience at a school called the Game Science High School, which specializes in training high school students to work in the video game industry. As part of this school's summer program, they hosted a summer English school for the students. It was tons of fun, and we quickly grew to love the kids there.

The school itself was set deep in the country, in some beautiful mountains. One night, some of us decided to go out for dinner. On our way out, we ran into a very kind elderly man named Jang C.H. who immediately began speaking to us in English. He told us he loved learning, and that his son, who was working elsewhere, was very good at it. He wanted to learn English to communicate with his grandchildren who were living abroad with their father, but he seldom had the chance to practice it because he was living in the mountains.

In his excitement, he invited us to tour his vegetable packaging family. My friends Teye, Christine, and I agreed, and accompanied him there as he told us about his work and more about his family.

He then invited us back to his house, showing us various medals he had won and pictures of his beautiful family. Eventually he led us to his room, where he opened a Bible before us and said, "I pray everyday for chances like this. I knew God would listen." Then, what he did next, literally left us speechless.

He sat down at his piano and said, "I'm not very good. I'm still learning piano, but I would like to play you a song." It was one of the single most beautiful (and simultaneously adorable) moments I've ever experienced. He made some mistakes, but laughed graciously with us and continued to play. Christine and I were speechless by the end. Teye had tears in his eyes. I can't bring you all with me back in time to this moment. Trust me, I would love to! But at least this is one of the rare times I was smart enough to take a video....

And that's the story of that one time in South Korea, when a man with a heart of the size of the world welcomed us into his life and shared with us one of the most moving moments I have ever experienced ♡

"That One Time, In..." Series!

Okay, so, seeing as this blog is still young and I DO want to get in the habit of weekly posts, I'm trying out new things.

While I like the "Memoirs of Today" idea, it's just too much work to keep up with for me right now. Not to mention that summer would be continuously jam-packed with events while winter and fall would have next to nothing of interest (my travels in the past almost always took place in summer). In addition, it's difficult to remember exact dates for some of my trips since I am TERRIBLE at keeping is evident by this poor, sporadic blog.

So, instead, I'm going to try something new-- a series called "That One Time, In..."

The point of these posts will be short stories of random things that happened during my travels. As it turns out, there are a LOT of crazy things that can happen when travelling, and I've accumulated quite a few events to write about. Hopefully you'll like them. ;)
Rather than write reviews of locations (which hopefully I can still get around to one day), this will be more of a small glimpse into the adventures I've had, told with a few pictures/videos.

Will this actually be a maintainable series?

Who knows! But that's what makes it fun! ;)
Stay tuned~! ♡

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Memoirs of Today: Wakayama (2007)

July 9th


Naga High School, Wakayama, Japan

I feel like I should have tried to do this series years ago! For some reason I have more motivation to write about all my past activities this way-maybe I could have kept up regular posts if I had. XD

Ah, well, at least they're getting done now, right? ;)

This day in 2007 marked the first day we attended our sister school, Naga High School.
I should probably explain a little before I continue.
Students from Naga visited three schools in Washington State (USA) every March, of which our high school  and the high school of the other students we traveled with were two. It was because of this program that my friends and I asked our Japanese teacher if we could do a similar program in reverse. This trip was the second successful program for the American high schools :)

Aaaaanyway, because of this, we knew many students in varying grades before we ever arrived on campus. 
We were pleasantly surprised when a group of friends crowded in the doorway of our classroom during our break time! It was soooo nice to see them again--especially because so many of them had been our exchange students or exchange students of our friends!

 Throughout the day, we spent the morning in our own series of classes and then were invited to join our Japanese friends and host families in their classes. It was so fun to sit in with them and see what Japanese classrooms are like! At one point in a science class, a teacher surprised us all by throwing at egg at a girl!--only, it was rubber, despite how realistic it looked ;)
Once his joke had been successfully performed, he gave me the egg as a souvenir. xD

After thoroughly loving our first day of classes, some of our host siblings took us to karaoke! It  was the first time for us to visit a private-style karaoke room, and we had soooo much fun!!

After my sister's club activities had finished, she and my host brother and mother came to pick me up.
We went to a kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi restaurant) place. 
It was DELICIOUS and it was so nice being able to end the evening with my host family after a thoroughly wonderful day <3