Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A few tidbits

1. Prices here are incomprehensible to me. I can get a haircut for under $5. I can join a gym for a month for the same price. I can get a huge amount of food for under $3. But then a frozen yogurt will cost $3.50. True that was in a different part of town. Still, though, some prices seem quite different than prices in the United States.
2. It so super hot and humid here. The Korean women look beautiful and well-kept. I look hot and sweaty and my hair is frizzy. Going along with that, there are mosquitoes everywhere. Bug bites are rampant. Tonight they got Becky right in the middle of her forehead. And although we were suppose to have missed rainy season, we didn't. The hot humid rainy weather has usually given way to a beautiful fall by now, but not this year (stupid global warming). So we have been beset with much rain and cloudy skies. Carrying an umbrella is just going to get to be a part of life for a while. (I did purchase an umbrella for $5 and then today found the same one somewhere else for $3).
3. Went to a great market yesterday! (Thanks to Katie for the photos). It is a wholesale market, but in the afternoons, after the restaurants have been through, the vendors sell to individuals. Yes, this is within walking distance.

4. Korean language classes are...well,going on. I appreciate learning the language and I know it is essential, but I don't like sitting in a classroom. Still, after only 2 days I can read decently well (albeit very very slowly, and I don't know what anything means). 4 hours a day of sounding out consonants and vowels. There are about 6-7 sounds like I am pretty convinced are all the same sound. The difference has to do with how much air you let out or where your tongue is or something, but it is lost on me.
5. We're in the process of visiting our placement sites. I don't understand how it is all going to work out, but it sounds like we could potentially have a lot to do and a lot of options. Yesterday we visited the site that I am going to be working with primarily. I. Love. It. It is a community organization that works with families in poverty and particularly families of migrant workers. They have many many programs including food outreach, after-school programs for latch-key kids, programs for the elderly to maintain mental and physical health, help for the unemployed, workers rights and labor issues, counseling and support for migrants, women's programs, and even soccer activities. Most of their activities are after school, so I will go there in the afternoons and even some Sundays. See the pictures below.

Today we visited the site where Becky will be the primary contact. It is an adorable place that has a wonderful pastor running the show. They also do really neat cultural activities, so maybe Katie and I can join Becky on those days. Tomorrow we will see the place Simon and Haejung had in mind for Katie, and then over the next few days we will work out more of who will go where and when and why. Also today we visited a public library where we will go on Saturdays to work with families on English and some yet to be determined activities. Sounds like we are going to be working with many many people and will be potentially quite busy.
6. Still loving being on a campus. There is always so much going on, even though I don't understand what. Today I went for a walk and ended up at the stadium where a scrimmage was going on (the men's soccer team has their season opener on Thrusday) and hundreds of students and community members were playing on the track, playing basketball in numerous courts around the area, walking, chatting, and generally enjoying the beautiful night. What fun, even as a spectator.

Peace, Je-ni-pa (my name in Korean speak)


  1. It sounds like you are having a blast! I miss you !

  2. My sister is cute in Korea. And this message is not snarky.

  3. Jenny, love your blogs. Simon sent out the YAVs blog sites. Hope to see you soon.

  4. It's funny how Jenny is the same size as all the women. Haha. Love you babe! Also...I find it hilarious that Becky got a bite on her forehead. lol