Friday, April 22, 2011


While running today I came up to a street light.  Waiting for signal to turn to "walk" and cross the road, two other souls joined me in the wait.  They were on the opposite side of the road.  We were all white people (something that is super rare in Daegu). One of the guys pumped his fists in the air, held them in a "V" shape and screamed to me through the traffic, "Hey, Look! There are 3 of us! I've never seen so many in one spot before!" 

It was a good feeling of camaraderie.  The light changed, we passed one another wishing 'happy days' and went about our own workouts!  

Life is so much fun!   

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Daily Routine

If you haven't noticed thus far...we really enjoy eating.  I got to try a new potential favorite last week while celebrating a friend's birthday!  Alicia is another Kindergarten teacher and makes me laugh daily.  We went out for what's pronounced "Duck galbi"'s basically chicken cut up in a big pot with cabbage and potatoes.  They put 'red sauce' on it that makes it nice and spicy!  YUM! Naturally, the best part about trying new foods is the friends you share it with!  

Cassie, Alicia, Susan waiting for the food to be done

Me and Kristin 

Our pot of goodness! 

And what eating festivity stops with just the entree? You might be surprised to learn how crazy in love Koreans are with waffles!  We ventured to a local favorite (yes, in walking distance of my house which is not so great for my love handles) to get ourselves a few dessert samples...

Humongous waffles with a side of fruit including a tomato and ice cream... 

Finally, this was the sign posted all over the walls.  Just in case we needed reminding.... 

Until the next food extravaganza ....

Friday, March 18, 2011

Attempt and Fail

I really want to be able to bring some of my culinary experience from SK back to OK.  One of my favorite "snacks" here is kimbap.  Kimbap (or Gimbap) is the Korean version of sushi.  It is considered fast food and extremely inexpensive if you purchase it from a restaurant (dollar to won it's about $1.00).  Not to mention, it's really great for you! "Kim" means seaweed and "bap" means rice (and that's your language lesson for today).  

You can put anything you want to in the middle but some traditional items would be: korean radish, carrot, egg, spam (because it IS an essential meat in SK), cucumber, garlic, peppers, ground fish patty, spinach...and the list goes on!  I have literally had various locals stuff their personal kimbap in my mouth because they want me to "oooo" and "ahhh" and their selection of foods inside.

The potential spread: before

I wanted to make kimbap and let my Korean friends tell me how they would alter it to make it better.  I didn't get that far though because it popped on me....

I'll keep working and I'm sure by June I'll have it down!  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

QU Wedding

For years now, we have celebrated the union of the letters /Q/ and /U/ in holy 'letter-mony'. Because the letter Q can never be without its partner U, it seemed fitting to incorporate this special matrimony into our curriculum here in SK.  My kindergarten team jumped on board and our students had a great time celebrating the new sound /QU/ (pronounced /kw/).  The girls dress up as QUeens and the boys dress as QUarterbacks.  As Canon in D plays, the students walk down our aisle arm in arm to witness the two letters' marriage.  Naturally, we have to have an officiate.  This year, I decided that I would ask GENERAL Harvey to do this great honor.  It would be similar to me inviting our state governor.  Not having much experience with military protocol, I simply emailed the General.  His "people" got in touch with me a few days later to inform me of his great need elsewhere and regretted he would not be attending.  Apparently there is a chain of command when regarding such high ranking officers but...I'm a I can claim being naive. Three days before the wedding, I received a phone call from one of the General's soldiers explaining that the General had rearranged his schedule because he really wanted to participate!!! I was fist pumping in the air while on the phone! They asked if I could come to a meeting with General Harvey the following day (during school) to go through the program.  Administration covered my class during the meeting.  Our visit together should have lasted about 5 minutes.  It lasted over an HOUR!  When I first met him I was nervous. You would have thought I would have dressed up. Nope. I was in Kindergarten painted jeans and a pair of Chuck Taylor Shoes. Good one, Becca. But-should I salute?  Should I wait to speak until I am asked to do so?  One wrong move and am I getting kicked out of Korea? He very quickly made me feel very comfortable and asked me so many questions on my views about the school system here and how I felt we could improve them to make it equal to or above national standards.  ME?  Really??  I begged his forgiveness and made sure he realized that I have only been with DOD since August.  He didn't seem to mind and suggested my opinions were 'fresh' and 'new'.  

The following day, he sent his brigade of soldiers to the school to have me walk them through the location of the event, his entrance, his exit, where he will be standing, what he will wear, etc. I have never had to think for someone in so many ways.  The day of the wedding was upon us and I received a phone call from the soldiers about 20 minutes before 'go time.' I was sure something came up and they were canceling.  Nope!  The General wanted to ask for my permission to wear a QUarterback jersey instead of his Dress Blues (the fancy uniform).  They also asked if I would make him a bow tie.  He did such a great job hamming things up with the kids! I think the parents were really impressed that he was there.  Their big boss watching their every move.  Those in uniform who were able to get off duty for the event stood at attention as he entered the room as if it were a natural twitch.  It was great to see them freeze...if you want parents on their best behavior...invite their head commanding officer to their child's event! We had a huge reception following the ceremony (to which the General was given a to-go basket of goodies for because he was whisked away quickly).  The kids are STILL talking about General Harvey making an appearance in our school!  

The General taking off his jacket to reveal his support! 

Kindergarten Team with the General 

A Very, Chilly Valentine's Day

Daegu received more snow than what it has seen in almost 20 years on Valentine's Day!  It was so much fun to heat up some hot chocolate in my kitchen at school, bundle up my students and take our chairs outside while enjoying watching our snow falling on the patio!  The chunks of snow were huge and fluffy.  It was probably the prettiest snow fall I have ever seen...I believe it added up to about 6 inches.  The locals were loving it but had no idea how to drive/walk in it.

Susan, my LA friend, de-snowing her car with a broom after school. 
 Our school parking lot

We ended up having a Snow Day the following school day.  It was a great surprise and allowed Jake and me to get out into Daegu to celebrate Valentine's Day without having to worry about a curfew.

We went to see Gulliver's Travels in 4-D at the Cinema.  As you can see...we were the only people in there.  We had a great evening together! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Great Evangelist

I rode the subway to my friend's house over the weekend.  I was with another girlfriend, Kristin, who had her baby with her so coming and going via the stairwell seemed silly when we could take the elevator up to fresh air.  We shared the elevator with a small, elderly Korean man who smiled at us.  He jabbered eagerly in korean  but we just sort of nodded with big eyes as though we understood every word.  We made a few "ahhs" and "ohhs" which come with many korean conversations as a sign of comprehension.  He stood about as tall as my 5'2 build but I probably had a good 20 pounds on him.  He wasn't much in stature but gave off a very familiar vibe that he was a wise man.  A man on a mission of sorts but well organized.  My Granddaddy's kind of 'ora'. As the doors opened, the man bid us farewell and went on his way in the opposite direction from what we were walking.  

We went about our business and returned to go home the same way about three hours later.  We walked up to the elevator now going down to find the same little man also awaiting for the elevator.  Kristin and I laughed at our interesting timing and greeted the man with a friendly bow.  In a city of 4 million- what are the chances we would share an elevator with the same stranger twice in one day? He immediately started in on us, still in korean, with the use of his hands being very expressive and an even different passion than before.  I felt as though the third level down could not arrive soon enough as I couldn't bring myself to tell him that my understanding of his language was no where near his used vocabulary. He was just so happy!  Full of cheer.  He finally put it together that we were giving him the glazed eye stare and he lifted up his left hand to reveal his Bible.  He put his right hand to his chest and staggered through the english term, "Christian." Then he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Christian?" It was like the entire 4x4 lift was full of love! We started bouncing up and down at the first sign that we all understood one another! He told us (we understood this part) he had just gone to church and how much he loved God!  All we could say was 'Yes! Yes!' 

The doors opened and the three of us walked gleefully towards our subway.  No words at this point were exchanged.  We just knew we were amongst Family.  A very warm and fulfilling moment.  Tears filled my eyes as we parted onto different tracks.  What an amazing testimony.  He didn't even know our language yet he found a way to ask us and share with us his love for God.    

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

China-mas: Part 5

I was pumped to get to see Beijing's Olympic Village!  I watched for two weeks straight in 2008 during the summer Olympics and lost many good nights sleep wanting to watch the games live vs. on replay! It was so neat to see Bird's Nest and walk inside!  They have now turned the stadium into a kind of theme park for kids which looked like a lot of fun!

As we were waiting to get inside, these two boys desperately wanted these kite-like birds a man was selling.  Their father kept telling them he didn't have any money.  Jake's a softy and bought the two kids the birds then taught them how to use it.  Their faces were priceless.  They couldn't really figure out how to say "thank you" in English but were familiar with "Merry Christmas" they attempted it though it sounded like segmented grunts of happiness- which is a-okay!  Naturally, Mom and I started to cry. 

 A Hallmark moment.

I think he got a little misty-eyed, too. Shhhhhh...

Inside the stadium

Aren't they cute!?!?!

Inside the Water Cube! 

Where Michael Phelps won his 8 gold medals!! 

 Getting ready to eat Peking Duck!  It is also called Beijing Duck which is a specialty when visiting this area of China.  The restaurant we went to was famous for their duck preparation and grade! It was very nice and yet, we were in sweatshirts.  

 Our duck's was good. 

 The chef hacking our duck at the table

The spread: Duck, Duck kung pow, broccoli and wraps
Our card verifying the health and well being of our duck.  We can look up with the duck's ID # and see the duck (alive) and it's surroundings in the days before we ate him.  Now, that is true service.  I'll be expecting this next time I eat at McDonald's. 

Five little ducks...hanging in a row (with their heads still attached). 

 The service of the duck head cut down the middle.  All brains are fair game! I have to laugh at Mom because she ate the eyeball before she knew it was the head.  She thought it was just part of the wing. HA!  That was a funny moment. 

And then this is the welcome in the restrooms.